Monster Hunter Tri
Posted 26 April 2010 - 11:26 PM
After mindlessly indulging close to 10 hours into Monster Hunter Tri in only 2 and a half days, I’ve come to the conclusion that the Japanese are onto something with this Monster Hunter series. The Monster Hunter series takes basic hack-and-slash gameplay, mashes it with thralling adventures, and ties it all together with a nice muliplayer-focused bow.
Being my first Monster Hunter game, I didn’t really know what to expect. Luckily, as you will read in this review, I thoroughly enjoyed it. Before you begin this awesome journey, you must first create your own personal character. You can select between quite a few different faces, hairstyles, colours etc. and craft a character that is uniquely you. Once you’re all setup, you are ready to head out huntin’.
Monster Hunter Tri doesn’t have much of a story. You start off the game by traveling to a village that is being constantly rocked by earthquakes. In the village, the village chief gives you a house and you are assigned to a hunters guild to complete quests. While completing quests, you are also encouraged to collect resources for the village. Some times there are “Urgent Quests” which you must complete ASAP and those usually include one or two dialogue-less cutscenes. Again, not much of a story, but the developers still tried to create as much as they could for a game that focuses on gameplay.
The lack of story in Monster Hunter Tri brings you to what is truly amazing about the game; the gameplay. As mentioned before, your goals in the the are to complete quests. Before you can start taking quests, you need to get some armor and weapons. When you start the game, you are given a set of armor and a sword, but of course you will want to, and need to, upgrade.
The first thing you can do is upgrade each individual piece of your armor. This is done by bringing the blacksmith in the village armor spheres, which are usually obtained as after quest rewards. Your second option is to buy better armor. This is done by bringing the blacksmith in the village the required resources, along with money for the cost of the armor. You can buying better weapons. Much like buying new armor, this is accomplished by bringing the blacksmith resources and money. Its also the same as armor when you want to upgrade your weapons. The different kinds of weapons you can buy are:
- Great Swords
After you complete all of the 1 star quests, the blacksmith also introduces pendants. These pendants are equipped around your neck and offer a points gain for certain abilities, depending on what pendant you are wearing.
Once you are equipped, you must go on quests. This is where you are introduced to the games combat. The basic combat is to run up to the monsters and hit “A” to attack. However if you only adopt this style of combat you will be killed. Instead, you must dodge the monsters and attack from various positions. You will also run away from the monsters a lot. This allows you to change your strategy and also heal with items. Although the game appears to be easy, the difficulty is far from that. The game is incredibly challenging and can be very frustrating, but in the end it is completely worth it. The challenge is also much more rewarding when playing with others online.
The item system in Monster Hunter Tri is very similar to the systems use in other games. When you pick up an item, it goes into your pouch which has limited space. If you run out of space you have to either drop the item or switch it for something else in your pouch. If you want to save an item for later, but don’t want to carry it, then you can leave it in the large chest in your house. Items can be purchased, found in the over-world, collected from monster carcasses, or obtained as reward at the end of quests.
If you find that hunting monsters by yourself is boring, there is local, two player arena mode that you can play. Although that is nothing compared to the great online multi-player component. This is initiated by choosing “The City” when you begin the game, opposed to “The Village”. After selecting this option, you are brought to a list of difficulties. Once you select your difficulty, you are given a list of various servers. Once you pick your server, you then pick the gate you want to enter through. After that, you must walk through the gate with your character to the place where you can select which city you want to enter. The gate part of the online experience seems pretty useless at first, but once you get used to the game, you’ll realize that you can easily chat with friends, find friends, and find groups easily from the gates which is a nice feature.
As for the online community, so far it is great. I’ve spent at least 6 hours online and I have not run into anyone who was there to be an asshole. Everyone one who was there to play with was very nice and friendly. Everyone had a goal to complete the quests, and no one tried to interfere with those goals. You can either play with friends or you can play with strangers. To play with friends, you must swap your “Capcom IDs” (opposed to Friend Codes). One of you must send a message to the others Capcom ID with a friend quest included. This is much easier than Friend Codes, but it does have one major downside; you cannot send friend requests or messages if the other player is offline.
