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Disclaimer: It is impossible to keep this review as concise as possible in order to give it my full thoughts. Move on if this really a case of tl;dr (too long; didn't read).
If you've never heard of Monster Hunter before, you could be forgiven for thinking that it's something similar to Pokémon at first. After all, that was how I imagined it. When my other half was looking at it in Game a couple of years back, I asked him what it was, and he described it thus: "It's game where you have to hunt and capture monsters."
However, as one of the uninformed masses in Europe, I found that it was in fact nothing like Pokémon. Nothing like it at all.
It turns out that Monster Hunter is actually one of the Japan's largest gaming franchises, spanning only 8 years, 8 platforms and a massive FOURTEEN games (with one currently in development for Nintendo 3DS). MHTri is the highest selling third party Wii game in Japan, EVER.
For the gamers who have played it in the UK, it seems to be unanimously popular among people from all walks of life, with all interests and of all ages. I've conducted an online search addressing whether Monster Hunter is liked or disliked as a whole. And the results are clear, Monster Hunter is loved by those who have played it, but has aspects that they don't like so much, and we'll get to that.
Looking at the box, and the boxes for Monster Hunter in general, on the front is the 'main' monster. In Tri's case, it would be Lagiacrus, a blue crocodile-esque sea hussy. Not quite the fluffy wuffy 'monster' I'd originally had in mind. But no matter.
When you start the game, something is afoot. An earthquake rocks the island that is to become your hunting ground.
You're sent out to gather 'resources' to help rebuild certain aspects of the island, from the farm where you can grow ingredients for various consumables, combustables and all sorts; to the hunters base where you will embark from every quest set on the island.
These first quests are more to get you used to the lay of the land, no large enemies will be present, and you will have plenty of time to have a wander around, collect resources and find items.
The guild will send you off on little quests to begin with, and you will be rewarded in currency and items. As you gradually complete the first lot of quests, you'll be sent to take on some small enemies, and later, their larger counterpart. As it happens, that larger counterpart isn't even a 'boss monster' as you will come across him many a time when fighting other monsters. He might just wander in as and when he feels like, or he could be called in by another monster, like some hideously stressful double team.
Battle has to be strategic. You can't just run in and flail your weapon wildly, the game isn't designed that way.
Each hunter goes into battle with one weapon type, out of seven classes (10 if you count the three different weights of gun available). Depending on your play style, you might favour speed over attack power, so swords and shields might be your thing. Or you might favour defensive attacking, so a poke with a lance would suit you. Perhaps you fancy trying long range attacks with the three types of gun? Most weapons have a draw back, so you will have to take that into consideration when you decide what you're going to fight certain monsters with.
For example, lance shields will absorb almost all the damage from a front on hit, at a cost to your stamina. If the hit comes from a larger enemy, you might get knocked back. But blocking with a shield with sword and shield will only block attacks from a smaller enemy. Imagine blocking attacks from a large dog with a dust bin lid, and then imagine blocking an elephant attack. You're going to take considerably more damage from the elephant, while taking hardly any from the dog. Now imagine you're blocking an attack from a dog with a wall that you're holding up. The dog won't do anything almost. Now think about the elephant again. You'll probably get pushed back a bit, but you won't physically be harmed.
As well as weapons having a raw damage attack, most of them will also have some kind of elemental damage value as well. Most monsters will have some kind of elemental weakness.
So if you fight a Barioth in the icy tundra, he will be weak against fire weapons. When he dies, you will be able to carve materials from him that you can use to make armour or other weapons with ice attributes. The same as if you went to the Volcano and fight an Agnaktor, using as water weapon would be much more damaging than using a lightning element, and again, you would carve materials that would create fire based weapons or armour.
AS WELL as this, all pieces of armour come with skill bonuses. Wearing armour of the same kind will give you a completed skill, and which skill you get depends on the kind of armour you're wearing. The armour also comes with 'slot's for gems. Gems will also have skills attributed to them, so you can sometimes have as many as five skills active at any time.
The skills range from simple things such as being able to gather resources quicker, or having more stamina to keep running longer, or increase your health bar, but others are more useful, such as preventing gusty knockback from the wings of a flying monster, or negating certain elemental damages. But there are also negative skills, a piece of armour with a very beneficial skill might also come with a negative skill, which would be making it so you equipment won't stay sharp for as long as they normally would, or you might take extra elemental damage.
