An Aspiring (Or Not) Monster Hunter and Combating Depression with Virtual Worries
So just last month, I finally caved in and bought Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate on the 3DS. I still barely started since I was busy with Yakuza 4, a game in my backlog since ancient times.
If you missed the news, I’m actually going to be laid off soon, in like October (which is like a week from this post), and from experience, I know for sure the anxiety and depression will be just around the corner, and it’s especially bad if I just sit there bored with nothing to do. Boredom is your absolute worst nightmare when you’re suffering from depression. Of course, I will use much of my time job-hunting and develop myself, but during the times when I’m not doing those? Monster hunting, at least, that’s the plan for now, and thus, I bought it. Although the game DID went on sale a little while ago, which was as perfect a time as any to buy it.
I find playing games is the perfect medium when you just want to forget about your problems. To a degree, anime and other similar visual medium, depending on the genres, can achieve these too, but it’s more short-term. Sure, anime may help, but perhaps just for 20 minutes after the episode ends. Furthermore, games have one thing which other media don’t-interaction, and through that, you will be worrying about character levels, equipment, skills, boss strategies, quests, rare items, synthesis and so on, so much that by the time you’re done worrying, it will pretty much be time to sleep.
But if I need games for that, I feel Monster Hunter is perfect. Other games would work too, but once you finished them, that’s it; you can always replay them of course, some games even recommend you to since they have multiple endings; but even so, I’m the type who need to rest after finishing a huge story, and that break in between is the problem, since if there’s a break and I got nothing to do. Then boredom will settle in, and then, the depression.
The good thing about Monster Hunter, from what I can see, is that it seems to never end. There’s the solo mode, but the main bulk of Monster Hunter is definitely the multiplayer. Every title in Monster Hunter also seems to have an everlasting longevity-it’s not even uncommon to see some players reaching 1000 hours in just one title in the series. From what I heard, it takes a considerable amount of time to master a weapon, and requires extensive brainstorming, research and trial and error to defeat giant bosses, so those would be fun. There are also some various miscellaneous things like combining items, equipment, skills, build and others to worry about. I haven’t even check out the more multiplayer aspect of the game yet. Hell, I’m like 5 hours in and I still don’t know what the heck am I doing! There are a lot of things to worry about here-my virtual worries, so to speak, and during times when I want to take a break from my “real life worries”, worrying about virtual problems like these would be perfect. Immersing into a world of fantasy like this, sure, it may be escapism, but no matter what people say, I need it, just for quick while; just enough to combat my depression before I worry about my real life issues again.
I’m not much of a multiplayer gamer, and this will be the first time in a long while where I will be trying one, so I wish my multiplayer experiences wouldn’t be too sour. Before I even worry about that though, I really should progress more on the single player mode, try out some more weapons and do more quests and stuffs…
To those of you who plays Monster Hunter as well, happy hunting to you. I hope to be an officially licensed monster hunter soon (“officially licensed” AKA finished the single player story mode), so that I can at least join you guys then and not be a dead weight. This will probably be an extremely slow process however, considering I will most probably be playing this sporadically over the course of my real life issues and breaks between other games.
P.S: Is there anything I should know from a newbie like me who had never play a Monster Hunter game before?