Review by NettoSaito
"Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate - The Ultimate Hunt is About To Begin!"
Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate is the newest entry in the well known Monster Hunter series to come to the west. Originally released as an improved version of Monster Hunter Tri in Japan, it finally made its way here with some improvements of its own. While Monster Hunter 3G (as it was called in Japan) was a 3DS game, Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate is both a 3DS, AND a Wii U game. Yep, that's right! It was released on both consoles, and both versions are in fact the very same game; with some minor differences.
So, just what is Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate? Well, before I get started with the review, let me just say something. If you're reading this you are either going to fit into one of three groups. You'll either be someone who has never played a Monster Hunter game before (or tried at least one in the past but possibly didn't care for it), someone who has played Monster Hunter Tri but still unsure if this improved version is with it, or you are a die hard Monster Hunter fan. Well if you fit into the latter group, I'll just flat out say it, you know what to expect from this one, and I strongly recommend picking it up (although I'm sure I didn't have to tell you that). As for anyone who fits into the other two groups, well, I strongly recommend continuing on with this review. Monster Hunter isn't an easy series to explain, or even understand, but hopefully I'll be able to help you make your decision on rather or not to get this one. Well, with that all being said, lets get on with this review!
The Story of Monster Hunter:
Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate starts up the very same way the original (Monster Hunter Tri) did. The people of a prehistoric looking village are going about their daily lives, when out of no where a monster causes an earth quake, and everything goes to heck. It turns out the leviathan known as the "Lagiacrus" is causing trouble at sea, and the village is in need of help; that is where you come in. You are a hunter who has come to Moga Village to help out the villagers with their "small" monster problems. The Laigcrus is destroying ships at sea, it is slowly making its way closer to the village, and to top it off, other monsters have became quite active as well. You have been hired as a Monster Hunter, and it is now up to you to keep these people safe. Yep, that's about it.
The thing is, Monster Hunter is NOT based around its story, and because of that it has a quite limited one. Sure there's quite a lot of villagers walking around to talk to, and key characters (such a shop owners) will talk to you as well, but chances are you really won't care about what they have to say. You may actually find yourself mashing buttons just to advance through all of the text as soon as you learn that they really have nothing to tell you. There's a monster attacking? That's all you'll really care to know. The reason this monster needs to be stopped really isn't that important, and all you're really going to care about is taking it down for the rewards.
Now I'm not saying the story of Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate is bad, I'm just saying that it should NOT be your reason for getting this game. Some of the things characters say are quite interesting, and the fact that they actually TALK to you (instead of saying simple one liners like in most games) is quite nice as well. It helps make this world feel alive, and sometimes it is just nice to talk to everyone to see what they're up to. Sure from time to time they will give you advice (or even rewards for completing quests), but for the most part, they are just optional.
Even so, none of this really matters. The simple truth is, Monster Hunter is and always will be a game based around its gameplay, and that is where it really shines! If you're looking for a game with a great story, you wont find it here, but if you're looking for a game with deep gameplay, then you've come to the right place!
Creating a Monster Hunter:
As I said before, Monster Hunter is an extremely deep game, and because of that (for the sake of this review) I'm going to take it step by step.
Before you can even start playing Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate, you first have to make your own character. The game allows you to pick if you are either male or female, you can select a wide verity of hair styles, you can color your hair styles, you can select your face type (and rather or not your face has special features such as a scar), you can select your character's voice, and you can also pick the clothing that they'll wear under their armor. The only thing is, with this sort of set up, the only options that truly matter here are your sex, and your voice type.
The thing about Monster Hunter is, it is completely equipment and skill based, and because of that you'll be covering up most of your customization. Your armor will cover up your clothing, and helmets will cover up your head. Now sure you can choose to go with caps that'll show off your face, but for the most part, your character's entire body will be covered.
