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Monster Hunter Tri

Monster Hunter Tri

Sophie's been spending hours slaughtering monsters, collecting their body parts and smithing new weapons in Capcom's latest installment of the Monster Hunter series...

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Meat? Check. Bone fragments? Check. Ore? Check. The mission I've been doing over the last 40 minutes is drawing to a close. I have a few things left to gather, then I should be done. Then I turn around and see him. Lagiacrus, hungry for breakfast. Hungry for a piece of me.

But one thing at a time. Capcom's Monster Hunter-series have been popular for a long time, not the least in Japan, and especially for the PSP. For the fans, every new title has been something to look forward to and the addictive gameplay has always been perfect for both online and offline play. That's at least what I've been told, since I haven't never played any of the old Monster Hunter-games. Being thrown into Monster Hunter Tri feels both scary and exciting at the same time.

Moga Village is the name of the small fishing village I've been sent to after a terrible earthquake has torn it apart. I'm a hunter, and it's my mission to use my skills to find the resources that is needed to rebuild the village to it former, functional glory. The Elder tells me that the earthquake happened thanks to rampaging monsters. I can't help giggling at him, would a monster be able to cause an earthquake? Does he have any idea how big that monster would need to be? Crazy old man...

At first I feel pretty lost in Monster Hunter Tri. It takes a couple of hours before I start to get the hang of the game, its mechanics and what it's actually all about. To draw parallels between Monster Hunter Tri and Phantasy Star Online is hardly far-fetched. Just like in that old game, Monster Hunter Tri doesn't have many areas to adventure in and you often have to return to these areas over and over again. You often have to fight the same enemies and defeat the same bosses many times over. Another thing that reminds me of Phantasy Star Online is the quest for better equipment.

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After all, that's the way you level up; by finding bigger weapons and better armor. My character won't reach a new level during the whole game, she won't learn any new attacks or special skills. Everything has to do with the equipment and the equipment my hero can carry. If you want a piece of armor that will help you heal you'll have to find or make the component that will give your armor that particular ability. In the same way you will need to find the materials to make yourself a new weapon. That's the magic with Monster Hunter Tri, it brings out the most compulsive collecting behaviour I've ever seen in my self. And I love it.

The follow up question is of course how you find all the components that you can turn into armor, weapons and so on. By hunting and killing many animals you'll meet on the island Moga Village is located on you'll find all the raw material you'll ever need. To fish, mine for ore or pick whatever bounties nature has to offer is also important, since usually a rather large variety of materials is needed to make something useful.

It'd be easy to believe that you'd just have to gather a bizarre amount of bones, pieces of skin and sharp beaks to get anywhere in Monster Hunter Tri, but no. Capcom have been smart enough to make it impossible to get the really good stuff from the start. I see the hunt for materials as a leveling system, where you slowly move from one weapon to another, from a crappy armor to a better one. I like the system, but sometimes it's easy to get frustrated by how slow it can be! I'm not sure how much time I wasted slaughtering dozens of four legged dinosaurs during my hunt for materials that would make my lance a tiny bit better.

Monster Hunter Tri might be entertaining offline, but it's online it really gets exciting. You can team up with three other players and go out hunting together and Capcom have, without a doubt, put together the best online solution in a Wii-game ever. We Europeans are still limited to only being able to play with each other, but at the same time we won't have to bother with friend codes anymore. Monster Hunter Tri is also compatible with Wii Speak, which makes playing together even more accessible.

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When you play online Moga Village is no longer your base of operations, instead you end up in the city of Loc Lac. The city will act as a hub for you and your friends, and everything you need is right there. The advantage of playing online is, and here comes Phantasy Star Online again, that you have access to missions you'd never see otherwise. This, in turn, means you can get your hands on better materials to make even better equipment.

Wii is not the most powerful console on the market, but Capcom deserve a round of applause for managing to pull of a game that looks this good on it. Not only are the environments atmospheric, from green valleys and dark caves to under water, they've also managed to make some really nice animations. Every monster moves in a unique way, and you character moves differently depending on which weapon you have equipped; there's a feeling of quality to the game.

Monster Hunter Tri is a game that takes quite some time to get into. That the game skips leveling and instead focuses on upgrading weapons feels a bit odd at first, but you soon learn to have patience with it. Getting somewhere will take time, and if I am ever to defeat the sea dragon Lagiacrus I'll just have to accept that. After all, every journey begins with a simple step.

Monster Hunter Tri
Monster Hunter Tri
Monster Hunter Tri
Monster Hunter Tri
Monster Hunter Tri
Monster Hunter Tri
Monster Hunter Tri
Monster Hunter Tri
Monster Hunter Tri
Monster Hunter Tri
Monster Hunter Tri
Monster Hunter Tri
Monster Hunter Tri
Monster Hunter Tri
Monster Hunter Tri
Monster Hunter Tri
Monster Hunter Tri
Monster Hunter Tri
Monster Hunter Tri
Monster Hunter Tri
Monster Hunter Tri
Monster Hunter Tri
Monster Hunter Tri
08 Gamereactor UK
8 / 10
+
Unlimited playtime, fantastic online mode, great graphics
-
Cumbersome underwater camera, annoying menus
overall score
is our network score. What's yours? The network score is the average of every country's score

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REVIEW. Written by Sophie Warnie de Humelghem

Sophie's been spending hours slaughtering monsters, collecting their body parts and smithing new weapons in Monster Hunter Tri.



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