Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate (Hands-On) (Wii U) Preview

By SirLink 25.02.2013 2

Review for Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate (Hands-On) on Wii U

Japan has had the pleasure of playing Monster Hunter 3 on the Nintendo 3DS for well over a year now and received the Wii U version at the launch of the system late last year. In March, though, it's finally time for Western fans to join the fun after three years since the last game of the series was released, Monster Hunter Tri on the Wii. Roughly one month in advance, Capcom has released demos for both versions for eager fans and newcomers alike.

The demo of Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate offers the option to choose between an easy and a hard quest and equipment sets featuring all twelve weapon types. It's certainly possible to succeed with each choice but inexperienced players should try the Sword and Shield or even the Dual Swords before any heavier weapons as those are harder to play with. Hunting aside, a big part of the series is also collecting materials, crafting, customising equipment and preparing a bag full of useful items, such as healing potions, whetstones, a trap and even some bombs. Thankfully, Capcom provides plenty of items and even conveniences such as an auto-tracking skill that always shows the location of the monster on the map and lets players fully focus on killing the monster in question. That said, these two quests have to be beaten in only 20 minutes. In the actual games the time limit is 50 minutes and it's almost never an issue unless the hunter is completely outclassed by the monster and can barely fight it. The quest will also fail after three deaths.

Screenshot for Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate (Hands-On) on Wii U

While the demo is strictly single-player, the hunter is accompanied by two members of the Shakalaka tribe, called Cha-Cha and Kayamba. They will attack the monster to attract some of its attention and dance regularly to heal or grant temporary buffs. While they certainly won't kill any big monster by themselves, they are much-appreciated support characters and contribute to the whole fight in various ways.

The easy quest features Lagombi, a giant rabbit with some physical characteristics of a bear and koala that attacks mainly by sliding around and throwing ice boulders or snowballs. It's not a particularly threatening monster and more suited for newcomers but a mixture of patience and skill is still required to kill it. The hard quest is to kill Plesioth, a fish-like creature that's able to fight both on land and underwater by attacking with its fins, performing tackles and even firing deadly water beams out of its mouth. Long-time fans of the series will surely remember this infamous monster but for the first time it's possible to fight it underwater and it's even tougher in its native terrain making it perfect for more skilled players to take on.

Screenshot for Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate (Hands-On) on Wii U

Both monsters are fun and engaging to fight and each weapon type plays and feels differently. They cover a wide range of play styles and come with their own advantages and disadvantages. Fast weapons like the Sword and Shield or Dual Swords have limited reach, large weapons such as the Great Sword or Gunlance are generally slower and harder to use, and ranged weapons require a different set of equipment in addition to being at a big disadvantage in close combat. It's highly recommended to try as many of them as possible, especially in the demo where full sets for each type are readily available and don't have to be crafted.

Screenshot for Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate (Hands-On) on Wii U

Knowing the basic controls and moves of each weapon is essential and thankfully both versions of Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate come with a digital manual that can be accessed while pausing the game with the Home button. They include the general controls, user interface and surprisingly decent explanations of each weapon. It doesn't touch on more advanced subjects but offers enough information to start off with. The Wii U version supports the GamePad without Off-TV play, the Wii U Pro Controller and Classic Controller Pro. The 3DS version doesn't support the Circle Pad Pro but only for this particular demo; the full game will support it.

Although the main focus of these two quests is hunting, the game also provides equipment to fish, catch bugs, gather materials, mine ore or even roast meat. There's no real point to most of it but it does show the other side of Monster Hunter a bit, which doesn't involve killing giant beasts.

Screenshot for Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate (Hands-On) on Wii U

Final Thoughts

Many fans of the Monster Hunter series will most likely have already marked 19th March (North America) or 22nd March (Europe) on their calendars and pre-ordered one or both versions and absolutely shouldn't miss this game when it comes out. While it is based on Monster Hunter Tri, it's even more refined with tons of additional content for hundreds of hours of gameplay. Newcomers should definitely give this demo a try and consider that the final game doesn't start off with monsters like these two, instead slowly preparing the player for the big monsters through a good tutorial. The Wii U version also features online play for those who find it easier or more fun playing with other people. Despite that, Monster Hunter is certainly not for everyone and requires both patience and skill to succeed and enjoy an extremely satisfying and addictive experience.

Also known as

Monster Hunter 3G HD Ver.









C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10 (8 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now    Also on Also on Nintendo eShop


Great preview Link, I can't wait to hunt monsters with you. Smilie

Don't forget to bring Cool/Hot Drinks (Yeah, I'm sure you've done that before.. I know I have! Smilie )


Well, I've just been playing through the Wii U demo and have to admit that I dislike it just as much as I did the Wii version. Nothing's changed my opinion. It's still too slow-paced and clunky, with a cumbersome camera and I found no real enjoyment in traipsing around, waiting around far too long for each small area to load when moving around the map.

Basically, anyone that was put off by MH3 Wii that tries this demo is likely to be immediately turned off by this.

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

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