I am now at the sixty hour mark in playing Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate, an upscaled version with extra WiiU bells and whistles. In hindsight, it looks like an upscaled game, but compared to the Wii version it plays a lot better thanks to the Game Pad. Yes, as someone who bitched out HD Collections in the first episode of Pie Radio, I actually have found an upscaled HD game I like. However, Monster Hunter 3 U is a game that requires dedication, patience and an urge to tackle fierce/douchebag monsters while at the same time harvesting materials to make stronger armor and weapons. Its not perfect, buts its incredibly addicting and easily one of the best WiiU multiplayer games on the system now (before Mario Kart 8 comes out).
So what exactly is Monster Hunter, and what do you do in it? Well, you hunt monsters with your weapon of choice. Sounds straightforward, doesn’t it? However, it is not that simple. You do hunt monsters, but that is but one main objective in your game. You have to make stronger armor and weapons from various materials you can break off the monsters, harvest herbs/berries/mushrooms to make items needed to survive, and knowing the layout of the various lands where you conduct the missions to progress the story or increase your rank in multiplayer mode.
If you are new to Monster Hunter, it may seem quite daunting since there are at least twelve different weapon types each with their own set of strengths and weaknesses, including everything else I mentioned. However, that is part of this game’s overall addictiveness and charm, if you’re willing to sink in the time. Since the game’s release in March, I have made several different pieces of armor, collaborated with other Pietriots that have the game, kicked monster ass and took monster names. Despite being an upscaled Wii game, Monster Hunter 3 is very goddamn pretty and moves quite smoothly on and off-line. Also sounds awesome two, with the soundtrack having both relaxed and uplifting themes.
However, there are a couple of problems. For one, the controls are sometimes ass. Having been spoiled with many of the 3-D Zelda titles, MH3’s controls are loose and sometimes a bit finicky. You will be changing the camera angle every single second, but thankfully when you are facing off against big monsters, you can lock onto them… sort of. It more like centering the camera instead of staying locked on; Z-targeting was introduced on the Nintendo 64 in 1998, why couldn’t Capcom use that? Aiming with guns and turrets are ASS and if you liked it what is wrong with you?!
Big monster battles also have a problem; they can be cheap as fuck when attacking you, whether you are prepared or not. Most times monsters could just be targeting you in multiplayer mode, stunlock you for an easy kill and damn it is a pain in the ass. I’m looking at you, Zinogre.