July 17, 2024
1 Solar System Way, Planet Earth, USA
Gaming

RIP Alpha Doshaguma, the doomed dragon-fighting guinea pig from my Monster Hunter Wilds demo

This piece is written in memory of Alpha Doshaguma, a huge hairy quadruped with the belly, gait and gloomy character of an orphaned Saint Bernard, who – no, WHO He was innocently sleeping in a canyon when the presenter of the Capcom demo walked up and hit him with a bayonet shell. The demonstration in question was for Wild monster hunter, which they should probably rename Monster Hadron Collider, since a major selling point seems to be making megafauna converge and kill each other. It is possible to do this in older games, especially ones from 2018. Monster Hunter: World, But not like that. Not that way. Woe to Alpha Doshaguma! Getting a rocket in the butt was just the beginning of his worst day.

Monster Hunter Wilds is the usual avalanche of new additions and, just as importantly, subtractions from the long-running dragonskin series. We've got, errmm, let's see here: a fancy new longsword of some description, great for those combos where you strike a pose between hits. Cheesemongers who say “cheese and thanks”, because if it is absolutely necessary, Capcom. Pop-up Palico tents where you can rest and recover while maneuvering, and which monsters can destroy if left unattended. The apparent lack of cargo separates the village and countryside areas, although it appears those villages are still safe from monster invasion. The corresponding removal of the ritual of choosing a target from a quest board before setting out to claim its head; Now, all you need to do is stumble upon the thing while exploring and, as the case may be, wake it up from the innocent and unsuspecting. sleep with your nasty hand artillery. A feathered new player mount, the Seikret, in whose pockets you can store a second charge. A new open world-like region to fill with smoking dinosaur corpses and lots of bad weather.

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With sequels like these it can be difficult to identify the common thread, especially if you have lost contact with the series. I loved/was intrigued by World, but I missed its strong Iceborne expansionhe barely dipped a toe into 2021 Monster Hunter Rise, and I haven't even seen a trailer for the recent cross-genre spin-offs. I watch Monster Hunter's continued development with a mix of hope, familiarity, and exhaustion, like a man running toward a bus whose driver has closed the doors but hasn't yet turned on the indicators. Still, I feel pretty confident in saying that the main attraction this time around is designing very open turf wars, which brings us back, sadly, to Alpha Doshaguma.

When our demo guy discovered the beast, he was chilling with his pack, with denser monster packs being another new feature in Wilds. Initially, the demo player tried to fight them all simultaneously and up close, but this meant that all we could see of Wilds were huge hairy buttocks crashing against a soundscape of indignant tuba noises, so after a moment more or less, we defeated a tactical strategy. retreat aboard our Seikret, using some type of projectile to mark the Alpha Doshaguma and draw it away from the crowd.

Then began a vigorous 15-minute exercise to find every last new feature in Wilds and get Alpha Doshaguma to come across it. To start, our demo player led Doshaguma's pack towards a group of velociraptor-like things, which jumped aboard the roaring giants and gnawed at them unsuccessfully before being trampled. We then took the Doshagumas on a tour of some thorn bushes, which successfully blocked the lesser Doshugama's advance, allowing us to focus on the Alpha. And then, a quick climb up a dune and into the territory of some sort of burrowing leviathan, which conjured a swirl of quicksand into which Alpha Doshaguma obediently fell.

It was able to escape after many pitiful kicks, and you know, a kinder soul would have put the creature out of its misery and shown us some of the new biomes, maybe guided us through a crafting menu or two. But not. Having attacked Alpha Doshaguma once again, our Capcom host guided him into a storm that wasn't actually a storm, but the mobile weather lair of a large blood dragon, the region's top predator.


A pack of small scaly monsters fighting big furry ones in Monster Hunter Wilds


Huge monsters fighting in a storm in Monster Hunter Wilds

Image credit: Capcom

The storm dragon pounced on Alpha Doshaguma and tore off its tail in one fell swoop. The aforementioned burrowing leviathan caught up with him and tried to strangle him. As you may have gathered, I was firmly in favor of Alpha Doshaguma at this point, although I enjoyed the elegant weather effects and the concomitant noticeable impact on specialized hunter techniques like “moving” and “seeing.”

The Doshaguma survived the storm, somehow, and again, a merciful antagonist could have intervened to take it down, but that would have meant passing up the opportunity to demonstrate some new destructible terrain elements, so we went to visit some caverns. packed with paralysis-inducing electrobugs and dangerously loose stalactites, perfect for zapping monster health at a few hundred points a pop. Also in the caverns, a Chatacabra – or giant rock frog – with whom the Doshaguma briefly fused into a roaring, belching ball of scales and fur.

After taking a couple of stalactites to the head, Alpha Doshaguma was littered with wounds, these being a system of glowing weak spots that you can target using a new “focus” aiming mode, which applies to all weapons. At this point, the creature was evidently quite fed up with being Capcom's demo assistant and decided to head home for a nap. Ah, the limping animation of Monster Hunter. Is there some major source of pathos in all of video games? However, the fact that Doshaguma needed a timeout was inconsistent with Capcom's desire to show off the ability to roll explosive barrels downhill. In this case, the exploding barrels did not reach their victim, so our demonstrator decided to leave it and summoned three other hunters in Seikrets to smash the rest of his face.

I'll be honest, the last few minutes of the demo are a blur to me. There was talk of new weapons and some exciting displays of fighting and staging, but by now I had already filled my brain with different methods to annoy Doshaguma, and I could only watch in sadness as the large, beautiful beast met its end.


A pack of four-legged spiny creatures walking along a riverbed in Monster Hunter Wilds
Image credit: Capcom

What do you do after you've killed an Alpha Doshaguma? Desperation over inhumanity and embarking on a new career as a villager? A cheesemonger, perhaps, handing out puns alongside the cheese to hide the growing dark clouds of self-loathing, not so deep inside? No, suddenly you go all David Attenborough. The presenter ended up pointing out some small birds perched on a tree and, screw you, suggesting that we “take some time to enjoy nature.” Absolutely fucking bastard, I mouthed from across the auditorium, smiling and offering a thumbs up. You're a disgusting bear-hunting bastard. Revenge! Revenge for the monsters! Revenge for Alpha Doshaguma!

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