The Weapons of MH3U:
After you've created your character in MH3U, you are then given the option of picking your weapon class. At the very start of the game you actually have one of each starter weapon already sitting in your storage box (which is located in the home the village gives you after the opening cutscene), and you are free to pick up and use any weapon you want. Unlike in other RPG styled games, you are not limited to what weapon you pick, and you can change weapon "classes" by simply picking up the weapon you want to use. This time around Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate features quite a few more weapon classes than Monster Hunter Tri, so if you've played Tri I'm sure you'll notice this difference right away. The weapon classes in 3 Ultimate are as followed:
Sword and Shield -
The Sword and Shield is the weapon your hunter will be holding by default, but like I said you can easily switch it. This weapon is the most balanced weapon in MH3U, and that is also why the game gives it to you from the start. While the sword itself is fast, the shield allows you to block monster's attacks making it a great defensive weapon, as well as a solid offensive weapon.
Dual Swords -
While Dual Swords aren't new to the Monster Hunter universe, they are brand new to Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate. Just like the Sword and Shield, but without the shield, the Dual Swords are fast moving swords that allow you to twice as much damage as the Sword and Shield; however there is in fact a down side. Since it lacks the shield, Dual Swords cannot block attacks. While it does in fact have a special "Rage Mode" to deal extra damage, the fact that it lacks any sort of defensive move can make this weapon hard to use for newcomers to the Monster Hunter universe. (If you're a new player and you want to use the Dual Swords, you better learn how to dodge!)
Long Sword -
Returning from Monster Hunter Tri, the Long Sword is, well, a long sword! Its a faster moving weapon with a long reach and high damage, but it also lacks the ability to defend. Just like the Dual Swords, the weapon is a pure offensive weapon that uses its long reach as its defense, and its special mode to deal more damage. It isn't an easy weapon to master, and due to its long reach, it isn't always the best weapon to use when hunting with a group. Unless you really take the time to master using it, it is very easy to hit your teammates with the Long Sword, which in return could really mess up the hunt. It is never fun to be hit in the back by a Long Sword, and then being left on the ground for the monster to finish you off.
Great Sword -
The Great Sword is one of the strongest weapons in the game, but it is also quite a bit slower as well. While the weapon can strike down with great force, each strike takes time to recover from and leaves you open. The good news is that the Great Sword also acts as a shield so it can block most attacks, but it isn't the easiest weapon to use. Unlike most of the other weapons, the Great Sword doesn't have a series of combo attacks, but instead is based around using single strikes at set times to maximize damage. The Great Sword also has a charge attack which can take quite awhile to master.
Just like in real life, in the Monster Hunter world there are weapons that can cut, as well as blunt weapons as well; the Hammer being the latter. The Hammer is a weapon which is completely based around its offensive power, and is the weapon of choice for anyone who wants to flat out destroy their enemies. Although it can't guard, it does allow you to charge attacks while you move. Still, despite its amazing damage output, since it is a blunt object it cannot cut off the tails of monsters.
Hunting Horn -
The Hunting Horn is also new to Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate, and is a support weapon. While on the surface it is basically a Hammer (it even shares some of the same attacks), it has an extra effect. The Hunting Horn is able to play three different color "notes," and depending on what order you play them in you can get different effects. From increasing attack power, to making it so you (or your partners) never become tired, the Hunting Horn can really help out when fighting stronger monsters. Although it is weaker than the standard Hammer, its buffs do make up for it.
The Lance is, well, a "turtle weapon" as some might call it. With a high focus on defense, the lance allows you to guard yourself as you stab at monsters, or even charge them as they try to flee. Although the Lance isn't the easiest weapon to move with, its high defensive power, long reach, and strong attacks really make up for it. Its the perfect weapon for those who rather focus on defense, yet still get right up in a monster's face.
