Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate Demo Hits the 3DS and Wii U eShops! My First Impressions!

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Recently, Nintendo released a demo for the upcoming Monster Hunter game for the 3DS, Monster Hunter  3 Ultimate. If you are familiar to Monster Hunter Portable Unite and its relationship to Monster Hunter Freedom 2, this is the same deal. MH3U is an expansion to the Wii’s Monster Hunter Tri, just was Unite expanded upon Freedom 2. If you’re on the fence about getting this game in March, now’s a great chance to try it out for yourself.

The actual game is compatible with the Circle Pad Pro, but the demo has dropped support for the accessory. Maybe it was to make the demo smaller in size? The game is still playable without it, but the camera control of the extra control stick from the Circle Pad Pro has been moved to the touchscreen. It’s a bit clunky, but the release allows you to use the optional Circle Pad Pro, greatly ironing out this problem.

Seeing as I don’t have a Wii U, I got my hands on the 3DS demo. The 3DS demo allows you to fight either the new Lagombi (Urukususu from Monster Hunter Portable 3 on the PSP) in the tundra and the familiar Plesioth on the Deserted Island. Players can choose from any of the weapon types they desire; no weapon types are left out in this installment. While in Tri, the developers wanted to remove the excess weapon types to bring Monster Hunter” back to its roots,” the fans respectfully requested to add the weapon types back in for this game. They appreciated the gesture, but fans wanted more weapon variety, so Capcom added the weapons back in for this installment. Capcom also made the decisions to port new monsters from MHPortable 3 into MH3U from fan request. It’s amazing to see how well the devs for Monster hunter respond to their fanbase. Some other studios could learn a thing or two from them.

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At first glance, I thought the 3DS screen was going to be too small for the game, but as i played, I noticed how it wasn’t that big of a deal. This obviously isn’t a problem for the Wii U, seeing as you play on a TV.  The textures and models have all received upgrades from their PSP lineage, and resembles Tri on the Wii, although the Wii U outclasses the 3DS for obvious reasons. Controls are the familiar Monster Hunter layout that has been standard for the portable console installments since Freedom, and improves elements from Tri as well.

Being an installment in the 3rd generation of Monster Hunter, players will be hunting in familiar areas such as Tri’s Deserted island, Flooded Forest, Tundra, and Sandy Plains. The Jinouga from Portable 3 on the PSP has been renamed the Zinogre and makes its first american appearance alongside the new flagship monster Brachydios. Other monsters have been given subspecies and new behavioral patterns as well, fleshing out the problems of Tri’s AI and improving the experience overall.

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Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate launches on both the Wii U and 3DS in the US on March 19th, 2013. Europe receives it on the 22nd of the same month, and Australia one day after. Anyone else planning on picking this up?

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