We strap on the sword and board to go searching for things to kill in Monster Hunter Tri's multiplayer Arena mode.
Earlier this month, we took a brief look at the multiplayer component coming to the west in highly anticipated killing simulation, Monster Hunter Tri for the Wii. If swinging a huge sword while fighting for glory and rewards is up your alley, then come join our party.
Monster Hunter’s multiplayer is split into two types: open-world hunting and arena battles. Open-world hunting sees you take to the lush landscape with a crew as you search out and kill wandering monsters for their meat, item drops, or trophies. Arena mode works similarly but takes much of the running around out of the game, spawning you and friends into a sealed gauntlet leading to a huge open-air coliseum with a foe of your choice as chosen from the quest list available. First timers are able to select from one of four different class types as defined by their weapon loadouts. These are ranged attack with a gun; lance and shield; short sword and shield; and all out offensive attack with a huge two-handed hammer. Each class has its own damage profile, and while the slow speed of the hammer can unleash large amounts of damage, you’ll need to have someone else eating the hurt, as well as a fairly still target, to successfully land attacks. On the other end of the scale, light, faster attacks with the short sword and shield allow you to fend off smaller additional monsters that spawn into the arena defensively. But while you remain agile, your damage relies on prolonged periods of jabs rather than a single haymaker.
Selecting and playing a particular class--and we use the term class loosely--doesn’t assign you to a specific function during battles. While in other action games the guy with the shield is the designated damage sponge as everyone else wails on the boss, there’s no real “tank and spank” system here. The player doing the most damage to the enemy will be the focus of its anger, but that doesn’t give everyone else a free pass. Teamwork and coordination are essential here. The optional WiiSpeak support will also go a long way to helping organise parties to focus attacks on exploiting weak points while avoiding zones immune to damage. Monster Hunter is a game that rewards players who put the time in to kill monsters, as well as upgrade their weapons and armour. With this in mind, it's good to see that players will be happy to take their single-player character online or copy a profile to a Wii Remote to take to a friend’s place.
Your performance can be tough to gauge in the arena. Your health bar will deplete and grow as you quaff healing potions, but there are no health bars for your targets. Instead, you’ll need to rely on visual cues, such as staggering animations and the enemy’s attack behaviour to determine how well you’re slaying the beast. It’s an interesting approach and means you won’t know if you’re one more sword stab away from glory or rounding the first corner in a long, winding road to victory.
During our hands-on time, we fought a midsized Raptor with no visible weak points. Our two-player approach consisted of sticking fairly close to each other, dashing in, and getting in a few shots before rolling out of the way to avoid tail swipes. Knockbacks and some smaller, more basic spawned enemies split us from each other, but we managed to take the big guy down after a long, drawn-out battle. Nintendo reps confirmed some fights may last as long as 45 minutes. Unlike seems to be the case in the open-world part of Monster Hunter, enemies don’t attack each other in the arena. This means you won’t be able to watch from the sidelines as they go toe-to-toe before stepping in to land the killing blow. Provided at least one player is still alive in the arena, you’ll be able to zone back in after dying without the boss regaining full health. A team wipe from multiple simultaneous deaths requires you to start over from the beginning of the encounter. The inability to swing a sword and heal at the same time means you’ll need to sheath your blade to drink potions or set traps. This will leave you vulnerable to wayward physical attacks and area-of-effect damage unless someone else picks up the aggro.
One thing we did notice is the scaling of the game visuals in the multiplayer mode. The single-player portion of Monster Hunter Tri looks great with its lush environments, textured terrain, and varied monster types. But unfortunately, perhaps as a limitation of the Wii’s hardware, split-screen multiplayer ratchets things down a few notches. Character and enemy models become blockier while the arena doesn’t have the same flashiness of the world surrounding it. It’s not bad enough to detract from the main event of killing things, but we’re hoping it’s something still being tweaked prior to launch to wring every drop of performance out of Nintendo’s console.
Monster Hunter Tri will be slicing and dicing its way exclusively onto the Wii in the first half of this year. Stay tuned for the full GameSpot review shortly.
Looks good so far, hope they improve graphics and framerate for multi player though, thumbs up from me ;)
plain awsome............ i have been waiting for this game since i read an article about it in nintendo power. ive only played one other mh game b4 and it was mh freedom for psp. i preordered the bundle and this game is gna rock!
DragonSlayer, the Frontier game for the 360 will not be out in NA. I hear its a Japanese exclusive to boost more 360 sells in that territory. I don't know where you got the impression its coming to North America.
Monster hunter 3 is going to be amazing, but when Monster hunter Frontier arrives for the 360 it is going to be better, because (hopefully like the japan version) contains classic and new monsters, a bigger online community, updates, updating game content, and more. Monster hunter 3 is more like the other games from the series that dont NEED online. Frontier is ment to be more of like an MMO
I only played a PSP monter hunter game, it had very nice graphics but painfully slow control and action in general, I just didn't like it. These games always get tons of hype and conststant low ratings as well. If someone tries to explain the hype by saying it is because of Japan's success I'll have to point out that phantasy star does even better over there and PS0 didn't even get reviewed until weeks after the release.
So I see it's alot of people hating wii haters here, but I really got a ps3, xbox360 and wii, so doesn't matter! This game looks awesome but what is the difference on the MH3 and MH frontier? I'd rather buy the frontier game for xbox360, but is there a big difference? :D
I sell my Wii 'cause there wasn't games like HM3, I feel like I missed one of the best games of the year :(, I guess I'll switch consoles with a friend when the game comes up.
Time to clear your schedules coz the hours will add up by the hundreds, easily. Monster Hunter games rock! @ ArkKaze Right on!
