Capcom’s Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate for Wii U and 3DS hits the US/Europe in March 19th and 22nd respectively and is an update to 2010’s  Nintendo Wii exclusive Monster Hunter Tri. To whet your appetite there are downloadable demos for both versions on February 21st.  The free demos will consist of a beginner and advanced quests with a compliment of 12 weapons to choose from. If you like Monster Hunter or your interest is peaked then read on as we delve deeper under the hood of this cult series.

What is Monster Hunters deal?

For the uninitiated Monster Hunter is a 3rd person action game. There are many RPG elements in its DNA but to liken Monster Hunter to Skyrim would be a disservice to both titles. The Story is bare bones to say the least, you are the towns new Hunter and them monsters need a huntin’. Story aside it boils down to this: collect materials from fallen foes then fashion them into weaponry to beat the next beast on your hit list.

To effectively track down and kill giant creatures that in most cases outweigh your custom built character 1000/1 you are going to need help. The best way to enjoy this is to go online with up to 3 friends and as a team take down these leviathans.

For the last nine years Monster Hunter (MH) has been a hot property in Japan, generally topping charts with each release in the series. So why hasn’t the popularity travelled over to the west? Poor marketing and a steep difficulty could be to blame but perhaps it’s because we in the west value prestige. Lowly handhelds and the Wii’s low fidelity graphics just didn’t catch our eye. If Monster Hunter was released on one of the big dogs then maybe we would have sat up and taken notice. As it is, Capcoms Action RPG has stayed out of the spot light. Until now.

Thanks to a need for some spice in the line up for both of Nintendo‘s flagship consoles Monster Hunter is finally seeing some much requested HD action in the west. The version you are getting is perhaps not definitive per se but certainly robust enough to earn the prefix of “ultimate”. Here’s what your getting in the package:

  • Aside from graphics the 3DS and Wii U releases will be identical except for no online multiplayer on the hand-held.
  • Two assistant characters called Shakalakas will join lone hunters and also fill empty slots in multiplayer sessions. These small humanoids replace the feline companions from MH Portable  3rd.
  • Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate includes 73 Monsters to hunt. Thats 13 more than MH Portable 3rd and 38 more than the Wii’s MH Tri. It should be noted that roughly 20% of those monsters are variants of the same beast with different attack patterns and toughness.
  • The Asian release called MH 3G HD Version has already received 11 DLC quests yielding many new items licensed by comic companies in Japan. As such seeing them appear in the west is a long shot.
  • MH 3 Ultimate includes eleven destinct areas with under water sections for swimming.
  • Nintendo have confirmed voice chat for Wii U through the Gamepad’s built in mic and optional text chat using any generic USB keyboard.

A special mention must go out to monsterhunter.wikia.com For having a wealth of information and will serve as a fine companion to any hunter looking to sharpen their trade.

Finally I must report sad tidings for fans of Monster Hunter Tri for the Wii. If you have been busting beasts online with friends you should be advised the online servers will officially go dark on April 30th. An unsurprising move considering the far deeper update will be out for a full month prior.

A breakdown of the demo will appear when it hits right here at Hard Reset.

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