It's a lot more complex than you would ever have first imagined!
There are aspects of it I still don't understand, and I've spent over 300 hours playing it in total (I've had the game since release, don't have a cow lol). There are online damage calculators, as you won't know exactly how much damage you are doing, but I think it takes a REALLY special type of person to actually give a crap about that stuff.
Areas on a monsters body will have their own calculations for damage. The head is usually always the weakest point, but that's also where the teeth are situated. Do you want to chance being bitten or set fire to?
Most monsters will have physical attributes which will be able to be cut off, smashed, broken or damaged in some way or another.
For example, on the Lagiacrus, you can cut off his tail, break the spines on it's back, scar it's chest, and break the horns on it's head. The damage is accumulated in each area, so you won't just randomly hit it here and there and expect each of those things to happen. You can't hit it on the head and expect it's tail to come off. You need to be attacking the tail with a slicing/piercing weapon for that to happen. In the same way, you can't hit the tail with a hammer, because the tail needs to be sliced, not bashed.
A plus for doing these things though, is that if you are questing and your goal is to kill this monster, you will usually have sub-quests which will involve wounding it in specific places, and if you complete these sub-quests, you will be rewarded with rarer items and materials at the end.
You will find yourself fighting the same monsters again, and you will eventually get sick of it, but nothing is more rewarding than finally getting that one material that enables you to finally make that sword you've been wanting, or being able to finish off that armour set.
It goes without saying though, that as you progress, you will be able to craft and upgrade weapons to become an ultimate hunting machine, and your armour will protect you from 90% of the worst kind of damage. Still the fun isn't in tanking your way through the game, it's developing strategies, and forming teams.
There are fifteen large monsters for you hunt offline, and eighteen you can hunt online in a team of up to four players including yourself.
Online play actually enriches this game enormously, and there is nothing more fulfilling than your small team of cronies finally taking down the massive desert sand monster, or even the volcano dwelling Alatreon, elementally unstable Elder Dragon, who will quite possibly rip you a new loin cloth if you're not ready for him.
Every Thursday an 'Event' occurs online, where the highly rewarding team hunts are on a rota, with a mixture of hunting more than one monster at a time, hunting a massive version of a monster, taking out a tiny version and so on. The rewards for these are usually considerably more rewarding than normal quests and are also somewhat harder.
You can hunt within your own rank, which are Low Rank (below Hunter Rank 31) and High Rank (31+), or you can join other servers where you will be mixed together, and perhaps some kind higher ranks will help you when you find your feet.
The online aspects are well managed, with profanity filters for not only English, but also most European languages the game serves, as the servers for region 2 include players from France, Germany, Spain, and also Australia? Cheating IS possible with the help of software modifiers, but does get you flagged quickly, especially if you're hunting with weapons and armour that you wouldn't have been able to get yet, and it will mean you'll get banned for a hundred years haha.
The only downside I can think of to online play doesn't come from the game itself, but from the other people. You can be faced with rudeness and people not 'team playing' and being jerks, but I find the instances are few and far between. There are locks on quests which will prompt people trying to join your quest for a password. Private hunter to hunter chat enables you to pass the password between those you want to join you.
There is the means to add friends to your roster, so you won't lose those you hunt well with.
The game is compatible with wiimote and nunchuck, the classic controller, and the classic controller pro. I personally played it with both the classic and the classic controller pro, and found them to work much as you would use an Xbox or PS3 controller, making my experiences with this game just as comfortable as playing either of those consoles.
In closing, I think this game is surprisingly unknown, and would love to see it gain popularity in Western countries. I'm definitely a fan for life, having never even heard of any previous games from the Monster Hunter franchise.
If MMO games are your thing, you like bashing the utter heck out of things, this game is totally for you!
(Review can also be found on my personal website)
Describing Monster Hunter in a way without simply saying: 'You hunt monsters and that' isn't that suited to one sentence. Hopefully this review can enlighten some of you on this highly addictive action RPG franchise which has taken Japan by storm.
