Monster Hunter Tri Review

Monster Hunter Tri Review

Here is a review of Monster Hunter Tri by earvcunanan.

"Monster Hunter Tri is a rewarding experience, if you give it the time and patience it requires."

Monster Hunter Tri is the first Monster Hunter available on a Nintendo platform on a worldwide scale. It all started with Monster Hunter on PS2 in 2004 - six years later, this is where the series stands. Starting from scratch using the Wii's capabilities, controls and features, this is an all-new Monster Hunter experience that is designed to appeal to a wider range of players across the Wii. If you're a newcomer to the series, there's no better way to start with the series than Tri. With the learning curve much easier to grasp than previous titles (but it might still be a steep learning curve to some), Capcom designed the first part of the offline mode with an in-depth tutorial/training portion to get your feet wet. If you put in the time and the patience for this game, you're in for a very rewarding experience. Welcome to the world of Monster Hunter - Moga Village welcomes you!


Before you head off to start hunting monsters, making armor and weapons - you'll be prompted to create a character. You can choose from a male or female character, then you can choose from a variety of customizations. From your battle voice, skin color, hair style, face shape, etc. - many of these are customizable to your liking. The character that you create will be the one you use for the offline and online portion of the game.


The central hub of the offline portion, where you can take on village quests, make armor and weapons, and buy/sell/trade items. You will also have your own room in the village where you can save your progress, change your character's appearance, store items in your treasure box, and even decorate the interior of your home! There is a cook in the village that, for a small fee, can make meals for you that can give your character special buffs and/or skills for one quest only. Different combination can yield different effects, which can be good or bad so watch out! From Moga Village you can enter Moga Forest, an area you can go to at any time to gather materials for trading, or just killing monsters for Resource Points - which you can use to expand/upgrade the village to your benefit. Moga Forest adds a new flavor to Monster Hunter, which gives a taste of free roaming and maybe a hint at where the series may be headed?!


You can choose to have a companion with you offline named ChaCha, a small creature who can help you during your quests with offense, defense, and even finding random items on the field for you. You can equip ChaCha with a different mask to make it have certain skills that are useful to hunting. You can even level up its masks just by completing quests. ChaCha has its own personal attributes such as HP, health, and attack power - which can be leveled up. If you feel like ChaCha isn't a worthy companion to have, then you can choose to leave it at Moga Village during your quests. Some may find ChaCha to be a bit disruptive and can cause you a hit or two, or even distract you from a monster you are battling.


There are 18 main monsters you'll be hunting in Tri, with three of them returning from previous MH titles: Rathalos, Rathian, and Diablos. Monsters in Tri behave much different compared to previous installments, with some using their environment/setting against you. As you engage in battle with certain monsters, they start to lose stamina through the course of battle - this can cause them to start using incomplete attacks (e.g. Rathian not firing her fireballs completely due to lack of stamina) and also move less. You can use this to your advantage to land a lot of clean hits, but this is what also makes the game a bit easier than previous titles. A different tactic and style of play against these monsters is what makes the gameplay so dynamic - there are a lot of ways to take them down, but being effective and efficient at it is another question. Study their movements, how they react to the setting around you, and make the most out of it.


The meat of the game: HUNTING! The MH series always had an addictive nature, it's always due to obtaining new armor and weapons; you know, that cool looking sword you saw someone use on a YouTube video? You can't just want a certain armor set and weapon when you want it, so this is where patience and even perseverance comes in. Monster hunts and the gathering of minerals takes time and playing through the same mission over and over is ideal if you want to get what you're aiming for so badly. In addition to hunting solo offline or hunting with others online, Tri features an all-new offline split-screen mode in an arena-type setting. You can take on monsters you have killed using preset armor/weapon sets or your current character.


