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Ishmael
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"3DS: Yes? No? Maybe so?" , posted Mon 30 Dec 03:58post reply

Is the 3DS a worthwhile purchase?
Yes, it's a fun system that offers a good library of games.
No, stand-alone handhelds had their day in the sun but are no longer worth the investment.
I'm a masochist who bought a Vita instead.

In the upcoming year I have to do a lot of travelling and sitting around. During this down time I could stare into space, do something productive like read a book or play a handheld system. But is the 3DS worth the time? What do 3DS owners think of the system? Does it have a deep, entertaining library of games? Do the batteries drain out as soon as you turn the thing on? Does it spend most of its time buried in the bottom of your bag while you mess around with your phone or tablet? Any thoughts would be appreciated.






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"Re(1):3DS: Yes? No? Maybe so?" , posted Mon 30 Dec 04:23post reply

quote:
Poll
In the upcoming year I have to do a lot of travelling and sitting around. During this down time I could stare into space, do something productive like read a book or play a handheld system. But is the 3DS worth the time? What do 3DS owners think of the system? Does it have a deep, entertaining library of games? Do the batteries drain out as soon as you turn the thing on? Does it spend most of its time buried in the bottom of your bag while you mess around with your phone or tablet? Any thoughts would be appreciated.


I think somewhere out there someone asked this very same thing not so long ago (mostly about games if I recall), so the short version: Yes, buy one. Lots of great games, one of which is the extremely fantastic Fire Emblem, which is good enough to buy three systems. If you're concerned about batteries, consider a 3DS XL, which I hear tell has somewhat better battery life. A single downside: irritating region lock, which seems so stupidly old fashioned. After all, even Sony, the kings of market segmentation in previous generations, has left region lock up to publishers.






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"Re(2):3DS: Yes? No? Maybe so?" , posted Mon 30 Dec 05:37post reply

Depending on your tastes, either Fire Emblem, Luigi's Mansion2, Pokmon X/Y or Bravely Default should keep you busy for most long train travels. If you can get some of the Sega 3D remixes, it could also add some variety (or DKCR). Zelda is good, ugly, but maybe too easy. I don't know exactly what's on the 'merican eShop, but I'm pretty sure they have Picross e2 and e3, and that should round up your library quite nicely.

Try to keep the 3D off as often as possible if you're concerned about battery (or your eye's health), lower the light to 3 or 4 and as a last mesure put the online switch off and the battery should last long enough, especially the XL's (since you'd be travelling in a train, the slightly lowered portability shouldn't be an issue?).





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"Re(3):3DS: Yes? No? Maybe so?" , posted Mon 30 Dec 07:09:post reply

As I mentioned in that other thread, the 3DS is my most played system in 2013. And most of the time played was at home. I'm currently into Zelda & the SEGA 3D Classics, all of which are excellent. But the new Miiverse integration is giving me excuse to waste a lot of time drawing kindergarten-level stupid stuff like this.

The 3DS already has loads of good games, but there're some promising upcoming games too like Bravely Default, Yumi's Odd Odyssey (AKA Sayonara Umihara Kawase), and that new Kirby (though I realized I'm more a fan of Kirby Spin-off games than mainline ones, which the 3DS Kirby is looking out to be a mainline one).

As for hardware, I have a 3DS XL and I prefer it over the regular 3DS in most cases. But I noticed that the heavier weight of the XL tends to strain my left hand a bit. So my thumb does slip at times (though rarely) from the circle pad whenever I'm holding the XL vertically. And I think it's impossible for me to play Kid Icarus: Uprising without a stand (and that was my preferred way to play it when I had a regular 3DS, without the stand) You may need to consider the regular 3DS or even a 2DS if you don't care about 3D or screen size or just don't like heavy portables. If you're worried about the battery, there're a few battery packs for the regular 3DS that work very well. But I'm not sure about the case with 2DS.





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"Re(4):3DS: Yes? No? Maybe so?" , posted Mon 30 Dec 11:41post reply

Well, if you're making fun of the Vita, my 3DS recommendations make less sense, because I would say "I love my 3DS. I think I finally have as many games for it as I do for the Vita."

Anyway, since the last thread, I've played Mario and Luigi Dream Team, which was a great delight for a while, but eventually drove me away with its incessant tutorials. Nothing in the game is complicated and just about everything is fun, but when they spend twice as long telling you how to do something than you spend actually doing it, the whole thing feels like too much of a waste of time after a while.

Thankfully, Zelda is very hands-off, allowing you to feel clever when you figure out things. I heard "too easy" as a frequent complaint about the game, but I find it engaging and clever enough that challenge (or lack thereof) becomes mostly irrelevant. This game is a very compelling system-seller to me.

But yes, check out the last thread. There are a lot of strong recommendations and I do think now is a good time to pick up the system.





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"Re(5):3DS: Yes? No? Maybe so?" , posted Tue 31 Dec 04:15:post reply

quote:
Anyway, since the last thread, I've played Mario and Luigi Dream Team, which was a great delight for a while, but eventually drove me away with its incessant tutorials. Nothing in the game is complicated and just about everything is fun, but when they spend twice as long telling you how to do something than you spend actually doing it, the whole thing feels like too much of a waste of time after a while.

Thankfully, Zelda is very hands-off, allowing you to feel clever when you figure out things. I heard "too easy" as a frequent complaint about the game, but I find it engaging and clever enough that challenge (or lack thereof) becomes mostly irrelevant. This game is a very compelling system-seller to me.