For those unfamiliar to Monster Hunter
Stripping Monster Hunter to the bare bones reveals a basic formula that would appear dull to those still virgin to the series. Hunt monster, cut up monster, make better equipment with monster pieces to fight bigger monster. Repetitive? Sure it is, but like some things, its a fun kind of repetition. The main attraction here is 'how' you hunt the bizarre fleet of monsters in order to carve their insides out.
Monster Hunter requires a tactical approach to efficiently slay the - ever increasing in size - beasts which will confront you on your journeys. From laying down traps, dazing them with flash bombs, to putting them into a temporary slumber, there are plenty of ways to cripple these ferocious wyverns, beasts and dragons down to size. You can't just go full throttle and repeatedly hack and slash at a monster wherever, depending on your weapon type and skills can determines your role in a hunt. Each monster has some areas which are weaker in defence to others, for example you may be able to cut its tail off leaving an extra piece to carve, or break horns from a monster increasing the chance of obtaining those pieces from the quest reward.
Careful preparation considering the type of monster, its elemental weaknesses, your weaknesses, choice of weapon, armour and items is all completely necessary to do well. It can be a bit of a hassle setting yourself up each time for different monsters but Monster Hunter 3 does all it can to make this less painful, more on that later. The hunts can be VERY fast paced depending on the monster and overall the experience is both frustrating and highly enjoyable, even more so when connected with up to 3 other players. It takes patience, persistence and ingenuity to be a top class hunter, which is very rewarding at the end of the climb.
I'd say it isn't all about hunting, but I'd be lying, it is all about hunting. The creation of new weapons, armours and even having a meal contribute to the hunt by giving skills such as attack power up. Forging or upgrading weapons can feel like a little bit of a grind when you do not have some of the monster parts necessary, especially for rare pieces. When a monster takes 40 minutes to kill, it quickly becomes tedious. It isn't always monster parts you'll be required to find. From mining, to fishing, there is also a few gathering requirements to create that shiny new weapon or armour.
Weapons range from short swords and shields, to large hammers capable of knocking out monsters. They bear physical attack strength and sometimes an attribute, be it an elemental damage or status inflicting ailment. Although the numbers you see add even more confusion. The amount of damage you hit each time does not reflect the physical damage value. Through complicated calculations, the damage is dependent on the type of weapon, its sharpness, any skills which boost attack, its element, the type of monster, its resistance against attack or element, where you hit the monster and if it were a critical hit or not. This adds another layer of complexity to the game which can be very daunting to beginners. There is an excellent amount of weapons to suit your needs with a nice level of customisation.
As for armour, it is purchased or made piece by piece. Head, chest, waist, arms and legs must be protected with equivalent armour. Each set of armour has difference defence, elemental resistances, looks and skill points which contribute to the activation of special skills such as increased health and faster trap preparation. They also have slots which can be filled with gems to increase skill points. This can be a confusing aspect to new players and I feel it should be better described in game. A skill only activates when you have a certain amount of skill points towards it depending on the skill. Such as you need 10 skill point of a skill before you actually unlock that skill. I really love the vast array of armour available that has endless combinations with other armour to produce the skills or resistances to suit the player.
Survival of the fittest certainly applies to Monster Hunter. Without stamina, you will not be able to sprint, block or evade attacks. So it is vital to keep your character's stamina levels up by eating meat. Of course, in the world of Monster Hunter you must fend for yourself. That meat must be carved from monsters then cooked in order to be eaten. Weapons must be kept sharp or they'll lose effectiveness to the point where they can't even slash through a monster. You must also keep track of a monsters location by paint balling it for it to appear on the map. Items must be combined to create new ones, an example is the combination of gunpowder and a barrel creates a barrel bomb. When I first played monster hunter I found this really involving. It felt much like you were the only one there out in the wilderness.
I hope that gives an insight into what Monster Hunter is about, the next section of this review provides information about what is new to Monster Hunter 3.
Monster Hunter 3 came as a dissapointment to the fans of the series as it moved from the PlayStation to the Nintendo Wii for its 3rd entry in the series. Sure it could have had more content, better graphics and a more matured network service if it were on the PS3 or Xbox 360, but Monster Hunter 3 is more visually spectacular than ever with a fantastic new world which is good enough for me. Of course, it leaves much to be desired.
