Game Review: Monster Hunter 3: Ultimate

I actually was going to save this to review for next week but I couldn’t help myself. I’ve always been a pretty big fan of the Monster Hunter series but it’s been a while since I’ve been able to play one. Since it’s an extended version of Monster Hunter Tri (for the Wii) I didn’t have any doubts about how good it’d be but I was interested in how they’d make the game work with the console shift. So far my experience only speaks for the 3DS version, and Monster Hunter 3: Ultimate did not disappoint at all.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with how the game works, it’s an action strategy game that makes the player rely on their skill and knowledge to win. You don’t get experience or level up, instead you collect materials and/or money and get new gear that will help you be more proficient in, well, hunting “monsters”. These “monsters” aren’t some kind of source of evil though, they’re abnormal wild animals that you hunt to help keep the village you belong to thriving (as well as make a profit for yourself). So really it’s not so much hunting monsters as it’s hunting and gathering only you get cool stuff to do it.

As soon as I started the game started to collect materials to make the next best set of armor and dual swords (my preferred weapon of choice while soloing). The game does a great job at making me feel as though I’m growing as a player even though I don’t have an experience bar and keeps me entertained with plenty of side things to do. Alongside the quests you do there are also coop quests, free roaming, farming/fishing, and even the ability to play in a challenge course against monsters with whatever gear the game gives you. Normally I’m never too compelled to play a challenge game like that but your highest scores are saved and put on a leader-board with your friends and I think it’s fun to compete like that in games.

However, I mention playing with friends and this game does have coop play but I haven’t had the luxury of trying ti out on the 3DS yet. I’m not sure why but only the WiiU version of this game has online comparability. The 3DS only has local multiplayer which makes sense since it’s a portable console (and I imagine that they’re trying to support people hanging out in person rather than being online all the time) but for me this meant that I couldn’t try it out. I’ve played this game’s multiplayer before and know enough about it to say that it definitely makes the game a lot more fun but if you’re like me and don’t always have the ability to hang out with other people interested in this game then the WiiU title may be a better choice (plus 1080p so why not?).

The game delivered exactly what I thought it would and I love it. Although I wish the 3DS also had online multiplayer I don’t mind finding the time to hang out with my friends (or street-passing people on campus to find more guild cards). If you like action rpg gameplay but hate level grinding this game’s for you. It’s all about the equipment, strategy, and skill from the player. Although your arsenal of equipment may take time to build up as long as you let your strategy evolve and skill grow you’ll be a great hunter in no time.