I've found myself wishing that there was a toggle switch in games these days that let you turn off the explanations-- I think it's maybe asking too much for them to be dispensed with completely since the target age group is pretty broad, but toggling them couldn't be that hard.

Polly is right on target about Dream Team, which was great at many moments once you get past the nannying. It's full of great, charming humor and nice mechanics, and it's refreshing to have what's basically an RPG have so much hands on other than just pressing the same button over and over.

I was pleasantly surprised by Zelda too! My eye-rolling over the game began pretty early after it was announced, since a sequel to LttP was about as unnecessary as it could possibly get, but I got the game based on a few people's suggestion and actually loved it. It's funny, since the nostalgia I had for LttP and the memories I had of playing it had a palpable effect on how it played. Or to put it differently, it was like moving away from your childhood neighborhood and then coming back to visit twenty years later. A lot's the same, but there's plenty that's different.

EDIT: Heeeyyyy, this is probably as good place to ask as any, but anyone here play SMT: Devil Survivor Overclocked? I see it's on sale in the eStore and I'm a sucker for SMT games, but... I'm completely on the fence on this one. Someone care to push me off in one direction or the other? Not that I don't already have plenty to play as it is of course!






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[this message was edited by karasu99 on Tue 31 Dec 04:19]

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"Re(6):3DS: Yes? No? Maybe so?" , posted Tue 31 Dec 04:44post reply

quote:
EDIT: Heeeyyyy, this is probably as good place to ask as any, but anyone here play SMT: Devil Survivor Overclocked? I see it's on sale in the eStore and I'm a sucker for SMT games, but... I'm completely on the fence on this one. Someone care to push me off in one direction or the other? Not that I don't already have plenty to play as it is of course!
I haven't played the game, so I won't comment on its quality, but please remember they will be releasing Devil Survivor 2 Break Record, an updated port of DS2 like Overclocked is an updated port of DS1. I have no idea if both games are worthwhile or not, and Break Record will be released in Japan "in 2014" without further details, so probably mid-to-late 2014 in the US.
I'm not saying that to deter you from buying Overclock, just, it's something to keep in mind to prevent any disappointment.





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"Re(7):3DS: Yes? No? Maybe so?" , posted Wed 1 Jan 00:02post reply

Thanks for the responses everyone! I think the reason I started this thread instead of simply referring to the previous topic was because that thread was about what is available on the 3DS while I'm still trying to convince myself that the 3DS is something worth purchasing. I don't want to invest in a portable if during the times I would normally play it I find myself using some other electronic distraction instead. Yes, that's a very subjective question but for me the idea of lugging around a device that is only capable of playing games is feeling more and more antiquated. Then again, the 3DS does have a stand you can pick up for it so maybe I'm coming at this from the wrong direction and the 3DS is actually the most awkward home system to be released in years.

One of the main selling points for the 3DS was that I wanted to play MH, or at least I did before Polly's critical reviews in the year-end thread. Should I avoid all Capcom games that have "Hunter" in the title and wait for the infinitely superior sequel Monster Savior instead?





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"Re(8):3DS: Yes? No? Maybe so?" , posted Wed 1 Jan 02:57post reply

quote:
SMT: Devil Survivor Overclocked

I was going to talk about how the game turned me off as a Megaten fan, but then I realized how stupid that is, because what the hell does that even mean these days? People who like Devil Survivor are probably in the right of it and I'm holding onto some antiquated idea that I can't even express. In short: maybe get the game if you're looking for an SRPG and can accept that it won't be as good as Fire Emblem. On the negative end, it didn't hold my interest for long, but it also didn't hold my interest long enough for me to have a valid opinion about it.

quote:

One of the main selling points for the 3DS was that I wanted to play MH, or at least I did before Polly's critical reviews in the year-end thread. Should I avoid all Capcom games that have "Hunter" in the title and wait for the infinitely superior sequel Monster Savior instead?


I don't know if my statements about MH4 necessarily apply to you. I like Monster Hunter a lot and have played most iterations quite a bit. Although I passed on the first 3DS version (3 Ultimate), that's only because I played a lot of Tri and Portable 3rd, two excellent games that share a lot of content with it. My criticism of 4 is just that it's ugly compared to other games in the series, including the first 3DS title. The environments in 4 are considerably more interactive, so I imagine that's the culprit. I haven't played the game enough to reach the conclusion that the payoff was worth it, but I do know that it is ugly ugly ugly.

You probably won't be playing 4 unless you import it, which means you'll be importing a 3DS as well. Unless you also imported 3rd Portable and clocked in 100+ hours like myself (causing Monster Hunter overdose), I highly recommend 3 Ultimate on 3DS.

I hope that all makes sense. In summary MONSTER HUNTER ULTIMATE 3 VERY YES...probably.





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"Re(9):3DS: Yes? No? Maybe so?" , posted Wed 1 Jan 03:30:post reply

quote:
SMT: Devil Survivor Overclocked
I was going to talk about how the game turned me off as a Megaten fan, but then I realized how stupid that is, because what the hell does that even mean these days? People who like Devil Survivor are probably in the right of it and I'm holding onto some antiquated idea that I can't even express. In short: maybe get the game if you're looking for an SRPG and can accept that it won't be as good as Fire Emblem. On the negative end, it didn't hold my interest for long, but it also didn't hold my interest long enough for me to have a valid opinion about it.

