Monster Hunter Tri (MH3) is set to launch in North America on April 20, just a few short weeks away. Capcom promises to have free online play (the Japanese release is Pay-to-Play) and include Wii Speak (another feature the Japanese release was lacking). The Monster Hunter series is pretty massive in Japan but has yet to catch on here in North America, something both Nintendo and Capcom hope to remedy with MH3.
Well we got our copy of the Monster Hunter Tri demo this morning and we can tell you the game has some serious potential, under the right circumstances. Read on below to find out what those circumstances are.
Knowing the person who's giving you their opinion is important so you know if I like the same things you like. First off, I have only ever beaten one RPG in my life (Baten Kaitos for GCN) and I tend to lean more toward adventure, action games. I have also never played a Monster Hunter game in my life, before today. Now that's enough about me, onto the game.
First off, this game can be gorgeous. I say can because the game has some really good artistic direction. Some of the areas are very unique and have a sense of history to them. I really like that aspect, see section 9 to know what I mean. On the other side of the coin they also tend to be sort of empty at times. Locations without any monster creatures roaming around seem desolate, very uninteresting. A beautiful environment with nothing in it seems kind of pointless to me.
Graphically the game can look really good. Again, I say can because the game has a very "soap opera" look to it in 480i. Everything gets a little blurry and there are some spots that are extremely dark, probably remedied with torches we didn't have in the demo. But if you have an HDTV with component cables (for 480p) the game seems to really clear up. This makes a substantial difference, almost rivaling Mario Galaxy in sheer beauty.
This is gorgeous in 480p.
There are seven weapon classes to choose from: Sword and Shield, Great Sword, Hammer, Bowgun (Light, Medium and Heavy), Lance, Long Sword, and a Switch Axe which changes from Axe to Sword. I tried each of them and, for the most part, they play quite a bit differently. Sword and shield has a faster but weaker attack, the Lance was slower but had a longer reach and the Bowgun classes have great range but require reloading. By the end, I seemed to find the Great Sword fit my play style best (see it in the screen above). It had large swings with great damage and the B-dodge worked pretty well with it.
We only got to try single player but it was neat to try our hand at some of the monsters in the game. If you had any fear this game would be easy let me tell you, one of the monsters was a real pain. After a good 30 minutes of slicing this guy, and his enormous dragon looking friend, I still never beat him. And that was only one attempt that lasted that long.
Another thing to note, another can moment, are the controls. There's no lock-on (ala Zelda) so you will constantly be arranging the camera as you run and fight. Let me just sum this up, if you have a Classic Controller, play it with that. Or if you are already decided you're buying MH3, get the $59.99 bundle that comes with the Classic Controller. It's really that big of a difference.
One last thing to note, this game has some humor in it too. The characters really seem alive and there are some neat animations that bring the world to life. Just to point out a few, there's the nap animation and the character cooking a BBQ that both had me cracking a smile.
Get excited for MH3 if you:
- Like hack-n-slash games
- Like RPG games
- Have component cables for 480p
- Have Wii Speak and friends getting the game