During today’s Wii U Press Event, Monster Hunter 3 (Tri) Ultimate was announced for the Wii U and 3DS. This will be the 6th installment of Capcom’s record-breaking franchise to arrive on western shores. As you’re no doubt aware, I’m a huge advocate of the series so this is incredibly exciting news.
There is, however, one feature that has the potential to sour any Monster Hunter announcement: multiplayer functionality. As any veteran of Monster Hunter can attest, playing solo is just not the way the game was meant to be played. Thankfully Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate will use the Wii U’s network to allow for online multiplayer.
But that’s not all: the game will be released simultaneously for the 3DS. This means two things:
- Wii U and 3DS players can connect with other 3DS players for local multiplayer. If this is confusing just remember this: if a 3DS is involved, local multiplayer is the only option.
- Save data can be transferred from the Wii U to the 3DS (and vice versa) so you can bring your character and progress on the go.
This is essentially the same arrangement afforded by Monster Hunter Portable 3rd and its HD equivalent. I imported this version not long ago and have been enjoying the freedom that comes with being able to play both on a home console and portable system. I’d go so far as to say that this is the ultimate way to experience Monster Hunter.
Monster Hunter Ultimate 3 is actually an HD port of Monster Hunter 3G which has been out in Japan since last December. Here are some notable additions the game brings to the Tri universe:
- A second Shakalaka AI companion named Kayanba
- New and returning Monsters including the flagship Bracchidios
- A Target Camera allowing the player to “lock-on” to the target monster
- G-rank: a notoriously difficult level of quests that go beyond high-rank. This also means redesigned G-Rank armor sets.
- Touch screen functionality for both the 3DS screen and the Wii U’s GamePad
- All current weapon varieties are available
- Underwater battles! This is… not necessarily a good thing.
Today is a small victory for Monster Hunter fans in the West. We’ve waited a long time and as patiently as possible for a new game these past two years. The day has finally come and I couldn’t be happier with today’s announcement. Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate will be available for 3DS and Wii U in March 2013. Happy hunting!