3DS Review: Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate

Does what it says on the tin?

Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate does what the name implies and it does it well. But it’s a game that’s been released before as Monster Hunter Tri, so is it worth investing in this “Ultimate” version?
I would say yes, but it’s hard to decide which version…the 3DS or the Wii U and alas I only had the 3DS version to review, which lacks online multiplayer but does allow you to transfer your saves across the two systems with a free app in the eShop. So it’s a good investment if you are on the move a lot, but Monster Hunter has always been about the multiplayer experience and the lack of online does hurt it overall.

As with past games, you hunt monsters and skin them for armour. The single player quest is a decent one full of dozens of hours of content, you can spend days playing and still not have come across every monster in the game. You can play multiplayer locally which is a blast if you can find enough people to play, otherwise it’s not quite the same as battling it out online. The game is the same experience as the one on Wii U so you won’t be missing out on any content, which is impressive in itself.
The combat and controls do take some getting used to and is far from easy, so those expecting a simple ride will be disappointed. The game doesn’t support the Circle Pad Pro but moving the camera with the touch screen isn’t too bad, it only gets a bit clunky with fights underwater. I personally really enjoyed my Monster Hunter 3 journey, which I wasn’t expecting since I just couldn’t get into Tri for some reason.

In terms of performance, Monster Hunter 3 is a decent looking game and makes good use of the 3DS hardware. The 3D effects are nice overall, but don’t add a whole lot of depth to the gameplay. There are a few bad textures and signs that the game is showing its age a bit, but overall it’s a nice game to look at. The music is impressive and the sound effects aren’t too shabby either.

The Verdict

Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate may be more of the same, but it’s refined on the 3DS. It’s a shame that it lacks online as that would have really raised the score, but it still has tons of hours of gameplay and memorable moments for any fan of the series, even if they’ve played Tri they will find Ultimate a much better experience.