Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate Review
Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate Box Art
System: Wii U
Dev: Capcom Production Studio 1, Eighting
Pub: Capcom
Release: March 19, 2013
Players: 1-4
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.

Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate Screenshot

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.

Sean Engemann
Contributing Writer
Date: March 20, 2013

The backgrounds are flat and the character models archaic, but excellent high-definition upscaling of the monsters makes them some of the best looking out there.
The weight of the controls varies depending on the weapon you wield, but this is all by design. Both the GamePad and the Pro Controller function well.
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
The audio is recycled from Monster Hunter Tri, but is still both beautiful and intimidating at just the right moments.
Play Value
There is a ton to do, both in and out of the main storyline. The multiplayer is fun, and simply switching weapons offers a brand new gameplay experience.
Overall Rating - Great
Not an average. See Rating legend below for a final score breakdown.
Review Rating Legend
0.1 - 1.9 = Avoid 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 3.5 - 3.9 = Good 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair 4.0 - 4.4 = Great 5.0 = The Best

Game Features:

  • Expansive Monster Hunter world - equipment and weapon upgrades, challenging monsters, and over 200 quests to tackle make this latest offering the most expansive in the series so far.
  • Utilize the Wii U and 3DS functionalities - The touchscreen feature of both platforms provides easy access to in-game books, weapons, field maps and minigames.
  • Don't hunt on your lonesome - Connect with up to three friends in four-player local play via the Nintendo 3DS or online via the Wii U. Wii U players can also link up with Nintendo 3DS players over a local connection.
  • Take the experience with you wherever you go - Share your save data between your Wii U home console and the Nintendo 3DS, allowing the Monster Hunter experience to be truly portable.
  • Meet your companions - Never feel alone in the vast world of Monster Hunter with the aid of your two companions, Cha-Cha and Kayamba, who will assist you on your quests.

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