Top positive review
149 people found this helpful
An amazingly deep hack-n-slash experience.
on April 21, 2010
After spending nearly eight hours on this game in a single day/night, I can definitely say that I'm helplessly hooked. I tried a little bit of everything and thus far my opinion of Monster Hunter Tri is extremely positive with only a few minor issues.
GRAPHICS: Wow. The first thought that shot through my mind was "this is beautiful!" Graphically the game feels a bit low-res on my 42" TV, but the art style and quality pretty much make up for that in spades. The environments are lush with details and beautiful colors. The details on weapons, armor, monster and dinosaur models are excellent and have definitely whetted my appetite for more. Human NPCs are kind of weird and awkward looking, but you'll quickly forget how bad they look when you see the monsters in action. The monsters are beautiful, varied, and a joy a to look at and watch. The animations on the many of the enemies are stunning, fluid, and you can't help but appreciate the effort put forth to bring these creatures to life.
GAMEPLAY: Both online and offline the game consists of hack-n-slash missions to go hunt gigantic monsters. There are some fetch quest missions as well, but most of the time the missions are very similar to what you would find in a game like World of Warcraft or other similar online offerings. The game has an exceptionally heavy emphasis on combat with minimal story getting in the way of the action. Combat can be either fast-paced or slow and deliberate depending on your personal style and choice of weapon. The combo system is limited but effective and each of the 7 weapon types has its own distinct style, advantages, and disadvantages. It may sound repetitive, but the driving force of the game is seeing what the next hunt will behold. Some of the boss battles, even early on, are simply breathtakingly awesome. When you kill a boss, even at the lower levels of the game, you will feel a sense of accomplishment.
Throughout the game you will level up your equipment, which is very important because your character actually doesn't level up. While your skill in combat is very important in this game, you won't get anywhere if you don't make sure you get the best armor and weapons available. Loot is king, and you will spend a lot of time hunting for the right components to craft the next big awesome weapon or armor upgrade. As you upgrade your weapons and armor you will see an amazing amount of customization in your character appearance, but more importantly you'll also see an amazing difference in your combat performance. When it comes down to it, this game is hard. Casual gamers will likely be turned off by the difficulty and depth of this game, but those looking for a deep and engaging action RPG experience need look no further.
DESIGN: Level designs are varied and gorgeous. I have only seen a handful of the sections of the game and can confidently say that the levls and maps are awesome. Environments are varied and in many cases the environments play a key role in your hunting strategy, influencing the weapons and equipment you choose to bring with you as well as your basic battlefield strategies. My only real complaint is that you will see a lot of load screens as you pass between zones. Luckily, these load screens are blessedly short (2 to 5 seconds usually) and don't ruin the gameplay experience, but the issue really does interfere with the immersion factor.
CONTROLS (when using Classic Controller): Controls are solid, as long as you use the classic controller. While more complicated than many games, the controls are responsive and the button layout is pretty good for the most part. Once you get past the slightly steep learning curve, the controls will become second nature. The swimming controls were actually better than I expected. My only major complaint about the controls I find it is too easy to accidentally use a potion or healing item because the same exact button is used to sheath your weapon. I drink a lot of potions on accident because of this issue, but on the plus side my characters are usually pretty healthy!
CONTROLS (when using a Wii Remote and Nunchuck): Oh. My. God. Who thought these controls were a good idea? Seriously, I don't think I have played a Wii game with more complicated and unusable controls than this. Different actions depend on whether or not the controller is twisted left or right, but you are still swinging the remote around, and button mappings are inconvenient and change depending on the context of your situation. It's a mess. My advice to anyone wanting to play this game, buy a Classic Controller.
SINGLE-PLAYER MODE: Single player mode is very solid, but very challenging. A storyline is present, but most people will probably find it forgettable. Really, it comes down to finding loot, hunting awesome monsters, and making cool weapons out the body parts of those monsters.
SPLIT-SCREEN ARENA MODE: This is pretty decent and my roommate and I dove into this for a little while. We found it enjoyable but the experience is fairly limited, consisting only of boss battles within a single arena with a pre-set selection of equipment. You can gain some pretty nice rewards within arena mode and it's a decent way of introducing a friend to the game. Compared to online multi-player or the single-player modes, split-screen doesn't hold a candle.
