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Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate

The Hunt Continues On Familiar Turf

The Monster Hunter series is an acquired taste. Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate boasts a deep system that is largely inaccessible without the helping hand of an online guide, tutorial, or patient veteran. It’s a tough nut to crack, but gamers willing to do so will find a game that is equal parts addicting, challenging, time consuming, and ultimately rewarding.

At first glance, Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate could be dismissed as a simple expansion to 2010’s Monster Hunter Tri on the Wii. That would be a mistake. It has a bevy of new content, including quests, items, areas, and monsters. Monster Hunter veterans with keen eyes will recognize a lot has simply been borrowed from previous iterations. In relation to the core Tri game, these inclusions are vast in scope; they add hundreds of hours of gameplay and make this installment an absolute must-own for fans of the series.

The majority of the new content might take dozens of hours to get to, but it expands the series considerably. The playground is still familiar, but there are so many new things to carve up and craft.

The short list of ramped-up features from Tri are the inclusion of previously omitted weapon types like the dual blades, an additional AI–controlled comrade, and three all new G-Ranks which add a higher level of difficulty (and the spoils to match). New monsters such as the Brachydios and various sub-species make their debut, and several existing monsters have gained additional attacks and patterns at higher mission ranks.  Even seasoned hunters need to be on their toes. 

MH3U makes full use of the Wii U’s extra screen in some convenient ways. It is customizable, so you can add shortcuts to easily bring up functions that normally would be several button presses away. Access to item combinations or character emotes is now just a tap away. Voice chat is also handled by the Game Pad, eliminating the need for an extra headset or microphone. 

Co-op is the lifeblood of the Monster Hunter series. Playing with an experienced group and taking down a seemingly insurmountable foe is exhilarating. Different players assume different roles; one hero can use ranged weapons while others focus on laying traps or dealing melee damage. As integral as the co-op experience may be, this entry does little to improve the online functionality beyond what was established in previous efforts. Stability is still solely dependent upon the host’s connection; if they leave the game for any reason, the entire party is disbanded and are booted right back to the game’s main menu. 

In order to fully experience and enjoy Monster Hunter, there is a considerable amount of commitment required. Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate does little to ease in new players or entice those that aren’t already fans. However, old vets and fair-weather fans alike will find an enriched experience with a hefty amount of new content. Coupled with the online capabilities and graphics overhaul, this is well deserving of the title “ultimate.”

User Reviews:

  • 6.00
    I've never played a Monster Hunter game prior to this one except a one time10-30 minute romp with the old PS2 version. I considered buying MH3U for quite awhile due to the fact that I wanted a good, lengthy game on Wii U and also because most people said this was an amazing game. The game went on...
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  • 9.50
    NOTE: I originally wrote this as a blog post, but have now added it here since GI finally added a review. In 30+ years of gaming, I have had the honor of playing a host of memorable games that I can look back on and say, “That was one hell of an experience”. Everything from The Legend of...
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  • 9.25
    Monster Hunter 3 ultimate... I could honestly go on for hours about this game and how much I Enjoy it... but I'll try not to rant for days. Where to begin... I am going to write this review for new players because If you like Monster Hunter at all chances are you already own this title or plan to...
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  • 8.75
    After having a rough time with the demo, I've been pleasantly surprised at how fun and deep this game is. After a few hours of doing basic tasks and getting to know my weapons I am ready for some big hunts, and while I haven't played online yet, I can tell you that this game is going to be a...
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