on March 20, 2013
Yes, this is the Ultimate version of Tri with many "new" additions. I say "new" because alot of them aren't new for the series (most, if not all, of the additions were also in Freedom Unite for the PSP), but new for Tri/3. This adds alot of content to the Tri formula.
STORY: You start off the same way as in Tri in Moga Village, which is in serious trouble from earthquakes. You do get a full set of armor and one of every weapon (your character has a sword, but you can switch to other weapons at the chest in your house) this time around. You don't have to wait to unlock the Longsword, Switch-Axe, etc., since a basic version is already there, along with new weapons, like the Bow, Dual Blades, Gunlance, and Hunting Horn. You also get access to a new island with different/more powerful monsters, though I would recommend newer players to stay away from there until they feel comfortable with the game. The first quests start out simple enough (fetch quests, kill "x" number of easy monsters, etc.) and are still centered around Lagiacrus being the earthquake maker. That's about all I'll cover for the beginning. Moving on...
CONTROLS: They are better than I was afraid they would be. You control your character with the slider pad and the camera with the L-Should button (centers the camera behind you), D-Pad, D-Pad on the touch screen, and/or the auto-targeting system, which targets onto large "boss" enemies and is also on the touch screen. You can customize the touch screen and adjust the size of the buttons you place, like the D-Pad, which is a nice little convenience. Personally, I usually stick with the L-Shoulder, since it's easier and I like being centerd, but I do use the D-Pad on the touch screen for swimming. It's pretty responsive with just a slight touch, which is nice, since I would be scared of messing up the touch screen otherwise. You also use the D-Pad for your menus, like your item pouch, quest selection, etc. R-Shoulder button lets you dash, but watch your stamina bar (yellow bar) when doing so. "B" is for evading, which is essential in this game. "A" is for selection, foraging, and carving. "X" and "Y" are both for attacks, but "Y" is also used to for items, like using Potions, Eating, etc.
ITEMS/EQUIPMENT: This game is centered around items and equipment and they've added alot to this Ultimate version. Search for items by looking for forage points (mushrooms, herbs, etc.), catching bugs with bug nets, and mining with your pick axes (both bug nets and pick axes can and will break, so you'll want to buy and/or make more). Other items are found on the dead bodies of monsters. You can carve items off them, like skins, fangs, tails, etc. Items are also given as rewards at the end of quests and after exchanging kills for hunter points (cover that later). You'll need these items to make helpful items, like Flash Bombs, Traps, etc. and to also make new equipment and weapons, which are both primarily made by carving items off monsters.
WEAPONS: These are what you'll use to take down the monsters obviously. There are 12 different categories - Great Sword, Long Sword, Sword & Shield, Dual Blades, Hammer, Hunting Horn, Lance, Gunlance, Switch Axe, Light Bowgun, Heavy Bowgun, and Bow. Each weapon is different from the others and this gives many people a variety to test out and enjoy. You have 1 of each available from the start. Some are quick (Dual Blades, Sword & Shield), while others are slower (Hammer, Great Sword) and others are ranged (Bow, Bowguns). The quicker weapons generally rely on multiple quick strikes, while the heavier ones rely on slower, powerful hits. Experiment with all of them. It's easy to do this time, since you've got 'em all off the bat.
Hunter points are awarded to you for killing monsters by just going out of Moga Village, not on a quest. This is a good way to unlock new things, gather items, etc. You can spend HR (Hunter Points) on Villager Requests, like upgrading the farm, on fishing ventures, etc.
The farm is nice place to build up essential items without having to go out and gather them yourself, which takes more time. You can have the Felynes there do different tasks, like cultivate crops, grow mushrooms, gather honey, etc. You'll need to upgrade the farm with HR and items, but it's worth it.
You also get partners in this game. One is story related from Tri and that is Cha-Cha, while the other is another shakalaka, named Kayamba. In Tri, you could only have Cha-Cha. I usually use them as a distraction for the monsters so I can set a trap, attack, etc.
Second Island - This island is accessible right at the beginning. It's free to travel to. It has other item dealers and other quests. The quests are harder than the initial Moga Village quests, but it's a good way to get some early powerful equipment. Newer players be warned, many times you're hunting a monster on this island, another large monster is there as well, so keep that in mind.
CLOSING: If you're an experienced MH player and enjoy the series, get it. It's an awesome game that shouldn't be missed. If you're new, know that this game takes practice. If you feel you don't like a weapon, change to another one. Experiment with weapons and practice with them. Use the beginning quests to their utmost by gathering as much as you can carry, so you'll have items to mess around with and stockpile for later. Anyways, happy hunting!