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MH4U is a Bad Monster Hunter Game

This is long as fuck beware!
Woah now hold on before you go to the comments telling me what a fucking dumbass I am for criticising the greatest creation since earth itself let me just say I don't want to take your enjoyment of it away. If you like it, good. But I'm not here to validate you, I'm here to shit on this mediocre ass game that somehow enjoys more critical acclaim than the rest of the series combined.
First of all: what's a Monster Hunter game? My main criticism revolves around 4U sucking at being a MH game and why I think that, so how about I define it first.
I would describe a Monster Hunter game as a combat focused action game with RPG elements in which you kill increasingly difficult bosses to progress and upgrade your gear which makes up your entire stats.
The combat is the most important part and follows a very specific gameplay loop:
  1. Observe the monster's movements in order to predict what moves it can use.
  2. Identify the monster's attack and figure out how to avoid it.
  3. At the same time, become proactive and figure out how to punish the monster for using this attack against you.
  4. Use the best of your abilities depending on the situation to get the most out of the opening you've created.
  5. If unsuccessful, repeat a cycle to use another opening to heal.
Every player attack has severe limitations to it, and you have to put a lot of determination in your attacks as they leave you wide open and can be punished by the monster the same way you can punish the monster for using its moves. Learning the advantages and weaknesses of your moves and figuring out how to exploit the monster's attacks is key to success.
This is the combat formula that every single MH game follows and excels at compared to any other game that uses similar combat systems. It's the only series that dedicates itself so hard to that combat system that it is the only noteworthy franchise in its own genre.
The third generation of MH does this the best. It is the best at this formula as it has the largest amount and percentage of monsters that have predictable and punishable moves and your moveset is limited, but powerful to be open to punishment from the monster and a great tool at bringing them down.
Earlier titles are sadly plagued with janky hitboxes, too limited hunter movesets and a lot of unpunishable, unpredictable bullshit moves like digging, insta charges, near instant claw swipes, roar combos, etc.
Third gen is the best because almost every monster is perfectly predictable, punishable and the hunter is limited enough to be punished back but powerful enough to retaliate effectively.
A great example is Zinogre, whose moveset consists ENTIRELY out of perfectly predictable moves that can always be rolled out of or blocked, and punished by every weapon. Every single one of his moves, from his claw stomps to his breakdance spin to his chargeup mechanic, it is perfectly predictable and punishable no matter what it does and no matter what weapon you are using. Both of his weakspots are also perfectly accessible for all weapons after every single attack, making it the imo best designed monster in the whole franchise.
But this is about 4U and why it sucks.
Well, can you tell me how many monsters this applies to? Excluding first, second and third gen monsters, it's 2. Gore Magala and Tetsucabra. Those are the only 2 monster that for the most part have punishable attacks that are reasonably avoidable, with the exception of Gore's spit attack it does after flying up that for some reason always hits you and it can do at any time because it just instantly creates wind pressure that you don't recover from until the frenzy ball hits you and they thankfully removed in Generations.
Most of the new monsters fucking suck. Seltas Queen just spams the charge that you literally can't do anything about other than to wait out.
Najarala is... I don't even know what this fight is supposed to be. It's so fucking janky you're struggling to even see anything at all the entire time only for it to spam the fucking circling thing or the unavoidable attack where it throws popcorn at you and you cover your ears instantly.
Shagaru has barely any punishable attacks and loves to push the fight into walls to spam its explosions which you can't do anything about but to wait them out.
Nerscylla has almost no readable moves and a lot of instant swipes that chip your hp down and for half the fight it just goes up and down the webs where you can't reach it.
Zamtrios is one of the fairer ones but has many attacks you have to wait out and even an AOE attack that covers the whole area, can't be rolled out of and activates faster than you can sheathe.
Steve fucking sucks. He has no counterplay because he flies too fast to flash him and he loves doing attacks relative to your position so you can't wait at the end of it to punish him. You have to wait for him to get close and then hug the legs or spam mount to do any damage at all. He's otherwise untouchable.
All of the Gen 1 monsters they brought back suck with the exception of Gypceros.
The second gen monsters are okayish but suffer from ass hitboxes.
None of the subspecies are good, they all suck ass.
The only good monsters are from 3rd gen and the third gen remakes of the Raths and Diablos.
Now how does the game make up for having a roster almost completely made of bullshit instant attack monsters that fuck off where you can't hit them for most of the time when you aren't getting hit by unavoidable bullshit?
THE FUCKING MOUNT.
FUCK THE MOUNT.
Remember the 5 steps I used to describe the combat system?
