Monster Hunter Tri
|Monster Hunter Tri|
|Developer(s)||Capcom Production Studio 1
|Engine||MT Framework Mobile (Wii U), (3DS)|
|Genre(s)||Action role-playing game|
|Mode(s)||Single-player, cooperative multiplayer, online multiplayer (Wii/Wii U)|
|Distribution||Nintendo optical disc
Nintendo 3DS Game Card
Monster Hunter Tri (モンスターハンター3（トライ） Monsutā Hantā Torai?, "Monster Hunter 3 (tri-)" in Japan) is the third console installment in the Monster Hunter franchise, developed by Capcom and released for the Wii in Japan on August 1, 2009. Monster Hunter Tri was released on April 20, 2010 in North America, April 23 in Europe, and April 29 in Australia.
The game was originally planned to be a PlayStation 3 title, but due to high development costs for that console Capcom instead decided to develop it for the Wii. Prior to its debut, a demo of Monster Hunter Tri was included with Japanese copies of Monster Hunter G. A special bundle was also released on August 1 featuring the game packaged with a black Wii console and a Classic Controller Pro. On August 3, 2009, Capcom issued a press release confirming the game would be localized for North American and European markets. On February 24, 2010, Capcom announced that online play would be provided free of charge. Although now, online play is no longer supported. In America and Europe, separate servers are used and Wii Speak is supported, making the first game in the franchise to include native VoIP capability. It was a critical and commercial success. An enhanced port called Monster Hunter 3 (tri-) G in Japan and Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate in other territories was released for the Nintendo 3DS in Japan in December 2011 and in North America and Europe in March 2013. The online servers for the Wii version of the game have been shut down as of May 1, 2013.
Players of Monster Hunter Tri take on the role of a monster slayer from the Guild, assigned to help revitalize Moga Village, a small fishing community that is under threat of monsters from a nearby deserted island. The player does this by completing free hunts on the island, where they collect materials and slay or capture monsters which are converted into resources that can be used to improve the village, and by completing time-limited quests for the Guild, typically slaying or capturing a monster in a specific region, for in-game money and material resources that can be used to improve their equipment that allows them to take on more difficult monsters. Improving the village gives the player access to a farming area and a fishing fleet, from which raw resources can be harvested, companions that can help while on the field, and access to a trader that can provide rare items to the player.
The player's character does not have any innate statistics but instead gains these from the equipment they outfit the character in. In particular, the player selects from one of ten weapon classes, primarily divided into melee weapons like swords and hammers, and ranged weapons like bows and bowguns. Each weapon type has a unique style of play when used in the field; sword users need to build up consecutive attacks to increase a combo meter to inflict larger damage on their foes but must keep an eye on their blade's sharpness, while bowmen can perform weak but fast ranged attacks including applying special coatings to their arrows to inflict debuffs on enemies. The player can also equip different sets of armor, which impart attack and defensive bonuses. Some weapons and armor include slots that gem decorations can be slotted into which boosts the item's statistics. Various armor pieces give special skill boosts, and if the player can equip a set that boosts a skill past set thresholds, they can gain additional passive bonuses such as full resistance to fire or poison attacks. The player can swap weapons and armor outside of adventuring.
To progress in the game, the player is typically required to collect parts of the larger monsters that they are assigned to kill, and using those to forge or upgrade weapons and armor. By being able to take on higher-ranked Guild quests with improved equipment, the player will gain access to a larger array of monster parts and world resources that lead to better equipment they can then craft.
In the field, the player has a health and stamina meter, as well as an item pouch with limited space where resources like healing potions, bombs, and materials picked up in the field are stored. Certain materials can be combined to make more potent items, such as stronger healing potions. However, once the item pouch is full, the player must choose to discard or swap out items with new ones. As the player hunts, they will take damage from monsters; if their health drops to zero, they are rescued to a base camp where they can set off again, but after falling for a third time, they are returned to the village without any gains made while they were adventuring. The stamina meter drops after performing most intensive actions like running, dodging, or attacking, but restores when the player otherwise is walking around. When the player's stamina is depleted, the character will be forced to stop for a brief period to catch their breath before they can move, leaving them vulnerable to attack. In addition, the maximum stamina that the player has will drop over time while in the field, though certain items can restore the maximum stamina level. While on free hunts, the player can leave the field and return to the village at any time, keeping any items they have collected; on Quest hunts, failure to complete the mission in time or abandoning the quest foregoes any reward items.