Ah, when you put it in the perspective of an SRPG, it makes complete sense-- Fire Emblem is an extremely high bar to be compared with! As it is, I was only considering it since it's on sale at the moment.

quote:
I haven't played the game, so I won't comment on its quality, but please remember they will be releasing Devil Survivor 2 Break Record, an updated port of DS2 like Overclocked is an updated port of DS1. I have no idea if both games are worthwhile or not, and Break Record will be released in Japan "in 2014" without further details, so probably mid-to-late 2014 in the US.
I'm not saying that to deter you from buying Overclock, just, it's something to keep in mind to prevent any disappointment.

I've heard DS2 is a slightly nicer looking game but with slightly worse gameplay, so... hmm, I guess I should just wait and see either way. Thanks!

On a related note, Project X Zone is on sale as well and since I had enjoyed the demo previously, I sprung for it. In short: good game if you're looking for pure fanservice and lots of pretty animations. Unsurprisingly it has quite the Super Robot Wars feel to it, but the story is just idiotic. It's fun, but so far I'm finding that there's almost no challenge at all as well! Is that a recommendation? I've got no idea!






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[this message was edited by karasu99 on Wed 1 Jan 04:27]

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"Re(10):3DS: Yes? No? Maybe so?" , posted Wed 1 Jan 05:49post reply

quote:
On a related note, Project X Zone is on sale as well and since I had enjoyed the demo previously, I sprung for it. In short: good game if you're looking for pure fanservice and lots of pretty animations. Unsurprisingly it has quite the Super Robot Wars feel to it, but the story is just idiotic. It's fun, but so far I'm finding that there's almost no challenge at all as well! Is that a recommendation? I've got no idea!

I found the game to get more challenging as it went along, since it has so many optional bosses in each level. You can kind of decide how much of a challenge you're looking for. Even though I was never in danger of losing, the game systems were engaging enough to keep me "challenged" in some way. I stopped playing the game, because it didn't motivate me to finish it (it's quite long), but I do recommend it to anyone that thinks it looks cool from the trailers and can deal with the awful writing and occasional awful stage design.





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"Re(9):3DS: Yes? No? Maybe so?" , posted Wed 1 Jan 06:55post reply

quote:
I hope that all makes sense. In summary MONSTER HUNTER ULTIMATE 3 VERY YES...probably.

As someone whose first (and last at the moment of writing) MH was that one, I'd say: only if you have people to play along with.
Playing MH alone is just not fun. Maybe it is when you already played hundreds of hour of the series and you can beat most bosses only using your left foot without getting hit, but when you're trying to learn what to do, the content is both overwhelming and... not for you. "Come back with 2-3 friends including one who can teach the others" kind of not for you.

Also, I played a few more hours of Zelda and while I still don't like the visuals of the game, my impression of everything else has gone even better. I was thinking on how to make the game harder, and every solution I came up with would just have make the game less fun. In other words, I feel every design choice made to this point has been spot-on.





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"Re(10):3DS: Yes? No? Maybe so?" , posted Wed 1 Jan 07:56post reply

quote:
Playing MH alone is just not fun.

Hey now, I think...
quote:
Maybe it is when you already played hundreds of hour of the series and you can beat most bosses only using your left foot without getting hit, but when you're trying to learn what to do, the content is both overwhelming and... not for you.


Mrrrrph. Okay. Maybe my opinion should come with a grain of salt here.

This got me thinking, am I like one of those fighting game players I hate that can't see from the perspective of a "commoner" anymore?

But I still don't agree, as I've MOSTLY played MH alone. Winning a battle with friends is good, but winning a battle alone is the greater joy for me, because it's hard-won. I can no longer speak from the perspective of someone new to the series and I know that some of the joys I find from it are joys that only come from experience and learning, but like a fighting game, knowing that you have room to grow and that you can find those joys for yourself is a motivator. Even starting the game out, with the exception of long-range weapons, you have essentially the same tools at your disposal as a "pro".

In retrospect, it was foolish of me not to recommend MH with a caveat. It doesn't entertain hugely immediately and it certainly does try to beat you down from time to time, but if you're hungry for the challenge, then in my opinion, it offers some of the sweetest victories I've seen in a game.

Also, with the exception of what I like to call "the no-no zone" where you can't go, but the monsters can in earlier games, I've never felt like MH was the least bit mean or unfair. The idea is: Life is hard. Victory requires tenacity. You have to be able to laugh at your defeat.

quote:
Also, I played a few more hours of Zelda and while I still don't like the visuals of the game, my impression of everything else has gone even better. I was thinking on how to make the game harder, and every solution I came up with would just have make the game less fun. In other words, I feel every design choice made to this point has been spot-on.

The character designs are bleagh, but the overall look isn't so bad, in my opinion. I'm playing "no potions no fairies" to add a little challenge without upsetting the concept of "how the game is supposed to be played."





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"Zelda 3-2" , posted Thu 2 Jan 07:18post reply

I'm just before the last level, and I retract everything I said about the difficulty: the game is just as difficult as the SFC one. Which was not hyper complicated, but if it worked for the old one, there's no reason to criticize the new one.
I remember the fire/ice level of the old one was the most annoying, and it just took me 2 hours to finish the ice level in the new one, so I'd say they are more or less on par with each other.

