Capcom brought a localized Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate demo to Tokyo Game Show. I sat down with two Capcom reps and another writer (who also happened to be a pretty good Monster Hunter player) in a four player game. We settled on the easiest mission first and picked Urcusis as our target. Urcusis isn’t one of Monster Hunter’s ferocious monsters. This giant rabbit-bear creature throws snowballs at players and slides on its belly. If a snowball hits your character you’re encased in ice, unable to attack until (preferably) an ally or enemy attacks you. We tried placing explosive barrels close to Urcusis and dashing away for a player with a bow to shoot them. It seemed like a good strategy, but Urcusis slid right into them before we could activate are trap.
I played with the Switch Axe, a new weapon Capcom made for Monster Hunter Tri. This weapon’s strength is in its versatility. Sword mode is for fast strikes and Axe mode deals big damage plus increases your range. Another player with dual swords tried rushing Urcusis while I followed up with axe strikes. We kept hacking away at Urcusis until it slid away into another zone. As a group, we pursued the slippery monster, but were not able to do defeat it since the demo was timed for ten minutes.
While that sounds strange, most demos in Tokyo Game Show are timed for 10 minutes. Booth attendants walk around with egg timers and gently tap you on the shoulder when your turn is over. Even though Capcom’s Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate builds were in a press suite, they too were unfortunately set for ten minutes and abruptly end when time is up.
Even though I knew it would be impossible, I tried to fight Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate’s poster monster Brachydios (that’s his official name as seen in the English build). Brachydios lives in a volcano and drops puddles of explosive slime. Ouch!. Brachydios also has explosive punches that shave off a ton of life. I stayed on my toes, but couldn’t dodge all of Brachydios’ attacks and ended up losing a ton of life. At least I was close, so I slashed away using with my sword (and shield). I barely scratched Brachydios in the ten minute time limit.
So, yeah if you want to enjoy Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate plan to spend at least an hour with it and team up with friends. Seeing the game running on a Nintendo 3DS XL was a treat. The larger screen enhances the background depth and while that won’t make you a better hunter the game sure looks pretty.
Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate comes out for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U in March 2013. The Wii U version supports online play while the 3DS release is ad-hoc only.