Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate


We recently received a copy of Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate to review for the Wii U.  Now I’m not someone who has played any Monster Hunter game previously so I wasn’t sure what to expect.  It seems as though Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate is a port of the 2009 Wii game Monster Hunter Tri, just remastered in HD and given loads more content, whilst also making clever use of the Wii U gamepad.  The franchise is very popular in Japan and is played by all members of the family.

Anyway the game is basically about a monster hunter who travels to a distant
settlement that has been suffering from severe earthquakes.  The local
chief believes this is being caused by a monster living underground.  Players then begin the epic journey towards meeting this beast whilst completing various side quests along the way.  You have to venture out into the wild to kill other monsters and then make items out of their fur or intestines.  You may also find plants that can help make potions for regenerating health.  There is so much to do in this game that it would take me an eternity before I could get round to playing the online multiplayer, which is like a second game in itself.  Various sources indicate that there’s roughly over a 100 hours worth of playing time in campaign mode and then even more in the online multiplayer.  Each monster battle lasts at least 40 mins (and that’s when you become really good!).

I have to say though that I don’t think it was a good idea making a port of an old Wii game because I don’t think it has aged well at all.  There were too many examples of where environments felt restricted or textures looked poor.  Also you were constantly being interrupted by villagers who communicate via text boxes, which are annoyingly squashed in the bottom corner of your screen.  I’m not used to playing games like this any more.  I prefer cut scenes with motion capture and voice acting.  Having use of the Wii U gamepad was appreciated though when using the map or looking through the many items you can buy or create.

There are so many great features for the online multiplayer mode.  My favourite has to be that if your friends have Monster Hunter 3 on their 3DS then you can play cooperatively over a local WiFi connection in your living room.  Also, owning the game for the Wii U and the 3DS means that once you’ve finished playing at home you can transfer your save file to your 3DS and continue your game on the go.

When playing the game for the first time I knew this was something that my 4 and 5 year old would not enjoy.  It’s a game that’s going to be best appreciated by tweens and adults who like tales of fantasy such as Lord of the Rings.  If you choose to purchase Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate, it’s because you intend to invest a lot of time in playing it.  I’ve seen plenty of comments on the Nintendo Miiverse forums about people putting in over a 1000 hours of gameplay (OMG!).  That’s similar to those gamers who play World of Warcraft or Skyrim.  It’s obvious then that you get your monies worth with Monster Hunter.