Average User Score: 8.2Mar 24, 2013Let me level with you. I'm a huge Monster Hunter series fan. Does that make my review biased? Probably. Does it mean I actually have played the game and know what I'm talking about before reviewing? Definitely.
First of all, some truths. This game had been called a re-release of older Monster Hunter titles, however that's not entirely true. Think of it more of an EXPANSION of older titles (Monster Hunter Tri for the Wii and Monster Hunter Portable 3rd for the PSP that only came out in Japan). Does this mean that the graphics are old and outdated, or downright ugly at parts, seeing as it's an HD re-hash of PSP graphics? Yes. If cutting edge technology and graphics is what you're looking for, this is not the game (or indeed series) for you.
However, does that make the game any less good? Actually, no. And that's because CAPCOM has always made this series with attention to detail for things that matter. Sure, the polygon models are low count, the textures are old and low-res and the special effects will not blow your mind. But the character animations, monster animations, the monsters' AI, and generally things that make this feel less of a game and more of an ecosystem that you actually go into to hunt huge monsters, are polished and really well done.
This has always been the staple of this series, and MH3U doesn't disappoint. Every time you're spotted by a big monster, should you crouch and hide, it will be wary of you but usually will not attack you and eventually might lose interest and leave. Throwing so much as a stone at it though and it will defend itself and attack you. If a monster is sensitive to sounds, it will be surprised and disorientated for a few moments after you use a sonic bomb. If a monster is clinging on the ceiling of a cave, shoot it with a bow or bowgun at its feet for long enough and it will lose grip and drop. If a monster has horns and charges at you, get behind a wall and it might get stuck on it with its horns. Break the horns of the same monster, and it no longer can get stuck on walls. It is little things like that, which, when added together, show the immense amount of work and polish that has gone into this game series.
So, even though this game is graphically old, and is based on an old Wii game, is it worth your money and time? Yes, because the amount of content in this game is triple the amount of content of that in the Wii version, perhaps even more. Yes, because this series was never about graphics or technological feats, it was always about attention to detail of the monsters (their ecosystems, quirks, attributes) and the battle system (ways and strategies to fight them and so forth). Yes, because even though many people complain this game's battle is slow and sluggish, or the camera controls are weird, they're missing the point. The game is SUPPOSED to handle like that from design. It is a design choice, implemented to make the player feel that they really ARE holding heavy swords and lances in their hands, while fighting 20 ton dragons. You can't wimp and cancel out of any and all of your attacks, because if you're holding a sword almost as big as you and swing it, it makes sense you can't control its weight after doing so. You must plan your strategy, anticipate attacks, look for openings, use tools at your disposal to outwit the monster and make the hunt easier.
This is NOT a hack and slash game. You'll get rewarded for knowing your adversaries, and punished severely for attacking head-on mashing the attack buttons, to the point that a monster that takes you 40 minutes when charging blindly with no plan, could take you less than 10 minutes if you go in with a plan, the right tools and strategy.
Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate is an Action RPG, or even, an Action Game with RPG elements, where the player gets better, not their character. Sure, you forge new weapons and armors, and there's literally thousands of them in the game, created from parts (scales, shells) of the monsters you fight, but there's no leveling system or exp to gain. Even given the best armor and weapon for a specific monster, a player will fail to defeat it if they are not aware of its attacks, quirks, and tools/strategies they should use. Simply put, if I give my end-game character to a friend who's an avid action game or action RPG player and ask him to defeat one of the end-game monsters, they will simply fail, lacking the experience as a player that this game rewards you for.
So if you're looking for a game that focuses 100% on the GAMEplay and its mechanics and 0% on its story, exposition, graphics or presentation, a game where the fun stems from becoming a better player at it, and being rewarded constantly as if you yourself did something, this game is for you. The multiplayer co-op is a great experience too, with a huge feeling of bonding and achievement every time you and your buddies take down something huge that took nearly an hour. Expect hundreds of hours of fun in the world of MH3U.… Expand