Although the Gunlance isn't a new weapon to the Monster Hunter series, it was a weapon left out in Monster Hunter Tri, and it finally makes its return in 3 Ultimate. Like the Lance, the Gunlance is a weapon that mixes up high defense with a strong offense. While it can guard and stab like the standard Lance, its main ability is the ability to shoot a blank round, at close range, right into a monster. With its high damage rate, and its piercing damage (which most monsters are weak against), it is a highly offensive weapon, with a strong defense to back it up.
Switch Axe -
The Switch Axe was first introduced in Monster Hunter Tri, and it once again makes its return in Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate. Unlike other weapons, the Switch Axe actually has two forms, and both play out very differently. While on the surface the Switch Axe is an Axe that outputs some crazy high damage, it also has a secondary form which transforms it into a Great Sword like weapon. By mixing up the two different play styles, the Switch Axe becomes a force to be reckoned with, but also one that may take some time to master. Instead of dodge rolling out of the way, the Switch Axe allows you to side step away instead, which allows you to dodge attacks while remaining focused on the action.
Light Bowgun -
The Light Bowgun is a Bowgun that focuses on speed and mobility. By using different types of shells, the Light Bowgun allows you to freely change its element type to match the situation at hand, and it also allows you to easily dodge enemy attacks while doing so. Unlike other weapons, Bowguns are quite a bit different however. Instead of simply buying or crafting a Bowgun, you can actually customize its parts to suit your needs! From adding scopes to adding silencers, you can create a gun that is unique, and craft it to your needs.
Heavy Bowgun -
Like the Light Bowgun but larger, the Heavy Bowgun is a massive sniper/tank gun like weapon. It uses larger shells to deal massive damage, and it can shoot from clear across the battlefield. Although it is heavier than the Light Bowgun, making it harder to move, that really isn't an issue! Since this gun is in fact based on long range, for the most part you will be keeping your distance while using it, and you can also customize it as well.
The final weapon in Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate is the Bow, which is also a new addition. The Bow, in short, is a weapon suited for expert hunters, and it requires a lot of skill and knowledge to use. Although the Bow does in fact have unlimited ammo, as well as a melee attack, to really use it well in combat, you have to know everything about your target. You have to know where their weak points are, you have to know what type of armor and skills you should be using on the hunt, and you have to know what type of elements to use against said monster. Since the Bow can actually attack while moving, it is an easy weapon to use in general, but if you truly want to use it well you have to know just about everything about the game.
Armor and Skills:
The weapons you decide to use in Monster Hunter isn't the only thing you have to think about in this game, in fact it is only one side of the coin. Since there is no level up system in Monster Hunter, the only way to get stronger in this game is to get better equipment, and that is where armor comes into play. The game has MANY different sets of armor, for you to pick from. Although some sets of armor are in fact stronger than others, unlike in most RPG styled games, there really isn't a "best set" to obtain. Armor in Monster Hunter is broken up into three groups, but you can basically use any set you want within each group. These groups are Low Rank, High Rank, and G Rank.
While High Rank armor is stronger than Low Rank, and G Rank is stronger than High Rank, each set of armor within each rank is in fact very useful. Each set of armor provides you with different skills to increase different stats on your hunter, and they also defend against different types of elements. For example one set might actually give you a skill that increases your attack power and make your resistance to fire higher, but another might make it so you'll land more critical hits. Although their defensive stats will be basically the same (possibly only a few points off from each other), these other bonuses are what make armor important in this game. Really this makes armor a very critical element of the game, and you will end up having to switch between sets depending on what the situation calls for.
Another feature some pieces of armor have is the skill system. Different pieces of armor in each set will have different skill points which in return will teach your character a skill while wearing them! For example one set may have +1s in "Attack Power" to get you the "Attack Up" skill, but that doesn't mean it'll actually increase your attack power by one. For a skill to take effect, it must add up to the required number for that skill. For example, the set with Attack Power increases must have enough to add up to either 10, 15, or 20 (20 being the strongest) for the "Attack Up" skill to take effect. Sometimes armor sets will not have all of the required skill points to activate a skill, so you'll have to put "decorations" in the armors "sockets" (however not all pieces of armor have sockets to attach decorations to, so this isn't always an option). By mix and matching different pieces of different sets, you can gain different skills to help your hunter out in the field, and there are a wide verity of effects for you to chose from. From increasing your attack and defense, to healing more from healing items, to not being stunned by monsters roars, to even getting skills which cause you to always preform critical hits.
