Monster Hunter Tri

Capcom is one of the few developers putting as much effort into pushing the Wii hardware as Nintendo. Their latest title, Monster Hunter Tri, shows off what the Wii can do - not only pushing the visual capabilities, but the online aspect as well.

To start off you create your base character, although customization is limited to only a few outfits and characteristics. Fortunately, said limitations are voided once you've equipped armour - which you'll be able to buy almost straight away. Then the story kicks off.

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Monster Hunter Tri's premise is a simple one: your character has arrived at Moga Village, right after it was hit by a massive earthquake, and they enlist your help to rebuild. Along the way, you set out to do what you do best: hunt monsters. The chief gives you your first mission: gathering raw meat for his son.

The characters all speak in captions, giving nothing more than a "hey" similar to the Legend of Zelda titles. It can get a little boring reading through everything they say and you'll soon find yourself skipping every word, opting instead to look up your current quest objectives in the menu.

As you progress you will find that the avatar upgrade system is different from the usual 'grinding to raise your avatar's stats' typical of the genre. Instead, it's focused on harvesting from slain monsters, gathering plants, digging up ore, and using the resources collected to upgrade your gear at blacksmiths or selling it buy new ones. Some monsters won't even require killing to be harvested.

Monster Hunter Tri's world is vast and there's no shortage of animals to harvest or plants to gather - and the further you progress the more areas and larger monsters come to light. You start off hunting large herbivores to gather raw meat to cook and eat, and hunting carnivores for their resource value.

Monsters lurk in every part of Moga Woods - in caves, on land, even in lakes. As such you have a variety of weapons to buy and upgrade for every situation and hunt. Weapons on hand include bowguns, short swords for taking on smaller prey, larger swords for the bigger beast, and harpoons for ocean based critters.

After every hunt you file a hunt report which converts your kills into resource points - which in turn can be spent on catering to the villagers needs, and eventually rebuilding the town. Different items can be combined to create more useful ones - such as potions - from the menu screen.

The single player's gameplay carries over to the online mode in which you and some friends can head into a city, buy items - some of which are only available online - and slay monsters in groups. One of the best features of the online play is that it doesn't rely on Nintendo's 'Friend Code' system, instead using more traditional servers connecting everyone for online play. This makes it more viable to have a ton of players in game.

Monster Hunter Tri shows off what the Wii hardware is made of, then slaps you with a couple of (minor) flaws.

The most notable is the clipping. From the time you're talking to the Moga Village chief with your sword piercing your shield, to standing in the middle of a slain monster it's like a big scar on otherwise crisp visuals. Another is the loading screen between areas. Although short - a couple of seconds at most - it's most notable when you're chasing something. The immersion of the hunt is stifled when the loading screen hits.

Overall, despite the issues with clipping and load screens, Monster Hunter Tri shows off what the Wii is capable of visually. And when it comes to online play, this is the best for the system. Third party developers should take note of what Capcom has, and continues to, achieve on the little SD console in an 'HD generation'.

"Monster hunting action at its best"
- Monster Hunter Tri
Follow Own it? Rating: M   Difficulty: Medium   Learning Curve: 30 Min


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Comments Comments (14)

Posted by Koopa18
On Tuesday 4 May 2010 10:04 AM
Nice. Game is fantastic. But yeah, the clipping is pretty balls. Same with Zelda, where your sword would always stick through your hat haha
Posted by ChatterboxZombie
On Tuesday 4 May 2010 8:37 PM
Lol i remember that.
looks cool, but still not enough to get me to find my wii under a mountain of dust
Posted by RealmEnder
On Wednesday 5 May 2010 11:19 PM
Wish they'd bring this out for the HD consoles. Multiplayer co op sounds fantastic.
Posted by OriginalSin
On Thursday 6 May 2010 7:11 PM
Totally gutted this got moved on to the Wii. T_T
Did Capcom really think this decision through? They lost a lot of franchise fans by doing this to Sony gamers. Booo.
Posted by Srassy
On Thursday 6 May 2010 10:53 PM
Oh come of it. The Wii needs some games too. It's nice to share the console love around.
Posted by OriginalSin
On Friday 7 May 2010 10:41 AM
I totally agree with you, the Wii needed something like this to lift it. I wish I had one and could join the fun.

My point is that Capcom lost hundreds of thousands of loyal players that wouldn't purchase a Wii just to follow the series. IMO it is franchise semi-suicide.
Every PS3 owner/gamer I know would have bought a copy for the PS3, and none of them will be buying a Wii to play it.
Posted by Munkah
On Friday 7 May 2010 10:51 AM
7 May 2010, 10:41 AM Reply to OriginalSin
I totally agree with you, the Wii needed something like this to lift it. I wish I had one and could join the fun.

My point is that Capcom lost hundreds of thousands of loyal players that wouldn't purchase a Wii just to follow the series. IMO it is franchise semi-suicide.
Every PS3 owner/gamer I know would have bought a copy for the PS3, and none of them will be buying a Wii to play it.
Dead or Alive seems to be doing pretty well considering how much that switched platforms.
Posted by Srassy
On Friday 7 May 2010 3:21 PM
Maybe so bud. However from the figures I've found seem to show that Monster Hunter Tri has sold comparatively better (as in 2.5x better) than the other titles in the game in America and Europe opening week.

So I technically wouldn't call it 'semi-suicide'.
Posted by Koopa18
On Friday 7 May 2010 10:56 PM

Capcom also gained 100s of thousands of new sales from people who wouldn't have bought a PS3?
Art Monkey
Posted by Art Monkey
On Saturday 8 May 2010 10:36 AM
Nothing better than stopping a Rathalos dead in it's tracks with a war hammer to the face!

The sword and sheild clipping never bothered me that much it's just a side effect of the weapon mix and matching and i always thought on the psp versions that standing inside a dead monster and carving seemed to produced better rewards than just carving from around the outsides.
Posted by OriginalSin
On Sunday 9 May 2010 9:31 AM
Based on that, I'm wrong. A master stroke by Capcom and Nintendo to reinvigorate the Wii and make bulk sales all in one fell swoop.
The previous 4 English released Monster Hunter games were all on Sony consoles, which is why so many fans were gutted by Tri being moved from PS3 to a low def console. Whenever it happens, high def online monster hunting is going to pwn.
I will endeavor to not let my emotions make posts in the future.
Posted by Srassy
On Sunday 9 May 2010 7:45 PM
In fairness to you though, many people would be upset that they can't play the game so I can't fault you there. I'm imagining you can't just go out and buy the Wii so I understand your disappointment at not being able to play it when you probably played the rest of the series.

Just maybe wait a bit or something and see if you can get a Wii secondhand for cheap at some stage. You should be able to still get a copy even if it is a bit late.
Posted by Hollowshadows
On Tuesday 25 May 2010 12:52 PM
Yeah,The game is excellent with great graphics but with the weapons the sword through shield is quite annoying but apart from that the the overall game is awesome and is challenging which never makes the game boring! playing online at first is a bit confusing but after a while its great fun.
Posted by CammyT
On Sunday 14 Nov 2010 1:51 PM
I'm not sure how well this game is selling, but I think a lot of people bought it (all of my mates did) because it's one of the few games for Wii that sort of resembles a JRPG, with impractically large swords and epic monsters.

I like that.