As some of the regular TAY readers know I picked up Monster Hunter 3U this past week at the request of my friends on Kotaku and in the real world. It hasn't exactly been what I was hoping for and it certainly has tried my patience in the last few days. Most people who picked up the game (at least the people I know) are seasoned veterans in the Monster Hunter world, so they know what to expect. They know how to wear down those monstrous beasties, how to choose the right weapons and equip the right armor. I don't know these things. I'm bad enough at collecting the right kind of mushroom, let alone confronting a monster that seems to have a bulldozer for a head...
Being new to series is hard when it has such a strong fan base. You feel like an idiot asking for help with things that you know were a breeze for most people. Imagine if you had never played a Mario game in your life and you played the very first title on the NES, even with it's extraordinarily simple game play you'd have questions. The first time I played a Mario title I asked my older brother where I could spend the coins I had collected, never knowing that Mario never stops off at the nearest Mushroom Kingdom Costco for some much deserved items. I suppose learning a new series is an adventure in itself. It's nice when a game is simple and plays like others you enjoy, but on the other hand it's fun to step away from the familiar and try out something fresh.
Another issues with being new to a series or genre is when the game just doesn't play the way you thought it would. I remember saving my pennies for Mario Party on the Nintendo 64 and being hugely disappointed with it for the first few weeks. I don't know what I expected, maybe more of an adventure feel, but it certainly wasn't what I had envisioned. Even so I eventually became hooked and burned a hole in to the middle of my hand trying to win Tug o War against my brothers.
Some people never see the appeal of games outside their comfort zone, and that's fine, but every now and again it's nice to get your hands on a new experience. It's just good to know that in the world of video games there is so much variety that every gamer can find a title they enjoy. Who knows, perhaps Monster Hunter will become one of my favorite series. Only time will tell.
What game series have you gotten frustrated with right off the bat? Were they frustrating because of the learning curve or just because they weren't what you were expecting?