The Hunts and Materials:
The main aspect of Monster Hunter is in fact going out on hunts. This is where all of the main gameplay will take place, and there is also a wide verity of hunts as well! Even so, most of them will start out the same way, and you should expect to do some of the same hunts over and over again.
In Monster Hunter to go on a hunt you first need to take a job from the quest counter. Jobs are broken up into start ratings, and you cannot take a higher star rating quest until you've completed all of the "key" quests in your current ranking. As you might expect, the higher level the quest, the harder it will be, and that will even effect what sort of items you can find as well. Each star rating falls into a ranking of its own, with "Low Rank" being the lowest, "High Rank" being harder, and "G Rank" being the hardest of them all (it is also what a lot of people consider to be the main section of the game since it includes harder versions of everything from Low and High Rank, as well as a lot of new bosses of its own to fight).
As I said before, the Hunts in MH do in fact very (sometimes you have to find an item, and other times you have to kill a specific monster), but in more ways than one. There are quite a few different areas in game, and different hunts will take place in these different areas, and at different times of the day. Each map in game is broken up into smaller sections, and in each section you can find a wide verity of monsters, as well as plants and other objects. The game uses an "A-Life" type set up where the monsters will act as wildlife, and go about their daily life. Some will try to hunt you for food, but plant eaters will simply go about their daily life unless you do something to make them mad (for example if you kick a baby plant eater, its parents will charge you, but if you kill a parent, the other parent may try to attack you while the baby runs to safety). Although these types of monsters are normally pointless to hunt, you CAN in fact kill them and "carve" their bodies for resources.
The thing is, Monster Hunter is filled with THOUSANDS of items that you can collect, and by killing monsters and carving them, and by mining or digging up plants, you can gain these items to help you out in future quests. Different items can be crafted together to create new items (such as traps, bombs, ammo, health items, buff items, etc), and because of that you'll want to collect every single thing you can. Sometimes you'll find yourself breaking off from the main mission of a hunt JUST to find resources, and other times you'll find that you HAVE to find resources to complete your goal. You might need to catch a specific type of fish that will only come with a specific kind of bate, so you'll actually have to go digging around for worms if you want to catch them.
Besides using resources to build traps and what not, resources are also used for another VERY important aspect of the game. Remember what I said about weapons and armor? Well if you want to get any of them pieces of equipment, you are going to have to hunt large monsters, carve their bodies, and use whatever you can to make them yourself! Now sure there is in fact a shop you can buy some low level pieces of equipment from, but if you want to stand a chance in the game at all, you are going to have to gather resources. This is where the main aspect of the game comes in; hunting large monsters.
Hunting Large Monsters:
The main goal in Monster Hunter is to take down massive beasts, carve their bodies for materials, and then make better stuff to take on even stronger monsters; however it really isn't that simple! There is a WIDE verity of monsters in this game (basically double from what was included in the original), and they all have their own fighting styles, their own weaknesses, and fights will play out differently depending on what type of areas you fight each monster in. While some monsters only fight on land, others will actually dive into the water (where they have even stronger moves to use), and you'll have to adapt to different fighting styles if you want to be able to survive.
