The Monster Hunter series is one I have always been keen to try out though I never managed to get round to playing any of the games. With the release of Monster Hunter Ultimate 3 on the Wii U and 3DS I was once again keen to purchase the game, though stocks were minimal. Thankfully I was able to have the great opportunity of reviewing Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate on the Wii U though within the review I will also mention the 3DS version briefly in areas, for comparison, due to having access to the 3DS version also.
Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate doesn’t have a ‘Story’ as such but instead you are hired to be a Monster Hunter in the town of Moga. As you start off you have limited quests (starting off with the One Star quests) and as you complete the given quests, unlock more. The following section will be split into two; one covering the Quests and one covering the “Free Roam”/Moga Village aspects.
Quests are a key part of Monster Hunter Ultimate 3. When completing a quest the monster within that quest (if killed) will be available within the Free Roam aspect of the game to hunt to your heart’s content. On top of this quests provide you with cash and resources to help you upgrade your armour and also your weapons (more of which will be talked about later on in the review). The quests range in difficulty starting with One Star and going all the way up to Five Stars. To unlock the Two Star quests all of the One Star quests must have been completed. The quests are enjoyable and are interesting, though my main complaint is that some quests later on in the game feel slightly repetitive. On-top of the repetitive feel some quests give off… some quests are extremely dull. I hate to say it but most people purchase Monster Hunter for the sole reason of … well hunting monsters. At the beginning there are several resource hunting quests, and while they are useful for upgrades, drag on and make you want to get into the middle of the action.
The “Free Roam” or Moga Village aspects are another core element of Monster Hunter Ultimate 3 and provide extra beef to the game. The Free Roam aspect allows you to head into Moga Woods (the first area within the game) and collect resources while hunting to your heart’s content. I spent several hours hunting for resources which I needed to upgrade my beloved duel shields as far as I could. Monster Hunter wouldn’t be named as such if it didn’t involve hunting monsters and the free roam section allows you to fight monsters previously met within quests which is a nice addition… even if one jumps up on you mid-herb hunt! The Moga Village area features several shops and areas which are useful for your hunting needs. As such you are able to venture into your home which has an item chest and a bed (useful for storing your goods away and saving the game), whilst the main town has areas such as a blacksmith, store merchant, traders etc to help you upgrade or sell items you may have found while hunting. Moga Village slowly comes alive as you play more of the game and it is nice to see it become more vibrant and active as you play.
The graphics for Monster Hunter Ultimate 3 look gorgeous, with the massive environments making you feel as if you are truly hunting for these amazing monsters. The problem I did notice is that while the game does look gorgeous some of the in game items or areas look a little outdated and blurry. For those who don’t know Monster Hunter Ultimate 3 is in-fact a remake of the original game but you would have thought that meshes would have been updated to higher quality to make up for the new higher resolution which the Wii U and 3DS are able to support.
Music… wow the music in this game is catchy! Ranging from songs like the main Moga Village theme to the Cooking Theme this game has a stunning soundtrack which is enjoyable to listen to… even if the same tune comes about over and over again. I spent several hours in game just cooking because I enjoyed the cooking theme so much (I really should be playing other games, shouldn’t I?).
Controls are an element I wanted to talk about with the gameplay. The controls are solid in game and feel comfortable as you play on the Wii U gamepad. You are able to remove areas of the HUD (on the TV) to your Wii U pad so you can customise your interface to how you prefer/find easier to play. Onto the gameplay. The gameplay in this game is enjoyable and killing monsters is a ton of fun whilst also being a great experience – for when monsters attack of course. The game allows players to choose which weapon they wish to use, for the review I decided to stick with the Dual Blades due to their speed, and it really is a nice combat system. A problem I did have whilst fighting is that some monsters do just take their sweet old time to die and while you’re mashing the attack buttons you can become a little bored. Thankfully the monsters in game react to your attacks and also how much health they are on meaning that there should be some spice to your fights to stop this from happening, though at the beginning of the game this happens a fair bit.
Multiplayer. This was a real key element for me as the game was sold with ‘Wii U to 3DS Online Connectivity’ and boy does it live up to the advertisement. Players simply talk to a character within Moga Village who will take them to the Online Port and allow them to connect with Wii U or 3DS players alike. As of here there really isn’t much different to your typical single player mode. You will be able to find your usual shops and quest aiding people around the tavern/docks but the quests will be different for multiplayer making it a different experience than that found on single player. Generally quests are easier with a group of four playing online though playing with two or three is still enjoyable and possible. One massive problem which I had with the multiplayer was enemy appearances. When playing on the Wii U I would be attacking a monster in game (only a small one, thankfully not a massive monster) and my mate on his 3DS was not able to see what I was attacking. This was the same vice versa and while it seems like a minimal problem does cause some issues when you are trying to aid each other on quests. All resources you collect within the Singleplayer and Multiplayer modes are shared so if you are trying to upgrade your weapons and you find a resource you really need in Multiplayer it will be available straight away in Singleplayer.
We’ve pulled the game apart, let’s look at the summary:
- + Epic and unique monsters.
- + Nice variation of locations – Four different ones (Forest/Desert/IceyPlains/Swamp).
- + Packed with so much content it’s worth the cost.
- + Great ability to connect the 3DS and Wii U for multiplayer.
- + Nice vibrant hub area with likable characters.
- - On multiplayer the enemies do not always appear the same, sometimes the Wii U player will be fighting an enemy which the 3DS player cannot see.
- - The game doesn’t help the player as much as you would think, leaving you on your own to work out where resources etc are found.
- - Some quests feel repetitive and dull (especially those resource collecting ones!)
It’s rare that a game can draw me in for several hours… let alone days at a time and not have me consider turning it off. Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate is one of these amazing games that I have played for days and I am still going with the amount of content that the game provides and just to upgrade as much of my equipment as possible (for bagging purposes of course). If you are a long term Monster Hunter fan you should know what to expect and be very content with this game, but if you are new to the series you will fall in love with this game when you get your hands on it. Epic over the top monster fights combined with a great upgrade and fighting system within a beautiful and captivating world is not what I was expecting… but Monster Hunter Ultimate 3 delivered just that.
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.