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22 Jul 2009
By MusterBuster

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MB's Visit to The Gathering Hall!

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28 Replies 3,680 Views edited 22-07-2009
22 Jul 2009
By MusterBuster

 

 

 

It's not been long since Leo Tan posted on the EU PlayStation Blog to tell you all about The Gathering Hall. Hot off the heels of this rather unique news, MB blagged his way into a sneak preview of the London based community gaming venue to grab some snaps...

 

I was pretty excited to say the least, I've seen how successful Monster Hunters: Freedom Unite has been in Japan. Thousands gather to play this game, not over the internet - but face to face, and definitely within bragging range. I have an undying love for community gaming and, wondering whether such a gaming phenomenon could occur here in the UK, I trotted out of SCEE HQ and set off for The Gathering Hall.

 

First things first - The Gathering Hall is not the kind of place that you'll struggle to find. Two minutes from Tottenham Court Road tube station and, walking down the street, you'll come across this:

 

 

 

No need for Google street view then!

 

Walk inside and a quick flash of your PSP and a copy of Monster Hunters: Freedom Unite will give you entrance to the ground floor. Dark and moody, this is an area for the pros.  With wireless internet access, down here you can access special challenges for the game which are, as yet, unavailable to the public. But be warned, they are not for the faint of heart! Dare to take them on and the rewards are said to be worth worshipping.

 

Up to the first floor and it's clear that The Gathering Hall knows its audience: Massive bean-bag chairs with added back support for those especially grueling quests, PSP charge stations to safeguard against any low-battery related rages and importantly; a massive air conditioning unit.

 

 

 

 

It's more than just creature comforts that have gone into the Gathering Hall. The whole venue is passionately decorated with Monster Hunters in mind - graffiti tags and artwork litter the walls and threaten to take a bite from your head whilst you're not looking. Descriptions won't really do it justice, so I'll let the pictures do the talking...

 

 

 

So - amazed and still suspicious of the walls, I was swiftly nurtured into a group of fellow beginners. I had never played a Monster Hunters title before and didn't quite know what I was in for... but lucky for me a Monster Hunters expert in the form of Leo Tan was around to ease me and two others into the game play.

 

His philosophy on tutorials is simple - skip them and do exactly as we were doing, get an expert to take you on a quest. He talked us through the basics: in Monster Hunters you slay or capture monster shaped baddies and use the materials you collect from them to craft yourself bigger and better weaponry, with a view to trotting off and slaying bigger and harder baddies. He even showed us how to start a quest together, equip ourselves and how to track and kill our designated prey. Eventually we managed to find and slaughter what I later knew as a Giadrome and, after dancing a victory dance over its corpse with my hunter, Leo took the time to tell us a bit more about the purpose behind the Gathering Hall.

 

He talked of tutorial nights designed for newbies to meet, greet and learn all about Monster Hunters: Freedom Unite, with expert hunters on hand to share their knowledge of the finer points of the game. DLC events focusing on specific quests with time-trial leaderboards and awesome prizes... even chances to play with the game's producer: Ryozo Tsujimoto. It's clear he is excited about the Gathering Hall, and having experienced it - so am I. This is a real hark back to gathering your mates around for some living room gaming and has all of the stimulus that online gaming cant provide; sharing in defeat, reveling in your most recent slaughter... even watching the rage emerge on your fellow hunter's faces as you frantically try to explain that whacking them over the head with your massive, dirty axe was an accident (it wasn't, but it was funny).                                 

 

My message is pretty simple. If you own Monster Hunters: Freedom Unite, the Gathering Hall is not to be missed. Questing with friends (or lack of, after hitting them with axes) is part and parcel of the game and there is no easier place to meet and play with fellow hunters. If you're a beginner, the Gathering Hall and its inhabitants will save you from 3 hours of tutorials. Intermediates will find hints and tips to take their game to the next level and, if you're a pro, ‘Special DLC quests unavailable to the public' is really all I need to tell you.

 

 

If you're looking for buddies to take a trip to the Gathering Hall with - stay right here in our Monster Hunter forum. Pretty soon you'll find more info on how to get to the venue, what events are on when and, importantly, when MB will be there so you can whack him around the head with a big, dirty axe of your own.

 

Much love -

 

MB

Message Edited by MusterBuster on 22-07-2009 01:11 PM
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RockHardSemi

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So you go to this place in London and bring your own PSP? Do you have to pay to get in?
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@RockHardSemi wrote:
So you go to this place in London and bring your own PSP? Do you have to pay to get in?

 

Nope, there's a person at the door. Simply show the employee your PSP and a copy of Monster Hunter Freedom Unite, and they'll let you in free! :)

 

But just to mess around with them, try showing them a UMD of a different game and see what they say ;)

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Lt_Fed_Brusque wrote:

@RockHardSemi wrote:
So you go to this place in London and bring your own PSP? Do you have to pay to get in?

 

Nope, there's a person at the door. Simply show the employee your PSP and a copy of Monster Hunter Freedom Unite, and they'll let you in free! :)

 

But just to mess around with them, try showing them a UMD of a different game and see what they say ;)


I think they would laugh and tell you that GAME is just around the corner :D

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RockHardSemi

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I'll try using my Hannah Montana game, instead :p. I've seen Monster Hunter Freedom Unite for 17.96 at amazon. So I might buy it soon. Can't play the demo, only have a 32mb card :(.
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@RockHardSemi wrote:
Can't play the demo, only have a 32mb card :(.

 

How do you survive in modern society? I thought the size of your memory card was what men compared these days

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@nerdlegend wrote:

Haha how cool

 

I would join but i dont have the game and am to far away :(


 

To be honest nerdlegend, the game is an acquired taste. I've had it since launch and I'm still struggling to get to grips with it. Its kind of like the Killzone 2 of PSP games (meaning its massively popular among those who get used to it, but hard to get into if you're a newcomer) :P

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PaInYbOi

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Sounds like a awesome place!

May go and take a look :)
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Now I'm usually the first person to point out I'm a nerd/geek... but Jesus Christ... really!? :Lol:

What is this Japan? :P
Message Edited by solidpython on 22-07-2009 01:15 PM
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