Nintendo Switch


I mean that’s kinda the game. You’re a human, they’re giant monsters with godly powers. They’re bigger, faster, and stronger than you. All of them. Always.

Also, you move slower when you have your weapons unsheathed. Some weapons like Dual Blades or the Insect Glaive aren’t bad, but running around with an unsheathed Greatsword is intolerable.

This is also the game. Each weapon has its own sequence of attacks, and no, you can’t cancel most of them. Some special attacks have a cancel, but most don’t. You have to know your weapon’s combos and their timing, and then time your attack sequence in a moment of opportunity. This involves learning the monsters, reading their tells, thinking several moves ahead, positioning yourself to be able to capitalize on future situations, and being patient.

You can’t cancel because the game punishes you for fucking up.

It’s more of a puzzle game than a traditional 3rd-person action game. This game is to 3rd-person action what Ikaruga is to SHMUPs.


So what you are saying is that this is “bad controls, but that’s completely intentional: the game.”

I’m good.


Does Castlevania have bad controls as it takes significant amount of time from button press to your whip hit the enemy in front of you, and it’s jumps are limited and restricted not allowing you full air control that other platformers give?


Castlevania 1? Yes, it has bad controls, especially the jumping and being knocked back into a hole. The whip is fast enough that it’s not a major annoyance, but it’s still bad. If you put that game out today, it would definitely get a thumbs down. Even in its day it didn’t have much excuse, as it was inferior to the excellent controls of Super Mario Bros. Considering how much newer Monster Hunter is and that its controls are dramatically worse than Castlevania, I can not cut it any slack whatsoever.


Not all games where you press a button and character jumps try to be the same game. Taking Super Mario Brothers and Castlevania 1 and directly comparing them is ridiculous. Taking Mario’s movement into Castlevania would make it significantly different game, and the levels and enemies are not designed for that, they are designed for the methodical movement that Castlevania has.

Like I get it, games where action is flows fast and movement happens almost instinctively without conscious though feel really good. Running full speed through a level, maneuvering past enemies and obstacles without even realizing, that’s absolutely great, but it’s not only great thing in video games and not only good way to make a game.


Even non-action games. In a game with menus, I expect the menu to operate as fast as I can press the buttons. In an FPS, I expect if I press the mouse button one that the weapon should immediately fire. In a puzzle game, I expect that if I press left, that Dr. Marios pill immediately moves to the left. In a racing game, the steering wheel and pedals should be as responsive as a real vehicle. In Civilization I expect that when I click on a city, the city information screen should appear immediately, and if I press Esc a fraction of a second later, it should be gone. If you want to have extended animations that take a long time, the player must be able to still perform inputs while those animations play.

Even in games where there is an excuse for unresponsive controls, such as your character being frozen, or getting dizzied in Street Fighter, make me very very angry. If you include mechanics like that, pressing buttons should still do something and still illicit an immediate on-screen response of some kind. Show my character struggling in response to my presses while still remaining frozen in a block of ice. That’s all it takes. You don’t have to change what your game is about. You just have to acknowledge player agency by immediately responding to all of their inputs in some way.


Am I to assume that if we ever get in a situation where we’d be playing a board or card game together, it’s fine for you if I just take turns as fast as I can without having to wait for your to take yours. If I can play cards on table at certain speed, I obviously should be allowed to do so, without having to deal with all that waiting business.


No, it’s a board game, and my argument only has to do with video games, and in fact all software. Software should always immediately respond to all user in put in some way. Ever press the close button on a window and it doesn’t close immediately? Infuriating!

Also, no, you shouldn’t cheat at a board game by skipping someone else’s turn. But also yes, when it is your turn you should hurry up. If you can shuffle faster, deal cards faster, count faster, move pawns faster, than I encourage you to do all of the above.

It’s a very old fashioned, and IMHO bad, design to have a game where one player does many many things on their turn while all the other players have to wait and do nothing. Good modern games are designed to have players do things simultaneously, give players lots of short turns, and/or have interaction such that players who are not the current player still have something to do besides read Twitter on their phone. This keeps players constantly engaged.


I think we define “bad controls” differently. Monster Hunter has bad controls, in that accessing the various bits of the game is not intuitive, and the control scheme gets in the way of successful play. Button layout, camera responsiveness, those are all elements of “bad controls.” Monster Hunter has those issues in spades, and had you stuck to just that I’d get where you were coming from.

But some of the things you’re complaining about are intentional design elements. Moving slowly with a drawn weapon is a design choice to force a type of gameplay - you have to choose between being able to attack or being able to run away. That’s not “bad controls,” that’s disagreeing with a design choice.

It’s like complaining about a rhythm game that doesn’t give you full marks because you were a sixteenth of a second off. That’s the game.

I mean, are fighting games bad because some attack animations are longer than others? Or because some attacks have different reach than others? Or because some characters are slower than others?

Your main complaint seems to center on asymmetrical ability, which really seems odd to me given the other games you purport to enjoy and consider “good.” I mean, fighting games and FPSes are loaded with asymmetry, and you have to learn how to play in different states in each of those games.


I have to point out - Except World. World has a pretty normal movement-and-camera-per-stick twin-stick layout that’s quick and responsive, that you normally expect out of a modern 3rd person action game. World is an extremely different kettle of fish in many respects from previous monhun games.


Being bad on purpose doesn’t make being bad good. You can make a game that has that exact gameplay without the problems. See my example of being the game mechanic of being frozen in ice.


Soooooooooo, let’s go to your frozen in ice example.

Am I correct in saying that you’d be fine with being frozen for the exact same length of time as long as button presses produce an animation? It sounds like you’re saying that a loss of agency is fine as long as you can dupe a player into feeling like they have agency when the game has removed it?

How do you feel about combos in a fighting game? In Street Fighter, I hit you 3 times in a row and you can’t respond. The way to prevent that is to not get hit in the first place. I know modern-gen fighting games often have interrupts and cancels, but there are still attack situations that temporarily suspend agency.

What makes it problematic here and not in other places? I genuinely do not follow.


I also think it’s a problem in fighting games. In fact, it’s fucking bullshit.

If I press a button, something should fucking HAPPEN.


Oh, well OK then, at least you’re logically consistent about it.

Though, I still don’t understand the crux of the issue. In Monster Hunter, pushing buttons does what I want it to do. It so happens that some attacks take 4 frames and some take like 12.

If you’re mad because you can’t stop what you’re doing to respond to something’s response, that’s a different story. The answer to that is, once again, don’t fuck up.


This even includes things like in Mario Tennis when it makes you watch a replay after a point, and there’s no way to turn the replays off entirely. At least it lets you skip them. The problem is it does not skip them as fast as I press the button, and that is infuriating.


So you’re saying that we can’t convey a realistic impression of the weight or momentum of a weapon, because attacks should be instant and immediate?

I’m not sure if that’s actually what you’re saying, but that’s how I’m interpreting it.


You can have a slow attack. But if I press a button during that long slow animation, my button press must be acknowledged.

Monster Hunter Worlds



Would Monster Hunter, as it is, be acceptable to you provided the bottom of the screen had a prompt similar to the training mode in this game? (DoA4)

I only ask because the bottom of the screen is teeming with acknowledgement of what inputs you give.


2019: reserved for FF:CC and Animal Crossing.