Electronic Theatre Preview: Monster Hunter 3

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            Rumours surrounding the wider release possibilities for Monster Hunter 3 have been doing the rounds recently, with the PlayStation Portable having reportedly been deemed a possible host for the game at a later date. Whatever else may be happening with the title, one things is certain – its running on Wii right now.

Electronic Theatre Image            At the Tokyo Game Show this year, no other single game could lay claim to as have drawn as much attention from both industry peers and consumers alike, with the queue established at a three-to-four hour duration soon after opening. In these queues, stream of players could be seen armed with the last release in the series, Monster Hunter Freedom 2 (known as Monster Hunter Portable 2ndG in the east) – which could easily add fuel-to-the-fire in the argument of the possibility of a PlayStation Portable conversion for Monster Hunter 3.

            Even from the briefest playtest of the first Wii release in the series, it’s easy to acknowledge that Monster Hunter 3 won’t charm the sceptics. Extensive loading delays reveal much of the same mechanics seen in previous games. However, what Monster Hunter 3 does do well, it does exceedingly so. Staggeringly detailed horizons coupled with a more active environment put Capcom in the top tier of Wii development, drawing more from the system than has yet been seen in a finished release whilst still insisting that much of the game at this point lacks the sheen of the final product.

            The Wii Remote is used not only to control the Camera, but also direct a players’ attacks. The lack of a Lock-On System may disappoint a few, though theElectronic Theatre Image accuracy of this method does make it a reliable instrument. Guarding, using a shield and selecting your type of attack are chosen through titling the Wii Remote, and differing swings will result in a variety of blows, combos, and the ability to charge-up attacks. The challenge lies in the tactics required to face-off against larger adversaries, co-operating between Character Class types. The online play, in-fact, may well be the greatest challenge of WiiConnect24 yet. Unquestionably the result of the series’ popularity on PlayStation Portable, the Wii release will allow up to four players in a party, both online and through split-screen. However, there has been no mention of whether a combination of the two methods or support for Wii Speak would be included as options in the final build.

            Rumours of both Downloadable Content and Wii MotionPlus have also been doing the rounds, both of which the ever-vigilant Capcom decline to comment on. Wii MotionPlus may be a stretch too far; Monster Hunter 3 is almost definitely too close to completion for the addition to be implemented in any meaningful way.  The possibilities for downloadable extras however, are quite obviously phenomenal – new areas, weapons, enemies, Character Classes and much more – and are perhaps limited only by that of Wii’s internal storage capacity. This limitation may not be an issue for the Casual end of the system’s market, however, for the Hardcore Gamer the lack of space is already beginning to cause issues, and for Monster Hunter 3, that latter market is undoubtedly the target. With the title set to break all sorts of records upon launch next year, if Nintendo were to ever provide an optional solution for Wii’s limited capacity, this would be the time to do it.




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