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Monster Hunter is one of those games that everyone has heard about, but have never gotten around to playing. It’s been knocking around since 2004 on the Playstation 2 days, before extending to other platforms since then. And hell, Capcom isn’t too afraid to continually retool one game such as 2009’s Monster Hunter Tri for a whole new audience and system.

Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate takes place in a strange world. And by strange world, I mean the nightmare fuel wildlife of Australia has somehow managed to branch out to all the continents available. There’s a bunch of monsters to kill, some coin to collect and some skills to hone and that’s where you come in as a fresh off the boat hunter.

It’s pretty simple overall. Hunt monsters and reap the rewards. Of course to hunt some bigger game, you’re going to need to hone your skills and inventory, as well as set up camps and liaisons with villagers. There’s some sort of plot threaded throughout this game, but it’s thinner than a 50 shades of grey fan fiction.

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Now, this isn’t your typical RPG. Sure, you’ve got quests, items and exotic weaponry that would be impossible to wield in real life, but you don’t exactly level up in the traditional sense of XP = Power. You gain power by playing, so the more you hack away, the stronger you’re going to get. In other words, reality just started knocking on your door.

It’s also all about the controls, as you’re going to need to learn when to swing a broadsword or put your daggers away. You only get one set of weapons with which to slash your way to victory at the start of the game, and you’re going to need to fiddle around until you find a particular blood-letter that suits your fancy.

You’ve got eleven of them to choose from, and depending on their size, they’ll do a set amount of damage at a certain speed. Long swords require you to time your strike perfectly before you bring it crashing down, while short dual blades allow you to frenzy your way in, but at a reduced amount of damage. It’s all about give or take, and it’s a function that is bolstered by some reliable controls.

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Enter the Wii U GamePad, which you can then customise to feed you the information that you want, from HUD to health bars. It’s a nice touch that you can make your main screen less cluttered, provided that you enjoy glancing at your controller to get a constant heads-up of info. But hey, at least it makes your game, your game.

As for the monsters, get ready to earn your payslip. You’ve got your run of the mill lizards and dinosaurs, creatures which are nothing more than wads of meat on four legs, and then you’ve got creatures that could crack the planet in two with a fart if you piss them off. Each monster operates a certain way, with its own set of attacks and defense mechanisms, requiring you to know which tactics to employ at any given time.

It’s a lot of practice that is needed for this game, as it can become overly-complex for the sake of being complex, a facet of Japanese RPGs that I absolutely detest. When you’re taking on a beastie, you’re commiting yourself to a larger battle, and you better have damn well practiced your dodging beforehand. Trust me, this is one game where you need to be clever and prepared, not bloodthirsty and chaotic.

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And that’s leads up to another intriguing trademark of Monster Hunter: You’ll always feel like a hunter. Plenty of RPGs will progress you to the point where you’re practically a god, but in Monster Hunter, there’s always a bigger fish in the ocean.

But it’s not just Monster Hunting that will consume your time in this game. You’ve got odd jobs to do, materials to collect and new weapons and armour to forge. That’s part of the appeal of this game I reckon, that farming for monster corpse loot to help you craft that perfect set of armour so that you can take on a beastie. It can get a bit tiring, but doing missions with a buddy in tow is always fun at least as you compare strategies and techniques in this largely open world.

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But it’s a hell of a learning curve, and I think this is what presents the biggest problem in Monster Hunter. Monster Hunter 3 hits a lot of high notes for a Monster Hunter game…if you’re a Monster Hunter fan. This isn’t exactly the most inviting game on the planet, and as this was my first foray into this world I was left wanting.

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But after taking it to a friend who had an entire PSP library of games from that franchise, it’s clear that he was having a ball at least. It makes it tricky to judge a game like this, and while I can praise the content, it’s marred by several archaic bugs and ideas that waters down the experience.

One other aspect that Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate really hurls towards the player is an online mode. And it works quite well…most of the time. Spread over eight worlds that encompass several difficulty levels, joining or creating a lobby works well enough with the action unfolding over several hunting trips.

It’s most certainly not a game about looks either, as evident from the ported over nature of this title. The Wii U may claim to be a next-gen console, that fact isn’t evident here with bland textures and clunky character models that have the usual lack of voice-over work. Still, when you’re taking down dragons with massive swords, visuals will be the last thing on your mind.


But it all falls apart when the host decides that enough is enough, as there happen to be zero migration options available. Once a host is gone, so are the rest of the players who joined up, while latency troubles pop up occasionally. It’s not a bad feature overall, but it’s one that does need some polishing.


Last Updated: May 27, 2013

Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate
It’s a game for the fans and genre veterans, who will find hours worth of fun in this title with which to consume their lives. Everyone else though, might be happier getting their RPG kicks from a different source.
Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate was reviewed on Wii U

Darryn Bonthuys

Something wrong gentlemen? You come here prepared to read the words of a madman, and instead found a lunatic obsessed with comics, Batman and Raul Julia’s M Bison performance in the 1994 Street Fighter movie? Fine! Keep your bio! In fact, now might be a good time to pray to it!