The first two are barely functional by virtue of this game's dogshit monster roster leaving many attacks unavoidable or unpunishable but the mount also cuts out 3 and 4 for most of the fight.
At no point do you need to figure out how to use your best moves at anytime when you can use the mount. It's practically riskless because the monsters can't really defend themselves against aerial attacks because their AI doesnt recognise them and the opening you create is always worth it.
It's a low risk high reward mechanic that lets you forego major steps in the game's combat system for usually better or at least safer and more consistent returns.
On top of that, the mount thresholds are laughably low, making it pretty much an optimal tactic even late into the hunt with IG.
Talking about thresholds, how about we also address the stagger limits because I think they are the final nail in this jank ass game's combat system: they are way too fucking low.
Tri and Gen had high stagger limits, meaning the monster would usually dictate the fight and you'd have to make preemptive attacks based on your predictions of the monster's moves. You only punish the monster for the attacks it initiates.
In 4U it's a role reversal because you can walk up to almost every monster's legs, hit them twice and it falls over, leaving you a big fat weak spot to hit whenever you please. It's so cheap that I believe G-rank's HP were balanced around it because god damn do they take forever to kill solo. The whole game is balanced around being completely broken and I fucking hate it.
It means the most viable strategy is to abuse the most broken shit like IG and spam mounts and hug the legs the entire hunt. If you even attempt to play the game like any other functional MH game, you're either gonna triple cart to bullshit or take an unreasonable amount of time to clear any quest. It's like the game doesn't want you to use the combat system, you know the thing this series excels at compared to any other videogame frandchise, and instead spam broken, unfun tactics that work because the monsters don't have any counterplay.
So that's my argument for why it sucks as a MH game. You can now comment and tell me how wrong I am and how much nostalgia you feel for this game and how it's actually really good and how I have no idea what I'm talking about despite playing the series for a decade and having written a huge ass essay with every reasoning laid out in front of you.
Now let's talk about some of its other infuriating or disappointing aspects that don't or barely relate to the combat.
Fuck the maps. All of them. They are the worst in the entire franchise.
Why do you have to climb so much? What purpose does it serve other than making going to different areas tedious and stamina consuming?
Even in combat they suck ass because they are often tilted slightly so level attacks like bow or lbg don't hit without aiming high.
Ledges are super unfun because they just block you off or force you into climbing animations more than they actually help you. Oftentimes you roll into one that's off screen and get stuck in the animation and die. It's ass.
Walls are even worse. Why do you have to press B like 5 times before you transition into the next area? Why do they arbitrarily limit the available space of so many areas? What's even the benefit? They are just inconveniences for no reason.
Why is the layout of half of them so shit? It takes forever to get from camp to 4 or from 4 to 6 in the ancestral steppe. It takes forever to go from 8 to 2 in the sunken and volcanic hollow, so why do so many damn monsters switch between them so often? Why are only like 3 areas of the jungle used for combat and why can't you deliver eggs without eating for felyne lander? Why are the visuals so fucking inconsistent, changing the feel of the map between just one loading screen entirely as if they aren't the same map at all?
The weapon balancing sucks. Good luck playing this game with lance or gunlance. It fucking sucks.
Frenzy sucks.
Artificial stretching of content. Take same monsters, add artificially increased stats and drops, call it content.
Apex sucks even harder.
WHY???
Relics suck.
God I fucking hate relics. If they had just been skins it could've been fine but the amount of Rajangs I've killed only to not get any decent relics at all is just sad. The fact that they can outperform any craftable weaoon by like 10-20% is ludicrous and then locking them behind super low drop rates on tedious quests is just insulting. This game doesn't respect your time. It doesn't return the effort that you put into it like any other lategame in the series did before, or after until GU. It just wants you to slave away in the hopes of getting something decent that might never come. This is shit design.
Online sucks.
Hall split, no ingame chat, no direct messages, no voice chat, not even a real hub world.
The art direction sucks.
The first two gens are interesting in how they present a realistic environment populated by dinosaur like monsters. They are cool because they are immersive.
Third gen has a very good art direction. The lighting is fresh, the colour palette unmistakable and the textures for the most part really good. The monster designs are all fantastic, having incredibly recognisable shapes and colour schemes and looks and animations that prefectly capture their character. It's a bit more fantasy like but in a good way. It's immersive but also fantastical enough to bring you a wonderful world you've never seen before with bright colours that are tones down just enough to not sting.
And 4U just said fuck it, make the whole game red brown and yellow and spray paint it with ugly ass repetitive textures that make you rip your eyes out if you stare at them for too long. You can't go anywhere in this game without seeing a way too saturated low res texture repeating itself 5 times on the same surface somewhere on the screen.
