Monster Hunter Tri Review

Go get your bowgun – the game’s afoot. VGD takes a swing at the most in-depth and uncompromising Wii release yet.

By Edwin Evans-Thirlwell, April 23, 2010

Unlike better equipped more pampered reviewers, I’ve had the pleasure of playing the game solely with a Wii remote and nunchuk. That isn’t quite as sarky a statement as it sounds. Moving with the nunchuk stick, orienting the camera with the D-pad and performing actions with the plus, minus and A buttons is more than workable with practice, though reaching a thumb back to the 1 and 2 buttons to access the inventory never really gels. You’re definitely better off with a Classic controller or Classic Pro, but the budget-conscious will be able to get by.

The Lagiacrus takes a beating.

The Lagiacrus takes a beating.

There’s only a smattering of motion sensitive support – tilt the remote to modify attacks, waggle the nunchuk to interact with the terrain when prompted – which is a relief, because melee combat games that rely on waving your hands around generally suck (with a few notable exceptions), and a disappointment, because why else would you put it on the Wii? Other than to tap Nintendo’s colossal installed base, obviously. They certainly didn’t do it for the resolution.

I can’t complain about that too much though, because at long, long last we have proper multiplayer functionality. The PSP games’ reliance on local wireless play was criminal, essentially writing off a sizeable proportion of the missions and abilities for all but the most determined, but Tri doesn’t skimp on features: there are split-screen off-the-cuff arena battles and a full four-player online co-op mode. The lobbies, dolled up as desert cities with their own shops and NPCs, are maxed out at four players to avoid supply-demand issues, and there’s an in-game friends list to spare us the pain of memorising Friend Codes.

Sparing you pain isn’t something Monster Hunter Tri does a lot of, despite the tweaked pace and new tutorials. The real bastards in the menagerie might spend a little longer offstage, but the ultimate horror is right before your eyes from the get-go: a merciless, intimidatingly featured, almost grotesquely involved role-playing timesink, perched balefully atop a platform whose users take to higher difficulty settings about as readily as pigeons take to cactus plants. If you’re a fan, you’ve bought it already. If you’re dipping that first toe, this is the easiest way into a truly heavy duty but often glorious experience.

8 out of 10

Monster Hunter Tri hits UK shelves today. Take a bite out of our scoring guide, then go check the forums for Jaggi eggs.

19 Responses to “Monster Hunter Tri Review”

  1. Setanga says:

    More proper game descriptions, less assumptions about the platform’s owners, fracker. The difficulty thing can be said about all current platforms going by what’s popular these days anyway. Also, the game’s worth at least 9/10. Learn how to play.

    • And which other Western-released Wii game would you call remotely in the same league as Monster Hunter Tri, difficulty-wise? :)

      Not that my comments on the difficulty threshold were directed exclusively at Wii owners, anyway. Try re-reading the first page.

  2. Xela says:

    Lol @ the graphics remarks. Oh no, Wii haz no gewd gamez. Oh no, Wii got a gewd game, why isn’t on teh 360 to have teh high rez, those sell outs wanted teh Wii install base damn them, damn! What are you, 12?

    Maybe you should buy yourself a decent PC then, because it shames both of the so called HD systems. That or stfu and go back to playing your Modern Warfare 2 at 600p sub-HD resolutions, bozo.

  3. Boobie says:

    I just find it suspect when reviews of such heavily involved, unique games, are thrown out so quickly after release, with no custom screenshots of videos to speak of, at least from professional outlets like Kikizo that should have capture equipment for all systems. It makes me think they barely played it and just base the review on little playtime and some google-based research of what fans think, with a dose of sarcastic remarks about the platform chosen in this case. The text of the review doesn’t make me feel that the reviewer actually played it for any length of time, at least to defeat the lagiacrus which is really the end of the tutorial phase and the first true challenge as it’s where the main storyline ends.

    • I’ve played this for about 20-odd hours, have got the little goblin bloke with me but have not, as yet, managed to kill old Laggy, though I have beaten higher ranked monsters online (with the help of more experienced acquaintances, of course!). The brute wyverns are bastards, especially the one with the big chin, but then I was trying to take it down from the front with a pretty pathetic bowgun so you reap what you sow, I guess.