Luckily, there are no friend codes required to add other players as friends in the city where you can hunt together with people. Whatever you name your character is what you get, each player has a random ID which distinguishes one player to the next with the same name. Online you do tend to see some players jump around a bit, but it never seems to affect you, so that's fine. In-game messages can ONLY be sent when the player is online AND not in a quest. This is extremely frustrating, since you almost have to wait for a friend to finish a quest before you can message him/her to say you are online. Keyboards are almost essential and thankfully Monster Hunter 3 supports keyboard input since the on-screen keyboard is a bit lacking in the practical field. Although you are limited to about 20 characters per message you write to the city. A peripheral which may be alien to many of you is 'Wii Speak', this came packaged with the ultimate edition of the game and had never really had a chance to shine for me. For another player to hear your voice, they must be on your friends list AND have a Wii Speak plugged in. The whole point of the voice chat on MH3 for me is to quickly provide information to the new players. Due to this, my Wii Speak has been left unused so I can't comment on the quality. This really concerns me as if it were on another system, voice chat, a messaging system and the text chat problems would be non existent. Event quests add a bit of variety to the standard hunting with fun quests such as delivering 9 wyvern eggs and slaying multiple large monsters in one quest. The online play is my only problem with MH3 being on the Wii.
Be it with the Wii remote + nunchuck combo, or the highly recommended Classic Controller, the control schemes are wonderful. My preference goes out to the classic controller since the remote has you tilting your wrists which doesn't quite bode well with me for long periods of time. There are only 2 control schemes for this controller, one which resembles Monster Hunter 1 whilst the other plays much like the PSP iterations. As for the Wii-remote, you can turn an option on which allows you to flail your arm round like a lunatic to do the equivalent of pressing 'A' if that's how you like it.
Monster Hunter 3 is a beautiful example of what graphical power the Wii is capable of. From volcanoes to the depths of a swamp, it truly is a great step up from previous Wii games.
Some familiar music that has been altered can be heard to feed the nostalgia of experienced hunters. The monster battle music is pretty awesome. There is a great piano piece that plays during fights with certain monsters in a snowy location to get the heartbeat racing.
To keep Monster Hunter fresh in each iteration there has to be changes, whilst there are no dramatic changes to structure of the game there is certainly little parts here and there that make each game slightly different. The most obvious is the brand new locations never seen before in Monster Hunter. The village (offline mode) is right next to the sea making it a convenient place to sent out boats to catch fish. After an earthquake, your character offers to help slay what the villagers believe is the source of the problem. For the first time, the story is actually one that you will remember. In past monster hunters I couldn't even tell you what happened because I simply didn't care. Story is not a strong point for MH, but MH3 at least makes an effort.
The player can venture out into 'Moga forest' whenever he/she wants without initiating a quest. Very useful for gathering materials since there is no time limit, nor do you have a quest to fulfil. Unfortunately this is the only location you can visit restricting you from gathering higher class materials. They aren't lifeless either, regular habitants still roam whilst predators occasionally appear in the forest. Killing monsters nets 'Resource points' which are required to do various tasks such as send ships out to fish, make use of the farm and to progress in the game. The farm itself has been simplified. You only have to speak to 1 character in the farm to set workers to gather bugs, honey, grow herbs or mushrooms and to receive these supplies. There is no online integration of this farm, which is ridiculous and results in a low supply of essentials.
Monsters are larger and more fearsome than ever before. MH3 hosts an interesting collection of monsters such as giant lantern puffer fish and huge sand dragons which require a ship to run alongside it to keep up. Every monster is new apart from a few signature monsters: Rathalos, Rathian and Diablos which appear in every Monster Hunter game. These new monsters are crazy and take a while to adjust to which keeps the game enjoyable.
Each weapon has new techniques that make each weapon better than ever before. The sword and shield can utilise the shield to bash monsters in the face eventually stunning the monster and the lance can perform a charged up counter attack.
Weapons available in MH3:
Sword & Shield
Switch Axe ← A what? I hear you say.
Switch Axe is the new favourite weapon (although I've yet to use one) which can switch into a sword mode along with releasing a charged blast.