Players with both the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U versions are able to transfer their character data back and forth between these units, allowing them to continue to build their character while on either system.
Monster Hunter on the Wii and Wii U offer an online component where up to 4 players can venture on new quests together, represented by the character traveling to a nearby city harbor port. The game uses the same character data as the single-player offering, letting players to continue to build up better equipment from quest rewards within either mode. Quests in this mode featured more difficult monsters than the single player game due to the added players available to fight. Quests are broken out into a number of ranks, requiring players to individual completely all quests in a rank before moving to a new tier. A limited selection of the items that the player can collect can be traded with other players here or while on a quest, typically limited to healing and restorative items, preventing the trading of equipment, monster parts, or resources necessary to make better equipment.
The Wii version of online has since been shut down, but the Wii U version continues to offer these network servers.
The ecosystems in Monster Hunter Tri have been expanded to include underwater environments. Eighteen new monsters were developed for the game, while there are only 3 of the same boss monsters from the previous games (Rathalos, Rathian and Diablos), their interactive AI was completely redesigned. Each weapon class has been updated with new moves and innovations. Weapon classes included are Sword and Shield, Great Sword, Hammer, Bowgun (Light, Medium and Heavy), Lance, Longsword, and the new Switch Axe, which can switch between Axe and Sword forms. Bows, Gunlances, Hunting Horns, and Dual Swords do not return from previous installments. According to producer Tsujimoto Ryozo, "[Capcom] love the idea of voice chat and know that it is a minimum for western players," which suggested Western releases of Monster Hunter Tri may feature support for the Wii Speak microphone peripheral, which was later confirmed. Two special bundles of the game were announced. One bundle for North America and Europe includes a black Classic Controller Pro. A European-exclusive bundle includes a Wii Speak device and Classic Controller Pro. GameStop has offered a demo disc of the game free of charge in North America. GAME has officially confirmed a European Monster Hunter Tri: Exclusive Edition bundle containing the game, Wii Speak, a black Classic Controller Pro and one other item which appears to be an ornamental head of the monster which appears on the game's cover art, the Lagiacrus.
Metacritic currently holds Monster Hunter Tri at 84 based on 70 reviews, suggesting mostly positive reviews. Weekly Famitsu certified the game with a score of 40/40, making it the eleventh game to receive a perfect rating from the magazine in its 20-year history, as well as the third title for the Wii. The Official Nintendo Magazine UK gave the game a score of 91%, noting that it delivers an unparalleled online multiplayer experience but the quests can be fidgety early on. Eurogamer were equally impressed, awarding the game a score of 9 out of 10, suggesting that Monster Hunter Tri is "definitely the best way to introduce yourself to this incredibly involving and rewarding series." IGN awarded the game a score of 8.8 out of 10 praising the game's online capabilities and impressive visuals. Meanwhile, IGN UK applauded the game for its improved accessibility, calling the title "hugely satisfying to play", and awarded it a 9.3 out of 10. In addition to the IGN UK review, IGN Australia praised the game for its sharp visuals and long-lasting appeal, giving the game a 9.5 "Incredible". In contrast, Bordersdown (previously NTSC-UK) were less impressed, awarding a Japanese import of the game a score of 7 out of 10, criticizing the game for a lack of variety within quests, although praising the game's atmosphere and visuals. GameSpot gave Monster Hunter Tri an 8 out of 10, praising the game's graphical atmosphere and authentic behavior of monsters, but disliked multiplayer synchronization issues and that certain animation sequences take a long time.
Monster Hunter Tri shipped over one million units prior to its Japanese release date. It was the top-selling game in Japan for the week ending August 2, 2009, at 520,000 copies sold. As of December 12, 2009, Monster Hunter Tri is the best-selling third-party video game for the Wii in Japan, at 960,000 copies sold. As of June 30, 2012, over 1.9 million copies have been sold on the Wii.
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