      Doubtless some will have played this for longer – it’s been out for almost a year in Japan already – but I’m quite comfortable with my conclusions, thanks.

  4. Badumtish says:

    The controls with the remote + nunchuck are excellent, I have a CCPro but only use it for Tatsunoko vs CAPCOM. The inventory isn’t used on the fly so that it’s on 2 doesn’t matter at all, and you don’t tend to use items in the heat of action, you first get safe, so being on 1 is again more than workable. You don’t both use items and do another action at the same time with that hand in any case. The rest controls make up for such minor set backs with intuitive shortcuts, like tilting the remote left or right and then pressing the minus button to do the longsword’s slash-then-dodge-to-that-direction move. Or tilting right then pressing A for the sword & shield’s shield bashing moves, as the shield is on the hunter’s right hand. Anyway, this is the best MH yet with beautiful visuals, great controls, FINALLY new monsters and armors and locations, and many control improvements for ALL the weapons and the monster AI and behaviour and hitboxes and balance. 10/10!

    • I find the combinations much easier to perform and more precise on a button, but yes, the remote and nunchuk solution is adequate. Fair point re. the inventory not being an on-the-fly thing, but again, it’s just so much less awkward with the classic controller or Pro.

  5. Four different comments, one IP.

    Pick which one you want to keep, Badumtish/Setanga/Boobie/Xela, and I’ll delete the rest. Feedback is always welcome, but a basic level of courtesy is expected.

  6. Xela says:

    We’re friends and connect from the same university connection, bozo.

  7. Badumtish says:

    Badumtish! With what we’re gone and you can carry on fooling your viewership, we don’t visit the site regularly, just checked it out via metacritic since it was a new review added and MH reviews from clueless authors are always entertaining. Thanks for the entertainment, as little as it lasted :)

  8. *clap clap*

    Fantastic work chap(s). Surely the most thorough hatchet job ever recorded. My eyebrows are scorched.

    I’ll leave your comments – and your IP – active for posterity. Have a nice night now.

    EDIT. Actually, I’ll retract the rancor a little. Spamming an IP is dickish behaviour (as you may have guessed, I’m not the slightest bit convinced you’re separate people), but you clearly know the game well and have made informative comments. So please carry on :)

  9. LowEnergyCycle says:

    Some people are just snotty pricks.

    I thought this review was informative and well-written, and I very much enjoyed reading it. After comparing with a few other reviews, it’s certainly convinced me to buy my first Monster Hunter game.

    So there. Bloody students… ;)

    • Kind of you to say so, mate, thanks :) Hope you enjoy the game. There’s a pretty reasonably priced official bundle which includes a PRO controller, I believe.

      It’s always a shame when people take the mickey with IPs, but at least Xela/Badumtish/whoever actually had some points to make (unlike some of the posters in our God of War 3 review thread, for instance).

  10. Kihto says:

    Nice review, I already have the game and hope many others will get it. hoping your review will encourage them to buy it, personally i think this game should get a 9-10 though but this was a good read.

    For any American players who want someone to add, my IGN is right where my name is. i’m not that good since i am still learning switch axe on CCPro(it was easier on wiimote-nunchuck) but i’m getting better

  11. Brush says:

    May well pick it up, with the controller.

    There’s also a bundle with Wiispeak – i’m wondering if this is any good? (my Wii is a bit neglected of late so Wiispeak has passed me by).

    …Can you save little text phrases to bring up like you could in PSO on dreamcast? if so…bringing up text saying ‘leg it!’ might suffice.

  12. beranmee says:

    I bought MHT before reading this review. There are things that i agree with and things that I don’t, but you’ll find that in most reviews you read.
    With regards to the graphics i found that once my wii was connected using an AV Component cable things improved.
    For Wii owners who are on the fence i’d recommend taking the plunge, if you put the effort in you’ll find that Monster Hunter is a very rewarding game.
    For those who are upset that it didn’t hit the 360/PS3, you’ll have to wait for Monster Hunter Frontier.

  13. sarah says:

    Nice review!

  14. Jailen says:

    HHIS I shdoul have thought of that!


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