Monster Hunter Tri’s Missing Weapons

So Monster hunter Tri is out. I got my copy.
…I haven’t been able to play it yet, but I have it. So I’ve been reading through the manual a couple of times, and confirming things with a friend who has been able to play.

Monster Hunter Tri ditched some of the weapon types from Monster Hunter Freedom Unite (and earlier games).
The weapon types available in Tri are:

  • Sword and Shield
  • Great Sword
  • Hammer
  • Lance
  • Switch Axe
  • Long Sword
  • Bowgun

For comparison, there were 11 types available in MHFU; Dual Swords, the Hunting Horn, the Gunlance and the Bow have been omitted, and Bowguns were split into Heavy and Light.

I can see where they were going. It’s annoying that my favourite weapon type vanished, but I spent time running around last night in MHFU using a Light Bowgun that I hastily threw together to kill Anteka; there wasn’t that much difference between using a Light Bowgun rather than a Bow. You can’t charge your shots and you need to spend time reloading after a given number of attacks, but the basic power of the ammo you’re using might be better than a bow would give you anyway, and you have more variability so long as you fill your inventory with more stacks of ammo.

There just wasn’t that much difference. Gunlances were lances, but with ranged elements. Hunting Horns were Hammers that could replicate a set of buffs from items. Dual Swords were Swords and Shields that dropped the ‘shield’ bit to attack faster, and copied part of the Long Sword’s ‘spirit gauge’ mechanic. Bowguns Light and Heavy were still both Bowguns, and if I’m reading the manual correctly – my friend hasn’t gotten around to testing those yet – now have their weight determined by both the frame and the parts used, rather than being fixed with minor modifications if you add a scope or long barrel.

The Switch Axe is a new type, though, pulling elements from both the Great Sword and what looks like the Dual Swords. Or the Long Sword. Or the Bow, based on the terminology, but I’m reasonably sure it’s not that.
The Switch Axe’s shtick seems to be that it can switch between modes; axe mode, and sword mode. The axe mode is for hitting things, and the sword mode is for using special moves or unleashing elemental fury or… something…
I’m not much for melee combat with edged weapons. Give me a good Hammer or Hunting Horn any day.

Still, it’s a new weapon type for this game. I wonder how many it’ll stick around for?

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