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Polygonal Slant | December 17, 2017

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Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate Preview | The Thrill of the Hunt.

Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate Preview | The Thrill of the Hunt.
Haris Zaidi

Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate Fully Realizes the Original.

It’s a great day indeed to be a Monster Hunter fan. Although the full game is still a month away, Nintendo has provided 3DS and WiiU owners a demo of Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate. Being a big fan of the Monster Hunter franchise, I was ecstatic to begin the hunt. Containing two unique boss monsters, and each of the twelve available weapon types, the demo did a great job of scratching that hunting itch.The two boss monsters featured were Lagombi, a bear-koala hybrid, and Plesioth, which featured elements of sea serpents and sharks. Fighting Lagombi was typical boss Monster Hunter fare, but it also allowed me to understand the 3DS’s control scheme. Plesioth was fought mostly underwater, which was a whole new facet of gameplay unique to this title and its original Wii counterpart. Being able to try out every single weapon allowed me to narrow down on which ones fit my playing style the most. I walked away with a better understanding of how I would like to approach the Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate when it’s released.

Art for Lagombi from Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate

Old Monster Hunter Game, New Ultimate Content.

It was an interesting experience to fight new monsters in familiar environments. Ultimate is an updated re-release of Monster Hunter Tri from the Wii, but it was nice to see that the game did not lose its fluidity, and retained the tight control scheme of previous titles. The control scheme is similar to the layout of the PSP games, however, the bottom screen opens up a number of possibilities unique to the title. I was able to access items from the bottom screen, as well as glance at the game’s map, which allowed me to fight more efficiently. There was even a rendering of the D-Pad on the bottom screen, which allowed me to control the camera.Art for Plesioth from Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate Monster Hunter’s PSP titles have always had severe issues with camera control, as the lack of dual analog control prevented players from easily maneuvering the camera. While the 3DS does support the Circle Pad Pro peripheral for camera control, the developers have included a brand new lock-on system with the use of the L-Button into the franchise. Using this feature, I was able to keep the focus on the opponent, and minimize stress from having to deal with the camera. However, it truly shone while fighting underwater. Being able to constantly center the camera on the annoying mobile Plesioth removed a number of potential headaches. Without it, the fight would have been truly unplayable.With only 20 minutes to defeat monsters, as opposed to the usual 50, I was pressured and had to constantly put the offensive on my opponents. I was very pleased that the 3DS did not suffer framerate or performance drops of any kind; every single animation was fluid and sharp. After successfully defeating both monsters, I felt the same joy I had felt countless times over, which was my favorite aspect of the demo. The full Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate experience was condensed and concentrated onto the 3DS, without losing any elements along the way.

More Weapons and Tons More Replay Ability.

With every single weapon available, I’m confident I will be coming back to the demo for more monster hunting, even if it’s against the same two bosses. The demo answered a lot of the fears I had about Monster Hunter on the 3DS. I was happy to see familiar environments and creatures rendered on the 3DS’s screen without hiccups or blemishes. Being able to lock on and use the bottom screen for camera control was a remedying solution to an existing problem. The lack of such features for the 3DS would have easily killed the game for me. I eagerly await the full release, and I wouldn’t be surprised if I use up all the demo’s 30 play sessions in my anticipation for Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate.

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