Grab your weapon of choice, a handful of herbs, and a whole ton of whetstones in Capcom’s most polished Monster Hunter game to date.
For anyone who’s played a monster hunter title before, you’ll know what to expect. For the newcomer however, one point is worth stressing when considering purchasing this game.
Read that again. This is no kirby game that you can blast through in a weekend. This game will challenge you more than 99% (!) of all titles out there. The larger monsters will beat you down again and again, as you slowly learn their weaknesses and patterns. Don’t play this game if you are used to easy mode, as it will frustrate you beyond measure. However if you’re willing to stick with it this game is extremely rewarding, and incredibly addictive.
Monster hunter 3 is visually stunning. Not just on the Wii, but across all systems it stands out as a beautiful game. Environments are staggering at both day and night, providing the player with incredible plains on which to hunt down their prey. Each map has it’s own distinctive geography and areas, from the scorching desert to the stark tundra.
Monster animations are fluid and convincing, from the bug – like Vespid to the huge Ratholos, everything moves as you would expect it to. They respond to your actions, and move as if they have weight. There’s also a huge variety between monsters, from the rocky Barroth to the cave dwelling Gigginox, ensuring continued interest.
Monster hunter is incredibly complex, featuring in – depth role playing elements from armour and weapon statistics. Combining your own personal set as well as carving items with which to forge bigger and better weapons is fun and addictive. While grinding for a particular scale or horn can become tedious, when you finally craft that lance or helmet, the wait is always worth it.
That feeling is also present in the main task of the game. Slaying a wyvern is extremely difficult, but the feeling of satisfaction that it brings is dizzying. These hunts can easily last over 30 minutes, and more often than not you will die, but the elation when the victory jingle plays will keep you coming back for more.
There are several weapon classes to choose from, each with their own merits. From the speedy sword and shield to the multi – purpose switch axe, every weapon brings new tactics to the field. There’s even the bowgun, for people apprehensive about getting too close to their foe.
The underwater combat adds more variety to the mix, being slower and more methodical than land based fights. Adding a z – axis, and slowing down the hunter, water fights are generally tougher, but by no means impossible. They are also great fun.
Here the game lacks. There is a weak narrative tying your adventure together, involving saving your village from an elder dragon, but it carries no real emotional impact. It merely serves to push the story forward. Characters such as the chief are bland, and the guild sweet heart literally does nothing but give you quests.
During your adventure you will end up saving a tribal child known as Cha-Cha. The mask wearing child will serve as your companion through your hunts if you wish, delivering often funny one liners and helping you out through fighting and ritualistic dances. He is the most memorable character you will meet in the game.
Monster hunter 3 is a game everyone should attempt, being highly unusual compared to the rest of the gaming market. It’s beautiful, compelling and extremely difficult, combining to make a game that will suck you in for hours at a time. Well worth buying.
GAME PLAY: 9/10
OVERALL: 24 / 30 (Great).