Review by Binba442
Grindfest? Some would think so...
That is how many people describe Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate. (For the rest of the review, known as MH3U) These people are right. It is a grindfest, but you don't feel it.
MH3U is a remake/port of Monster Hunter Tri for the Wii, released in English territories in 2010, to much acclaim, and to decent sales. It was then remade on 3DS/WII U, and before I go to the review, I'm going to cover version differences quickly.
The 3DS Version has 3D effects, and portability, while the Wii U version has online play, HD graphics, and the comfort of a home console. Which version you buy is up to what you prefer, want to play with your friends at the mall? Get the 3DS version, but if you like to be alone/online, get the Wii U version. But if you can get both, not only can your 3DS copy play with the Wii U copy, but you can transfer saves across.
Story + Gameplay:
The game starts with a Monster attacking Moga Village, the single player campaign hub, causing destruction before it leaves. You then arrive, with your character, which you can make in detail, before going through a tutorial. The tutorial is a bit like a World of Warcraft fetch quest, sometimes fighting little monsters before going back to base. You eventually get access to quests, and you can do what you want. Want to go hunting? Do it! Want to quest to kill a monster? You can do that. The quest ladder climbs, and you kill bigger and better monsters, you can then make better armour and weapons. This is when people think it might get a bit grindy. The game essentially is one big recourse grind, getting better stuff to upgrade. But it's presented in such a fun and interesting way, that I didn't feel the grind.
The controls take some getting used to, but if you have the circle pad pro, you can play it like you would a Dual stick game, I haven't used that mode myself, as I think the current controls are fine, but I've heard from others it works quite well.
The game gives you all it's weapon types at the start, and it's up to you to pick the type for you, there are 2 types, melee and ranged, and some of the ranged weapons require ammo. They are all equal, but it's more about playstyle.
The game has 3 ports. The single player port, the village, Multi Port, and Single port. Single port and Multi port are the same, but on the Multi port, quests are harder, as they are made to be tackled with more players (Which you can play with through local wireless). Single port however, can be taken on alone, they have the same quests, and if you beat them in one, they are often carried over to the other.
It has the same quest-based system as the Village, but it's not very story based, but more reward based. Many consist of Hunt this monster or Capture this monster, and occasionally Find x amount of these quests, which are the worst of the bunch, but still enjoyable. The port is also home to Arena Quests where you're given a set of items, armour and weapons, and made to take on a monster. These quests are good to go along with friends, as all players are given balanced equipment, unlike normal port quests, where if one of your friends has the best weapon in the game, and you have bagpipes, the mission won't be very fun for you.
Graphics and Sound:
For a 3DS Game, the graphics hold up quite well. The 3D is quite fluent, and it's obvious care has been put into it, the world looks quite real with the 3D effect, though obviously, it lacks the 720p+ that the Wii U can offer, but the few resolution problems the 3DS has seems to melt away when the 3D is turned on. The music and sounds are quite impressive. When you start the game, the first time you head into the woods, you have to walk up a small hill, and when you reach the summit, the stunning views the game offers hit you, and grand music plays. The weapons feel very strong thanks to their sound design, when you hit a monster, you feel like you really just hit it with a giant sword, not that you whacked it with a stick.
Length + Replay Value:
This game, is huge. I have read people putting insane hours into this game. Beating all the quests? About 40 55 Hours. If you want to go on, get the best armour and play with friends? The length goes to about 80+ hours. More if you want to start your game again.
The replay value, however is a bit lacking, but considering how the game is 50-80 hours, that hardly matters. And playing with friends is always fun, so you can do that.
Speaking of time, I've noticed that saving on a cartridge seems to take about 5-10 Seconds longer than on a Eshop copy, I haven't confirmed this, but it's what I've seen of friends copies, that's the case.
I would recommend MH3U if you didn't have any friends with the game. But if you have friends, I recommend it even more, it's great fun to play with others.
Story 7/10 - Average, but it's not about the story, it's about...
Gameplay 9/10 - Lots of fun
Graphics + Sound 8/10 - Some of the best on 3DS
Replay Value 10/10 - 50+ hours. Excellent time.
If you aren't busy buying Fire Emblem and Animal Crossing (If you like those types of games) buy this. Wii U or 3DS is down to you, but I explained that earlier. Overall, I give both versions a decent 8/10.
Product Release: Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate (EU, 03/22/13)
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