[In this community blog, Destructoid user Moths delves into why the Monster Hunter series still has so much goodwill after 15-plus years, and why players keep coming back for more without burning out. The hunt can't stop. -Jordan.][/SUB]
We live in an era of effectively infinite games. Whatever your tastes, it has never been easier to find a game you'll enjoy and to play it. It's true that there could always be more: more variety, more quality, better preservation of old titles. But ultimately the fact of playing games in this day and age is that there is already more than you need in your entire lifetime. And yet they just keep coming.
That can be overwhelming. Presented with such a vast territory, there's an impulse to come up with ways of dividing and traversing it. We create or are presented with niches for ourselves: loyalties, habits, aversions, etc. Shortcuts. Maybe you don't play racing games, maybe you often play whatever happens to be on PlayStation Plus. The zeitgeist is a big one. There's always a handful of games that have enormously more cultural traction than the rest... until they don't. But that's the crux of it: an external force that is able to answer the question "what should I play next?" whenever it is called upon to do so.
Personally, I'm a little uncomfortable with that. For one thing, the games of the moment are usually new, and the industry is such that a game at launch is typically both more expensive and worse than that same game two years later. Coming late to the party has become a smart move if you're more interested in the contents of your glass than you are in the ability to clink it.
I also just don't like the idea of letting somebody else tell me what to play. And I really don't like the idea of letting the sum of everybody else do it. I've ended up designing a little system designed to give me a balanced gaming diet while alleviating the burden of choice. This is completely neurotic behavior, but fuck it. It works. I enjoy games more with my nonsense than I did without it.
Anyway, Monster Hunter Rise is the only thing I've played since it came out.

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