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Monster Hunter Tri (Monster Hunter 3) Review - -

Gameplay 9.5
Graphics 9.5
Sound 9.0
Value 9.1
Developer: CAPCOM
Review Date:
April 2010
Kyle Sudukis


Monster Hunter Tri
Monster Hunter 3

I remember seeing the trailers for this game months ago and was I thinking... no way could this be a Wii game, it looked and played like a high-end PlayStation 3 or XBox 360 action RPG title. And in order to play this game properly, you needed the Classic Controller Pro... what on Earth was CAPCOM thinking? A revolution had come to the Nintendo Wii and this was no gimmick.

So what on Earth is Monster Hunter Tri or Monster Hunter 3 all about? For now, it's an exclusive Wii action RPG title that puts you in the role of an up and coming hunter as you explore this world filled with monsters as you protect the denizens of your village.

As mentioned, the game comes bundled with the Classic Controller Pro which creates a very intense and professional gaming experience as you track, hunt and ultimately decide whether these creatures will be slain or captured. At times, the game feels like Pokémon and even Oblivion from its interactive world. Needless to say, I have never seen anything this in-depth on the Wii and apart from an awesome single-player mode, it even boasts online play.

As opposed to the previous games in this series, CAPCOM has given you an almost sandbox experience with Moga Island that allows you to roam almost anywhere you like, whether hunting or collecting resources. This is really fun when you're just exploring and looking for basic ingredients or upgrades. Of course there are some NPC's in the game who will point you in the right direction but some felt like they knew I would be walking to my doom.

The village is however your base of operations and the place to get ready for your next battle, whether upgrading weapons, purchasing new ones or just having some down time. Rather than a standard mission design, this game even passes on its benefits to the villagers of Moga whether upgrading the village or farming. In terms of resources, you can send your villagers to perform basic hunting and gathering which does come at a cost. You even have the Felynes, the local denizens of Moga to also help you with.

Welcome to bizarro world! With all the bells and whistles of an RPG game, you can even use parts of the monsters that you have slain to create weapons and armour in this third-person action RPG game. What about experience points you might say? Actually, your weapons contain the experience points so when you change weapons, you basically need to start from the bottom again but this "open-ended" class system works well.

When you do come upon your first monster, it's quite an experience as you need to think how to defeat this creature and it's all in real-time. None of this holier than thou Final Fantasy crap, it's how action games should be, without the flair and ridiculous RPG menu systems. I'll mention graphics early on in this review because this is easily some of the best graphics that I have seen on the Wii. The developers have really thought outside the square by even allowing you to fight underwater which actually works well.

I really enjoyed exploring this world, thanks to the graphics but the main crux of this game is the combat system which thanks to the Classic Controller Pro handles perfectly. Even though I'm not use to this controller setup on the Wii, it works exceptionally well and proves that the Wii is not just an unimaginative kids console. Weapons of course play a huge role in the game from swords to lances and each handles quite differently than other. You need to take into consideration when you come up to your next monster victim but after 5 hours, if you haven't found the pattern, then you might have an uphill battle.

On more than one occasion, I was handed my experienced gaming ass... due to my cockiness in thinking that this was a one weapon game. It's far from it actually as the monsters range from slow lumbering behemoths to lighting fast velociraptors. So there I was with the great sword running away but when I changed tact to a bowgun, I changed from hunted to hunter. With a variety of ammunition available for the bowgun, an element of a third person shooter comes into play but once again you cannot just rely on one weapon. You can even employ weapon combinations and nothing is more satisfying than using the shield smash which saved my neck a few times.

To keep things entertaining for the gamer, CAPCOM continue to throw curve balls throughout the game such as new monsters, weapons and armour and never once did this game become dull. I could talk about quite a few PS3 games that I have played of late where I chose snooze over play but not so with Monster Hunter Tri. It's also cool how the monsters move, especially some of the more predator like creatures who also have a few tricks up their sleeves or scales... like poison. Of course, this all leads to some of the harder battles such as the underwater dragon who is huge and almost had me peeing myself as I swam away in fear.

Graphically, Monster Hunter Tri is true visual eye candy for the Wii and the environments are extremely well designed with a gorgeous colour palette. With some good looking lighting and special effects that interact well with Moga Island and it's the same experience I had when playing Oblivion with the scope of the gaming world.

My favourite part of the game was the underwater dragon fights which mimics the real-world water effects quite well. However, the stars of the game are the monsters themselves from their scaly textures to realistic animation that goes hand in hand with the gameplay. The soundtrack suits the game perfectly with its orchestral tunes as do the various sound effects and background ambience. Perfect!

To make matters worse, the game contains a very sturdy online engine as you play with others to hunt these crafty monsters. It's really fun playing online as you do work as a team, trying to capture or kill the monsters. The online experience (up to four players) is just as addictive as single-player and we had a blast playing with friends and meeting new friends as we explored the lush island of Moga. Want more? Why not try a local split-screen two-player mode in the Arena and with big screen TV's so cheap these days, there's no excuse is not having a big TV to play and enjoy it on. Lastly, you can even save your character to the Wiimote and take that over to a friends house. Very cool indeed.

Final Thoughts? Monster Hunter Tri is a true gaming experience on the Wii that gets its claws onto you the very moments you start playing and doesn't let go until you've slain every danger to your village. With elements of RPG, action and a healthy dose of Capcom storytelling, not to mention the luscious graphics, this game is as perfect as they come on the Nintendo Wii. Highly Recommended!


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