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Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate

Score: 86%
ESRB: Teen
Publisher: Capcom
Developer: Capcom
Media: Cartridge/1
Players: 1 - 4
Genre: RPG/ Action

Graphics & Sound:

The first thing you do in Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate is create your character, male or female, with a couple of different outfits and some different colors to choose from. Thereís not much variation in the different choices. Once you start the game, it makes sense because there isnít much difference in the villagers. Theyíre all dark haired, tan skinned, and brown eyed. They also tend to wear the same colors, greens and browns. Itís not the worldís most vibrant place, but their location is ideal. The village is situated on a beautiful sea with glistening waters full of fish. The woods are thick and lush green. Overall, it isnít the most beautiful game Iíve seen, except in 3D.

Until now, I had not found a 3D game that impressed me enough to make me leave the 3D on, but Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate has done an amazing job with the 3D! It is easy to get it into focus and everything truly has depth. When hunting, you are going to want to leave it on. I couldnít figure out how to hit some of the flying monsters until I turned on 3D. Once I did, I could see instantly what I needed to do. Even if youíre like me and never play in 3D for long, you should check it out in Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate because they have pulled off something amazing!

The background music is quite nice and soothing. Itís nothing that I couldnít stop listening to though, so personally I kept the sound turned down most of the time. I didnít find that having it on helped in battles and the characterís speech is all text that you read on the screen.


Gameplay:

Life is great in the peaceful fishing village on the water called Moga Village. Well, great other than the quakes of unknown origin and the monsters that keep moving in. You have been hired to hunt the monsters plaguing the village. Theyíre nice enough to even give you our own home where you can go to store your extra items and such. If you want to save, you can just choose to sleep in your bed at your home. Youíll also have a base camp in the woods to hunt from. Itís a bit of a wreck at first, thanks to the quakes, but just maybe you can get it back in shape. The villagers are even glad to help you, but youíre going to have to bring all the materials because materials are earned from fighting carnivores. You can also fight herbivores to get raw meat. By cooking this raw meat, you can replenish your energy. If you search the grounds, you can find quite a variety of items to aid you, like herbs that will heal and mushrooms that have a wide range of effects. The maximum number of any one item that you can have is 10. Basically, you are going to be roaming around fighting monsters until you are strong enough to take on the big one that you were hired to defeat. Make sure to look for the Villagerís Requests as well as these will help you get where you need to be faster.

While it might look like Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate is a single player game, you can play with up to four local players. Each player will need their own copy of the game. To start up a multi-player game, you simply go talk to Neko in the village. Heíll walk you through how to start up and join together. There is also an option to search for other local players that are near you, but I havenít found any myself. You can also save data between the Wii U and 3DS versions of the game, so if you happen to own it on both systems, you can play on your big screen at home and take the portable version with you anywhere. I do not own a Wii U, but I canít wait until I do to see what the game looks like on a big TV. There is a whole lot of detail that I can tell is there, but it just doesnít show up on the 3DS well because of the smaller screen size.


Difficulty:

In Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate, you start off with a variety of weapons in the box in your room, so Iíd recommend checking that out before you go shopping. First, because it will save you money, but second because you can try out the different types of weapons and figure out which one(s) you are most comfortable with. Some monsters are slow, land-based creatures so you can get away with using a giant long sword, but for other flying creatures you will find it very difficult to kill them with something that slow and large. Make sure to try out all your weapons and figure out what works best for you. Once you do find your weapons of choice, you can strengthen them at the forge. You can also buy a variety of armor at the same shop in the village. Upgrade your armor often. If you get an entire matching set, you will get a bonus, so try to keep your pieces matching.

If you find things get too difficult with the monsters, just back off and try somewhere else. You can always grind the areas on easier monsters to earn money to upgrade your weapons and armor and then go take on those harder ones. If youíre finding one particular type difficult, I personally recommend trying a different weapon. Sometimes that makes all the difference in the world.


Game Mechanics:

Your (A) button is select and (B) is back. The Circle Pad moves you around the screen. It was a bit difficult to get used to at first, because Iím so used to the D-Pad for movement, but the D-Pad moves your camera or cursor. You have a lot of different actions that you can do on the bottom touch screen. These panels can be moved around and customized to any configuration that you would like, which is nice. You can put the things you use more in places that are easier to reach quickly. You are going to want to be able to get to things quickly, because battles with monsters are in real time. If you manage to let yourself be surrounded, there is no waiting a turn and moving. Here, youíre just going to have to use your skills to get out of the way!

Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate is a solid RPG. Youíll spend a lot of time fighting monsters to level up and complete quests. While the story hasnít sucked me in as much as some games, I think that is simply because Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate starts out a bit slower. The longer you play it, the more addicted you get. If youíre a fan of RPGs and adventure games, you just might want to check out Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate today.


-Cyn, GameVortex Communications
AKA Sara Earl

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