A reveiw of: Monster Hunter Tri (Wii)

Here it is… My first review.  I’d just like to point out that I would have done this last week if Amazon UK had not screwed around with my payment…

Anyway. Monster Hunter Tri is pretty self explanatory. You go around, hunting monsters. But heres the catch. These aren’t you standard monster-under-the-bed kind of monsters. These are massive, screen-filling, all-powerful monsters. And then there’s you, armed with a sword. But not just any old sword. This sword is as long as a bus, and has dinosaur teeth all over it. It’s an understatement to say that this game is a bit over the top. It’s general mental-ness might explain why it’s so popular in Japan… It’s fair to say that this game has had a fair amount of hype, and it doesn’t disappoint.

The object of the game is to go around and complete quests, such as killing monsters or delivering items. However, I’ve only spent about half my game time doing quests. The other half, I’ve been off free roaming around the main island, hunting raptor-monsters (Known in-game as Jaggi) for my own amusement, making sure I have loads of healing items, and honing my skills so I don’t get creamed by a giant sea dragon. However, you don’t have to do it all alone. You can join up with 3 other people online… But more on that later.

4.5/5

Open ended gameplay, a good mix of difficulties and great balance between fighting and exploring. Very easy to get  distracted though.

This game has some of the best visuals on Wii. No doubt about that. Not even the health bar, the stamina bar, the oxygen bar and the weapon sharpness bar could distract you from the beautiful panoramic views that you see when wandering around the island for the first time. Everything has had so much attention paid to it, from the monsters to the mushrooms. This is backed up with a great soundtrack and sound effects. Very awe-inspiring stuff…

5/5

Right up there with the likes of Super Mario Galaxy and Super Smash Bros Brawl, as far as looks and sound is concerned

For new players to the series (i.e. most people), the controls (and to some extent, the HUD) will be confusing for a while. Movement is done with the Nunchuck control stick, while attacks are handled (mainly) by the A button and items by the 1 button. However, depending on your weapon, which can range from sword and shield, giant hammer, lance, bowgun, long sword, switch axe and great sword, the ways of attacking vary greatly. For example,  with a sword and shield, by twisting the Wiimote right and pressing A, you can hit a monster with your shield, knocking it out. However, if you’re using a lance, the same movement will result in a sweep, knocking over all in the way. All of this information may prove too much for some players, and just mash A until something dies. Another small issue I have is that the menu is opened with 2, while items are used with 1. A simple misplaced press in the heat of battle can lead to you opening the quest options instead of drinking a vital potion.

3/5

Pretty solid, but confusing to new players.

If slashing big ol’ monsters sounds like time well spent, or exploring massive areas filled with hidden treasures, then this game is for you. Likewise, if you’re one of those people who like to carry around a hammer that’s twice the size of a car, then this game is also for you. Nothing is more satisfying than taking down a giant raptor-bird after almost 20 minuets of constant attack. Also, the split screen mode, called Arena, lets you work with a friend on the same Wii to take out one of these giants in record time. The online mode works great with Wii Speak, and is just as much fun as playing alone.

4.5/5

Masses of fun to be had here, but be prepared to put in several hours of work before you can kill the biggest monsters.

One of the main selling points of this game is the online. I can safely say that the online is fantastic. It opens up a whole new world by allowing four players on one quest, be they your best friend who lives over the road, or some guy who you met just seconds before in the lobby. With the Wii Speak compatibility, the “No Friend code” system and the fact its free (Japanese players had to pay for online), it may have the best online of any Wii game. If you don’t have online, the game is still great, but you really do miss out on something amazing.

5/5

The finishing touch to an already great game, the online capabilities are the best a Wii owner can get.

There needs to be more of these high-quality third-party games on Wii. An essential for online gamers, if a little confusing to start with. But seriously, it’s well worth it, so buy it.

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