NintendoReviews

Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate (Wii U)

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Game Info

GAME NAME: Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate

DEVELOPER(S): Capcom

PUBLISHER(S): Capcom

PLATFORM(S): Wii U

GENRE(S): Action, Adventure

RELEASE DATE(S): 22 March 2013

So there I was, fresh out of Health Potions and staring down an enraged Barroth, angry smoke streaming from its dark nostrils after being on the receiving end of my Switch Axe for the better part of the last 20 minutes. With thudding feet he charges straight at me, the earth quietly rumbling under his weight. A well-timed bit of evasion helps me dodge the attack, placing me behind it and giving me just enough time for two heavy slashes – the first severing its tail while the second serves as a death stroke. Once I’ve carved my spoils I return to Moga Village to replenish stocks and do it all over again – my sweet Barroth Armor set is very nearly complete.

Monster Hunter afficionados will be very familiar with this tiered combat approach of the franchise – working your way towards a specific goal and once victorious, formulating a strategy for the next big bad to kill. The game should come with a warning label: May Cause Severe Addiction, and those who’ve managed to persevere through the tutorial section of the game – where equal emphasis is placed on the mundane and the exciting – will immediately agree. It’s that rare game that manages to convey the triumph of victory with a real sense of accomplishment.

MH3U is essentially a tweaked version of Monster Hunter Tri on the Wii. Sporting HD visuals and a slew of new monsters to conquer, this is the definitive version of the game released for both the Wii U and 3DS, with the option for you to transfer your save game back and forth between the two platforms using the Data Transfer Tool – something that works exceptionally well.

For those unfamiliar with the world of Monster Hunter, the title very succinctly spells it out for you. You’re a hunter hunting monsters. Everything in the game – from foraging for ingredients to make things like potions or traps from a massive list of possible combinations, to salvaging pieces of slain monsters to forge new weapons and armor – is carefully constructed to support the overall theme of monster hunting. Story is kept to a bare minimum with the player essentially tasked to find out what’s causing small tremors in the earth now disrupting the tranquil Moga Village (which also acts as your offline hub) but even with no conventional narrative thread, MH3U boasts some of the wittiest, well-written banter in gaming today. From the Village Chief to the Guild Clerk to your offline AI sidekicks and the Neko’s (means “Cat”), your progress is constantly commented on with candour and wink-in-the-eye nudges that will often have you chuckling.

There’s just such an awful lot of game to MH3U. Not hindered by the usual narrative crutches that so many AAA games rely on these days of scripted interactive cut-scenes or quick-time-events, MH3U is all about pure unadulterated gameplay and if you’re planning to reach G Rank and play with the big boys online, there’s literally hundreds of hours of content on offer here. When you’ve slain your first Lagiacrus after about 20 hours of game time, you can’t help but feel proud of your accomplishment while also realising that you’ve literally just scratched the tip of the iceberg. Online multiplayer sees you managing Guild Quests from Tanzia Port where you and a group of friends can tackle beasties together online, all the while increasing your Hunter Rank (HR), and the game also makes it easy for newcomers starting out with 1-star quests to test their mettle. The online multiplayer works wonderfully and searching through the lobbies for a specific type of quest is intuitive and user friendly, with clear voice chat enabled through the Wii U Gamepad. It’s where you’ll possibly spend most of your time, but the game is playable and can be finished solo as well if you’re so inclined, with the help of two AI controlled side-kicks that become available as you progress through the game.

The various monsters are also incredibly well designed, and the way these monsters move, sound and behave is part of what draws you into a world that seems alien yet believable at the same time. Damage a monster enough and it will start limping away to another area to lick its wounds or sleep to try and regenerate its health. The monsters are intimidating, aggressive and imposing, each with their own unique attack patterns and weaknesses to exploit, and part of prepping for these fights is deciding on which weapon and armor set would be best for the scenario.

MH3U is a beast of a game. It’s a game that asks you to think for yourself, to invest that little bit of extra effort at the start to get to grips with the mechanics and flow of the game, and in return you’ll be rewarded with a rich, fulfilling experience that you’ll constantly find yourself mulling about, where the best stories and memories are formed with a team of fellow hunters with one unifying goal in mind – hunting monsters.

9.5 Overall Score
Look and feel: 9/10
Value for money: 10/10
Extras: 9/10

Depth, challenge and reward | New monsters | Fantastic multiplayer

Textures betray its SD origins

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Author: Mynhardt View all posts by
  • http://www.nyaanime.co.za Zombia

    Monster Hunter FTW! Now all they need to do is announce a Monster Hunter 4 for PS Vita and PS4 and I’ll be sold ;P

  • Albertus

    Good score. Looks like a game I should try out. This is why I like reviews because it opens my eyes to games I would not have thought of playing or which I might not have played due to prejudice.

  • https://en.gravatar.com/drevil2109 drevil2109

    Wow good score

  • Ryan

    Awesome great stuff

  • Thor

    This is one of those games I’d love to play but such a pity it’s WiiU exclusive and that there is no local release for the PS3 :(

    • http://www.g3ar.co.za Dawid

      Correct me if I’m wrong, but as far ask I know there is no release for this on PS3 globally. If you want to play it then you require a Wii U. The previous game was on Wii. I remember it being developed for PS3 then jumped ship to Wii because of the demand on the format in Japan.

      • Mynhardt

        An HD version of MH3 is available on PS3 in Japan only, but with lesser content than Ultimate. So yes, if you want to play MH3U proper, Wii U’s the way to go.

      • Thor

        Yep like @mynhardt said the HD remake is avaliable on the PS3 but nothing like this. And the only way to enjoy the real deal is to get a WiiU.

  • Jarred

    Sounds really good, always been tempted to try out the series but the crappy online on the Wii prevented me and of course now I have no Wii U. Perhaps something to try in the future.

    Am I right to think there is a 3DS Monster Hunter game coming soon? That could be the one for me if so.

    • http://www.g3ar.co.za Dawid

      Not coming soon. Now available at all good retailers ;)

    • Mynhardt

      @Jarred, the 3DS version is fantastic in its own right with 2 caveats – no 2nd analogue (unless you also shell out for the Circle Pad Pro) but you do get used to it. It has a 2nd d-pad on the touch screen and a target cam where you can instantly fix onto a monster.

      2nd caveat is you can’t take the 3DS version online. There’s a workaround where you can link wirelessly to your Wii U (provided you have one) and join a game from there but on its own you’ll only be able to play MP adhoc with another friend with a 3DS.

      • Jarred

        Hmmm, weird, I can’t find the game listed anywhere? Not like I will have time for it now anyway, but wouldn’t mind giving it a bash at some stage. Thanks for the info ;-)

      • Thor

        Awesome!!! Never knew the 3DS had a Monster Hunter game out,I feel like a total noob hehehe. I’ll get myself one eventually then :)

  • SonicTheHero

    I think the psp versions through me off of getting this. Looks awesome though

    • Thor

      The PSP version was good for Co-Op. If you had a decent internet connection plus adhoc party on your PS3 you could hunt with others and that’s where the game really shined.

  • marius

    I have always been interested in these games but i never seem to have the right console or handheld :(

  • Ryan

    Just got a Wii U will def get this game

  • Michelle

    All Monster Hunter games are awesome,still bummed it’s discontinued for the PSP,they could at least make it for the Vita.
    Now I’m missing out :(

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