The thing is, fighting in Monster Hunter is NOT what most people expect it to be, and that is where a lot of people get mislead. I will flat out say it now, I am NOT going to mislead you about this game, and I will say that this style of game is NOT for everyone out there. This game is not a button masher, there are no crazy combos, and fights play out realistically. EVERY move you make is a risk, there is no health bar to tell you if the monster is weak, there is no way to tell how much damage you are actually doing with each hit, and even you have to decide when is the best time to heal or use other items. In this sort of game you really have to watch what is going around you, look at how the monster is acting to figure out if it is hurt or not, and you also have to consider how the OTHER monsters around you will react to you. Some may actually attack you, which will then cause you to be stunned for a second, which will then allow the boss monster to attack you itself. Monster Hunter is a very unforgiving game, with a very steep learning curve, and it is NOT your average boss fighting game.
When you first start playing Monster Hunter, you may actually notice one thing right off the bat; the controls are "stiff." You see when you press the controller stick to move, your character doesn't scoot across the screen like in most games, but instead they will actually take a step and move AFTER taking said step. You can't just be moving the very second you try to move, you actually have to walk just like you do in real life. When you attack with your weapon, you'll also be attacking with specific strikes depending on which buttons you hit as well! Like I said, there are no crazy combos, attacks are realistic, and you have to know when the best time to strike is because it will in fact leave you open for the monster to attack you as well. Sure you can also block in this game (with some weapons) as well, but even blocking is limited. You will only block attacks from the direction you are facing, it takes time to bring up your shield, and some attacks are just too strong to block so you'll be sent flying anyway! Blocking isn't "god mode" like it is in other "RPG" styled games, and that may catch a lot of people off guard as well.
Another feature which limits your combat ability is the fact that you have stamina as well. Whenever you run, dodge roll out of the way, or even when you're blocking and take a hit, that stamina bar will go down some. Now sure you can just recharge the bar by resting, but after awhile your hunter will in fact become tired and run out of energy. When this happens your bar will slowly become smaller and smaller, up until you won't be able to use it at all; however by cooking some food (or by eating some food you've already cooked) you can in fact recharge it. Even so, using items is a risk as well, and you are limited on what you can carry.
Although you can carry a crazy amount of items compared to real life, you are still pretty limited to what can be on you. You have enough room for some healing items, food, pix axes, bug nets, and maybe a few other key items you may need, but if you want to bring resources back from your hunt, you'll really need to watch your item space. Your pack only has three pages worth of items to carry, and it does in fact become full pretty fast. Also to use any item in your pack, you actually have to have it selected as the "active item," and when you use it you'll be standing still for around three seconds. If you're running low on health and need to recover, you HAVE to make sure to do it in a safe place, and at the right time. You really don't want to be standing still when you're low on health as a monster charges you from behind. That might result in a death, and if you die three times during a hunt, you lose (you are also on about an hour time limit as well).
The large monsters themselves are in fact time consuming monsters. These battles can easily take 30 minutes or longer to complete, and every time you fight them they will in fact play out differently! Sometimes you'll be able to cut off the monsters tail, or damage other parts of its body to make the fight easier, but some monsters might actually go into a rage mode and use some new attacks you have never seen before! On top of that sometimes monsters are smaller or larger versions of themselves, or they might even have other monster friends along side them to get in your way (its never fun when two boss monsters team up, but it does happens from time to time.
Killing monsters isn't the only thing you actually have to do in a hunt, but rather it is only the second step. Although monsters will normally spawn in the same area each time, they DON'T always stay there! In fact flying monsters love to take off to the skies soon after the quest starts, and you may actually spend a good five or so minutes hunting them down! Searching for monsters is another major part of the game, but it is also a part that can become quite annoying. It is never fun to walk into an area just as a monster is flying away. Not only will you have to spend quite awhile searching for it again, when you find it, it may be leaving the area AGAIN! This will happen from time to time, but you can always make the search easier by bringing some friends along.
Outside of quests, you will also be spending quite a bit of time in the hub towns, the first of which your home town of "Moga Village." In Moga Village you are able to buy items from the shops, craft armor and weapons, take on town requests (where they ask you go gather resources for them to upgrade the town and what not), send boats out to sea to find resources, customize your character in your house, and even go farming. Basically the town is where you'll be able to take care of things that need to be done before you go on hunts, and it also serves as a way to gain resources faster. For example you can grow plants in your farm so you don't have to go searching for resources, or you can even leave town to go on a "free hunt" to gather resources without a time limit!
