Product Type: Nintendo Wii games
Newest Review: ... monster, like some hideously stressful double team. Battle has to be strategic. You can't just run in and flail your weapon wildly, the g... more
Monster Hunter Tri tri again.
Monster Hunter Tri (Wii)
Member Name: Lulzaroonie
Monster Hunter Tri (Wii)
Advantages: Brilliant online play, well over 300+ hours game play, always something to do
Disadvantages: Depends who you play with, servers limited to Europe
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)
Summary: Great adrenaline rush hunting those monsters you know you're not ready for!
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