I definitely think I'll come back to that game in a couple of years, when I'll have forgotten enough to start as fresh as possible (maybe I'll play the SFC next year, and the 3DS the following year to mess up with my memories). The game is that good. With all my pink-tinted glasses, I'm even starting to think the new game may be even better than the old one, if only because the collect-everything-quest is so well done. It's clear, guided but not too easy, rewarding, and it gives yet another reason to do the Zelda thing of cut-everything-break-everything-bomb-everything until Hyrule is a perfectly flat wasteland and you have 9999 of everything JUST BECAUSE.
I was also quite relieved to see that even though the items are available from the start, each of the later dungeons still hides a power-up of some sort to give a better feeling of progression than a mere extra heart. And in the end, the fire rod is only useful in certain occasions, but a sword that deals double damage is always useful, so I guess the new formula trumps the last.
Oh, and the dungeons. The dungeons are great. Not a single dull one. Yes, you can do them in whatever order and you don't have progressive difficulty and you only need one item in each of them instead of combining them like in other Zeldas, but playing through such perfectly crafted mazes make you realise how all these things were not necessary to begin with.

I heard once you finish the game, you unlock the master quest, which is the same game except enemies and pots stop dropping hearts. I suppose it's a way to raise the difficulty, but I think Zelda could open itself to a more flexible difficulty menu. Polly's idea sounds good, I was thinking of maybe play without the upgrades from the collect-them-all quest next time. Self-imposed challenge is a good idea if you want people to replay your game for a long time. I just wish they are as creative in that area as they were for the rest.
This is the first Zelda game I have enjoyed since the Oracle ones, so... 12 years? I wonder if the Aonuma curse if finally broken.

tl;dr: Zelda is to the 3DS what many people say about 3DWorld for the WiiU: there is no valid reason to not buy it if you own the console. This is my favourite game of the system, ahead of Kid Icarus.





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"Re(1):3DS: Yes? No? Maybe so?" , posted Thu 2 Jan 13:31post reply

you can play Shin Megami Tensei IV for 40 hours and have a good time, and you can play Attack of the Friday Monsters for 2 hours and have a GREAT time, so I say yes, do it.





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"Re(2):3DS: Yes? No? Maybe so?" , posted Thu 2 Jan 23:30post reply

3DS now has Miiverse so yes, it's the best thing on Earth.
3DS XL has a slightly bigger touch screen to draw on Miiverse so it's the best-er thing on Earth.
Wii U has an even bigger touch screen for Miiverse and Goemon so it's the best-est.





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"Re(3):3DS: Yes? No? Maybe so?" , posted Fri 17 Jan 00:18post reply

Since I have no willpower whatsoever I broke down and bought a 3DS. Well, a red and black 3DSXL if you want to get technical about it.

Normally I don't go for special editions of consoles but I like that you buy a handheld in every color in the visible spectrum. It makes something you hold with your hands feel a bit more personal. I went with the superior red and black look since it was snappy and also on sale.

I wonder about the long term life of dedicated handhelds but the XL is portable in only the loosest sense of the term. It's like a large jug of milk; you could conceivably carry it around everywhere you go for when you get thirsty but would you want to? My feelings about the portability is probably being influenced by the addition of the second stick attachment which adds to the bulk of the system. Add in the extension cord I had the 3DS plugged into to charge the batteries and I had the most amazingly unportable portable possible.

The novelty of having a dumbbell that plays games is neat but once you start it up it's actually a nice little device. The screens are blessedly large and bright. The interface is smooth and fun to navigate. It even features the Mii thing which might prove useful later. I guess some people actually try to make their Mii's look like themselves but what's the point in that? For no good reason mine currently looks like Phil Spector but I think I'm going to change him so he looks more like Al Leong.

But in the end a console is only as good as its games and it looks like the 3DS is going to do fine in that regard. I fired up MH3 and can already tell I'm going to like it. How can I say no to a game full of talking cats and an economy based around dead animals? Oh yeah, this game looks like it's going to be fun.

...

What the hell am I doing in this game?





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"Re(4):3DS: Yes? No? Maybe so?" , posted Fri 17 Jan 08:00post reply

quote:
What the hell am I doing in this game?


I was playing Monster Hunter 3 when my 2 year old niece peered over my shoulder and identified the Aptonoths (herbivore dinos) I was about to slay as "mama and baby." I couldn't very well cut them down in front of her, so I just sat back and watched, and to my surprise they started drinking from the watering hole, rolling around in the mud and going about doing convincing dinosaur stuff.

I then noticed some giant bugs nearby. Usually I kill them without a second thought hoping they'll drop a husk. This time I held back and noticed that they were going to a patch of vegetation and harvesting food which made their abdomens slowly swell up. When they got full they'd dutifully march back to their hive.

There's a lot of little loving touches in the game. Sometimes the best thing to do is just sit back and watch.






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"Re(5):3DS: Yes? No? Maybe so?" , posted Fri 17 Jan 09:05post reply

quote:

There's a lot of little loving touches in the game. Sometimes the best thing to do is just sit back and watch.


It's perhaps no surprise that they have a zoo listed in the credits. It really shows in things like their perfect alligator rolls. It's these little expressions of nature that make me sad that we haven't had a real HD version of the game. (although we did see some of the same principles come to life in Dragon's Dogma, in my opinion)





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"Re(5):3DS: Yes? No? Maybe so?" , posted Fri 17 Jan 09:05post reply

quote:


I was playing Monster Hunter 3 when my 2 year old niece peered over my shoulder and identified the Aptonoths (herbivore dinos) I was about to slay as "mama and baby." I couldn't very well cut them down in front of her, so I just sat back and watched, and to my surprise they started drinking from the watering hole, rolling around in the mud and going about doing convincing dinosaur stuff.