Even the textures of the tri monsters are noticeably more saturated, far lower res and much rougher overall. It looks like a ps1 game at times, which is a shame because the game is probably one of the most technically impressive games on the system after the way better looking Gen and GU.
I'm also really turned off by just how cartoony some things look. I'm not against the game being goofy, in fact I love that about the series. Silly cats and wacky joke weapons are fun, but not when the game looks that stupid across the board and man does this game look stupid at times, having a lot of super impractical designs in a setting priding itself in being immersive. I still have no idea why the caravan has a fucking whale boat that turns into an airship as opposed to any regular vehicle that we have seen throughout the series like a sand ship or a regular airship. No, it's gotta be the James Bond car with McDonalds makeup.
What else? Oh similarly, the soundtrack is a huge downgrade. Tri has the best OST I've ever listened to. Every track is incredibly memorable, distinct and unique, while they all are unmistakably from the same game. I've never heard a soundtrack use this combination of instruments and creating such a massively varied yet cohesive soundtrack with them as this game. My favourite part is just how dominant percussion is in that OST, particularly in the second half of the game. The Ceadeus phase 2 only has very subtle melodic instruments un the background while the vocals only accompany the extremely dominant percussion.
It's not like 4U doesn't use any techniques that tri did, but it was also composed by entirely different people and I think it shows. It's less tense, less memorable, not coherent in any way and the melodies don't build up to any climaxes like tri's OST does. Shagaru for example is just a bunch of generic orchestra music I don't give two shits about and the Volcanic Hollow is barely recognizable at all because you can't make out a melody between the poorly mixed noises of brass instrument seemingly just blowing random sounds. It's awful.
Now credit where credit's due, this doesn't apply to the whole OST, but it is the first OST since the creation of the franchise that I haven't been impressed by. The first game had an impressive OST and with each gen, it progressively got better until it peaked in tri which had the best soundtrack I've ever listened to. And going from that to an okay soundtrack that isn't more memorable than any other generic action game's soundtrack is just disappointing.
Also fuck the story. It sucks. It's a bunch of meaningless backdrop to the combat that doesn't meaningfully accompany the underlying narrative of the gameplay.
Fuck the unskippable cutscenes, fuck the expeditions, fuck all this forced cinematic bullshit that adds nothing to the experience.
Tri's story was good because it was subtle. The plot seems bare bones but it's the underlying emotional journey that mattered. It's about a long standing conflict between humans and nature than only young inexperienced blood could finally resolve and the old generation that passes its knowledge down to you, so you can become the best hunter the village has ever seen.
I love about it that the implications give away the twists and the environment plays a key role in it. The fact that the deserted island rests on ruins and you wonder who these ruins belong to only to find that this civilization was forced to evacuate because of ceadeus, and finally putting an end to this millennia old conflict is extremely gratifying.
The fact that you don't have to kill Ceadeus, but only achieve that it doesn't scrape its horn on the ruin walls is great. A peaceful solution for both the village and moga's oldest inhabitant who doesn't even attack you when you chase it into a corner because it's just a piece of nature that does its thing and doesn't belong destroyed.
4U feels like a twisted interpretation of what this story was and what people wanted more of; it takes the same generic ass MH story but without all the subtle implications, forces it all into a bunch of cinematic cutscenes and shoves it into your throat without actually offering any meaningful substance. The story is lol the caravaneer found a cool scale, some monsterz go crazy, go kill the cause of it, without really benefitting the depth of the cast, the setting or itself. It feels so meaningless in comparison desoite offering a lot more in content. Especially infuriating is the high rank story because it just fucking sucks. It's a kushala out of nowhere and that's it. I don't know how people praise it so much, it's a bunch of disconnected events that form a barely coherent plot that doesn't have anything meaningful to say and interrupts the game for no good reason.
So yeah that's most of the things I thought weren't good about the game. That's the end of the post. I had to get this off my chest sometime and I'm pissed because of the US elections.
submitted by Levobertus to monsterhunterrage

6

Mixing guidelines and notes I've used over the years

Hey y'all -
I've been meaning to post this for a minute and just finally now getting around to it. A few years back when I was first getting into production, I spent some time reading books and taking notes to try and get all the different concepts to stick. One in particular (which I think is a fairly well known book nowadays) is Mixing Secrets For The Small Studio by Mike Senior. I basically cliff-note style wrote down things I found important as I went along, and below is the result. I don't think any of these are hard and fast rules, but I found it really useful as reference guidelines across the different areas he covers.
