Main Banner courtesy of Raging Spaniard, Segment Banners courtesy of Tenbatsu
- JP - 2009.08.01
- NA - 04.20.2010
- EU - 23.04.2010
- AU - 29.04.2010
- 1 - 2 players local
- 1 - 4 players online
- WiiSpeak support
- No friend codes
- All new content
Monster Hunter is Capcom's flagship Co-Operative Online Action RPG series, where the aim of the game is all in the title. You take down beasts, carve them for their body parts to craft yourself better equipment and use that to take down even bigger beast.
The main draw to Monster Hunter is its deep and engaging combat. Unlike its contemporaries, the focus here isn't on endless flashy combos (each weapon class only has a handful of moves) but on precision and timing. Think something closer to Demon's Souls or even Punchout!! than Devil May Cry, Ninja Gaiden or God of War. Even so, If you are a fan of NG or DMC you may still end up loving MH for it's challenging but fair battles. Though be warned, in MH there is no lock on or camera AI. It's entirely up to you to keep your eye on your prey and to land your strikes exactly were you want. If you can't come to terms with that, then you won't enjoy MH.
Of course hunting isn't all about brawn and reflexes, MH also allows the player to take a more strategic approach to battles, letting you make use of a wide plethora of items, gadgets and (for gunners) ammo that can completely change the dynamic of the hunt. On top of this it the highly customisable armour skill system that can further augment your strategies.
Despite being an RPG mindless grinding won't make things any easier. Your character doesn't level up and his/her base stats will never permanently improve. You can augment a fair few of them with your equipment, but ultimately your battle prowess relies on your own skill and reflexes as a gamer. If you get stuck and you can't improve your equipment any further at that point, then the only way forward is to get better at playing.
Character Classes in Monster Hunter are somewhat different to those in other RPGs. Formally, the game will only categorise you as either a Blademaster if you're using a melee weapon or Gunner if you're using a bowgun. The only function of this class distinction is to limit what armour you can wear, given your chosen weapon for the mission. The real classes in the game are the different weapons you can use. Each has there own unique attributes and styles that will determine how you will approach the battle. On top of that are the armour skills that let you customise your characters abilities and allow you to forge your own custom classes. With the right armour skills you could be a bomber, a medic, a trap expert, a sniper or whatever you want to be really.
Outside of the hunt you will spend your time in a Phantasy Star Online-esque hub world, were you can craft new equipment, collect some extra resources, prepare for your next hunt or just chillax with some friends (when you go online). There are two hubs, one for single-player and one for online, each offering slightly different things to do.
Monster Hunter Tri has been positioned as a reboot for the series. The entire game has been built from the ground up for the Wii on a brand spanking new engine, featuring a plethora of tweaks and new additions. Some obvious, some subtle. Here's a few examples.
Underwater hunting - Literally adds a new dimension to the hunt. Now this feature won't be a hit with everyone, but at least we can all agree that not hitting an invisible wall at the edge of the water is definitely a plus.
Improved AI - Monsters are now aware of one another, are capable of more behaviour states then before and attack in a more organic fashion. This improvement is subtle but still noticeable.
Stamina Gauges for Monsters - Tying in with the improved AI are the new stamina gauges for the monsters, that allows the monster to get fatigued as the hunt rolls on. Prevent it from getting to a food source to replenish and you find the monsters unable to perform their more devastating attacks.
Switch Axes and Medium Bowguns - two brand new weapon classes for you to play with.
Reworked Weapon Classes - All the returning Weapon classes have been reworked and rebalanced for Tri. More bellow.
Improved single player mode - Offline play has been improved with a proper story mode and more natural tutorial and learning curve. On top of that many of the invations found in MH2, such as dynamic night and day cycles, seasons and character specific quests, will be brand new for many Western players.
Free hunting on Moga Island - You can now hunt, explore and gather on Moga Island to your hearts content without the need to worry about quest objectives and time limits. A great way to go about collecting natural resources such as minerals, bugs and fish.
Voice chat support online - The western release of MH3 is the first monster hunter to support voice chat online. Strategy just became a whole lot easier.
All new content - Almost all content in the game is brand new, Even the few returning monsters have been completely re-programmed, re-moddeled and re-animated and look better then ever becuase of it. Got to fight/craft them all, as they say.
