Monster Hunter 3: Ultimate
With the massive dry spell of games just after the launch, the WiiU has had a hard time selling itself to consumers as of late. Now that the HD remake of 2 year old Wii game Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate is out, you don’t have to worry about that dry spell. Hypothetically, if this is the only game to come out on the WiiU for the rest of the year (which it isn’t), this game will keep you hooked for a long, long time. For those who own a Nintendo 3DS, Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate is another amazing game to add to the library.
Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate is exactly what it says it is on the cover of the box. It’s a game where you literally go out and hunt monsters. Other than an introductins lasting around 40 minutes (comprising of story and tutorials) pretty much the entire game is hunting monsters. That is a good thing, because hunting monsters is absolutely thrilling.
The cool thing about MH3U and it’s entire franchise is that although there are RPG elements, they don’t work in the traditional sense. There is no XP in the game and your character doesn’t get stronger or gain any new abilities, in fact throughout the entire game your character remains the same as he begins. What changes though is your gear. The way you obtain that gear is by hunting monsters and carving the corpses of these creatures to gain the right materials to forge new and more powerful armour and weapons. It’s feels more natural. I think the best thing about the system is that you and your character don’t get better by arbitrarily gaining XP, you get better from real life experience. If you are have never played a Monster Hunter title before, I’ll guarantee that regardless of whether you have good gear or not, you will suck. But when you start learning the nuances of each of the 12 weapon types and understanding the movement patterns of the monsters you will start getting better, it’s incredibly awesome and you feel like a badass.
Let’s talk about the monsters for a bit. Even hunting the monsters is all very natural. There are no HP bars so knowing how close it is to dying is all based on visual clues given by the monster. Monsters will start salivating. They’ll trip over themselves and when you are close, they’ll start limping and start retreating. The other cool thing is you can focus on certain body parts too. If the monster keeps hitting you with it’s tail, you can keep attack it and eventually cut it off. If a monster keeps hitting you with an electric attack, find out where the source of that attack came from and destroy it. I think you get the picture.
MH3U is fun by yourself, but the fun multiplies when you hunt with up to 3 other friends. You can either go online or play local wireless lan across both WiiU and 3DS. When playing in multiplayer it’s a completely different ball game. The monsters get harder, but now you have some friends along for the ride. Coming up with strategies and helping each other out to take down a giant creature is probably the coolest thing ever. Whether it’s everyone playing in the same room or online, communication is a breeze. Voice chat is enabled from the get go when playing on the WiiU and you don’t need any other accessories, all you need to do is talk into the Gamepad. Very easy and very simple, but most importantly essential. The coolest thing about playing with others in MH3U is that you need to work as a team in order to take down these creatures. The emphasis on teamwork is not only cool gameplay wise, but you’ll find that everybody online is very nice. As they need you as much as you need them.
This is hard to judge. As a WiiU game this could certainly look better as it is a HD remake of a Wii game, but as a 3DS game it looks incredible. One thing that the game shares across both versions though is fantastic artistic style. The design of all the monsters, weapons, armour and locales have all had an enormous amount of thought put into them. The monsters themselves are definitely the highlight of the show. The way they look and move is so realistic. There is never an occasion that there is something on a monster just because it looks cool, everything has a purpose. It is because of this that you tend to forget that it’s a HD remake on the WiiU and when you encounter a new monster, you will still be in awe!
Also, it simply must be said that the 3D effect on the 3DS version is quite scrumptious.
The audio in this game has been given the same amount of attention to detail that every other aspect of this game has received, and as such, creates a perfect atmosphere. The score that plays when fighting huge monsters is truly epic, all the sound effects have their place. Most importantly, the monsters sound like what you think they should sound like and all the monsters sound unique. You’ll come to get to know the creatures battle cry and whether you should attack or start pissing your pants.
3DS VS WiiU
Amazingly across both these systems is pretty much the exact same game, which in itself is quite impressive. They both have a second touch enabled screen which is fully customisable with tiles that allow you to quickly select items, lock on to big creatures and completely move your HUD to the touchscreen. They both have the exact same amount of game content. There are a few key differences though. One major difference is that the 3DS version doesn’t have online play natively. There is a work around but you need a WiiU and it’s a pain. The other key difference is the physical controls, the 3DS has less buttons and one less Analogue stick than the WiiU. You can fix this by getting the Circle Pad Pro attachment but money to spend on attachments is unfortunately no an option to everyone. This does make it hard to control the camera on the 3DS version but there is a solution. You can add a virtual d-pad on the touchscreen which works like an a second stick. Its not perfect but you do get used to it. If you had to choose between both versions, I would say you couldn’t really ever go wrong with either one. But if you want the best experience and have the money then get both, as your save file transfers between the two. That way you can hunt monster wherever you are, whenever you want.
- Natural Gameplay Progression
- Hundreds of hours of Gameplay
- Amazing when playing with friends
- (3DS) No online play
- (WiiU) Outdated Graphics
The Monster Hunter series is becoming one of my favourite gaming franchises. Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate is the most accessible entry into the series. I have already sunk way so hours into this game and I think anybody who gives it a chance will do the same too. If you have a WiiU and have been waiting for a killer app, it’s now available. If you have a 3DS and want yet another killer app well MH3U is for you.
Score – 9/10
Written by Jin Chan Yum Wai