I then noticed some giant bugs nearby. Usually I kill them without a second thought hoping they'll drop a husk. This time I held back and noticed that they were going to a patch of vegetation and harvesting food which made their abdomens slowly swell up. When they got full they'd dutifully march back to their hive.

There's a lot of little loving touches in the game. Sometimes the best thing to do is just sit back and watch.



One of the reasons I dislike playing Monster Hunter (aside from meta reasons with friends) is because gathering materials from all the animals which are just around doesn't make me feel heroic, it just makes me feel like an asshole.





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"Re(6):3DS: Yes? No? Maybe so?" , posted Fri 17 Jan 10:20post reply

quote:

It's perhaps no surprise that they have a zoo listed in the credits. It really shows in things like their perfect alligator rolls.


That's SO COOL! Didn't know that!
The artbooks are fantastic. They're some of the best creature designs ever conceived, inside and out. I love how their concept drawings prioritize clean, descriptive linework and flat colors over heavily textured rendering. It's about clarity over photo realism. SO GOOD.

quote:
It's these little expressions of nature that make me sad that we haven't had a real HD version of the game. (although we did see some of the same principles come to life in Dragon's Dogma, in my opinion)



Dragon's Dogma has such fantastic creature behavior. Arguably even better than Monster Hunter in many ways both in and out of combat.

An HD Monster Hunter would be so good! Can you imagine Deep Down with Monster Hunter type art direction?






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"Re(6):3DS: Yes? No? Maybe so?" , posted Fri 17 Jan 13:15post reply

quote:

One of the reasons I dislike playing Monster Hunter (aside from meta reasons with friends) is because gathering materials from all the animals which are just around doesn't make me feel heroic, it just makes me feel like an asshole.



I feel exactly the same. I play games to feel like a hero of some sort, not as an ecosystem-destroying asshole.

Actually, if I think about the game's premise, I find it despicable. What's the point of recreating a marvelous fantasy world in all its beauty and glory, full of amazingly majestic creatures, if you are just supposed to butcher and maim every one of them?

MonHun must the the most difficult game I've ever played: I couldn't even get past the first quest. Why am I supposed to intrude the habitat of a family of perfectly pacific, grass eating dinosaurs and just kill them mercilessly, just for the heck of it? They were no treat to anybody and coexisted in perfect harmony with their ecosystem! What an asshole the main character is! The fact that the "beasts" are so beautifully animated and life-like behaved, as Nobi points out, only adds salt to the (moral) injury.

Sorry for the rant, guys, but I really don't like Monster Hunter. Well, to be honest, neither do I think I'll be playing any of those mobile Deer Hunter games anytime soon. Those are really disgusting.





Pollyanna
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"Re(7):3DS: Yes? No? Maybe so?" , posted Fri 17 Jan 13:42post reply

If you believe that "meat is murder," then I can't argue with that, but I think anyone who thinks you're supposed to a hero in Monster Hunter is missing the point. You're trying to survive. Sometimes you win and sometimes the monster wins.

Yes, you kill herbivores, but then you take their meat, roast it and eat it. When you kill something, you take every part of it and make something out of it. The villages and societies depicted in the games are created from monster parts...hides, bones, everything. I can't think of any other games that offer that perspective to killing.

The people live in a harsh world. They're surrounded by very dangerous creatures. They run the risk of being wiped out completely if they don't fight. They stumble, they quake in fear, they get tired and sweat, they collapse in exhaustion and they dive in terror away from danger, flat on their faces. They're humans surviving the only way that humans can in their world. Sometimes they can conquer the enemies that nature provides, sometimes they can turn them away and sometimes, they can only huddle and hope for the best.

The monsters are alive and they have personalities because they're your rivals. Because you're both trying to survive, because that's nature. It's beautiful and its harsh.





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"MonHun and Me" , posted Fri 17 Jan 15:43:post reply

quote:

Polly's MonHun defense




Of course being a hero is not the point of MonHun. What I don't like about the game is that, they way hunting is presented, they force you to be a perfect asshole.

Granted, my exposure to the game has been very limited, so I cannot argue about the points you raise... But the impression I had was not that of a society struggling to survive on an hostile environment, threatened by evil creatures creeping on every corner. Not at all.

Instead of that, I was thrown into a bustling city market where some random guy asked for some sauroid (or whatever) skins to sell for big bucks at his stall. So all I had to do to contribute to the development of tribal capitalism was venturing into the wilderness and finding me some sauroids to skin. But it happened that the surrounding wilderness was not that wild. It was an idyllic scenery where peaceful, beautiful creatures wandered around minding their own business and paying little attention to that lousy barbarian carrying a humongous broadsword at his back. They did not even bat an eye when I walked right next to them. There was not the slightest sign of hostility or dangerousness in them. Not the threatening critters you would expect for a game that has "monster" written in big letters on the title, huh? I could find little justification to kill those poor things, other than filling the pockets of that furriery entrepreneur at the town's market.

My brave hunting exploits felt more like walking to the park next door and nonchalantly butchering and tearing my neighbour's dog to pieces. But, oh, I did that to sell its skin and fangs for a good price afterwards, so it's all sound and OK!

Now, while you can argue that those sauroid skins were a mean for the random market guy to make a living and all, that's a bit different from the kill-or-be-killed scenario you are depicting. That random market guy could as well try to sell coconut soda for all I care, and leave those poor things at ease. Maybe in later levels the game gets more, I dunno, serious, but I guess I 'll never know. I can't recall the version I tried, but I think it was for the Wii, if that helps.

