Review: Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate / Developer: Capcom Production Studio / Publisher: Capcom / Platform: Nintendo Wii U / Release Date: Out Now
An expanded re-release of 2010’s Wii exclusive Monster Hunter Tri on the Wii, Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate is incredibly simple in theory. There’s an extremely basic storyline that acts as an excuse to drop you into Moga Village, the HUB world for the single player portion of the game. From there, you go out and scavenge for resources in different environments, combine them to make items, take on quests to slay or capture monsters, and then fashion yourself some fancy weapons and armour from their insides. Lather, rinse, repeat.
But when you actually start playing, you realise how daunting the game can be. There are 12 different weapon types, ranging from a sword and shield to a gigantic horn, 73 different monsters, and over well 100 hours of gameplay.
There’s no tutorial and there’s no hand holding, either. Unless you consult a guide, you’re not going to know what a monster is weak to or what type of damage it inflicts until you experiment. Your poisonous dual blades might be completely useless. Or, your armour may very well not protect you against the gigantic fire-breathing creature you’re up against, and you probably didn’t even know it could inflict fire damage to begin with. And each monster has its own attack pattern that you’re going to have to get familiar with if you have any desire to slay it.
Like we said, simple in theory. And that’s genuinely not even scratching the surface of how deep the gameplay of MH3U is. But we only have so much room.
Sure, it’s not as hard as something like Dark Souls, but MH3U is a mammoth beast in its own right. There’s easily well over 100 hours of gameplay, and that’s not including the free downloadable quests Capcom will be rolling out, or the optional quests in Port Tanzia that can be tackled either solo or through online multiplayer.
While MH3U is great fun alone, it becomes an absolute blast when you play with three other people; and thanks to the new patch, you can now team up with your hunters from across the pond. Like the single player Moga Village quests, there’s a ranking system in place. The harder the monster, the greater the rewards, and the higher rank you’ll need in order to tackle it.
Speaking of the new patch, you might be wondering why this review is going live now, a month after its release. Well, besides from offering cross-region multiplayer, the aforementioned patch also turns MH3U into one of the Wii U games that supports off-TV play. That makes it a huge game changer for consumers.
Off-TV play means that, yes, you can play the entire game on your Gamepad. The problem is, the only way to do so is by accessing a menu option once the game has loaded. When you save the game and return, it doesn’t remember you’re changed settings. Ergo, you can’t just launch the game straight on your Gamepad when you turn on your Wii U.
It’s a small complaint, but a valid one nonetheless. It makes one wonder what the point of adding the off-TV function was if you have to turn on the TV in the first place just to get it.
Still, MH3U is a great game. As long as you’re prepared to sacrifice hundreds of hours of your life, you should really pick it up. It’s the hardcore game that Wii U owners have been clamoring for.
It should be noted that the game is also available for the 3DS. It’s much like the console title, though it doesn’t offer any online play. If you have the choice, pick up the superior Wii U version, but 3DS owners will still be extremely happy and satisfied if it’s the only version they can get their hands on.
Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate’s addicting, deep, and rewarding gameplay earns it an…