This story is over 5 years old.


After Hours of Frustration, The Moment 'Monster Hunter: World' Clicked

I've tried to understand this franchise for years. Now, I finally do.
Image courtesy of Capcom

Open Thread is where Waypoint staff talk about games and other things we find interesting. This is where you'll see us chat about games, music, movies, TV, and even sports, and welcome you to participate in the discussion.

My hands tense, and my patience is running thin. It’s been more than two hours since Monster Hunter: World asked me to defeat one of the vicious desert dragons—sorry, wyverns—named Diablos, and I haven’t made a lick of progress. I’ve tried matchmaking with others, but that’s only made things worse. These people, I mumble, don’t know what they’re doing. They suck. Diablos strikes me down for the umpteenth time, and as I’m about to let a loud expletive rip into the air, I remember a child’s sleeping upstairs.


Instead, I grind my teeth, and give up.

The next morning, after dropping my kid off at daycare and walking my dog through the chilly air, I sit down in front of Monster Hunter: World (and Diablos) again. I didn’t have a new strategy. I hadn’t watched a YouTube video with One Great Trick to Defeat This Shitty Wyvern. I took a breath, loaded the fight, and decided to give it another go.

That’s when it happened. I began successfully dodging Diablos’ attacks, and made it through the first phase of the fight—after you land a certain amount of damage, the creatures scuttle off to another area—without a scratch. I’d even, uh, landed a bunch of solid hits? My eyes widened, and I replaying the last few minutes in my mind. “What went different?” Subconsciously, it turns out, I’d picked up Diablos being briefly vulnerable when it attacked with its tail. Tick, tock. Tick, tock. The tail wagged back-and-forth, and if you were quick, it was possible to sneak under and start attacking.

This was everything.

The veil had dropped, and clarity was my ally. 30 minutes later, Diablos was dead, and I was loudly shouting (positive) expletives. Fortunately, no one was sleeping this time.

That moment, that whole arc—that’s Monster Hunter: World. I finally got it.

When you’re playing a new game (or series), you're often waiting for a moment when it all clicks into place. When I gave Dark Souls a real try, it happened after downing the two gargoyles outside the first bell, a few hours into the game. I fell in love.


I’ve long admired Monster Hunter from a distance. I’ve wanted to like it, but my previous attempts amounted to little more than a casual understanding. When I recorded a Quick Look for Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate at Giant Bomb years back, I thought I’d put in enough time to grasp Monster Hunter, but in retrospect, that was untrue. I sensed the mechanics, but not why people play, the emotional high.

I’m not sure how much longer I’ll play Monster Hunter: World, given how much grinding is involved, but even if I put the controller down tomorrow, I’m confident in saying I understand Monster Hunter, and get why people have been screaming about it.

I hear you. I see you. Monster Hunter is awesome. Hey, anyone have a spare poison sac?

Are there games you've played, where a specific fight, sequence, or something else brought what's interesting about it into view? Alternatively, what have you given up on?

Follow Patrick on Twitter. If you have a tip or a story idea, drop him an email:

Have thoughts? Swing by Waypoints forums to share them!