The lights are on
What new ideas the game brings to the table and how well old ideas are presented.
How good a game looks, taking into account any flaws such as bad collision or pop-up.
Does the game’s music and sound effects get you involved or do they make you resolve to always play with the volume down?
Basically, the controller to human interface. The less you think about the hunk of plastic in your hands, the better the playability.
Flat out, just how fun the game is to play. The most important factor in rating a game.
Monster Hunter Tri should be a terrible game for a variety of
reasons. Most of your time is spent in awkward combat plagued by spotty
collision and no way to lock onto your enemies. Managing your massive
inventory of weapons, potions, food, bugs, and more is crucial to
success, yet the item management system is cumbersome and poorly
explained. Load times abound throughout the confusingly laid-out hunting
grounds. Despite all of these significant setbacks, Monster Hunter Tri
offers numerous moments that lend insight into why it’s such a sensation
You won’t get very far into Monster Hunter Tri without
patience, as the first several hours are tedious and uneventful. Once
your unnamed protagonist learns the ropes of forging weapons and armor,
farming, combining items, and other inventory-centric tasks, it’s time
to head out to the hunting grounds.
Charging into battle with
abandon may get you through the early missions, but you’ll hit a brick
wall once you encounter the more formidable foes. Repeated failure is
almost required for many of these boss-like creatures, as learning their
movements, attack patterns, and weaknesses is paramount to success. I
often spent over 30 minutes attempting to take down a massive creature,
only to fall at its feet for the second, third, or fourth time. Each
time you fall, it’s another chance to more adequately prepare for the
battle ahead. It’s smart to head back to the drawing board and put away
all the items that didn’t work, only to grab a handful of new toys that
might fare better in taking the beast down.
Being bested by the
same monster time and time again can be immensely frustrating,
especially after you’ve spent the better chunk of an hour taking him on.
However, it’s genuinely rewarding when you finally prepare for the bout
perfectly, striking down the beast with a deadly combination of
tactics, weapons, and gear.
The thrill of victory is even sweeter
when you share it with friends. Thanks to the hassle-free online
experience (no Friend Codes!), it’s easy to assemble a team of four
players and teach some monsters a lesson. With a new hub city and the
same quest structure as the single-player game, this co-op option adds
significant replay value. If you can look past the archaic game
mechanics and have the patience to trudge through the early missions,
Monster Hunter Tri offers a lengthy and rewarding experience like
nothing else on the Wii.
Email the author Dan Ryckert, or follow on Twitter, Google+, Facebook, and Game Informer.