Monster Hunter Tri: Early Review

So with the coming of the second disc of FF13 on the 360, I traded it in for a new copy of Monster Hunter Tri for the Wii. I was skeptical of how there could be a Wii game that is anything but a party game like Rayman: Raving Rabbids or Mario Party. I was also worried about the online component; glad it was free, unlike in Japan (where there is a subscription), but afraid of the convoluted friend/game code system that the Wii was notorious for (hence nearly never played online except Mario Kart). And lastly, I was nervous about the graphics.. b/c we all know the Wii isn't known to blow your mind in that respect.


Monster Hunter Tri is first and foremost an RPG game. If you don't like rpgs, stop reading. The object of the game is that as a hunter of a coastal village, you're to hunt fantastic monsters and gather supplies to rebuild your broken town from a legendary monster.
There is alot of freedom in what you can do in this game; some will find it liberating, some may see it as grinding.

The three main things you'll do:
- randomly hunt monsters in the wild; when the monster is slain, your character can then skin/scavenge the corpse for useful items

- go gathering, there are many resource nodes (for an assortment of mushrooms, bones, honey, herbs, dung (yes poo), bugs etc), these items can be combined into greater things (herbs+mushroom= potion, potion+honey= greater potion etc), used for upgrades or new equipment, or turned to resource points which will allow the town to do more things (send a caravan to go fishing, or have a farm grow plants/bugs for you)

- do quests in three flavors: gathering, hunting, capture

There are 5 different weapons and (whats refreshing) 5 different combat styles:
- sword and shield
- long sword (2h)
- hammer (2h)
- lance and shield
- bowgun and actually a new weapon, a hybrid: Switch-axe
Its different in that with a sword and shield, the user can nearly constantly keep swinging, move around quickly, use items while in combat, and dodge. A person with a lance plays totally differently, they move at a snails pace and if they rush, they use up alot of stamina; they have a longer reach and do 2-4 times more damage. They can't dodge, but have a massive shield in which they can use. My favorite for the past 10 hours has been the power of the hammer, with approximately 3 hits, it'll take down any monster usually. But trying out an upgraded sword and shield combo looks to be my new stand-by now that i've learned how to maneuvre correctly.

Some things i've noticed:
- It seems a bit complicated at first; the game doesn't hold your hand, it just lets you try trial and error; ie. at the beginning I was completing missions and getting rewards, but I didn't know what they did and just sold it; in hindsight, i would have put them in my storage box or gave them to the town for town resource points
- the online components seems complex, i was able to join a game, but looks like each person were in their own party and I couldn't see anyone chatting; when I left to the wilderness, I wasn't able to join the group.. very confusing (and will do forum searching on how to join correctly)
- the graphics.. are ok; they will not blow your mind, unless you've only played on a wii
- the game is complex; don't give up, it took me a good 8 hours to figure out how most of the systems/mechanics worked, and i'm still learning and hoping to find info as i'm still lost sometimes
- there is no target combat lock in MH3, you have to line your target up and then swing, otherwise you'll miss completely, sometimes leaving a big opening for the monster to take a bite into your backside

One (b/c you can craft weapons, armor and talismans) of the crafting systems.. the first screen shows what i'm combining, and if you never made it, it will show up as "????", but after you make it, it shows you the percentage of success for the future.

I love:
- the different combat system; its frustrating when you don't align yourself, but oh-so satisfying when you bring your huge hammer down on their heads
- the crafting system; its huge and really fun.. so many different things you can collect and combine; the storage space is humongous and makes you want to not sell anything but hold it b/c it could combine to something great
- the openess of the game; there is no rush, I can go hunt in the wild to collect resources, or I can go questing, or micromanage all the gear and items

I don't like:
- the controls aren't as crisp as you may be use to on other systems
- the graphics; I'm on a HD tv and the text is hard to read in conversations, and when you see FF13, this looks like the dung you pickup in game

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