|System: Wii U|
|Dev: Capcom Production Studio 1, Eighting|
|Release: March 19, 2013|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p||Blood, Crude Humor, Fantasy Violence|
Embarking on a solo hunt is satisfying, but gathering a group of four is the ideal way to play Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate. Having the extra crew to draw attention away gives you more opportunities to strike, and with a knowledgeable party, you'll marvel at the efficiency at which you dispatch the beasts. Actually forming an online party, however, is where the hassle is found. The updated Wii U version still uses a rather archaic lobby system, and if your attempts to join a party fail, you're booting right back to town and must start the process over again. If you are lucky enough to have three friends with a 3DS copy of Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate, you can engage in four-player local play. The 3DS version is considerably rougher with textures, but the adventure itself is a mirror of the console version. Thus you can transfer your Wii U save file and pick up right where you left off on your 3DS, and vice versa.
Even though the Wii U version is much more pleasing to the eye, it still falls short of expectations on Nintendo's new console. Being an updated port of the 2010 Wii game, Monster Hunter Tri, the visuals were treated with a high-definition coating, but not rebuilt from the ground up. The result is stale, empty-looking environments and character models that lack smooth outlines. However, this a small detriment in the grand scheme of the game, as the action trumps the visuals, and the animations still run smoothly.
The audio is also recycled from Tri, yet what it lacks in sound quality, it makes up for in authenticity. The laid back acoustic strumming beckons you to throw yourself on the cabana bed and let the warm breeze whisk you to sleep. When it's time to hunt, you'll believe the power behind each swing of your weapon by the crushing sound it emits. The monsters trump those, however, with morale-disintegrating roars that command respect and prudence from the tiny little hunter that is you.
The Monster Hunter series has always had a firm following of loyal fans, but has never quite breached the barrier into a mainstream blockbuster in the West. As the standard bearer for the first wave of post Wii U launch titles, Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate has a golden opportunity to make its presence known. Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate is a must-have purchase for anyone who likes challenging gameplay, big weapons, even bigger enemies, a hefty crafting system, and a satisfying cooperative experience.
Date: March 20, 2013