ONLINE EXPERIENCE: Getting into the online experience takes some getting used to, but this is truly the best part of the game. I would favorably compare this to Phantasy Star Online, except this is so much better on nearly every level. I do question the wisdom of the "Server -> City Gate -> City -> Quest" structure, which takes a bit of getting used to, but it does work. Without coordination and communication between other players, it is a little too easy for a newbie player to accidentally start questing alone when the real intent was to joining together for a quest. Once you learn how to navigate the online world, finding a group of people to play with is fairly easy. The game supports Wii Speak for online chat, but most players don't seem to have that peripheral at the time of this writing. I didn't experience any lag at all while playing, and once I intentionally joined a server that had the highest number of users just to see how well it performed. I was pleasantly surprised.
The player community seemed nice enough and of the small handful of people I've played with most were either helpful, polite, or silent. Chatting with your group will be important, but virtual keyboard in the game is a bit clumsy, as is the case with every virtual keyboard I have ever used. I plugged a spare Apple USB keyboard into my Wii and found that it worked perfectly and made communication much better. If you don't have Wii Speak, at the very least find a spare USB keyboard and plug it in, preferably one that uses a wireless dongle. So far I've only met one rude person with a higher level character that talked trash on me for being new to the game, but muting those people is simple. That elitist, high-and-mighty, God's gift to gaming has been permanently added to my banned players list and I'll never hear from him ever again. Problem solved. The internet can definitely do without people like that. Overall I would say that my online experience, while slow to get rolling, has been largely positive. I expect to probably spend well over 100 hours playing online with this game, possibly more.
+++ Gorgeous graphics
+++ A hard-core loot-based action-RPG experience that quickly offers difficult challenges. Not for the faint of heart. This game will challenge you.
+++ Online 4-player cooperative monster hunting gives you the chance to share some truly awesome battles with others.
+++ Voice chat. Online play allows the use of the Wii Speak peripheral to allow players to communicate between eachother.
+++ Keyboard support. Plugging a standard USB keyboard into the Wii will allow you to chat easier with other players.
+++ Lagless online play. I was completely shocked by the lack of lag when I played online. I may just be lucky though.
+++ Online play does not require Friend Codes in order to communicate with other players.
+++ Initial character creation and customization is fairly deep, allowing a wide range of physical characteristics.
+++ Amazing enemy models and animation, full of detail and amazingly fluid.
+++ Arena Mode, a limited but decent split-screen multi-player boss challenge experience is included.
--- Steep learning curve that may scare away more casual gamers.
--- Repetive mission designs, much in the same vein as World of Warcraft, Phantasy Star Online, etc. Go here, kill that, collect this, complete mission, get next mission.
--- The controls when using the Wii Remote and Nunchuck are so awkward and complicated that they are almost worthless. In my opinion, this game is really only playable if you use a Classic Controller or Classic Controller Pro.
--- Frequent screen load times, but thankfully the load times I experience are usually less than 4 seconds.
--- Although voice chat is supported it is hard to find players with voice chat enabled.
--- NPC animations and character models are fairly stiff and awkward
--- NPC dialogue is pretty bad. At its best it is humorously awkward and annoying at its worst.
--- Online play is a little confusing at first because of the "Server -> City Gate-> City-> Quest" structure.
Releasing a deep, engaging, and time consuming game like this right at the beginning of summer is just cruel. I know I'll be torn between playing this game and hitting the great outdoors. I have a few (mostly minor) complaints about the game, but most of them truly are nothing more than minor annoyances and blemishes on an otherwise amazing game. Graphically and artistically this game is amazing and the gameplay is hard and challenging but amazingly rewarding at the same time. Taking down boss monsters, either alone or in a group, always gives a sense of achievement and leaves me craving the next hunt. When it comes down to it, this is a good solo experience packaged in with a great online experience. Fans of Phantasy Star Online, Diablo, or Borderlands should definitely check this game out since this game shares much of the same emphasis on finding loot to customize your character with.