  • Deon Steyn

    Keep the games coming Wiiu.

  • Admiral Chief Commander

    i once joined a co-op game with player 1 and player 2. while player 1 was totally friendly and helpful, player 2 was just not all there

    • teknik1200

      That’s when you go find a new room to play in.

      I’ve found the online experience to be great, the community has been friendly and in g-rank I’ve found most of the players to also be competent. Clear times are really fast and there’s rarely a failed quest.

  • Admiral Chief Commander

    as per the pedestrian article, i hereby mention the “zoe for ion” petition again

  • Admiral Chief Commander

    in all fairness to capcom, i just don’t quite enjoy their games. the design and sommer everything just does not suit me. just saying. does anyone else feel this way?

    • Umar No Shana

      Capcom games? you don’t enjoy any of their games??

      • Admiral Chief Commander

        no sir, lost planet is one of the few that i found entertaining, and lost planet was no brilliant game, but it was quite entertaining

        • Umar No Shana

          I think Capcom actually make brilliant games but their ethics are really dodgy.

          Some of my all time favorite games are Capcom games.




          Resident Evil 2,3,4

          Breath of Fire

          Mega Man

          Street Fighter

          Shadow of Rome

          Dino Crisis
          I love Capcom to bits, RE 5 and 6 let me down but Revelations is so good
          Dragons Dogma had quite good gameplay too. I think they’re awesome

    • teknik1200

      There’s a few gems. Monster Hunter is my favorite game franchise and I don’t really care about much else. I’ve put 250 hours into 3u and have barely scratched the surface of the game.

  • Umar No Shana

    So sad that a learning curve is considered a negative thing ……….

    • Major Commodore 64 Darryn B

      I’m not saying that it’s a bad thing, but MH3U does a terrible job of teaching you adequately. A lot of trial and error.

      • Umar No Shana

        Hmm fair enough … I guess I got too much chest hair and expect more games should be like the Souls series.

        I used to play Freedom Unite a lot, I found the entry level missions were adequate training grounds, it made me feel more like a rookie hunter as I kept failing for stupid things, I looked at it as part of the ‘hunting’ immersion. But I understand though there was generally a lack of any sort of tutorial

      • teknik1200

        While this is true it adds to longevity and it also really gives you a sense of living in the world of monster hunter.

        such as life, things are not just given to you.

  • Admiral Chief Commander

    so the level up works like skyrim?

    can you fus ro dah?

    • teknik1200

      no. at the end of the game your hunter is the exact same hunter you started with.

      there is no leveling of your character, however you can unlock armor skills. if you make a complete set of armor it will unlock certain sills to help you hunt better/faster.

      Everything is tied to the gear you have, every monster has a unique set of armor, there’s probably 60 sets of armor in Grank. You also make and upgrade weapons as you go.

      there’s difficulty tiers and if you you take grank gear back to the start of the offline low rank you’ll kill stuff quickly however you have to make that gear. You cannot trade rare materials so you must earn all of your gear your self.

      It’s a hunting and gathering sim where you play dress up with your hunter. It’s all boss fights and they take skill to take down. the first time you face monsters they are like 15-30 minute battles. The souls games are typically enjoyed by monster hunter fans and vice versa.

      You yourself will become better at the game, it doesn’t take lightning reflexes but if you just run in swinging your weapon you’ll die fast.

      • Tbone187

        True dat…epic battles…I enjoyed the alchemy potions and meals your feline cats make for you using ingredients in the field…it’s just a mammoth of a game…So many things I picked up along the way with no clue of what to do with them… and Shooting a Rathalos dragon out de sky with a jacked up bowgun is most rewarding…

  • TiMsTeR1033

    looks kinda cool lol

  • Weerwolf

    Just wanted to say that MH is one of the best games you will play. Not sure about this one, but I’m talking about the one’s for PSP. Particularly Monster Hunter Freedom Unite. The game is so addictive. And there is no leveling up. Only skill. The more you play, the better you get. And carving creature parts to make new weapons and armor that resemble that specific monster and possess its resistances, etc is one of the best mechanics in any game, ever!

    When you start this game you will struggle (ie learning curve) but when you kill that monster that you’ve been struggling with for days by pure skill… Awesome feeling.

  • Zoe

    how can you forget cha cha?! you can make him a mask so that you can bbq… on his face! he is far too awesome

  • teknik1200

    The host migration thing is my only complaint in tri it didn’t matter who left the room..

  • Tbone187

    This game is the stuff of legend…Spent hours on the 1st one on de psp…Huge learning curve but really rewarding as well…If only a pc version would be released….

    • Karatesaul

      There is an MMO called Monster Hunter Frontier available in Japan.

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