When I first picked up a game from the Monster Hunter franchise, I thought it would be like a Pokemon game but with really cool monsters.
I was so wrong.
The game is nothing like Pokemon. It features hard to beat monsters that makes you want to quit. But after hours of gameplay and when you finally defeat the monsters, you will have a profound sense of accomplishment and satisfaction. That’s what kind of game Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate is.
The game is a port of 2010’s Monster Hunter Tri from Wii to Wii U. It features additional monsters, quests, weapons and brand-new contents. The game is a third-person action game where you take on missions to kill huge monsters with melee weapons or primitive firearms. While the game might sound simple, it actually requires players to be more creative than that. Different monsters have different methods of killing. While some need you to use special traps to stun them first, others need you to hit them at their weak spots.
Also, using the right weapon is a very important part of gameplay. There are total of 12 weapons, and hundreds of items to choose from. Sometimes if you don’t have the right combinations, it would be impossible to take down a monster.
There are also different modes of gameplay aside from killing monsters. Some missions require players to collect items such as mushrooms or honeys, some only require players to deliver an item from A to B.
There’s a specific type of mission that requires players to capture the monsters alive for further study. While killing monster can be tricky, capturing them alive can take as much energy as well. Not only do you have to weaken the monsters first, you also have to set traps to immobilize them, and knock them out with tranquilizer bombs. If you’re not careful and run out of bombs, then your only choice is abandoning the mission and start over again. It’s quite a hideous process, but when you finally capture the monsters, the feeling is very rewarding.
The combat is simple. With different combination of buttons, the hunter can achieve different kinds of combo moves. However, the overall control of the game is hard to get used to. For example, you are not allowed to interact with your surroundings when you’re holding weapons. You have to put the weapons away first before you get to talk to anyone, or pick up any items. The same thing is required for using items during combat too. This really slows down the gameplay, especially when timing is important.
Since it’s a Wii U Game, the GamePad’s touchscreen is a valuable addition. It allows you to customized the panels and put information such as health, stamina, inventory on the GamePad screen for better view of the actions. However, I personally like the Wii U Pro Controller better with the game. The GamePad might be a little too wide for players to hold; it’s not meant for hardcore gaming. Besides, players can still get access to the GamePad while using the Pro Controller anyway, so it doesn’t really matter.
The HD graphic update for the game is outstanding. A detailed world created by Capcom really hooks players right into the game with a surreal feeling of realism. The monster are more realistic and menacing under the HD remake, and it’s quite terrifying.
A really scary moment for me is when I’m out swimming in the open water. The realistic texture of the game makes me feel like I’m out there for real- and I’m afraid of open water! Things soon become worse when I was spotted by Lagiacrus, a blue Leviathan and the flagship monster of the game. My level was way too low to face this monster and the only thing I can do is swimming away. It’s really hard to control when you’re under water, and I swim awkwardly as the monster speeds towards me with unhelpful, dramatic music. It was game over before I know it. Thanks Lagiacrus, more reason for me to be afraid of the open water!
The game is released on 3DS as well, and it has the neat little feature that allows you to transfer your save data between the two versions. This way, you can play your game at home or on the go. Sadly, the 3DS version doesn’t have the option for online gaming. However, you can play locally with up to 3 handhelds and one Wii U. This way, the TV screen will show HD footage of everyone’s gameplay. The game really is best when playing mutliplayer, so be sure to try that.
While Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate is a solid game, there are still some flaws that frustrated the gameplay. For a game that’s heavily utilized texts for information, it can be hard to read them as they tend to hide at the bottom of the corner. Also, game features such as weapon and armor forging are hardly explained in the game. It makes the gameplay difficult, because Monster Hunter franchise heavily requires players to forge their unique weapons to fight monster. Especially later in the game, when it’s impossible to kill those god-like ability monsters with a standard weapon.
In conclusion, Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate is a good game. It offers players a different and long-term gameplay. While the controls might take time to get used to, the result is very rewarding. Not only is this a great game for players who are familiar with the franchise, it is also a great opportunity for new comers to jump right in.