Monster Hunter is one of my favorite franchises, even though, I haven’t actually played all of the games, I enjoy the content and I love the community around it.
You’ll see, I am not in a position where I can acquire a lot of games and spend money on consoles or even a decent computer, so, when a friend gifted a PSP to me on my birthday back in 2012. I was really, really happy. It was my second console, since I already had a Gameboy Advance SP where I only had a couple decent games, and a pretty low chance of getting more.
One PSP game that affected me quite a lot was Monster Hunter Freedom Unite. I played it for hundreds of hours, and I really enjoyed it. However, my joystick stopped working properly, and I was unable to play it on my PSP. That unfortunate event, opened the way to a world of older games and emulators that didn’t required an analog stick, a topic that I will explore in later blogs.
Back to today’s topic, I discovered that I could not only play Monster Hunter again, thanks to PPSSPP, but also enjoy hunting online for the first time, thanks to a platform known as Evolve HQ. This tool allowed the creation of parties and chatrooms where I could interact with other hunters and help each other out. All I had to do was start my copy of the game using the PPSSPP emulator and configure the networking settings to the one provided by Evolve, visible in the GUI. Back then I was playing on Windows using a cheap Xbox-styled controller.
However, by the end of 2018, Evolve HQ closed its servers (archive), and I stopped playing for a while. Before that, I was already looking for different ways to play, and I found out about the HunsterVerse, a P2P (player 2 player) network that is used to play different PSP games online, mainly the Monster Hunter franchise. So after Evolve HQ died, I moved there for a few weeks until, for school reasons, I had to leave the game again, with a few hunts sparsed here and there.
During the whole pandemic, it never once crossed my head the idea to spent some time playing there. I wouldn’t want it any other way though, since I learned a lot about other things such as Linux and Game development, which one could argue are better ways to spend the time instead of infinitely grinding trying to get the part I need to complete my armor set.
Anyways, I had been cleaning up my emails the last couple days, and while doing that I found the email I received when signing up for the HunsterVerse, it contained my OpenVPN profile, which is the tool used by the HunsterVerse network. And I told myself “Why not give it a try?”, I installed OpenVPN from F-Droid, imported the file and copy pasted my game and savedata to my android device, and voila!, back at it again!
Just kidding, after 2017, the profile certificate had to be fixed with some new changes, and I had downloaded the previous one, so I checked my email again and found a more recent email that contained the new configuration, since I had asked for it back in 2019 for some quick hunts I did that year.
I downloaded the file, forwarded the emails to a more email address and got to play! I just re-installed OpenVPN (The F-Droid version didn’t work for some reason, so Play Store had to be open) and joined a quick match with my small account, unaware of the new enemy I had to face.
I was barely able to move, I was so used to playing using my controller, that using touch controls on my phone was painful. I am aware that some players deal with that and have set their own layouts and custom buttons.
Despite that, I decided to join a room and set up a quick low ranked mission. I didn’t even had to ask, and a group of hunters joined and after getting ready, we parted to hunt a Velocidrome, one of the easiest monsters in the game.
The camera controls have always been known for needing a “claw” grip that would kill your hand over time. I was pretty used to it, but the lack of a tactile feel made it even harder, along with accidental touches, and a lack of vision due to my fingers being all over the screen, made it so my teammates had already killed the monster in 4 minutes, and I didn’t even manage to find the corpse to carve some goodies.
Anyways, it was a fun first hunt after a couple years without playing, and since Summer vacations are coming up soon, I am planning to get myself a controller to properly play this game and enjoy it like the good old times.
If you didn’t know about the HunsterVerse, I really recommend joining its Discord server, even if you don’t play those old games online, they also have chatrooms for the newer games, such as Monster Hunter Rise that came out this year.
This has been day 41 of #100DaystoOffload