Thursday, October 8, 2015

So I Tried the Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate Demo...

I tried it because I wanted to try a game on my New 3DS that uses the C-Stick.  Now, I know, it's a smash-stick in Smash Bros, but it's awkward to use at best.  With that in mind, I downloaded the demo to Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate, which also uses the C-Stick.

The C-Stick works quite well to control the camera, once you investigate the options and invert the Y axis.  The only problem is, other than its equivalent on the touchscreen, it's the ONLY way to control the camera other than pressing L to center it behind your character.  I mean, the D-Pad also controls the camera, but that's stupid because it's on the same side of the console as the movement controls.  The camera also doesn't follow you properly, like in any other third-person game.

So most of my experience was spent trying to get the camera to point in the correct direction.  At the very beginning, the demo does an information dump and expects you to remember all of it.  It also says "oh hey if you forget any of this you can always look at it again later in the menu".  So, I hit Start when I wanted to remember something, and THE GAME DOESN'T EVEN PAUSE WHEN YOU BRING UP THE MENU.  You have to select the "Pause" option in the menu to actually pause the damn game.  What kind of horse shit is that?  Also, it's one of those games that uses Select to do the exact same thing as Start.  Good job, guys.

So I'm on the lowest difficulty with all the things turned on to tell me where to go because I've never played anything in this series before, and I'm supposed to be hunting down some dinosaur-like thing, which apparently has a 25 minute time limit or I fail.  Time limits are hardly ever a good thing.  After beating on the dinosaur thing for a while it runs away and I have to run after it.  Except that most of the fight is spent going "okay aim at the damn thing" "okay it knocked me over" "where did it go" "oh there it is" "why is my bow's aiming mode ever off" "why do the aiming controls suck" "oh great it just ran away again".

As far as I'm concerned, Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate is one of those games where its difficulty is based around its broken controls.  It takes what otherwise looks like it might be a fun game and makes it shit.

The controls can be adjusted, somewhat, in the options.  There's a button for "target the stupid thing I'm trying to fucking kill", but all it does is make pressing L to rotate the camera put a targeting reticle on the screen briefly.  Your character doesn't rotate to match where the enemy is, not even with a bow where you'd actually WANT that.

After I fail the mission, because there's no hit confirmation or health bar for the enemy, so I don't know how much progress I'm actually making, and just figuring out how to maneuver myself around the environment is cryptic at times so I end up having to run across multiple areas to find the damn thing again and then surprise I'm out of time, it asks some questions.  One is reasonable, because it's the demo and it's asking me if I want to exit the game and start the eShop.  HAHAHAHAHAHAHANO.  I'll leave your shit controls that can only be made moderately better through the options where they are, to fester and rot in the darkest corners of the eShop.  The second question is absurd.  I just failed the mission on Beginner, the lowest difficulty level, and it's asking me if I want to change difficulty levels.  Unless there's one called "Sane", where the game's controls suddenly don't suck and the camera follows suit, I'm going to have to say no to that as well.

The only credit that I'll give is to the demo for not having a restricted number of uses like all other demos that I can find.  Some demos have as few as 5 uses, and you're somehow supposed to have enough gameplay time to decide if the full game is worth your money with those.  Because, you know, you're going to have to exit the demo eventually, to handle StreetPasses or play other games.  Yeah, other games.  It's a game console with more than one game, you know?  I'd like to be able to go back into a demo whenever I please to try something different.  Besides, the limiting factor on a demo should be the amount of content, not the amount of playing the game the player can do before being locked out of it for the rest of eternity.

Maybe that's what I'll do here.  Maybe, through a fluke, or some stroke of luck, I'll find a combination of the options that makes the game's controls and camera not suck.  I don't have high hopes for that, to be honest.  Also, if you're trying to play this on an Old 3DS and you don't have a Circle Pad Pro, it's got to be even worse control-wise.

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