Monster Hunter Tri
The Monster Hunter series has been quite popular for some time in Japan and Capcom would like nothing more than to expand that success to the rest of the world. Monster Hunter Tri and the Wii are at the forefront for a succesful evolution of the series despite the still less than stellar online capabilitie of the Nintendo console.
You start your adventure of course suitingly as an unknowingly noob with hardly enough material to crush a nest of worms. Some easy assignments later you’ve got your backpack filled already with some nice stuff and can get to do some real work. Unlike the title suggests you’ll not only have to kill monsters but also collect plants, find out recipes and try them, collect gear after combat and learn to make traps.
Even more, you can set people to work to go fishing, make new weapons or manage your farm so that there’s always a juicy steak waiting for you when you return home with your clothes soaked in blood. Don’t underestimate this RPG element as it’s not only vital to you and just about every piece of gear you choose influences which beasts to best take on, it also brings some nice variation and a hugely extended experience to the rest of the game.
More than enough stuff to train on but the game revolves mostly around tracking and taking down big and monstrous creatures. Piece by piece these often giant beings are quite an assignment to take down or catch. What I noticed most is that they’re quite varied and always give you a challenge without this resulting in just seeing a health bar go down for a few minutes. They have surprising itches and each animal seems to have a personality of its own, something that only makes it more interesting as you constantly have to stay focused on your opponent and buttons to survive.
Veterans of the series won’t remain sitting on their hunger as this time we can also fight under water. Some animals can be a jerk both on land and under water which delivers even more variation to the encounters. The makers really did their best in making up some original creatures that also make use of the environment to make things difficult for you. The animations are exemplary, both above as well as beneath the surface. The Wii at its best in other words and combined with atmospheric surroundings it becomes a very credible world for your adventures to take place in. Only the all too often surfacing loading screens divide the landscapes in parts.
Onto the online possibilities. My first thoughts: too bad we can’t play this on Xbox LIVE or PSN, or maybe differently: too bad for this game that Nintendo still doesn’t go full ahead with online. Going hunting together is a lot more exciting, tactical and tense than alone, and although it’s quite easy to find other players you’ll be busy trying to meet up with friends quite a lot longer.
One final thing: use the classic contorller instead of the Remote as it plays a lot easier.
Monster Hunter Tri on Wii is a nice surprise. A lot better, more extensive, better playing and more beautiful than the handheld versions the game is a true joy to go hunting in. Those that can go online with their console should certainly do this as once you get your eye on one of those big monsters together with friends, the fun and excitement doesn’t end. Capcom, we’re waiting for a Monster Hunter HD for the 360 and PS3.