Monsters and the Monsters that Hunt Them

By jove, I think I may be getting better at these goddamned video games!

In direct continuation from this week’s unexpected post, I am happy to announce that I have successfully slain Dragonslayer Ornstein and the vile Executioner Smough. In that order, too, which people will tell you is the wimpy or wasteful way to go about it, but I actually wanted Smough’s fat man grotesquerie armor, so I am not torn up about any so-called “lost opportunity” for the haughty dragonslayer’s gear.

Ratshit Cookie finished the battle at level 58 wielding a +2 crystal halberd, which is probably about to break. Now able to teleport at will across Dark Souls’s lush country of death, we return to Firelink Shrine to plot our next adventures…

So I’m proud of that.

Another recent happening on the EpicuziplayiT front is the bestowing of long-awaited props upon the Monster Hunter series. It’s been there as long as I can remember, and recommended for nearly as long a time. I could never get into it, for reasons both real and imagined. Mostly it’s the fact that you have to collect thousands of crappy little items, catalog them, and then turn them into gear, which is the only way you can “level up.” Bones, fluids, seeds, bullets, skins, grasses, and fuck, what a lot of weapons and armor there is to make. How could one possibly collect it all? The answer is, you can’t, and accepting that is the first step that I could never take until now.

Monster Hunter 3rd for the PSP showed up last weekend at Book Off used for ¥280, which is now actually ¥10 cheaper than a beef bowl at Matsuya. There are certain games that eventually sell for these ridiculously low prices when they make too many on initial release, or subsequent titles render them irrelevant. Dragon Quest VIII was one, and I still remember buying it in the store in Tennoji (or was it Abeno?) all those years ago for ¥1000 and being worth more joy than a barrel full of drugs and monkeys. If only all games scaled in price when the new ones came out.

Being a hunter, it can be a bitch. You’ve got to manage all kinds of shit like money and cats, cook your own meat for stamina, and keep careful track of your inventory to make sure you have enough potions or empty slots to store dinosaur dung. That said, the game is incredibly colorful and fun as hell. Taking what I learned from Dark Souls about combat, I’d say I’m much better off than I would be otherwise. You can’t get up in the monsters’ faces like a bad birthday surprise and hack them to pieces because it just won’t work. The things are tanks that are capable of taking a full minute’s worth of assault while unconscious and still retain the energy to chomp you a new mudhole.

As for the great hurdle of mentally dealing with the vast amount of materials to gather, I just send everything to my nigh-bottomless box and the weapon smiths will tell me on the same screen both what they need and whether I have it. At the moment, they tell me that I must needs find a good source of something called “bearlight ore” and I’ll soon be in possession of a weapon that looks leagues ahead of anything I’m carrying. It’s a pipe. It plays battle songs and knocks monsters to their asses. I wants it, and will not rest until it’s mine.

Toot toot, motherfuckers. It’s the Season of the Monster.

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