How Disabled Players Are Able to Play Complex Games Like Monster Hunter


#1

Monster Hunter: World is intimidating, a game full of complex mechanics and systems that take dozens of hours to fully appreciate, and a punishing combat system demanding players be on their toes at all times. At first blush, it didn’t seem like the kind of game Sidney Tinsley would be able to play, let alone invest more than 40 hours in. That’s because Sidney has, since birth, dealt with a disability that results in his muscles becoming weaker as he ages. It makes playing certain games...complicated.


This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://waypoint.vice.com/en_us/article/neqm5k/disabled-players-monster-hunter

#2

I feel like I should point out that Monster Hunter World doesn’t really have a lot of accessibility options like the article presents. Yes, having sprint only on the left stick would be a big issue, but Monster Hunter by default has it mapped to R1 and L3. Monster Hunter does let you swap R1 and R2, but that’s basically it. The article suggests that you can take buttons off of the stick and move them to the shoulder and that…isn’t quite right. Otherwise, there’s no in-game button remapping to be done. As Patrick mentions, there are system level changes you can make but those will apply to every game you play, so it makes it a much bigger headache in the long run.

I dunno, it seemed like we’re giving Monster Hunter a lot of praise here it maybe doesn’t deserve. It has really small text, unchangeable controls for the most part, and it requires me to get pretty close to the TV to play effectively. There are a ton of things it could’ve done a lot better to better serve disabled folks.


#3

…So this article finally tipped the scales for me and I’ve contacted AbleGamers to see if they can help me find ways to play games again. Thanks y’all :green_heart::v:


#4

This is what seriously gets me about this. Like, I know, MonHun’s had downright awful controls for years, but finally being on a platform its mechanics can fit again and having a swap-shoulders flip (like most every PS game since early PS3 days) isn’t much cause for declaring it awesome for disabled folks.

It almost feels like the dev team on this game was so not used to working with high resolutions that they went full Dead Rising 1 on it for the sheer novelty.

relevant note: my partner has 20/20 vision and can’t see shit on World’s UI through the TV. Granted, it’s a smaller 720p set, but World is literally the only game they’ve ever been unable to read on it from their default position/distance. I can only read it because i have my nearsighted-ass eyes unhealthily close to my screen and watch them stream it when they play.


#5

Yeah the font size is such a hellish nightmare that I sometimes have trouble reading it on my big ass PC monitor and my eyesight is fine. Plus the game is an all around UI disaster even if it’s not quite Dwarf Fortress


#6

Feels like this article really glosses over the fact that dualshocks / dualshock adjacent controllers are horribly disability unfriendly, just brings that up and moves on. The fact you have to awkwardly hold controllers is a problem largely with controller design first and remapping second.

Also nintendo currently holding the track record for “refuse to design friendly controllers”, i mean, fucking hell imagine using the 64 controller one-handed for starters, and the switchs uncomfortably small joycon nonsense is even worse, never mind motion controls. Wii u isnt even good for people playing two handed let alone for people it wasnt designed for


#7

Ugh no lie I started tearing up as I was reading this. Accessibility is so important!! I think games like Celeste are also taking important steps to normalizing accessibility options and removing the ridiculous stigma against them. (good video here by Mark Brown)

Also hey everyone shout out to The AbleGamers Foundation !! They’re a great charity working towards accessibility of games! If you use Humble you can choose them as a selected charity. http://www.ablegamers.org/


#8

I really like the perspective on “difficulty” this article brings up. Too much of the discourse on accessibility is bogged down by accusations of dumbing down art, which is the wrong way to see it.
Also, I came away from the article feeling more like it told the story of how one person can play this game rather than lauding Capcom, but that’s my takeaway


#9

I myself have Spinal Muscular Atrophy. I’m an advanced case, at age 34, which is 31 years past the prognosis of my life expectancy. Monster Hunter’s biggest challenge is it’s camera and item use controls for me. I basically have to lock on to targets to keep them on screen(I have an Xbox Elite controller and it helps with this.) I still feel like I’m fighting the controls more than the Monsters though. I basically have to get far away to use items, and slowly fight through the “quick select” for traps, pots, ammos, etc. I’m able to use a mouse and keyboard much better for these aim intensive games, so I’m holding out for the PC version. I’m just too tired to fight the controls anymore.


