Full thoughts on MHGU after discovering the series with World a year ago and ending up sinking more than 400 hours into it and counting. My experiences as a general newcomer to the series and mostly solo player, after clearing up to G-Rank's key quests.
Look and Feel
I compared playing GU after World to going back and playing an older Pokemon or Zelda game after a long time. You know the formula and how it's evolved, but after a while you have to readjust to the mechanics and limitations of before. Had to get used to the potion drinking flex, the item box management, and the loading screens. Honestly not a huge deal overall as someone who enjoys revisiting classic titles often.
As far as presentation, the game felt noticeably more colorful and cheerful I suppose. The cat puns have more effect when the game looks brighter overall. Weapons, esepcially later on, look much more exciting for sure. My heart aches for the Switch Axe mains, you lost so much. Transmog I haven't really gotten into as I just beat G-Rank Ahtal Ka, but this should have been standard. Fashion is a huge motivator.
Gameplay and Difficulty
I wanted a new challenge by using weapons I hadn't used before. I'm a Hammer aficionado in World with LS secondary and touches of SA, Bow, and GL from time to time. In GU I chose Striker SnS to start and added Valor GS, though for G-Rank I will say that was almost exclusively GS. The Hunting Arts and styles really add a lot and I miss that in World even though the Clutch Claw has mixed things up as well.
Old-school hitboxes and hurtboxes are definitely in effect. It's funny, some monsters it's really annoying, but for others it's not as much. Yian Garuga, for example, can suck it. Delete this monster. Triple peck from hell, wind pressure, poison…. f u k. Rajang, however, is just hilarious. I don't mind carting to it at all, really, just because he's so insane. I don't feel like I complete quests with Rajang, I feel like I survived a Rajang encounter.
You can also really feel the difference in I-Frames. Rolling roars is much more difficult, and the superman dive loses a lot of invincibility when getting up. And you really notice that last part – I died many times from multi-hit and long-duration moves like Nakarkos' twin lasers and Brachydios' slime bombs.
Skills are interesting – it takes a lot to get the skills you really want in this game compared to World where you can have at least level 1 of a bunch of skills easily. Being able to forge decorations whenever is nice, though.
I played completely solo, and through Village, Hub, and even G-Rank the difficulty felt pretty solid overall. Though I guess I handicapped myself by sticking with the HR Black Set through all of G-Rank since I didn't want to lose the skill combinations. Took me about 15-20 minutes per clear in G-Rank with the exception of later G3 and G4 quests which could go on for 30 or more.
About Hyper Monsters, so far that felt the most challenging, but I haven't dipped into true endgame gear. Right now I'm not exactly thrilled about the HP values of some of these G-Rank hypers.
The one thing I feel like never needs to come back is Paintball tracking. Scoutflies may have really warped the game camera but at least I didn't have to spend 10 minutes chasing Rathalos on Deserted Island or losing 5 minutes because I forgot to Paintball Barioth after a long engagment. No thanks.
Monsters & Music
So many monsters! So much fun! There's cool monsters to fight everywhere you look. I got the joyful chance of fighting Glavenus, Zinogre, Nargacuga, Tigrex, Brachydios, and Rajang before their appearance in Iceborne. And then there's the variety of things like the Ceanataurs, Malfestio, Seltas Queen, Zamtrios, and the Magalas. World needs more crabs, owls, bugs, and inflatable land sharks. Oh yeah, there's also that whole rocket-powered comet dragon thing. That too.
I want to also talk about the music. I came from World, so with the originally limited roster, I missed out on so many great themes. For some of the returning monsters, I prefer their older themes, for others its the reverse. Examples: original Glavenus theme sounds way better. World's is missing that double bass percussion and tempo. Zinogre's theme is missing intensity in the guitars (although World's mount theme with the drums is godlike). Prefer Teostra's and Nargacuga's World renditions on the opposite side, however. As far as things that have not reappeared, Great Maccao, Mizutsune, and Shagaru Magala, Amatsu, and Valstrax all have awesome music.
Glavenus – Oh I'm just going to collect some mushrooms. What a pleas- oh shit.
Zamtrios – It's a fucking inflatable land shark. How is this not cool.
Tigrex – I like Tiggy just cuz he's raw POWER. No fire breath, AoE, blights or wind pressure. Just an angry boi that wants to run you over.
Shagaru Magala – I LOVE this fight. It feels like a one-on-one test of might between you and a god. zzzzt…. BOOM BOOM BOOM! Save me safety boulder!
Ahtal-Ka – It wasn't the fact that it was a non-elder dragon. Or the fact that it fights you with a Metal Gear. It was when Proof of a Hero started playing in the final phase. That's the kind of stuff that makes you fall in love with a game instead of just liking it.
MHGU and Monster Hunter are cool as shit, and I'm glad I started playing. Took me 160 hours to reach the end of the key quests at G4, now I'm looking forward to making the endgame gear and giving Hunting Horn, Insect Glaive, and Light Bowgun a try.
TL;DR – MHGU is awesome and super worth the try if you came from World and have a Switch, or even just to try it in general. Would love to talk about it if you read it all. Thanks!
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