Tl, dr:
I don't have any problem with hunting minigames or the like included in a game. They can be quite enjoyable, in fact, and can also make plenty of sense within the game's world. But I do not enjoy that to be the whole point of the game. Well, while I would not enjoy hunting as a sport neither in games nor in real life, I do think that a game built around the concept of hunting for survival can be very interesting, (albeit somewhat cruel). Tokyo Jungle comes to mind. It's the way the game presents things what bugs me.

MonHun shows a harsh and cruel world, for sure, but I fail to see anything beautiful or appealing to it. All in all, it all comes down to "MonHun is not my cup of tea" level of discussion, though. For the record, I don't even like Duck Hunt! I have (almost) no problem in stabbing colossi mercilessly in Shadow of the Colossus, or fishing like there is no tomorrow at the fishing pond in Zelda games, though, so what do I know. It's all about how it gets depicted, I guess.





[this message was edited by Maese on Fri 17 Jan 15:46]

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"Re(8):3DS: Yes? No? Maybe so?" , posted Fri 17 Jan 15:56:post reply

quote:
If you believe that "meat is murder," then I can't argue with that, but I think anyone who thinks you're supposed to a hero in Monster Hunter is missing the point. You're trying to survive. Sometimes you win and sometimes the monster wins.

Yes, you kill herbivores, but then you take their meat, roast it and eat it. When you kill something, you take every part of it and make something out of it. The villages and societies depicted in the games are created from monster parts...hides, bones, everything. I can't think of any other games that offer that perspective to killing.

The people live in a harsh world. They're surrounded by very dangerous creatures. They run the risk of being wiped out completely if they don't fight. They stumble, they quake in fear, they get tired and sweat, they collapse in exhaustion and they dive in terror away from danger, flat on their faces. They're humans surviving the only way that humans can in their world. Sometimes they can conquer the enemies that nature provides, sometimes they can turn them away and sometimes, they can only huddle and hope for the best.

The monsters are alive and they have personalities because they're your rivals. Because you're both trying to survive, because that's nature. It's beautiful and its harsh.



I totally appreciate the cultural element of how the game world feels like a world that has grown around the existence of all the monsters in it, but I totally do not get the feeling of doing any of this for survival. Danger in the game comes from choosing to go hunt some monster, and hunting that monster exists for the purpose of getting gear to hunt increasingly big monsters. I'm definitely not in the "meat is immoral and terrible and you should kill yourself for eating it" camp, but if I just wanted to role-play survival, I could quite happily just do gathering missions and occasionally whack a monster for some meat. There's never any feeling that the village is in danger or "desperately needs!" anything, visually or gameplay-wise. I'm all for using my imagination in games, but there are elements of the village that almost actively work against that for me. All pressure to kill things for me in the game comes entirely from wanting to kill bigger things, and the reason to kill those bigger things is to see if I can.

I think it's because the monsters are just monsters, they aren't villainous or anything as you've said, they're just monsters. They're just hanging around being monsters, and if I was just hanging around, they'd leave me alone. And I'd leave them alone. I think instead it's a credit to the game that I want to play Monster Naturalist instead of Monster Hunter.





[this message was edited by Spoon on Fri 17 Jan 16:01]

Pollyanna
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"Re(9):3DS: Yes? No? Maybe so?" , posted Fri 17 Jan 16:39post reply

quote:
Granted, my exposure to the game has been very limited, so I cannot argue about the points you raise...

That's fine, and it's no discredit to you for not having played the games or for having the first impression that you had. Perhaps your impression would even worsen and you would disagree with me even more. However, your opinion on the series does not have much weight, seeing how little you've played it, so trying to argue with you about it would be silly.

quote:
There's never any feeling that the village is in danger or "desperately needs!" anything, visually or gameplay-wise.

This is completely false, unless you're just talking about 3U, which I'm not familiar with the scenario of (if there is any). The series is littered with scenarios of monsters attacking towns that you have to defend and the final battle of Tri (which I assume is in 3U?) makes it hauntingly clear what's at stake if you don't drive away the last boss. I think that part made the "Man vs Nature" theme blatantly obviously.

I can't argue that Monster Hunter presents its theme effectively to you or anyone else. I can't argue how effectively it presents its theme to anyone but myself...but I think the attempted theme (successful or not) is clear enough.

I feel like both of you are arguing from positions of relative ignorance, so this whole discussion is kind of invalid. That doesn't make me right, but it might make us wrong to continue arguing.





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Spoon
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"Re(10):3DS: Yes? No? Maybe so?" , posted Fri 17 Jan 17:52post reply

quote:
\
I feel like both of you are arguing from positions of relative ignorance, so this whole discussion is kind of invalid. That doesn't make me right, but it might make us wrong to continue arguing.



I'll have to agree with you on that one. I don't think I'm trying to say that your experience of MH is invalid, but rather that what I got out of the time I spent with it gave me a very different impression. So instead, I'd like to be enlightened so that I can appreciate it more!

My experience of going through the missions in Freedom 2 was pretty much a few lines of text saying things like livers are worth money/this monster got me or my shop dirty/go kill these monsters that are causing trouble. Maybe I never did hit the point where the sense of urgency really kicks in, because as you said there are in fact dramatic moments that occur at the end of some of the games.