You can play Monster Hunter Tri using the Wiimote + Nunchuk combo, Class Controller, or Classic Controller Pro. It is highly recommended that you play using the CCP, because the game is designed with an ergonomic control scheme in mind. Using the Wiimote + Nunchuk combo doesn't seem as effective (and at times even confusing) compared to the CCP. With the CCP, you can adjust your controls to the PSP or PS2 style controls, but both work much better than the Wiimote set-up. Using the Wiimote set-up can be mastered, but might take some time - ultimately using this set-up may end up causing frustration, and if used online... can even hurt your team in the process.


No, there is no lock-on in this game. This isn't a game where you can just take a sword or a bowgun and expect to go guns blazing or hackin' and slashin'. It's a game about precision, learning when to strike a monster, and where to strike the monster. There are frames/animations and hitboxes in this game that you'll need to take into consideration, and it always differs with each monster you fight. Learning a monster's movements and being patient in your strikes will only benefit you.


There are mechanics in Monster Hunter that you need to take into consideration and learn to adapt to. Some may write off the mechanics featured in MH as "flaws", but the design choices are what makes Monster Hunter... Monster Hunter. For example, sharpening your melee weapon after usage during battle, not being able to save during battle, or flexing animations after taking a potions, etc are mechanics that some may question. A new mechanic has been added to the series, and that is underwater battling. It may take some time for certain users to get used to, but if you know the ropes of hunting in Monster Hunter, then underwater battles should feel natural. Learning to adapt with the mechanics of Tri and sticking with them will get you very far in this game.


There are seven weapons for you to choose from for any situation, but there's a select few that can make your hunts go by faster compared to others. You can choose from the Long Sword, Great Sword, Lance, Sword and Shield, Bowgun (with Light, Medium, and Heavy variations), Hammer, the new addition to the series: the Switch Axe. Each weapon type requires a certain level of mastery to be highly effective with them against certain monsters. It all depends on your play-style and how effective you are with each weapon, so it is best to experiment with each one to see which you are comfortable with.


In the Japanese version of Tri, it is a pay-to-play service with no Wii Speak support. However, Capcom eliminated the online fees for the release of Tri in North America in Europe, so it will be free to play online with Wii Speak support. The online portion has its own unique hub, but similar in structure to Moga Village - you can buy/sell/trade items and make armor/weapons. Up to four players can play online in a quest, you can even set your own room to player parameters you're looking for: skilled hunters only, newbies welcome, etc. The online portion is where you'll get most of your play time if you get into the game. There are also monsters that are exclusive to the online portion only, so that means the only way to cooler, high-end weapon and armor sets is to play online in higher ranks, with harder hitting monsters. The online portion is similar to a service such as PSN or XBL, where it's a unified system with no Friend Codes needed. You can add friends to your list, then you can warp to their area if they're online. You can even send private messages to others. You will will be attached a unique online player ID with a Guild Card that outlines your offline and online accolades. Overall, the online portion is a robust feature teeming with activity.


The graphics in Monster Hunter Tri are arguably the best seen on the console. With amazing backdrops in certain maps, sweeping vistas, and nice looking environments. Capcom didn't slouch on the visuals here, as they are top notch and very easy on the eyes. Art style is something to take into account here as well, as there are nice designs from armor sets, weapons, and monsters.


For newcomers, if you can get over the steep learning curve and adapt to the mechanics of Monster Hunter - you're in for a rewarding and satisfying experience. This game will be a time sink and requires hours upon hours of grinding at times for that special set of armor or weapon that you want. Strategy, precision, and patience is required for every monster hunt, and if you've got all that and willing to pour in hundreds of hours on this game, then this game is for you.

The good:
+ Character customization, lots of options
+ Lots of things to do other than just hunting monsters
+ Gorgeous visuals for a Wii game, some of the best on the console
+ No lock-on feature
+ Limitless replayability

The bad:
- Camera angles can be a bit wonky at certain areas, causing you to get caged or beat up by monsters
- Motion controls are iffy, not recommended

Reviewer's Score: 10/10