Monster Hunter Tri Hands-On

We finally got to slay some monsters with a localised European version of Tri.

Monster Hunter is a game that has been synonymous with the PlayStation brand up until now. The Japanese cult hit has sold millions of copies (and helped sell plenty of PSPs) in its home country but has experienced limited success in overseas markets thus far. Capcom hoped to challenge this notion with a marketing campaign in Europe for Monster Hunter Freedom Unite, which launched to strong reviews, and is following this up with the series' first outing on the Nintendo Wii. We embarked on a hunting quest at GamesCom 2009 in Cologne, Germany, armed with our wits and a Wii Classic Controller.

What's New: Capcom confirmed that the European version of Tri will support an online cooperative mode for up to four hunters, as well as a two-player split-screen mode for certain missions and a single-player mode. When online, you can use your friends list to set up quests with friends, or you can quest with people you haven't shared friend codes with. You will be able to communicate using standard gestures, which will probably be similar to those incorporated into Mario Kart Wii.

While felyne helpers may make a comeback in Tri, they'll no longer go into single-player quests with you. Instead, you'll be accompanied by another human monster hunter. We have yet to find out about your companion, other than that it will be a male character. We also checked out the impressive-looking new switchaxe weapon--a ridiculously oversized, curved, double-edged blade that looks as impressive as it does formidable.

What's Different: This build is localised for the European region.

What's The Same: Our demo featured the same monsters we saw at the 2008 Tokyo Game Show, including the bird/lizard hybrid Qurupeco and a dragon that you can fight underwater (a first for the series), the Lagiacrus. Like other new monsters, the Qurupeco will devour other monsters to recover stamina. In our hunt, it called some smaller members of its species in for backup, along with one of the dragon-like Rathian. Apparently there will be only two existing monsters making an appearance in Tri, including the Rathian, and all the rest will be completely new to the series.

We're pleased to report that the game's controls still feel pretty tight when using a Classic Controller and closely match the PSP scheme. You can also use a Wii Remote and Nunchuk combination to get the job done, and while Capcom wasn't able to confirm it, we expect that GameCube controllers will also work. Unfortunately there's still no option to lock the camera onto your current monster, but the L2 button will reset the camera behind you, and the right analog stick can be used to pan the camera.

What Impression The Game Made This Time: Monster Hunter Tri looks nothing short of impressive when running on the Wii hardware, and the engine does a great job of displaying the heads-up displays, your character, hard-earned weapons and armour, vibrant hunting grounds, and, of course, the monsters themselves. There's a soft look to the environments and some nice bloom effects, which make this version of the game the best looking to date. The controls felt natural and responsive, despite a few caveats, and we're keen to see what playing Tri online will look like. Monster Hunter Tri launched in Japan on August 1 and will be heading to Western markets in early 2010.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

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Luke Anderson

Former staff writer for GameSpot.co.uk, now marketing guy for a certain major online retailer....
Monster Hunter Tri

Monster Hunter Tri

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51 comments
Enric0Pallazz0
Enric0Pallazz0

Lonewolf kai - If you have ever played monster hunter, learned the controls, and still want a lock-on feature you are an idiot. If you havn't played monster hunter then I understand your question. IMO a lock-on feature would ruin this game, it would take skill and precision completely out of the gameplay. Perhaps the only way it would work is if maybe they wanted to add an easy play/beginner dificulty for single player only, even then it would only be a hinderance. Roryk666 - Hopefully if the online is constructed similar to the original monster hunter cheating will not be an issue, if people want to cheat then let them because it doesn't have to effect your experience whatsoever, just don't quest with them. I am extremely excited and may buy a wii for the sole purpose of this game, I just really hope that they will allow some customization of the controls, I'd much prefer the ps2 control scheme to the psp, but we'll see, I really just prefer the analog for attacks as opposed to the buttons...

roryk666
roryk666

what i wanna know is how is capcom gonna stop ppl cheating online? in japan if you cheat you get a temp ban or a perminant ban. if the west we dont have 2 pay to play, so a temp ban doesnt mean as much. im guessing we r going to have a lot of cheaters online with this game.

lonewolf_kai
lonewolf_kai

Is there going to be a "lock-on target" option like there is with other games such as the Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess? I guess that would be similar to locking the camera.

lostsoul1312
lostsoul1312

*spoilers maybe* The wii release will support voice chat (wii speak compatibility) Pay to play is still being decided but due to the lack of american hunters, as compared to japan, it will likely be free. graphics are beautiful, even for a wii game, stop complaining. The graphics do nothing to hinder the game. split screen co-op is Coliseum only, sorry for the letdown but its still pretty fun having someone help you get your coins, and they can import there character for coins too :) online mode is pretty good, reccomend a wired lan adapter as always for consistency but wireless should work fine controls are excellent, both the classic controller pro controls and the wiimote controls feel smooth, i actually prefer wiimote controls! wiimote does not mean point and click for bowguns, woulda been cool though :) rathalos and rathian make a return, no alternate color monsters yet but maybe as online events, oh yeah they have online events, and the elder dragons are bada$$ and chacha is not a human...its a lynian and it reminds me of shakalaka just some information ive gathered from sources and from personal experience playing the japanese version

malthace
malthace

this game is SO gonna rock! ive never owned a mhgame before, but im looking forward to getin one. o and btw wifi for wii is completely free....... and it will also probably come out in australia but im not sure... just guessing because game companies want to make as much money as they can so probably yeah.....