I never played a Monster Hunter game. This may be my first. I'm looking forward to the release of this game.
I played the demo of this and you know what? It is freaking awesome!!! Even if it is just a demo I already love it. Although I am still afraid of swimming in the ocean to fight monsters...
Why there is so many haters criticizing wii because of this game? "wii graphics sux, wii graphics this and that" peeps, realize something, what makes a good game is not only the graphics, some of the best games i ever player were on snes and psx, most of games on wii, xbox and ps3 are crap, because most of them are now commercial products, they lack depth and dedication on the game from the producers, graphics are simply 1 stage of a game, but judging a wii by its graphic like i am reading every where is like judging a book by its cover.
@maskedlink Mhtri was never developed for the PS3.It was expected to be developed for PS3 but being too expensive,Capcom decided to go on some cheap crap.(i'm still angry with those bastards for not bringing it over to PS3).Anyhow,i also agree that MHtri is a most beautiful game,even for a Wii.Besides,i only bought a Wii just for this game.
Those are probably the best graphics I've seen on the Wii... ever. The fact that it was originally developed for the PS3 (i think? I heard that somewhere.) might explain that.
The demo is already out. I got mine on friday. Go get it at gamespot before they run out. Actually I would call first just in case they don't have it. Happy hunting.
This game looks really freaking awesome. Keeping my eye on this one for sure and grabbing that free demo at gamestop this monday :P
the wii is really starting to surprise me, these latest games all take the wii to what i didnpt know it could do. i´ve never played any title of this series, but it sure looks promising.
Very excited for this! MH games are brutally difficult, but at the same time, they feel completely rewarding when you DO succeed. New locations, an online function (with apparent voicechat via wiispeak), and splitscreen for local play? Yeah, I'm sold :D
Facts/Rumors: 1) Will be a seaparated from common game servers. 2) There will be no friends codes. 3) We won't have to pay for online.
i hope the gameplay lives up to all those boss fight introductions.. but still looks like one hell of an adventure.. something a ten year old will totally gobble up
Can you live up to the expectation of Monster Hunter on PSP! MHTri!?. I played the Japanese version.mixed feelings....more disappointed than happy i should say. Lets see what the US version will be like.(I do not want to regret having bought a Wii)
@Torment777: So far the only thing I know about splitscreen multiplayer is that it up to 2 players and you can play arena battle(maybe Open World Hunting too).
Has anyone heard anything about splitscreen multiplayer? I'd like to play this with my gf but if i cant theres no one else i could play with so its not worth getting...
I CAN'T WAIT I am kinda ticked that my PSP's hunter will never see the light of day. I mean I even imported him from monster hunter freedom, to monster hunter freedom 2, and now into monster hunter freedom unite. All that work for naught. BUT, I CAN PLAY ONLINE! I know you could with the PSP version, but the process was a hastle, and it required a physical wired internet connection with your PSP (unless you spent the money for that weird PC hookup thing). It'll be a pain starting over, but hey. I don't mind. HERE'S TO ANOTHER GREATSWORD WIELDING BAMF!
This game looks great. Also, no matter what game you play, split screen will always scale down the graphics. The split screen is just for local multiplayer. Online there is no split screen, just single...so the graphics will still look great. Single player will always produce the highest fidelity in graphics. Regardless of the mode--this game still holds up and looks astonishing.
holy shnitzles this game looks freakin crazy!! I cant believe they pushed the release date a month back but whatever, it looks worth the wait.
I have never played Monster Hunter before, but this game looks GREAT!!! I already have plans for multiplayer with a few friends. :D
I'm hoping the series' transition to the Wii has addressed some of the control problems. It looks suitably epic.
This looks like an awesome game, and one the Wii duly deserves! Online co-op is longer overdue on the Wii. 45 minute fights? Sounds totally intense! Storing your character in a remote to bring to your friends house? Man, I can't wait to play this.
@the_Great_Fall Suddenly a home console having better graphics than a portable is a selling point? I'd rather it not have frame rate issues OR watered graphics for multiplayer, I'd rather it be on an actual next-gen console that can handle the game in its entirety. And it's NOT a start-over for the series in America, it's a sequel intended to sell extremely well in Japan, and for some reason it did. It was designed first and foremost for Japan, like all other MH games. So it's not some attempt to reboot the series (even if it was that would be moronic because reboots are moronic), it's just an attempt to dumb it down to appeal to a broader audience by removing the more complicated and less used weapon types, as well as have less monsters, thus less weapons and armour, thus less work for the lazy bastards in the MH dev studio.
@nini200 Except that I have two people I play with regularly and I'm in freaking AUSTRALIA. If I can find Hunters to group with then anyone should be able to. Plus the game is just as fun, if not funner, on your own, because the challenge level goes way up.
Hmmmm, This looks like another amazing monster hunter game, but am i rly willing to spend another 100-125 hours on this like i did with MHF2? Probably :D
I wish I can get games to buy on Day 1 but ofcourse my damn father doesn't let me get games until like a f**king year after my first.
@Vegna871 At the point in the game I am right now, I can only access the immediate area outside of the town. If you exit the town without an assigned quest there is no timer. Quests STILL have a timer. As you can see from all the images and videos in this MH you are in a harbor town, that means the main transportation is by water. There was a mini quest in which I rebuilt a small dock/basecamp, maybe I can take the boat that is docked there to Free-explore other areas not directly connected to the town later on in the game.
Content you might like…
We got a chance to team up with fellow hunters and take down the water-dwelling Lagiacrus monster in Monster Hunter Tri.Feb 5, 2010
Users who looked at this article also looked at these content items.