No Mother’s Day

Monster Hunter Stories

A ton of people around me are celebrating Mother’s Day here in Europe and I see a lot of things on my Twitter timeline from both EU and NA people but I’m not joining in with the holiday. I have no mother or grandmothers to wish a happy Mother’s Day to anymore and thus for me it’s a regular Sunday with no social obligations and lots of time to clean and game. Because it’s like this I’d like to talk a bit about a game I’ve started playing last week: Monster Hunter Stories.

Let’s start off with a bit of background. I have never really been interested in the Monster Hunter franchise. I was aware it existed and I was aware it has quite a hardcore community of people who completely adore the games and have spent hundreds to thousands of hours playing them. I’ve downloaded a demo on my 3Ds of either Generations or 4 Ultimate at some point and it didn’t really capture my interest. Then Monster Hunter World came out on the PS4 and I downloaded the demo again and again I decided the game was not for me. The whole “kill consecutively bigger Monsters” theme didn’t really hook me in and seeing the grind that came with it I just bounced hard and didn’t look back.
Now how comes Monster Hunter Stories into play? I am a big fan of traditional RPGs and the games that I have sinked by far the most hours into besides MMO’s have been Pokémon games. I like collecting things and I like simple turn based combat. Monster Hunter Stories plays into both of these tropes very well. Next to having a story you are also collecting Monster Eggs to build your team and the combat is rather simple turn based with some gimmicks. Next to that the game is cute and chibi like aswell as very colourful, some other things that really attract me and the interest was born.

I’m not going to build in Spoiler tags for this post, or any follow up ones on my progress, mostly because the game has been out since last year and everything is on the internet anyway. I just want to share my experience playing so far, how I like the game and if it might pull me into the franchise further.
So you start out the game going into the forest looking for Monster Eggs with two friends Lilia and Cheval. Lilia finds a nest full of eggs where one has a different colour and lo and behold the egg hatches and the little Rathalos (lovingly called Ratha) imprints on you as hero. At this point you have not seen the face of your character yet and with good reason, you are prompted into a character creation screen then where you can pick your gender and appearance which will then appear in subsequent cutscenes. After creating your character you get back to town where the people are apparently mad at you and your friends for sneaking into the forest without permission. After getting scolded but then forgiven by the village elder a mysterious shadow Monster attacks the village killing Cheval’s mother. Your Rathalos manages to chase the Shadow away but gets thrown into a ravine in the process, disappearing from your life.

The game cuts back to your character one year after these catastrophic events. You are now going to do an exam to become a “rider” which is a character that rides and battles with Monsters, or Monsties as they’re called here. During your initiation ritual you befriend a Felyne called Navirou and together with him and your first official Monstie that you hatch you’re basically set on the start of your story. In the meantime Cheval has undergone a serious character change and Lilia has decided that she doesn’t want to become a rider prompting her to seek another goal in life.

This is kind of where I am now. There is a mainstory to follow and at this point you have unlocked vendors, a buff shrine, your house,  sidequests and downloadable content. There are lot of staple Monster Hunter tropes in the game. When you battle Monsters in the wild they will drop items based on how well you do the fight and these items are needed to upgrade gear or cook or sell on the markets. You’re encouraged to explore around a lot so you find more Monster Eggs and other things. There is a ton of sidecontent and a big world to explore. The only real downside is that for some reason Capcom has decided to tie save games to your system instead of to the game cart. Which means that if I switch systems I will lose my save game and have to start over again.
From what I’ve seen so far though this game may not be as massive as other Monster Hunter games but it’s still a game that you can easily sink many hours into trying to 100% it. There’s a ton of downloadable, FREE, content for when you are done with all that the game has to offer and then there’s online battle stuff that I’ve not even touched yet.

All in all it looks like a game I could really lose myself in. I like that it is on my 3DS which means I’m more inclined to pick it up for short bursts on the train or when lying in bed, which is what I’ve been doing with most of my non MMO gametime anyway. I’ll let you guys know how I get on!

Why’s My Life So Boring?

Retribution Challenge Weapon

I’m having one of those weekends where I feel like my life is going by too fast and I’m wasting my time doing useless stuff. And with useless I mean lying on bed or spending a lot of time dallying in a game while not really making any progress anywhere.
Which is odd because I’ve been slowly ticking off goals for World of Warcraft (see the above screenshot of my proud Paladin and her Retribution Challenge Weapon) and managed to actually finish a game within a week of buying it. And yet I feel useless and bored, not to mention fat and ugly.

