There's no real-time weapon switching

So I’m reading the review for Monster Hunter Freedom for PSP over on Gamespot, when I read the following: “There’s no real-time weapon switching.”

And I sort of just… stopped. You have to go back to town to equip a different weapon? You can’t even carry two or three weapons with you?

It got me to thinking. What on earth possesses developers to make decisions like this? I mean, the rest of the review sounds decent enough that I’d probably pick up the game just cause I need something new for my PSP, but that last bit pretty much turned me off.

Why do developers choose to include mechanics that are not only archaic and unnecessary, but which actually hurt the game? How is it possible that at some point during development, no one said “Hey, you know, it kind of sucks to have to go back to town to switch weapons. Third person action games don’t tend to force this, so why don’t we change it?”

I’ve never understood this kind of thing. And I’ve played enough games which were destroyed by simple little problems like this to wonder what kind of crazy motherfuckers are in charge of final decisions on topics like these at some companies.

Oh, and just as a follow up nod, the same sentence about weapon switching includes mention of ‘massive damage’. At least the reviewer has a sense of humor about bad decisions.

I’ve always kind of wondered that too. Why, in the name of God, would you do something like that? Why would you add little, irritating bits of gameplay to an overall good game?

I don’t know what you expected, only the PS3 can do real time weapon switching. You guys need to pay more attention.

Oh man, I had no idea. It’s like the emotion engine for switching weapons. the swish engine?

Did you and Charles plan this?

What the fuck is “Real Time Weapon Switching”? I mean, what alternative IS there? That the game slows down into some relative time when you switch weapons?

Riiiiiiidge Racer.

Chris Woods

That’s okay, we need more turn-based weapon switching anyway.

I’ve always gone with “real time weapon switching” meaning that it takes you exactly the same amount of time and actions to switch a weapon in the virtual world as it does in real life(/time). I put the stress on the word “real”, you see.

So, sling a light anti-tank weapon over your shoulder in real life. Then pick up an assault rifle. Now, switch between the two. What are the steps? How long does each step take? That’s what I think Sony has modelled and can visually represent with the PS3. So, yeah, switching weapons should take about 3 minutes, by my guesstimate.

I’m pretty sure that’s what they mean…

Inventory screen.

There are a lot of games where you need to drop to a menu to switch weapons. I think RTWS is referring to switching weapons in game as opposed to dropping to a menu. Apparently some games such as this Monster Hunter require you go all the way back to town to switch weapons.

Damn, you beat me to the punch. LOL! I bet Monster Rancher doesn’t have giant crabs either though.

Okay, so how did the term “Real Time Weapon Switching” get coined? From what I gather someone at the Sony PS3 demonstration said it, or something?

Chris Woods

Lunar DS had a feature where using the run button drained your character’s health, even in town. I think that applies to this topic.

Yeah it’s one of the wonders to come out of the Sony press conference, presented as if it was a big deal in Ghenji II, even though games have done it for ages.

Don’t be silly. It’s one of the Monster Hunter gameplay convention, like only having 20 inventory slots. It’s not some archaic unnecessary throwback that’s in there so you won’t have fun, or whatever you’re imagining. :)

In Monster Hunter, every weapon is different, and involves a very different figthing style. The game is mission based, so you have to choose which one you’re going to bring along based on what you expect to face, how you’ve developed your character and weapons, which you prefer, etc. If you don’t like your choice halfway through a mission, you can always forfeit your contract fee and change weapons. Or you can just replay a mission with another weapon any time you feel like it.

I’m guessing the idea is to force you to make interesting choices. You might disagree whether it works, but it’s there for a very specific reason.


Yep. Made it seem real nice like it hasn’t existed since the NES days (Press A for sword B for bow!)

Bionic Commando (NES) made you choose a single weapon for each mission, and it was awesome. I hear some games only let you choose one vehicle per mission!

Ah. Well I haven’t played any Monster Hunter games before so I’m not familiar with the systems. That being said, I don’t really agree with sticking with an overly restrictive system simply because previous incarnations did it. We can agree to disagree on that though. (though I admit I haven’t played the game and don’t know whether it actually works or not – just on the surface it seems like a really poor mechanic).

Since you seem familiar with the series, have you played this one? I’m still kind of on the fence. I think the thing that has me most worried about it is mention that it’s extremely difficult in single player towards the end – and I don’t expect to make much use out of multiplayer.

Good lord, Charles, don’t let not having played the game prevent you from passing judgment. You might as well complain that you don’t get infinite hit points, which is “overly restrictive” for making you die sooner. :)

Yes, I’ve played this one. If you’ve never played a Monster Hunter game, expect something that’s, umm, different. If you have played a Monster Hunter game, I believe this one is just an adaptation of the last PS2 one from Japan, so it should be familiar. Since it’s a free-form game, the difficult is only and entirely what you make of it.

I’ll have a review up next week.


So in Mechwarrior games, do you think it sucks that your mech is stuck with the same weapons loadout for an entire mission?