Moga Village is in fact where you will be spending quite a lot of time offline, but it isn't the only hub in the game, and it may not even be the one you'll prefer to use.
If you played Monster Hunter Tri, you would remember the online city right? Well, this replaced it! Port Tanzia is the second hub of MH3U, and it actually serves more of a purpose than the old online city in Tri. First of all, the city in Tri could ONLY be accessed online, and you had to pick a server, a channel, and then a "city" to play in. This meant you couldn't open up private games, and that anyone could enter the "city" you were in even if you were trying to save a spot for someone. Well, none of this is an issue anymore!
Port Tanzia can be accessed offline, over local multiplayer (including cross platform play with the Wii U and 3DS), and it can be played online! With the online mode you actually select a world, a lobby, and then instead of entering a premade "city," you actually can create your own room (with your own settings) for people to join. Really the whole set up is a lot easier to use, and you can even use the search option to find specific rooms with specific settings (for example if you need to hunt a Rathalos, you can just search for rooms hunting the Rathalos)!
Still, what if you rather play this game solo? What's the big deal about Port Tanzia? Well the thing is, Port Tanzia has much harder quests, monsters are stronger with more health, and it is also the only area where you can access G Rank. In Port Tanzia quests are divided up by HR rankings, and as you complete key quests in each HR level, an "urgent" quest will become unlocked, and that'll allow you to advance to the next ranking/set of quests. This is the type of system the game uses for HR1-8, but the moment you hit HR8 things begin to change. After that you actually gain a type of "experience" points after every hunt you go on, and once you get enough points you'll increase in HR. While this system was also used in Tri, back then it was actually more for show (to show off how much you've played the game), but this time it actually is useful! At different HR levels new quests will open up for you in Port Tanzia, and that will allow you to fight new bosses as well.
(On a site note, the Nintendo 3DS version of the game cannot connect online on its own. Unlike in Tri, MH3U uses Nintendo Network which the 3DS currently does NOT support. Now you can download an app for the Wii U which allows you to connect online with the 3DS, but until Nintendo updates the 3DS, the 3DS version will remain a mostly offline version.)
Other Online Features:
When playing online there are actually quite a few features that come into play, that just have no use in single player! First of all, thanks to the Game Pad you can easily talk to the people around you with both keyboard chat and voice chat (but you can still use USB keyboards and add on mics if you wish)! Although Tri allowed the same thing, you actually had to buy a USB keyboard, or Wii Speak (which was only supported by a few games before Nintendo stopped supporting it themselves), and the on screen keyboard took forever to type with. Another feature you can use online is the Guild Card feature, which is basically your personal profile! This card records everything you do in Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate, and you can share it with others you meet online (after doing so their hunters will actually sometimes show up in your game, and you can send them out on hunts)!
Although these features may seem small, they actually do play a huge role in games like this, and it is just nice to see that all of it was included this time around. If you ever played the original I'm sure you remember going on hunts with people you couldn't talk to, but thanks to the Game Pad, that is no longer an issue!
The Touch Screen:
The final feature of Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate is the touch screen. Now this feature is basically the same for both the Wii U and 3DS, and it is really up to you how you use it. On the touch screen you can see a wide verity of information about your town, your farm, and even what is going on in free hunt, but that isn't all that it can do! The touch screen uses "tiles" to add different features, and it is completely up to you what tiles you want to display there! By default there's an extra D-Pad for camera control (more useful for the 3DS version than the Wii U version since there's a right analog stick) for example, but it doesn't have to be there if you don't want it to! You can put your heath bar and other parts of the hub on it to free up the TV/Top Screen, or you can even put quick links to your items down there as well! Really the touch screen isn't a key feature, or all that needed, but it is a faster way to get some things done, and you are free to change it up however you'd like!