DarkAztaroth
DarkAztaroth

I'm officially getting a Wii only for this one game. . . just like I bougt a PSP only for the Monster Hunter on PSP lol ._. (yep I bought a PSP, but only one game for it XD) I just laughed at something in this lil preview though XD ''Unfortunately there's still no option to lock the camera onto your current monster'' I mean wow the game would suck so hard if it would have that ._.

lukekarsakis
lukekarsakis

Hey i was wondering if this game will be coming out in Australia. If anyone knows the answer to my question please send me a message letting me know. Also i really enjoyed all the other monsters so i'm really looking forward to this awesome game.

buzzguy
buzzguy

One of two games I bought my Wii for. Prime Trilogy being the other. Cannot wait!

Doolum
Doolum

i bought myself a Wii just to play this game.

VXLbeast
VXLbeast

I want this!!!! There is some awesome stuff here. First off, if it is Capcom, that gives me hope, they rock. Online cooperative? YES!!! Split-screen? YES!!! Great graphics? YES!!! I can't wait till we get this game.

ahnzz
ahnzz

yeah i agree should have been on the ps3, love the monster hunter series, but march 2010 thats going to be a long wait ...

jamaicaking5
jamaicaking5

this might be one of the greatest games in the monster hunter series..the only downfall is that it is on the wii. see if it was on the ps3 like originally planned, gamers could utilize the free online service, voice chat, and immensely more detailed graphics(although the wii didnt do a bad job with this game)...well hopefully it does the series justice.

Neku_rules
Neku_rules

This is going to be the best Wii game ever!!

tassakos
tassakos

So when using the wii mote - nunchuk combination controls.. will you like control your one hand weapon (sword or axe) with the wii mote? that would be awesome man.. and online/hotseat multiplayer feature sounds kickass as well

SuperLuigi65
SuperLuigi65

Okay...so can you or can you not play online for free?

Deatonis
Deatonis

no voice no free online who ever thought there was free online has obviously never played tri

Ultraspank
Ultraspank

*Gulp* Voice...chat? Please not just gesture system, that failed horribly on the ps2. I don't want to have to use Ventrillo dammit. This game is always free to play online for those of you who aren't aware yet.

nintendo-naut
nintendo-naut

This is the first time I've really looked at this game. Looks pretty amazing.

shyguy75
shyguy75

@qwetty dude its the wii they cant charge extra if u have a connection u can use it simple

qwettydude
qwettydude

only downside is that you must pay for online

insect13
insect13

This will be a huge hit!

tom95b
tom95b

@ shin_kagato Ok thanks, looks great to me. Do you think split-screen co-op is fun too?

M212
M212

This game will definitly bring out the Wii's full potential. Look at the graphics, there the kind of graphics you'd find on the PS3. The Conduit didn't bring out the Wii's full potential. It brought out probably half of it. But its good to see third party developers like High Voltage Software, Capcom, EA Visceral Games, and Treyarch putting effort into the Wii and taking advantage of the hardware.

isaacmj
isaacmj

I'ts already in Japan.... lucky b******s

wushumaster45
wushumaster45

This is gonna be awesome man!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

taddia
taddia

I absolutely need this game O__O

sensual-_-panda
sensual-_-panda

rather have on the other consoles, since friend codes get really painful, and only time i played online was with brawl, and i almost shot myself because of the horrible lag. dont know about now but id still rather use a headset and parties for this stuff.

jjjrrr11211
jjjrrr11211

I Only Played Monter hunter On the Psp And It Was Very Fun So I Know It Will Be Better Better On A TV

Garrett6677
Garrett6677

Anyone know if its import friendly??

infernomonkey87
infernomonkey87

cool looking game! i wish it was coming out sooner though!

CthulhuFhtagn0
CthulhuFhtagn0

Never played any of these games, but it looks pretty fun. I'll definitely check it out.

shin_kagato
shin_kagato

tom95b, these games tend to be around the 500 hours of gameplay mark but are only really fun in multiplayer. You will get very bored if you only play it single player as it is geared towards co-op play, think PSO but with a HUGE amount of customisation.

tom95b
tom95b

I have a question about this game: How much time can you spend in it? Is it over fast?

BlazeShaman
BlazeShaman

i love the monster hunter games! I got freedom unite on my psp recently. Looking forward to this game.

Sharhan96
Sharhan96

finally, a game like MH tri will come exclusively to the wii

trollkind
trollkind

Update those graphics and make a true next gen MH already. Guess I'll have to stick with my PsP for a fix. :p

yeahyeahbigN
yeahyeahbigN

I have never played a MH game before, but I will definitely check this title out when it comes to shores. It reminds me of Phantasy Star Online for the DC and GC, and I loved that game.

TalesofRaGnArOk
TalesofRaGnArOk

I guess the only mystery left is the most important: will it be p2p?

the_Great_Fall
the_Great_Fall

I CANT WAIT FOR THIS! I was sad when they shut it down on the PS2. It was the BEST online ps2 game EVER, in my opinion. OH and will the online play cost anything extra in the states?

Cheddarchet
Cheddarchet

The more I hear about this game, the more I want it. I hope Nintendo and Capcom are successful in making the franchise popular in the States.

warp10ck
warp10ck

Well I just bought a wii d@mnit maybe I should just return it and wait for a bundle or something.

BrunoBRS
BrunoBRS

looks awesome. yet another game i'll struggle to buy (why so many awesome games at once and so little money to buy them all?)

mightychir
mightychir

This game looks ossim. Im really looking forward to it :D