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"Re(2):Re(10):3DS: Yes? No? Maybe so?" , posted Sat 18 Jan 01:17post reply

I agree that MH is quite interesting for all the reasons listed. First, the animation on the monsters is amazing. They have a sense of weight, a sense of musculature, a sense of life. These aren't the random four legged goons that will attack you in other games, these feel like actual animals. The artists who worked on this game did an incredible job. The idea that I'm holding a believable simulation of a natural world in my hands is quite an accomplishment.

It also makes your actions in the game feel somewhat odd. In any other RPG I don't think twice about bashing slimes with a stick in order to gain experience. Outside of wondering why anyone would allow so many low level monsters to wander around so close to the starting village I never put too much thought into those initial battles. What was the deal with all those imps I came across? Did they have a culture? Hopes? Dreams? Who cares? When they showed up in a random encounter we took turns swinging at each other until the victory music played. Not only did I never think about the morality of my actions, there was no morality to my actions. It was simply a means to an end.

All that changed in MH. Now I'm walking up to oblivious animals and killing them until they're dead. As has been noted, these aren't the actions of a hero, they're the actions of a hunter. I'm not killing these things because they are a threat to my hometown or the political system I prefer. Instead, I'm killing them because I need to survive and they are part of the ecosystem I inhabit. While I was able to find a mental justification for my actions I was impressed that MH created an emotional response that caused me to think along those lines. Some games have moral choices as a game mechanic or are marketed as being able to create an emotional rapport with the player. Honestly, I don't find those games particularly satisfying since I can see the mechanics of what the game is trying to do. If I can feel the game pulling my wires it's not going to work. Instead, MH creates a much more intense response by not judging my actions. Who knew that so much of an emotional punch could be found in a game where I poked a giant fish with a lance until it died.





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"Re(3):Re(10):3DS: Yes? No? Maybe so?" , posted Sat 18 Jan 05:55post reply

I any event, Ishmael, congratulations on finally caving in to your baser urges and buying a 3DS XL. It makes me cry a tiny little tear to hear that you didn't go for the execrable battery life and marvelous graphical fidelity of the plain old 3DS, but that's another story. Now we all need to compel you to go out and buy Fire Emblem Awakening posthaste!

Stylishly avoiding the divisive topic of Monster Hunter, I'll mention that I've been playing through both the alarmingly short Bravely Default demo (like an addict I'm jonesing for the full game in a few weeks) and the 3D version of Super Shinobi II and I'm absolutely blown out of the water by how well this now 20 year old game holds up, especially compared to the legion of mediocre platformers released every single day (and funded in the thousands of dollars on Kickstarter). My mind is blown that Sega never really attempted to match this game in any of its so-so sequels (sorry, Shinobi Legions-- even though I love you with a デエープラブ, you can't possible compare with this game's power).






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"Re(2):Re(10):3DS: Yes? No? Maybe so?" , posted Sat 18 Jan 06:00:post reply

EDIT (posted while I was posting):
quote:
Super Shinobi II

I am HUGELY fond of this game, but I haven't played it in years, so I wondered if it still held up to how good it is in my memory. I'm not generally prone to nostalgia, so hearing your praises has moved it to the top of my priority list. A lot of people seem to like Revenge of Shinobi/Super Shinobi better, so I wondered if my memory was playing tricks on me. Although that was certainly a good game, the only thing I liked more about it was the soundtrack.

quote:

I'll have to agree with you on that one. I don't think I'm trying to say that your experience of MH is invalid, but rather that what I got out of the time I spent with it gave me a very different impression. So instead, I'd like to be enlightened so that I can appreciate it more!


I hope I'm not misinterpreting this and you're asking me to elaborate on the scenarios that I mentioned, because otherwise, I would look kind of ridiculous, saying that the discussion was pointless, then continuing to discuss.

But the scenarios I mentioned, in earlier games, were usually Elder Dragoons attacking settlements and you had to repel them. Some scenarios were as straightforward as actually repelling a monster from a town, but others were more implied, as you don't actually kill the Elder Dragons at first, simply drive them away until they come back.

In MH3, the Navaldeus is causing earthquakes in your seaside village. When you dive into the sea to fight it, you are drawn into a sunken village, much like your own. Although the creature itself is seen as more of a force of nature rather than something aggressive or evil, it's made clear that it has sunk entire seaside settlements in the past as well.

As a side note, this is one of my favorite boss battles of all time. The music is especially beautiful and seeing the sunken village really got a strong response from me for some reason. The fight itself, I could take or leave, but the framing of it really gave me a "Wander and the Colossus" sort of awe and melancholy.

I have not finished MH4, but it seems like your main "adversary" is an Elder Dragon that upsets the ecosystem by infecting other monsters with a virus that causes erratic behavior.

I'm not meaning to imply from these scenarios that mankind is living in harmony with nature or that their actions on the whole are justified or not. In the war of Man vs Nature, man doesn't just want to survive, they want to thrive, often in ways that involve crushing things under their feet. Maybe the dragons that attack towns are only defending their territory. They try to make the monsters lovable, so it's only natural to feel a tiny pang of guilt when you kill something beautiful. After a long, grueling battle with some dragon being as big of an asshole as I am, I get a feeling like I just beat an enemy general that I hate and respect, like "You were kind of an asshole, but you were a great guy in your own way. Too bad we couldn't be on the same side."