#10

Brolylegs. You can’t have this article without covering Brolylegs. Dude is a monster at Street Fighter and he plays it with his face.


#11

Yeah, I really appreciate the article in general but it does come across as Monster Hunter being praised for customization that doesn’t exist. It’s sorta more that it’s accessible in this specific case by default, but not for others. The mistake here actually surprises a little because I always run with R1 when I’m playing it; does others actually use L3?

And the UI is definitely waaaaay too small. My glasses’ prescription might be a little outdated but otherwise my vision should be good, and even I have to sit up and lean in to see it from my couch.


#12

As someone with a condition that causes games to be inaccessible to you, what genres do you feel have the biggest inaccessibility problems? I’m assuming turn-based games are less problematic than action games.

Also, I’m curious what kind of additions you have on your controller? :slight_smile: It only now just occurred to me that the Elite controller can be used for accessibility; they really marketed it as a “sick new Pro Gamer controller for all the Pro Gamers”.


#13

Fighting games, hands down. Even games like KI which have auto-combos are still very difficult. It’s not something that I think can or should be changed, though. They’re hyper competitive games and should be allowed to be what they are. The only accessibility things I would expect from the genre would be visual, as it would help people with vision issues like colorblindness. I feel like mechanical changes would ruin the thing that makes those games great. RTS-style games are difficult, too. I used to play a lot of Dota(2400 hours), but with my left hand continuing to decline, I had to give it up. I just felt like too much of a liability to teammates.

So, the back paddles on the elite are great. I can only use the right side ones, but I typically set them to X and Y because it’s hard to quickly get to those two. I then set X and Y to both of the stick clicks. Most games I play don’t use the stick clicks for critical functions(I play shooters on PC.) Some games, like EA NHL, I have completely customized profiles for.

The fact that console games usually prevent wholesale rebinding is incredibly stupid, imo. I understand that design and input go hand in hand, but there are a lot of games that are bad because of poor control layout that could potentially become good games if the designers weren’t so married to their vision.


#14

That makes a lot of sense. Fighting games have a history of ridiculously high bars for execution. (Again, shout out to BrolyLegs as before.) There was a canceled game called Rising Thunder that sought to reduce the execution barrier if I remember correctly; I recently read they released it for free with source code (if that interests you!) It seems like tournaments and online play could just disable certain accessibility functions, though we all know most corporations don’t want to put that much money into that kind of thing. Honestly, the kinds of the games that require very particular input that can’t really be rebound are pretty rare. There are very few games that can merit that excuse.

It’s pretty disheartening to hear that you felt you had to give up DotA. I used to play a lot myself, so I know how horrendous that community can be. I hope you can find a set up that works should you want to go back to it.


#15

I’m curious what you think the answer is for this? I have a significant physical disability (C6 quadriplegic) which gives me no individual finger movement. I personally have only come across two games since my injury to 2004 that I had trouble playing, God of War 2 and Heavy Rain. Both of those games I had problems with literally only 30 seconds of game play. In GoW2 it was a button mash sequence and in Heavy Rain where I couldn’t hold onto 6 buttons at once. Having played on a regular controller I honestly do not know how you would design a more accessible controller that is not huge and cumbersome.

The only type of controller I can imagine that would be useful for me is a dual stick fight pad style set up and that would be in very few games and overall would actually be worse most of the time. I will fight back on Nintendo a little bit, sure the N64 controller is shit but it’s shit for everyone, the joy cons suck when you have them loose but in the joy con holder controller thing they’re fine, and motion control on the Wii can be a mess but the actual implementation did a ton for accessibility. Sure a lot of games were poorly designed with motion controls but when designed well the Wii controller was great. It is why Wii Tennis was so successful, if you could hold a controller and move your wrist you could play it which given everything is a very low barrier for entry.


#16

Designing more idiosyncratic controllers that are affordable and supporting more forms of input-taking (ie. taking keyboard inputs on a console, for one example). It’s not “redesign this thing to fit more people” its “make it easier for people to diy their own solutions” or “make affordable alternatives for people with different issues”, which considering capitalism sucks ass probably will never happen. I know a couple of people who have impaired hand function that use the ridiculous looking razer mice with tons of buttons on, for example.