Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate (Nintendo 3DS) Review

By Liam Cook 10.05.2013

Review for Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate on Nintendo 3DS

The Monster Hunter series first embraced the PlayStation 2 back in 2004 with the first instalment of the series, simply known as Monster Hunter. It has since gone on to shift millions of units and become one of Capcom's staple franchises in Japan. Whilst it has not received the same welcome reception in Western territories, it has still gained a rather large following, with many fans becoming so deeply involved in the gameplay mechanics. This latest instalment in the franchise, Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate, marked the occasion of a simultaneous release in North America and Europe, with both Wii U and 3DS getting some of the action. Is this portable instalment as sharp as ever, or does it need some whetstone to stop it from becoming so dull?

Back in December of 2011, Monster Hunter 3G was released as a 3DS exclusive in Japan, but it didn't seem set to launch in Western territories, especially since the PSP's Monster Hunter Portable 3rd never made it over. However, a surprise announcement at Nintendo's Wii U event in September 2012 made it clear that fans in the West could rejoice and start the hunt on both Nintendo platforms in 2013, with the renamed Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate.

Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate is an expanded port of the Wii exclusive Monster Hunter Tri, and whilst some of the content is the same, there is also a plethora of new monsters, weapons and armours, and it even brings back four of the weapon types which were seen in previous games. This makes Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate one of the biggest games in the series, with the total of large monsters reaching an impressive number of fifty-one!

Statistics aside, though, what actually is Monster Hunter? Well, it's a series of games developed by Capcom in which players must take on several large monsters for the sheer fun of it. Once a monster has been slain in battle, players can then carve materials from the carcass and forge new weapons and armour which help them in taking down even more tougher monsters. This is the main premise of any Monster Hunter game, and whilst it may seem tiresome and boring reading about it, it's actually a whole lot of fun!

Screenshot for Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate on Nintendo 3DS

Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate begins with players creating a character by choosing from the pre-set faces, hair and voices. Once the character creation process is out of the way, players will be presented with a cut-scene which showcases Moga Village and its many residents, all working together to provide the village with resources. This is the central hub in the single-player portion of the game; it has many areas of interest for the player to take advantage of, such as: the Farm, Fishery and the Blacksmith.

After being introduced to this quaint and friendly village, players will be asked by the village chief to head into Moga Woods and carry out various different tasks such as getting some Raw Meat for the chief's son, obtaining enough resources to build the base camp, and some other easy missions, which gradually prepare the player for the real objective: hunting monsters!

Moga Woods, which plays a large role in preparation and progression, is the sole location for gathering Resource Points; a form of currency which is used in the village to send out boats from the Fishery to gather different treasures, fish and other useful items. They are also used to grow different crops on the Felyne Farm and to fulfil the many villager requests which the chief's son handles. These requests are used to upgrade specific areas of the farm, create useful items for the player and also make new masks for the Shakalakas; creatures which aid the player on quests later in the game.

Screenshot for Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate on Nintendo 3DS

As well as including a tonne of new content, Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate also adds an extra difficulty level in to the mix. G-Rank quests, which are significantly tougher than Low and High Rank quests, are unlocked after the player has completed all of the High Rank key quests in Tanzia Port. Whilst professional hunters may want to take on these quests alone with their Shakalaka assistants, they are best tackled with a group of friends.

Unfortunately, the 3DS version of Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate only has local multiplayer, which means players will have to find friends that own the game and organise Monster Hunter meet-ups. Whilst the game would have benefitted from online play, if players get the chance to try out the multiplayer aspect, they will surely have a lot of fun. 3DS players can also connect to the Wii U version locally for up to four-man hunts, increasing the multiplayer options. It is also possible for players to transfer their data to and from the Wii U version, meaning they can take their character wherever they go.

There are twelve different weapon types in Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate, each coming with their own unique mechanics which take a little bit of getting used to. Some weapons make characters agile such as the Sword & Shield and Dual Swords, whereas other weapons such as the Hammer and Hunting Horn are slow, but can be used to stun monsters. The variety in weapons doesn't stop there, though, as a lot of weapons have elemental attacks and some even inflict ailments on monsters, such as poison and paralysis.

Weapons can be forged and upgraded by using the various materials obtained from monsters, with some materials being harder to come by than others, meaning the player will have to slay certain monsters a number of times in order to get the best upgrade for their weapons. Materials obtained from monsters can also be used to forge pieces of armour in a similar fashion.

Screenshot for Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate on Nintendo 3DS

Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate can be played with or without the Circle Pad Pro attachment and although it isn't needed to enjoy the game, it adds extra precision to the camera, especially in the underwater sections, making it a worthwhile investment for those who plan to sink a lot of time into the game.

It must be said that Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate isn't for everyone, but once past the initial learning curve, players may want to experiment with using different weapon types which requires another layer of learning. Whilst this may put some players off, the best part about the Monster Hunter series as a whole is that it's constantly engaging the player in some kind of learning, keeping them interested and wanting to play more. There's nothing forcing players to use different weapon types, though; they can just start with a certain weapon type and stick with it!

There's a whole lot of content to keep players busy in Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate with all of the monsters from Tri returning, as well as many monsters which were absent from that game. It also brings back monster subspecies, which may look reused and retextured at first, but after hunting them for the first time, players will notice a difference in the monsters' attacks. On top of all this, it also adds some all-new monsters which were never seen in any Monster Hunter game released in Western territories.

Screenshot for Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate on Nintendo 3DS

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 9 out of 10

Exceptional - Gold Award

Rated 9 out of 10

Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate is one of the largest Monster Hunter games to have been released and perhaps one of the largest 3DS games. Not even the saying "quality over quantity" can touch this game, since beneath all the content lies a quality title, which only lacks online multiplayer. Those that are unsure of the game should not let the initial learning curve put them off, and should also find a friend that has the game to test it before they go out and buy it. The multiplayer aspect of the game is definitely the strongest feature, and if players can find a group of friends that own the game, they will start to forget about the lack of online play. To Monster Hunter fans out there, though: What are you waiting for? Go out and buy it!

Also known as

Monster Hunter 3G









C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  10/10 (2 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


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