Immediately I noticed that this game had some major similarities to Tri (Wii). The home area is the exact same and the basic story line is the same. Really, the only differences that can be seen are through the addition of the streetpass features (and general online play) with the 3DS and the addition of many new monsters (which bring their own weapons and armor sets). The new online modes also included a new area called Marina Port, where you can team up with passerby at the Tavern and go hunting together. This method is nothing new to the Monster Hunter series.
Another thing that carried over from Tri is the Resource hunting area (Moga Forest). It's really handy when trying out new weapons and makes improving your farm and fishing resources more meaningful. To improve, rather than simply progressing naturally like in the old games, you work for those improvements! It can take you a while if they need rare parts, but it makes the game last longer and keeps you going.
Initially I was a little disappointed because (in my attempt to keep things as unspoiled as possible) I didn't realize that this game was different than the recently released Japanese version, in which there is a completely new area that features a gorgeous traditional setting. Oh well, that's just my fault for not reading articles before hand!
|Yukumo Village... We didn't get this :'(|
Overall, I'm satisfied with Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate! You can say this series is like Pokémon in that it's more of the same, but you still crave the experience. It improved on my Tri experience and I'm ecstatic about being able to play with WiiU users even though I have the 3DS! There's nothing more frustrating than cross-platform exclusion. This game will tide me over until 4 comes out (Japan's is released this Winter, so we'll likely get it a couple years after) which will apparently feature all new areas and monster to kill!
In case you're wondering which version to get, consider this:
The WiiU also let's you use wifi for online play, while the 3DS only has local (but the obvious benefit of being mobile, whereas the WiiU is not). Owners of both the 3DS and WiiU get all the goods via shared saved data, but then again you have to purchase the game twice, don't you...