I was always impressed by the animations of Monster Hunter due to how much detail, effort and quality was in the game. From the large selection of weapons to the monsters themselves. Given enough time and extensive analysis in-game, I could easily make multiple posts on just the animations in this game alone.
There was actually this one scene early in the game where you watch a few NPCs pushing their wagon up a hill via an animation cycle. As they approached the top and had to go down the other side, I immediately thought “no way would the developers be bothered to change this to a hold-the-wagon-as-we-go-down animation” as I express my dissatisfaction for the current triple-A quality in games. Boy was I proved wrong very quickly as the NPCs quickly changed to a new animation cycle for what was about 5 seconds of screen time. After this moment, I knew instinctively, this game was going to be good.
Further into the game, I was selecting my weapon. This process to longer than usual due to my intense staring as I repeat moves over and over again on each weapon just so I can observe the combo animations and the way they blend together. That is until I picked up the Insect Glaive. I won’t go into detail about this weapon’s mechanics but this weapon was definitely not like the others. While most weapons have a very weighty feel which pushes players to time their attacks, the Insect Glaive was all mobility with it’s jumping, diving, slashing and spinning.
Needless to say, I was inspired. This was some high level action RPG over-the-top animation. While attempting my own version, I began to appreciate how much work must have gone into this weapon. I never played any of the older monster hunter games but increasing speed and pacing to create this weapon class must have definitely been challenging for the animators.
Obviously the animation in-game is about a thousand times better than mine but I think I didn’t do too bad. I’m missing that really nice body crunch, and that ending swipe. My version started from the ground so I didn’t have much air time to work with so I diverted it rather than follow the reference frame for frame.
I’ll get there one day!
Video Reference: https://youtu.be/A-2qDnJOD_I?t=184
Rig is from Body Mechanics Rigs