Other Minor Changes From Tri:
Besides the improved visuals, MH3U also features a few other minor changes I felt were worth pointing out. First of all, the map and other displays on the hub have been made smaller to free up space on your TV. In Tri they actually took up around half of your viewing area, and for some that got in the way. Well, that is no longer an issue! On top of that a few other graphical changes were made as well, such as how the keyboard text field was moved to the bottom of the screen (which is standard for MMO style games), and its new design blends in with the rest of the GUI (instead of just being a white text field that pops up).
Also due to the fact that this is a Wii U game, there are more controller options open to you in this version as well. While you can still use the Wii Remote, or the Classic Controller, you can also use the Game Pad or Pro Controller as well!
Getting MH3U if you have Tri:
So, is MH3U worth it if you have the original version? Well, personally I'd say yes. The game features almost double the amount of monsters that were in Tri, G Rank features a stronger version of EVERY monster in the game with some new attack patterns (as well as a few other changes), there's quite a few new maps, the online interface is a lot better, there's a lot of new pieces of equipment and armor to collect, the new weapons really help change up the gameplay, and even the single player story has been greatly expanded! Although there is quite a bit of the same, MH3U is basically a new game built on top of a game we all know and love. Really you could think of it as a game of its own, with Monster Hunter Tri's content being added in as a bonus. (On top of all of that, Monster Hunter Tri will be shut down on 4/30/13 so you'll lose access to about half the game.)
The Good and the Bad:
Now this one is a hard to call. The thing is Monster Hunter just isn't for everyone, and it is a game that a lot of people actually learn to like. The game is massive, the bosses are challenging, and you really get this sort of rush whenever you take one down! Some people really like this feeling, others really like collecting pieces of equipment and weapons, some just like MMO styled games, and then there are the people who like ALL of these aspects. Even so the learning curve may be a bit too high for some people out there, and others may be put off by the game when they learn it isn't a button masher like most games with this style... So really, its hard to say what is good and what is bad about this one...
Even so, the game looks nice, it has a lot of content, there are many different types of bosses to fight this time around, the new areas look amazing, a lot more detail went into creating the characters and monsters this time around, the online interface has been improved on, there's a lot to collect, and it is basically a game you an spend thousands of hours on and still not 100% it. Its a HUGE boss fighting game, and if you're into that sort of thing, you'll love it! Still it does have some issues you can't help but to notice.
First of all, Capcom really didn't do much to improve the old areas. You'll see quite a few low res textures from the original game, no extra detail was added into the older areas so you'll be seeing some empty sections which really don't stand out as much as the new maps (or the monsters and hunters), and a few areas do have short bursts of frame rate drops randomly. Now it really isn't a major problem, in fact I never notice it online, but it can be annoying. Still, for the most part, there really isn't anything wrong with this game! Just don't expect it to be a true HD Monster Hunter game (after all it is a HD port of an enhanced port), and I'm sure you'll be fine with it!
Although I flat out LOVE this game, and have spent a lot of time playing it at the time of this review (around 100 hours to be exact), I still have to give this game a fair rating. Personally this is a 15/10 for me, but if you've read my reviews in the past you would know I don't judge games by how I personally feel. With all things in consideration, Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate gets an 8.5/10 (for the sake of GameFAQs however, it gets a 9/10).
While the game is great and all, you will end up doing quite a lot of the same things over and over again, and it is also pretty lazy of Capcom to not at least try and improve the older maps. You'll enter some maps which are just flat out stunning with crazy amounts of detail, but then you'll walk into an open area with basically nothing in it. On top of that there are a few minor issues which prevent the game from being "perfect," such as the chance of enemies clipping through walls when they die (preventing you from carving them in the process). The game is in fact a very solid entry that I recommend everyone picks up, but it is by no means perfect.
Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 04/04/13
Game Release: Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate (US, 03/19/13)
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