I think my depressive mood comes down to my less than ideal living situation and the fact that I lack the motivation to change anything about my life right now. My house is being built and I can’t move out untill next year. I’m still quite overweight but I can’t seem to get myself to start working out seriously and working on losing that weight. I’m also staring at a contract deadline which basically means I should find a new job by October 1st. Something I really really want aswell but I can’t seem to motivate myself to do anything. I feel mentally exhausted and I’m not sure how to turn it around right now. I think the best thing I can do is focus on tackling one thing at a time and right now my health, and the slow deteriation of it, is my number one priority. Because next to being simply overweight all that extra cushion I’m dragging around is causing me other issues. I’m short of breath, my feet constantly hurt, my back hurts and I honestly look ridiculous in any clothes I’m wearing. Looking at myself in the mirror becomes harder by the day and I’m desperately finding a way to get motivated to lose weight.

I have considered tying gaming and working out together. Especially during weekends I just don’t get enough exercise/movement and so I’m thinking of a system to make sure I do not sit on my ass and game all day. I’ve been trying to apply it to my WoW sessions where I am taking breaks whenever I level up on my Rogue (which is rougly every 45 mins). During these breaks I either go get a drink, clean a bit of rubble from the attic or spend a few minutes just walking around, stretching and maybe walk up and down the stairs a few times just to get some movement in. I want to progress this further and stand on our crosstrainer or do some strength exercises inbetween my gaming sessions. Anything to start getting healthier again and be happier with the way I look and feel, seeing as this body has to last me atleast another 40-50 years.

In gaming land however…
I’ve been scratching off a lot of goals. I’ve completed 8/36 Mage Tower challenges now and I hope to be able to complete three more the next time the Tower rolls around. If I’m able to do that it means I have all the Mage Tower appearances for Monk, Paladin and Warrior and 2/3 for Hunter. Although the challenges still aren’t a walk in the park they’ve become significantly easier by gearing up my characters. I’m really close to getting the MM Hunter challenge done but I’m trying to get a better legendary than the ones I have in the hopes that it will help me actually kill off the stupid challenge. I’ve also picked up leveling my Rogue, who is my last class not on 110 yet, and I’ve made some pretty great strides today going from level 82 to almost level 87 in a few hours of play on and off. From level 90 onward I will be duoing up with a friend and we’ll make the final push to 110 together over a weekend, something we’ve been doing with a lot of our characters.
In terms of gameplay I don’t really enjoy Rogue all that much, there’s a reason why I’ve practically not touched this character since Wrath of the Lich King, but I want to get it to max level for completion sake so I will.
I’m also making a point to log into FFXIV once a week to do some beast tribe quests and to log into my house so that I don’t lose the plot. Even though my interest in the game has been waning a lot I’m not letting my sub lapse because I know I will get burned out on WoW at some point and will most likely return to FFXIV more fulltime then. In the meantime I’m super slowly leveling up my Machinist and just fiddling about getting my Beast Tribe rep up, I’m almost done with the Ananta now which means I can soon buy the pretty Gryphon mount. But since I’m only logging once a week or so it’s been going at a snail’s pace. Oh well.

In non MMO land I’ve bought Kirby Triple Deluxe on impulse Friday the 4th and finished it last Thursday. It reminded me of how much I love Kirby games and how nice and relaxing they are to play. I’ve yet to finish Star Allies on my Switch but seeing as I completely got sucked in by Triple Deluxe I’m taking a bit of a break and focusing on a game in an entirely different genre: Monster Hunter Stories. I’ve only started playing this game today so I’m not that far in but from what I’ve experienced so far it’s MH Light with a mix of Pokémon. It still has the Monster Hunting aspect, you still get a shitton of crafting mats and there’s a ton of sidemissions to do next to the main stuff, but this game actually has a story to follow and the gorgeous, colourful graphics had me hooked immediatly. I feel like this is by no means a simple game, but I’m determined to plant my feet in it and make progress this week and hopefully understand a bit more about how I have to actually play the game and if this may get me into other games in the Monster Hunter franchise.

For now though I’m going to sign off here and hopefully catch a good night’s sleep. I predict a ton of gaming and cleaning in my future tomorrow and I prefer not to have laid awake half the night before that.