The Black Diablos. 100% more asshole than regular old Diablos.
Thirty hours. That's how much time I had put into MH3U before I, somehow, ended up with a corrupt game save. That's not a lot. While most modern games clock in at less than that by a good ten hours, thirty for MH is nothing. I'm a newbie. I'm not quite green but I am by no stretch a pro hunter. I'm not even ranked. That time spent was all in single player.
I stayed away from the series for years. I heard stories, whispered in hushed tones at the far corners of gaming stores everywhere, about the challenge of the series. It's brutal, non hand holding ways, how it will make a man of you. Even women, you'll sprout chest hair and your voice will drop an octave. In short, I let the stories scare me off. Then, I found my sack and decided to give the game a go. I played Dark Souls, it's hard too. It doesn't hold your hand either and I did just fine. Why not? What I found is that Monster Hunter 3U is, pretty much, Dark Souls. They play nothing alike, true, but the amount of difficulty is nearly the same. In short, if you haven't played MH3U because you're timid about it, stop. Allow me to help you out, as best I can, one newbie to another and you'll be able to step face to face with any monster without soiling yourself. Well, maybe a little bit.
And my axe! Sword! This thing!
A: Pick your weapon. When you first arrive at Moga Village, home of the single player story campaign, you have your own little home. Inside, you'll find a chest and by managing your equipment you will find one of every weapon type. You start with the Sword and Shield (SnS) equipped by default. It's a fine weapon so don't feel you need to even switch yet since you're going to be trying them all out anyway. Soon you'll be sent out into Moga Woods on various small tasks. Take this time to try every weapon. Learn their combos, see which one feels the best to you. Don't worry about what anyone else "recommends". Every hunter has a preferred weapon. While they may be quite able to use any weapon, I promise you that they have one they love more than the others. So, find that weapon for you. They're all incredibly well balanced with their own strengths and weaknesses. If you like more than one, use more than one. There's nothing wrong with enjoying the feel of bashing skulls with a hammer then using a Long Sword when you need to chop off a tail or two.
B: Sell what you know you don't want. All that starting equipment can be sold. Once you've found your weapon(s) of choice and you know you don't want to use any of the rest of them, feel free to sell them off. It'll net you a nice little nest egg of starter money for upgrades and crafting new gear.
C: Leather Armor, some of the best in the game. The armor you start with, a full set of Leather, sucks as far as protecting you. Even upgraded, it's quite sorry. But, at the same time, it's some of the best armor you'll ever have because of skill set it provides. Leather is your gathering set. With it you'll be able to gather more, gather faster, and do it without your gathering equipment breaking as often. With the right upgrades, like decorations and a talisman, you'll be able to go on a gathering run and bring back loads of stuff quickly. In short, never get rid of this armor set. Register it in your equipment manager and keep it. Anytime there's gathering to be done, and there will be A LOT of gathering to be done, use it.
D: Wait before forging a new set of armor. This is where the game starts to throw you with not offering any guidance. You'll be able to craft a few sets of armor right from the start but I'm telling you to wait. Do your homework. There are places
to look for armor sets which provide you with the skills
you want. Some early armor you can get while wearing Leather would be Jaggi (attack boost and reduction to stun), Qurupeco (wind resistance, maestro for my Hunting Horn brothers and sisters out there), Bone (for you Hammer users), and Barroth (great for Lance and SnS users).
E. Don't be afraid to research a new hunt. Never fought a Royal Ludroth before and want to know what you're getting into before you get rolled all over? Don't be shy about giving a new monster a little research. I'm not saying you should read or watch a guide on how to kill it. For me, that'd spoil the fun. But, that doesn't mean you can't find out what element it's weak against. The game doesn't really tell you. You can make a pretty good educated guess, usually, just by the area in which you'll be fighting. If you're hunting in the Tundra, chances are that the monsters there aren't going to care for Fire all that much. But some monsters, you really don't know. So, go find out
I love this thing.
F. Get a Circle Pad Pro. I don't want to hear "oh, but you can control the game fine just using the touch screen for the camera". You, sir, all full of the worst kind of shit. I had to wait a week for my Circle Pad Pro XL to arrive from Nintendo. During that week, I played the game using the touch screen for the camera. Does it work, yes. Is it worth a damn? No. Just, no. When I received it and began using it, my comfort level with the game went through the roof. I felt a lot more at ease with the controls and, as a result, more confident in my hunts. It can be used for other games as well, so don't even try to pull that "I'm not buying a $20 attachment to use for one game" shit with me. If you've got a standard 3DS, you can get one just about anywhere. If you've got a XL, you can import one (why would you do this now?) or get it straight from Nintendo
. Don't believe me? Try it both ways and then try to me about how great the touch screen is for the camera.
G. Love that farm. Moga village has a little farm. A little farm, fully dedicated to growing things for you. Use it. All throughout your story mode career, you'll be offered ways to upgrade your farm. Do them as soon as you can. Since the tougher, ranked, mode of the game still uses your time spent in Moga Village, that farm will be your best way from growing mass quantities of the things you need to make life saving potions and other assorted hunt supporting items.
So, that's it my fellow new hunter. I can think of no more advice to give you. As I said from the start, I'm still new myself so there are others out there that can offer far more aid than I. But, I've shared some of the best things I can think of with you in order to help you find your way when you're just starting out. Monster Hunter will not hold your hand or offer much in the way of guidance. It has a very steep learning curve, sometimes brutally so. But when you dig your heels in, devote time to learning the game, what you'll find is one of the most deeply rewarding gaming experiences you can have. It's no wonder the game is so hugely popular in Japan, with an ever growing audience the world over. It's not perfect but damn if it isn't one of the best games you'll ever play. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to hunt. Daddy needs a new Hunting Horn.