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[this message was edited by Pollyanna on Sat 18 Jan 06:07]

karasu
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"Re(3):Re(10):3DS: Yes? No? Maybe so?" , posted Sat 18 Jan 06:39:post reply

quote:
EDIT (posted while I was posting):
Super Shinobi II
I am HUGELY fond of this game, but I haven't played it in years, so I wondered if it still held up to how good it is in my memory. I'm not generally prone to nostalgia, so hearing your praises has moved it to the top of my priority list. A lot of people seem to like Revenge of Shinobi/Super Shinobi better, so I wondered if my memory was playing tricks on me. Although that was certainly a good game, the only thing I liked more about it was the soundtrack.


It's odd that both of these games seem to be so divisive among fans. Personally I like them both, but Super Shinobi II has a complexity that Genesis games weren't prone to (as opposed to SNES games). The bosses are particularly nice, and the move set is HUGE for the time. I think the thing that impresses me the most though is that there are some damned fine set piece levels like the one where you're on the horse with the ninja kites in the background. It's extremely evocative!

Polly, for some reason I'm in no way shocked that you are open to appreciating this older game. I'm curious to know which side of the 16-bit 'console war' you fall on (as those battle lines are of course still clearly drawn decades later).

I'd love it if they remade Revenge of Shinobi in 3D as well though! It was one of my favorite Genesis games years ago, along with Castlevania Bloodlines!






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[this message was edited by karasu on Sat 18 Jan 06:44]

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"3DS rhymes with "yes"" , posted Sat 18 Jan 09:11post reply

Good on you, Ishmael. There is now quite a decent library to go through on the 3DS so I am sure you won't regret your purchase. The console really shines with StreetPass, though, which is not always compatible with the North American lifestyle. I hope you have a good StreetPass relay nearby.

I played The Super Shinobi II (so Shinobi III) last week while watching AGDQ and had a blast. I agree it really aged well thanks to the depth of the moves you can perform. It also helps that M2 lets the player map the inputs as they wish, which is quite useful for what was originally a six button game shoehorned into a 3 button controller.

I also got accepted into the Closed Beta test for Sega's Initial D Perfect Shift Online, their Free-to-Play for 3DS. Unfortunately, there is not much you can do offline. I understand the logic but the simple controls and short races make it the kind of game I would have rather played during my 30min train trip to work. I have better games to play on 3DS (and other machines) when I am home.





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"Re(1):3DS rhymes with" , posted Mon 20 Jan 01:17post reply

I need to pick up Shinobi and Friday Monsters ASAP. It's time to start clogging my 3DS up with itty bitty games.

quote:
I any event, Ishmael, congratulations on finally caving in to your baser urges and buying a 3DS XL. It makes me cry a tiny little tear to hear that you didn't go for the execrable battery life and marvelous graphical fidelity of the plain old 3DS, but that's another story. Now we all need to compel you to go out and buy Fire Emblem Awakening posthaste!


I'll pick up an original 3DS as soon as Nintendo gives me a better pair of eyes. Yeah, the resolution of the XL is a case of too much bread and not enough jam but the difference in screen size between the two versions is comic. I like being able to see things!

quote:
Good on you, Ishmael. There is now quite a decent library to go through on the 3DS so I am sure you won't regret your purchase. The console really shines with StreetPass, though, which is not always compatible with the North American lifestyle. I hope you have a good StreetPass relay nearby.

While the StreetPass system sounds fun on paper it's not something that's going to work too well in the sparsely populated part of the world I live in. Luckily there seem to be a number of relay systems in my area where I can go cruising for anonymous hook-ups with phantom Miis. While I'm glad that Nintendo has canvased the country with StreetPass spots I was surprised to see where they were located. Here I had expected to find relays in stores that specialized in electronics or toys. Instead, there's a relay at a nearby Home Depot. This means that my 3DS can be happily interacting with the StreetPass while I'm shopping for linoleum tile.





Mosquiton
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"Has anyone played Kokuga?" , posted Thu 27 Feb 16:38post reply

I'm really interested in this game and would like to hear some Cafe-goer opinions. If I had more spare time/money I would have downloaded it already and would be telling you guys about it instead.

I imagine most people have never heard of it... which is why I'm posting here.





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exodus
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"Re(1):Has anyone played Kokuga?" , posted Sat 15 Mar 07:06post reply

quote:
I'm really interested in this game and would like to hear some Cafe-goer opinions. If I had more spare time/money I would have downloaded it already and would be telling you guys about it instead.

I imagine most people have never heard of it... which is why I'm posting here.



1) it's pretty good. it controls super well, but also uniquely. It's very much a tank game, and about learning your limited controls and using those in well-designed levels.

2) it gets samey after a while, in my opinion, and it's definitely not super easy.

3) I'm not a huge fan of the card system - it feels like they tacked it on to have something on the touch screen.

4) my pal tim really likes it a whole lot, and says it's one of the best games of last year, so there's that.

honk honk!





Mosquiton
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"Re(2):Has anyone played Kokuga?" , posted Mon 17 Mar 03:09post reply

quote:


1) it's pretty good. it controls super well, but also uniquely. It's very much a tank game, and about learning your limited controls and using those in well-designed levels.

2) it gets samey after a while, in my opinion, and it's definitely not super easy.

3) I'm not a huge fan of the card system - it feels like they tacked it on to have something on the touch screen.

4) my pal tim really likes it a whole lot, and says it's one of the best games of last year, so there's that.

honk honk!



1) Thanks for the reply, sounds like useful info.

2) I would have bought this already but I need the stars to align. Or for someone else to let me play it on their system.

3) Beep beep.





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