I’m very much like Patrick when it comes to games respecting my time, and that’s precisely why I’ve had trouble getting back into the series. After putting >200 hours on 3U (and another good amount on Tri and Freedom 2), I just couldn’t go back to the pedestrian gathering missions of MH4U and Generations.
Since I wasn’t learning new stuff every couple of hours, my level of engagement dropped off a cliff. What’s more, the new monsters, while interesting, were way too easy. I didn’t encounter a wall like Barroth (and, later, Barioth) because I knew what I was doing now, so the sense of accomplishment after each hunt was much more mild. I ended up dropping 4U after 20-25 hours of forcing myself through Low Rank, and I dropped Generations even faster. I’m sure the fact that they looked worse than its predecessor didn’t help either.
Still, it seems Monster Hunter World might improve upon its predecessors enough to draw me back in. If I haven’t bitten the bullet yet is only because I’m holding for a new game on Switch that carries over World’s QoL improvements. I need my MonHun on the go.
So, newcomers to the series: enjoy the ride while it lasts and don’t feel bad about skipping entries if Capcom decides to keep the annual release schedule they had on PSP and 3DS. It can get tiresome to start from scratch again.