Today, I’ll be looking at an older game, namely Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate for the Wii U and 3DS. Although Monster Hunter 4 is already out in Japan, it will still be a while before the English version hits our shores and during this time, all we can do is wait excitedly and play some more of the Monster Hunter games we do have. Which is why I have this post, really. There seems to be a lot of confusion when it comes to the Monster Hunter series and I hope that I can at least clear it up a little bit. So let us get to it, shall we?
As you might already know, Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate was the latest in the series that we got, with the Lagiacrus shown above, the flagship monster of Monster Hunter 3, making a reappearance as what is thought to be the monster causing troubling tremors disturbing the village people. Now honestly, I had to try playing it for myself before I realised that I would actually like it, as watching others play did not make it seem all that appealing. However, when I picked up a weapon for myself and started hunting monsters on my own, I found it to be a lot more fun that I first expected. I then went and got my own 3DS with Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate pre-loaded on it and have been playing it on and off ever since.
What is Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate?
If you do not already know what Monster Hunter is, read on. If you already know, skip this section and we will get right into how it works, but be warned, this is mainly an attempt at helping those who do not have much experience with the game. If you are already running around killing G-rank monsters without needing more than a couple of potions to heal, you do not need to read this. If the thought of fighting Deviljho in G-rank still scares you, then the latter parts of this guide might be useful. Also, if you are still having trouble collecting the items you need to make or upgrade armour and weapons, the latter parts of this guide might be useful as well. Anyway, let us get to it, starting with the cheesy official description of the game.
Take up arms and venture into a world of spectacular surroundings and challenging monsters in Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate on Nintendo 3DS [and Wii U]. With all-new monsters, equipment and weapons and over 200 action-packed quests to tackle, Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate is the most expansive game in the series to date.
In this action RPG, take more than just satisfaction from your hard-fought victories: carve conquered monsters to gain their bones, horns, hides and more, then have them fashioned into weapons and armour to steel you for the even tougher battles ahead. It is the hunter’s way.
Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate utilises the unique functionalities of Nintendo 3DS to provide players with a truly intuitive hunting experience. The optional new Target Camera feature now makes it easier to focus quickly on nearby monsters with a simple press of a button. Get quick access to in-game books, weapons, field maps and minigames with the Touch Screen, while the 3D visuals of Nintendo 3DS deliver a unique and stunning world to explore.
Team up with other Nintendo 3DS players via a local wireless connection to hunt together. If you own both a Nintendo 3DS and Wii U, as well as a copy of Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate for each system, take advantage of the inter-compatibility of save data between the two consoles to take the hunt from your living room wherever you go.
- Hunt fierce new monsters and tackle over 200 quests in an epic action RPG
- Work together with other hunters on Nintendo 3DS systems or on Wii U via local wireless connection
- Transfer save data to Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate on Wii U to continue your hunt on the big screen!
Ok, so what is Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate?
We all know that companies write game descriptions with the intention of selling a game, but that does not mean we cannot learn anything from those descriptions. However, what I believe would be a better way to get an understanding of what this game is all about is to introduce the setting then briefly going over how we play it, which is precisely what I am about to do now.
In Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate, we enter the world as a rookie hunter in Moga Village, a small fishing village in the Monster Hunter world. Shortly after arriving, the village experiences a massive earthquake and the villagers blame it on the fearsome leviathan, Lagiacrus. Our job as a hunter is to investigate the cause of the earthquakes and, if possible, eliminate the Lagiacrus terrorising the village. It may or may not be the actual monster that is causing the earthquakes, but it does disrupt the fishermen’s ability to go fishing and make a livelihood, so to complete this goal, we must hone our hunting skills by hunting weaker monsters in the area. Doing this allows us to create stronger and stronger equipment by hunting progressively stronger monsters, collecting their parts, and using them in the creation and upgrading of armour and weapons. It does seem a little brutal to hunt monsters, cut them up, and turn them into things with which we will hunt bigger monsters, but as always, this is just a game and does not reflect on what we believe is right or wrong in real life. I know I sure as hell would not kill a lion or tiger for any reason, unless it was trying to kill me, but hey, that is just my opinion.
However, I digress, and the next piece of information for the day is that Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate is not an entirely linear game. We have the choice to tackle any quest available, as long as we are qualified enough, but some quests are required to progress the story or allow us to unlock further quests. Most quests start and finish the same, however, and there is a specific flow of events once the quest has started and once it has ended. Here is a general breakdown of the process.
We choose the quest we want to do from the Guild’s quest counter. Many quests have a small cost associated with them, which is repaid on the successful completion of the quest.
We depart on the quest by then heading toward the docks in Moga Village or the gate in Tanzia Port, the multi-player area. Once we’ve started a Quest, we can’t go back to our house or change areas, so we have to make sure that we have done all our preparations before taking the Quest.
Depending on the type of quest we have taken, we complete the objective in one of two ways.
- To complete a quest that requires items to be delivered, collect the items and take them to the red box in the base camp. Once the requested items have been delivered, the quest is complete.
- To complete a quest where a monster must be defeated or captured, simply capture or defeat the monster. If a quest requires a monster to be defeated, we can still complete the quest by capturing the monster, but if it requires the monster to be captured, killing it will cause us to fail the quest.
After we have fulfilled the quest’s objectives, we are given a short amount of time to carve a defeated monster or otherwise gather items. This is usually sixty seconds for defeating a monster and twenty seconds for capturing or delivering goods.
Once the quest complete message is received, we are taken to the rewards screen where a set of rewards for completing the quest are given. We can choose to collect the items and carry them on our character, send them to our item box, or sell the items right away. If we wait too long without doing anything, the items are automatically sold. In most cases, we should send everything to your item box.