Please excuse any spelling mistakes or grammar oddities!
Composition:
  • Ear can only process 3 sounds at a time (as the focus of attention in a mix)
  • Use muting and doubling of sections to add variety
  • "Useful little rule of thumb that can help here is this: if you want something to retain the listener’s attention, then avoid playing the same thing more than three times in a row."
  • Interesting little 'features' every 3 to 5 seconds - "cool backing-vocal lick, a nifty drum fill, a synth hook, a little spot-effect on the lead vocal, some kind of wacky SFX sample—the possibilities are endless"
  • Try altering all your arrangements a bit (verse1, verse2, chorus, etc)
  • 6th note of any major key is the root for the relative minor key
  • Generally best to use notes from melodic minor scales, and use harmonic minor for for chord progressions.
General Mixing:
  • Build a list of reference tracks for the genre's you are making
  • Take ear breaks while mixing
  • Mult (essentially stem bouncing) your final tracks into pieces for effects + EQ
  • If low end of a bass (sub region) is too muddy, high cut bass and replace with a sine wave bass to fill out the sub region harmonic is a good trick
  • Cost shouldn't value a plugin - it's uniqueness should
  • "Think of the mix as a 3d cube, where the height of the box equates to frequency, the depth of the box is the decibel levels 0db to -infDb, and the width is the stereo image left to right"
Balance:
  • Start building most important section first (chorus, verse, etc)
  • Start building most important instrument first(most processing here)
  • Good practice to note most important instruments for each section to mult
  • High pass filter almost everything to remove unwanted low end
  • Kicks, snares, hats, bass and vocals want to stay in center of stereo image
  • Pan mono instruments to support space, but they might get lost in one side stereo playback
  • After above steps, then set track gain. Its good to leave all faders at 0db and use a gain plugin on the track to pull out the sound
  • For difficult sounds - take fader down, the rise to too loud, and mark position. do same for where you can barely hear it, mark that position. place fader finally between those two marks for a good "level window"
  • If a sound can balance right, it may not need processing. know when to leave tracks alone
Compression:
  • Do initial balance first, then when starting to "master" (after creating initial composition) mute all channels and decide whether or not it should be compressed as adding it to the mix
  • "The simplest clue that you need to compress a track is that you keep wanting to reach over and adjust its fader."
  • Pay attention to GAIN REDUCTION on the compressor, to see how much of the compressor you are turning down on the track
  • A way to start: make gain reduction show at least 6db, and adjust makeup gain to compensate for a level change. Then ask : does it sound more stable in mix?
  • Then try turning threshold back up a little bit to see if you can get away with using less compression
  • Different compressors do different things - not bad to try different compressors for different instruments
  • Ratio (sometimes labeled slope appropriately) generally turns things down - you increase it to affect how much the "peaks" in a signal (slaps on a bass, screeches, inconsistencies) get reeled back, so essentially the strength at which they are turned down. High ratios are sometimes needed to really bring back waveforms to consistency
  • Lower ratios keep dynamic more natural (whole purpose of compressor is to bring dynamic range of a waveform more consistency so you an raise it to a static fader level to keep it consistent in the mix!)
  • Use a low ratio and a threshold to setup only the quietest notes are UNAFFECTED by gain reduction - this is used to make it louder essentially, by after adding make up gain. You can use threshold, ratio, and gain reduction to specify a certain part of the signal to brought into line with the rest of the sound - too much compression however makes it lose its musical properties
  • Using compressors in a series is often commercially used to bring out all the parts of an instrument (or use a multiband if its powerful enough, like maximus)
  • Increase attack and release times on compressors will make the compressor react / stop reacting slower. This will make it more efficient, and focus on the inconsistency in the middle of the waveforms (maybe a pad or something) to match the rest of the signal
  • Attack and release can affect how an entire instruments sounds - don’t use short attacks on bass instruments like kicks (50ms) or they wont sustain well, and can shift tonal balance
  • "New york compression" (usually called parallel compression) is mixing with compression on a send channel, and using it (wet signal) along side the dry version of the same signal "As such, one common application of this approach is to help reduce undesirable side effects wherever fast attack and release times prove necessary for balance purposes. Transient-rich instruments such as drums, tuned percussion, piano, and acoustic guitar frequently benefit from parallel processing for this reason, because that way you can use fast compression to bring up the sustain tails between individual hits/notes (a fairly everyday requirement in a lot of styles) without dulling percussive attack or flattening desirable performance nuances"
  • Sometimes good to put parallel compressor on one insert, dry signal on another and route those to a bus insert to achieve the perfect balance of wet and dry signal
  • Goal of compression in the end is to make the mix better, not perfect. sometimes compression isn’t the only tool needed for the job
  • Sometimes a transient shaper is all that’s needed to help fill out hits or notes with rapidly moving gain levels
Equalization & Frequency Balance:
  • Generally a good idea to set an eq, turn the instrument off for 10 seconds, and listen again to see if it sits in the mix better
  • Use as wide a Q as possible when adding shelfs/peaks in an eq
  • Use high Q notch filters to remove non-pitch related resonances from things like drum, noise, certain hits, etc (has to be perfect or will sound bad)
  • Use EQ cuts instead of EQ boosts - cutting away leaves much more headroom and less room for frequency masking as the composition builds. Treat boosts as exceptions and cuts as the norm
  • 9/10 times if you're boosting a frequency over 6db, you are probably overdoing it
  • "the brighter something is, the closer it is; the duller it is, the farther away.”