A lot of subtle under the hood tweaks - Since the entire game was programmed from scratch many of the underlying systems have been completely overhauled, providing a subtly different feel to the hunt. Everything just feels a bit more organic. To me at least.
It's the best looking Monster Hunter yet - Take a glance at the screenshots and you'll notice the increased level of detail and the wonderfully implemented bloom lighting. See the game in motion and you'll be blown away by the amazing animations and particle effects. Not even the high definition Monster Hunter Frontier Online looks this good. Just be warned, the game can look a little blurry on some HD displays.
Moga Vilage: Players 1
This is your hub for the single player portion of the game. Moga village has been troubled numerous earthquakes lately, that the villagers believe have been caused by the great leviathan Lagiacrus. It's up to you as the new hunter in town to eventually take him down and stop the earthquakes. Moga village features all the services you'd expect from a Monster Hunter village, such as a black smith, item shops, a quest outlet, a farm and more. On top of that it also connected directly to Moga Island, allowing you freely hunt and gather on it whenever you please.
Loc Lac City: Players 1 - 4
This is your hub for the online portion of the game. Loc Lac city provides you with all the resources you'll need to prepare for online quests. Each instance of the city can hold up to 4 players and is fully Wiispeak enabled, so if you need a break between questing you can just chill in the bar and discuss world politics with your friends or maybe even complete strangers. There are none of the usual Nintendo restrictions on voice chat in this game.
Arena: Players 1 - 2
The arena is a challenge mode of sorts were you take on the monsters in an enclosed colosseum using predetermined equipment and item sets. Arena quests can be tackled either by yourself or, in a first for the franchise, in two player splitscreen multiplayer. By completing arena quests you will get special loot, that you won't get anywhere else in the game, needed for creating various equipment sets.
Sword and Shield - SnS
Don't let their small stature fool you; what the SnS lacks in raw power, it makes up in spades with speed, mobility and resourcefulness. Able to weave around monster attacks with ease, defend when necessary and use items whilst drawn, the SnS allows it wielder to keep on the offensive and perform competitive damage over time.
The weapon class has been rebalanced for MH3 with several minor tweaks, a powerful new two-strike combo and can now KO opponents with it's new shield bash move.
Great Sword - GS
Slow but Powerful. The great sword can be a tricky class to master but give it some time and you'll come to appreciate the beauty of it's style. Allowing you to perform large powerful strikes and never ending combos, the GS is excellent for crowd control. However the true art of the GS is the unsheathe and charge attack, allowing the wielder to take down even the toughest wyvern with only a few choice strikes, destroying body parts and slicing off tails in the process.
GS are probably the least reworked class for MH3. The only major difference being the added ability KO with the new side slap attack.
Long Sword - LS
Closely related to the GS yet a completely different beast to handle. The LS trades sacrifices the ability to block along with some of the power and attack range of it's larger brethren in exchange for a faster combo centric attack style.
The key to LS is the spirit gauge, which has been completely revamped for MH3. Perform regular combos to fill up your gauge, then once it full you're free to perform the spirit combo as much as you like. Land the new spirit combo finisher to get a power boost but beware, you'll be left in open if you do so recklessly. Also new to MH3 is the ever useful side hop slash.
Hammers are the all offensive class. They don't have the ability to defend but have the highest raw attack power of any weapon class with decent speed and good mobility. Hammers may be incapable cutting off the monsters' tails but they can break other body parts with ease and can inflict KO damage with every strike. The secret to effective use of the Hammer is the charge button, that allows the wielder to perform a number of different attacks depending on the level of charge.
Veteran Hunters will notice that in MH3 the hammer has received some fairly subtle but ultimately very useful tweaks to it's move-set. Whilst you may first notice that a couple of old attacks have been replaced with new animations, the real story is the added ability to combo from a level 1 and level 2 charge attack, straight into a triple pound. No more spamming the super pound.
With the Lance, turtling is the name of the game. That huge shield will slow you down to a crawl, but is far more efficient at defending then any other class. But don't think that the lance is all defence. Even though the attacks of lance have a narrow range, master the art of stabbing and you will find Lances more then hold their own in a contest of power.
For Tri, lances sport a few new moves, balancing them out even beter as the defensive class. The big ones are a guard advance (capable of KO) and a powerful counter attack, a first for the series. Also added is a sweeping slash, the only attack of the lance that isn't a stab.