However, be aware that this flow is interrupted if we fail our quest. Luckily there are only three ways to fail a quest and all of them are quite easy to avoid once you get the hang of hunting.
- The reward decreases to 0z: Every time a character’s health completely runs out by reaching zero, the quest’s reward decreases, in most cases by a third of the total reward. Once the reward is decreased to zero, the quest immediately ends in failure.
- The time expires: In most cases, we are given fifty minutes to complete a quest, although this amount can, at times, be lower. Check the remaining time in a quest by looking at the clock next to the health bar or by checking the quest status screen.
- The target is defeated: This only applies to quests where we must capture a monster. If we defeat the monster before capturing it, we fail the quest and receive no rewards.
Also, if we feel like we might be at risk of failing a quest, we can abandon the quest and get all the items we have used during the quest back. We will not get our money back or any of the items we picked up during the quest, but if the reason we fear failing is because we are running out of time or have died twice and still struggling, then it ensures we do not waste any of the healing items we had taken with us.
Isn’t Monster Hunter a really difficult game?
So, first thing I want to address in regards to Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate is the difficulty of the game. There are a lot of different opinions about the difficulty of this game. There are those that say the game has artificial difficulty, those that instruct other people that they need about five or more weapons to even get through the game, and those that think the game is broken because they have trouble getting past low-rank on their own, for example. Monster Hunter, if we take a moment to look at it first without jumping right in an expecting to just win, is not an incredibly hard game at all, and I hope that, with the advice I have to give, I can make you feel the same about it as I do – that it is a fun game with a couple of challenges here and there. But first, let us have a look at how we should approach this game to begin with.
What Monster Hunter is, and what it is not
Now, if you are just finding out about this game or are still new to it, some of this might not make a whole lot of sense, but regardless of your level of experience, just take a step back for a moment. Remember that this is not an action brawler type of game where we run around and beat everything to a pulp by spamming buttons. It might be classified as a third-person action adventure, role-playing, or action role-playing game, but what does that really mean in the end? None of that tells us that our weapon attacks are slow in comparison to the more fast-paced action types of games, that our moves must be deliberate when we make them, and that progression comes in the form of hunting monsters and collecting their parts to make different types of equipment. We will get nowhere with a game like this if we think the strategy to get through it is to spam the attack buttons, nor will our equipment carry us if we do not learn how to fight properly. Those kinds of attitudes will work for the first big monster, which is a Great Jaggi, but we won’t get much further than that.
So how do we deal with a game like this?
If having to learn what your weapon does and how it works, as well as devise strategies and learn about your opponent as you fight sounds like a good idea to you, then we are playing the right game. This is how we become good at Monster Hunter with very little real effort. Of course, we can go more in-depth and start looking at which weapons are better for which situation, but I will save that for later in this guide. Right now, we just want to address a problem that a lot of new players have faced – killing that blasted bird that makes little fiery explosions with its wings.
Learn what monsters like to do
This monster is the one and only Qurupeco. It and the later Crimson Qurupeco are, admittedly, gigantic pains in the ass, but they are not difficult to kill or capture. The flint stones on their wings are pretty tough, meaning the weapon we picked up at the very start will bounce off them on most attacks. Also, the Qurupeco likes calling in other monsters to help it fight, like a huge, angry Deviljho, but that is simply a minor inconvenience if we bring along some dung bombs, an awesome item that smells horrible, but encourages a monster to leave the area if it has been hit by one.
Also, if you have not already been practising learning a monsters moves on the earlier ones, like the Great Jaggi and Arzuros, you should start here. We just need to relax and watch the Qurupeco a little bit as we run around and we will notice that he does little things before his actual attacks, like a hop or raising and spitting on his flint stones so he can make fiery explosions when he hits them together. If we know what he is going to do, we can dodge it much more easily and we will find the game to be much easier once we get the hang of it. Why is this so important? Well, the less time we spend on the ground, the more time we can spend doing damage and breaking parts. If you are new and do not know what I am talking about when I say breaking parts, do not worry, we will get to that eventually.
Rare monster subspecies
Before we continue, one thing I would like to point out is that there is usually more than one type of a monster. Now, monsters do increase in difficulty when we meet them again in a higher rank of quests, but there is another way that they can vary. These variations are known as subspecies and are usually more rare than the base or normal monster, and they are often much stronger and found a bit later in the game.
For example, I mentioned the Qurupeco and Crimson Qurupeco a moment ago, but there are many others that have subspecies, such as the Rathalos to the right. The Rathalos has two subspecies that we will find in Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate and they are the somewhat stronger, uncommon Azure Rathalos shown below to the left, and the even stronger, rare Silver Rathalos shown below to the right.
With subspecies, we will sometimes notice that the element the monster uses or is weak to will change, such as with the case of the Gigginox where the normal one uses the poison and the Baleful Gigginox uses electricity. Another example of an element that a monster uses changing is the normal Agnaktor which uses fire, and the Glacial Agnaktor which uses water. As a result, these kinds of monsters also have different weaknesses.
I know we have only begun to delve into the world of Monster Hunter, but it turns out that I have a lot more that I want to say about this game than I originally thought. Next time, we will look at the different weapons that are available and how damage is calculated, but until then, that’s all from me for now.
Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate Series
- MH3U, part two
- This time in my guide to Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate we will be looking at the different weapons that are available and how damage is calculated.
- MH3U, part three
- This time in my guide to Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate we will look at Weapon and Armour crafting, Armour Skills, and Weapon attacks which cannot be deflected.