  • Add instruments to balance in order of importance.
  • Always confirm validity of EQ settings in context of a mix - that is the ONLY place it matters
  • Use pads to fill out space, and to fill out pretty much any instrument - the key is to make it not apparent to the listener you are using a pad
Reverb:
  • To use reverb to blend, use a natural sounding short stereo preset with about 10-20ms of predelay
  • Use EQ cuts in bass and mid regions post reverb in the chain to guarantee your reverb isn't muddying up other signals
  • To use reverb to add size, use a natural stereo preset with a soft onset, and about 50ms of predelay
  • To use reverb to add tone, shorten an unnatural sounding preset to remove its decay, and refine it with predelay, phase/polarity and EQ adjustments
  • To use reverb to add sustain, use an unnatural sounding preset, with a soft onset, and use at least 25ms of predelay, and refine its sound with EQ.
  • Try to use reverb almost exclusively as a send effect - whether that be with multiple instruments going through the same send, or just one send for an instrument - this prevents loss of information in the dry signal and gives a better overall reverb tone
  • To use reverb to add spread (width), use an unnatural preset with a bland uncolored tone, and use predelay/balance processing to minimize blend/tone/sustain side effects
  • Blend and size reverbs are often added to a lot of individual tracks, after the complete balance is place. Tonal and sustain reverbs tend to be useful for a small number of tracks and are usually better applied during the initial balancing process
  • Blend and size reverbs can be balanced in mix as individual instruments - use EQing to remove unwanted masking and low-end clutter, as well as reduce audibility of the effect, whereas de-essing and transient processing work well before the reverb plugin to make the sound more understated.
  • Tonal and sustain reverbs should be treated as integral parts of the instruments dry track
Delay:
  • Delay offers similar mixdown enhancements as reverb, but takes up less space in the mix (good). Should be used as separate send, and processed similarly to reverb.
  • Delay times that match tempo will be absorbed by the mix (make them louder to poke out), while unmatched delay times will pop out at lower mix levels, which can be better for creative applications.
  • Always try to use mono in, stereo out delay effects
  • For using delay as a blend effect, try a delay of 50-100ms and low feedback to get a slapback effect with little comb-filtering effects
Overall mastering tips:
  • If buss compression is required for the sound of the mix, start mixing with master buss compression as soon as the mix is COMPLETELY done so that balance and gain changes can be applied early in the process to makeup for compression reduction
  • Go through several stages of referencing and readjustments - compare mix's overall tonality, stereo spread; focus on most important instrument's balance, tone, and stereo image; as well levels of reverbs and delay effects overall
  • Use a combination of loudness maximization techniques for comparing your mix to commercial mixes loudness processing. To evaluate the sustainability of a loudness tweak, make sure to remove boosts and listen for processing side effects when the effect is on and off, and that side effects are minimized when processed.
  • Remember you can only "rev things up" if you first drop them down. Aka, make your self a lot of headroom after a drop if you want to have a mind shattering drop follow later on.
  • Detailed level "rides" (fader automation) are essential for most productions, and can assure maximum audibility and attention directing of lead vocals and hooks.
  • As a last stage of referencing, build a HANDWRITTEN "snag" list of all the issues you hear as you make multiple full passes of your mastered mix. Try not to view the waveforms when doing this, and objectively evaluate the severity of each snag you catch yourself hearing as you listen to a mix over and over. Use different sound systems and references to narrow down each snag that must be fixed, and if necessary go back to mix and start things over if any snag is unworkable. BUT REMEMBER - no mix is perfect, and sometimes some snags will always slip through.
submitted by SpockNinja to edmproduction