The absence of gun lances and hunting horns saddened me, but you'd be surprised how quickly you adapt to other weapons. Its great to see a new weapon and new attacks to keep the fans happy.
Monster Hunter 3 certainly gives gunners a helping hand with a much needed 'ammo' pouch. This gives a gunner an extra page of inventory space for ammo only. It makes managing items a whole 10 items easier to play best at a supportive role. Alongside this extra pouch, blademaster and gunners have seperate item pouches all together! This really keeps preparation time to a minimum.
The largest change to Monster Hunter is the underwater combat. To those familiar with Monster Hunter, there is no Plesioth which is unfortunate since I'm sure you'd like some pay back. Diving into the water after a monster allows underwater fighting where combat is a little trickier. You now have an extra plane to watch out for along with an oxygen bar which depletes health once this depletes. Attacks are slightly different and a little more sluggish, but it definitely works well. My favourite being a lance charge attack which allows you to torpedo your way through.
Summary - Finally
Monster Hunter 3 is an absolute fantastic game to own. If you own a Wii that is collecting dust like mine was, now is time to embrace it. Fast paced action which is insane together with friends to take down giant monstrosities is definitely fun regardless of how difficult it may be. If it weren't for the network issues, I'd have given this a 5* rating. So, that's that. Now that I'm finished with this review, I'm off to relax with a cup of tea, a biscuit and play a few quests of Monster Hunter 3. Note: This is not a good idea since you will probably die if playing and trying to drink at the same time!
Wow im first to write a review for this product!! Quite weird really because this was my first monster hunter game I decided to buy and did I enjoy it......you can bet your wii I did!!
I always thought about purchasing a monster hunter game before on the playstation 2 but in the end I decided not to, but then capcom annouced it was going to make a new monster hunter game for the wii and it sounded quite good but I was still reluctant to buy it. Finally when the game came out I read a few reviews about it and everyone who reviewed it rated it very highly, so in the end I decided to bite the bullet and buy it and I am so glad I did! Before monster hunter 3 I hardly played on my wii but now I simpy can't put it down, the game is very addictive and the online mode is the best on wii.
The story of monster hunter 3 or tri is you the hunter have been called in specially to a small place called Moga village. Moga village has been almost destroyed by earthquakes but most of all by a giant monster the king of the sea known as the lagiacrus! It is your job to help this little village repair itself again but your main job is to slay the monster causing all the choas! Of course the lagiacrus is a huge and powerful monster so you don't simply arrive in the village, grab a sword, slay the beast and say wheres my money no you have to work hard in order to build yourself up and really be ready to tackle such a powerful beast.
In monster hunter 3 you create what your character looks like then you arrive in moga village where the adventure can begin. First of all you need to purchase a weapon and armour to protect yourself from monsters in the wild. Once you have done that you can then adventure into moga woods where you will find monsters roaming the land, this is where you come in it is your job to slay the monsters in order to obtain resources. When you have enough resources and you learn the basics of monster hunting you can then get proper hunting jobs from the hunter's guild, the hunters guild will give you an objective and you have to do it most of the time it is either slaying or capturing a certain monster or collecting and delivering certain items. Once you complete your objective you are then awarded money for your efforts where you can buy either items, equipment or even a nice hearty meal!
The reason why monster hunter games are so popular (especially in Japan) is because they are so in depth, for example when you slay a monster you can search the monster to see whether it has anything usefull you can use as a hunter for example some monsters are known for their meat so when you slay a monster you obtain it's meat where you can bbq it to turn it into a hot tasty steak where you can eat it to regain stamina so you can run for longer etc. Or you could just use the raw meat to attract a different monster out of its den! You can use monster bones in order to make new weapons or just upgrade the one you use.
This game really is an excellent game for the wii especially its online mode where you and three other people can take on guild quests together, this really makes the quest easier when fighting the bigger monsters and its a great way to meet and make new friends trust after taking down a great jaggi together you can't help but feel a friendship bond!! This game is amazing and has made me buy the other monster hunter games in the series, if you are new to monster hunter don't worry you soon get the hang on how to hunt and the games aren't linked in anyway so don't worry if you havn't played the first one it doesn't matter. All in all a fantastic game and a must buy!