Once you find your friends or strangers to play with, there are a few ways in which you can communicate. First, you can the Wiimote and the on-screen keyboard to select pre-made sentences, or you can use the on-screen keyboard to type out your own sentences. This is very slow and frustrating, so I do not recommend it. The other way to communicate is to type with a USB keyboard. This is much faster and convenient. Finally, you can also communicate via WiiSpeak.
While traveling through the scarcely populated environments, you have a lot of time to relax and just listen. You’ll soon discover the fascinating sounds which the game has to offer. You will hear giant insects buzzing, and large monsters calling. When running you will hear your steps, and while swimming you will hear the water. Once you dig a sword into a monster, you will hear it slice. All of this sounds in the single player give the game a surprisingly calm feeling. However, that all changes when you face a huge monster which are the equivalent to boss fights. Once you enter the same area as a boss, the music picks up the pace and you begin to feel anxious. Although its exciting in the single player game, that feeling is magnified once you enter the multi-player. When your with a group of people, tensions seem to run higher and the sound and music drive that tension.
All of these environments and battles aren’t complete without some top-of-the-line graphics. In regards to graphics, Monster Hunter Tri does not disappoint. As soon as I loaded up the single player the graphics instantly caught my eye. These graphics are easily some of the best I’ve seen on the Wii, at least for Wii games that go for a more realistic look. The game does have some tearing and collision issues, but these only appear when you are running uphill, or climbing on a ledge, and you stop half way through. Also while playing online a few times, the monsters completely disappeared from my view, but were still there fighting my other teammates. It only happened a few times and was likely due to the server more than anything.
Before I purchased Monster Hunter Tri, I thought that controls would be a bit of a problem, but once again, the surprised me. When Monster Hunter Tri was first released, Capcom sold a special edition bundle which came with a previously unreleased in North America “Classic Controller Pro”. Many people including myself were disappointed that the game was going for a Classic Controller and Wiimote only control scheme, skipping functionality with Gamecube controllers. As I do not own a Classic Controller and did not buy the special edition version, I thought that the Wiimote would be troublesome. Luckily, the game controls perfectly fine with the Wiimote and Nunchuck. I can fight, run around, and dodge with ease. My only complaint with the Wiimote is that it is hard to move the camera fast, which is necessary to win. From what I’ve heard though, its much easier to move the camera with the Classic Controller. The controls in Monster Hunter Tri are the perfect example of “easy to learn, hard to master.”
The replay value in Monster Hunter Tri is incredible. If you were to complete every quest online and offline, buy everything, and collect everything, it would easily take you well over 100 hours. Not to mention that you will also likely play quests multiple times online, just with different people. After only playing 9 hours, I’ve also completed some online quests multiple times. If you want one Wii game that you are going to be able to put in at anytime and waste 5 hours, this game is for you.
Monster Hunter Tri is a game that hardcore Wii owners have been waiting for. It takes all of the stereotypes of those who enjoy playing the Wii, and throws them out the window. This game is not for your 90-year-old grandmother. There are so many great things about this game, and only a very few things that aren’t bad, but could be a bit better. Most of those problems are online related anyway, which can easily be fixed with server updates from Capcom. Out of all of the games that I’ve personally played so far this year, Monster Hunter Tri is my favourite. Don’t be scared off because it is a Monster Hunter title, this game is a must-buy.
- Expansive World
- Fun quests
- Outstanding Online Community
- Some of the Best Wii Graphics
- Great Sounds and Music
- Near Limitless Replay Value
- Easy to Use, Hard to Master Controls
- Challenging, but Rewarding Gameplay
- Story Could be Better
- May be to Challenging for Some
- Some Minor Graphical Issues
- Friend Request and Message System Needs to be Improved
Posted 06 May 2010 - 06:31 AM
am trying to get full Rathian armour at the moment.