Switch Axe - SA
Brand new for MH3, the SA is all about looking cool with eye catching ability to switch between axe and sword mode. Axe mode is the weapons default mode, offering moderate mobility with moderate power. Tapping the transform button will switch the blade into sword mode, were your mobility will be reduced, but the blade strikes harder and with an added effect. Just keep an eye the sword gauge, as it'll deplete in sword mode and needs to be reloaded when emptied. Mastering the SA can be a little tricky as the weapon is unable to defend but is much slower then the other shield-less classes.
Bowguns - LBG, MBG, HBG
Bowguns are the ranged class of the MH universe and work on a completely different rule set to the melee weapons. Bowguns come in three varieties, Light, Medium and Heavy. The heavier the bowgun the more power it packs but the more it'll slow it's wielder down. Bowguns are capable of using a variety of ammo, with everthing from heavy explosives to healing shots, the specific bowgun you wield will determine exactly what you can use. Due to their versatile nature, bowguns can play a variety of roles on the field.
Bowguns have experienced quite a few changes for Tri. LBG and the new MBG can now perform evasive manoeuvres directly after firing, three new ammo types; Wyvern Fire, Slicing and Exhaust; have been added and gunners now get an additional inventory page, just for ammo. The biggest change, however, isn't on the field but how you craft your bowguns back in the town. Instead of selecting predefined light and heavy guns like in previous MH's you now craft you gun in 3 parts; stock, barrel and frame. Each part has it's own properties and they can freely be mixed and matched to create the optimum configuration for your mission. The total weight value of the complete bowgun then determines it's weight class.
Like previous Monster Hunters before it, MH3 has a very deep and customisable armour skill system. The best armour set isn't always the one with the highest defence, but rather the one with the most suitable skills for the job. Armour skills can do everything from a simple boost in attack or defence to crazy abilities such as wide range healing (heals everyone in the same zone every time you consume a healing item). When you get creative, mixing and matching skills you can even change your roll on the field.
For example (courtesy of Tenbatsu): Equip a Sword & Shield and an armour set with the skills; Wide range healing, health inc. and fast eating. You are now the on field medic as you can quickly consume healing items with your weapon drawn, healing everyone in the zone and increasing the max HP of anyone below the true maximum.
Each armour set has it's own skill set, but these can be customised by mixing and matching armour pieces, attaching jewels to empty slots and making use of a new equipment piece to Tri, the charms.
The Great Jaggi is the alpha male of a Jaggi pack. For newbie Hunters, Great Jaggi will prove to be the first major obstacle in become a first class hunter. For veteran hunters he'll prove to be a nice surprise from the regular "dromes".
Quropeco is a bird wyvern known for it's ability to mimic the calls of other monsters. When fighting Quropeco, be careful as you just might end up getting more then you bargained for.
The Flagship monster for Monster Hunter Tri. This Electrical Leviathan is a force to be reckoned with, adept at fighting at both land and sea. You'll need to keep your wits about you to take down this one.
The Queen of the Wyverns returns, and looking better then ever. Forget everything you know about her because her animations, attacks and behaviours have been completely revamped too. You wont believe she's the same wyvern you knew before.
Cha Cha will be your lovable sidekick for the single player portion of the game. His main job is to distract monsters and provide support as he won't be dealing out any heavy damage himself. He is functionally similar the the felyne comrades first introduced in MHFU but offers a greater degree of customisability, making him even more useful on the field. He can be taught a variety of skills, can equip a variety of masks (changing his temperament and adding a unique ability) and can perform a variety of buffs with his dances.
Metacritic - 85%
Originally Posted by Nintendo Power
90% It gorgeous and fun, and there's nothing else like it for the system.
Originally Posted by IGN UK
93% Far more accessible and appealing than its PSP counterparts – it's beautiful, absorbing, hugely satisfying to play (with a Classic Controller at least) and thankfully doesn't rely so heavily on multiplayer.
Originally Posted by IGN US
88% Overcoming daunting obstacles is part of what makes playing Monster Hunter so rewarding, and the game gives you the option to do so offline by yourself or with friends.
Originally Posted by Eurogamer
90% Tri is definitely the best way to introduce yourself to this incredibly involving and rewarding series.
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