Monster Hunter Tri
To start, the video really didn't go into as much detail as I wanted, principally because it's rather hard for me to talk about a game that isn't incredibly fast paced and fit it all in while concentrating. So then, I guess it's good you came here to read it!
Monster Hunter Tri is the 3rd "core" installment of the franchise, and I haven't played it since back on the playstation days. Keeping this in mind, I had some prior knowledge as to how the game works, so it was rather easy for me to pick up.
For beginners, Monster Hunter has always had a bit of a learning curve, but anyone who takes the time to read the manual and play around with it enough can easily get the hang of how to deal with most of the game. Mechanic wise, the game gives a large selection of weapons (7 to be exact), and each feels pretty unique as for attacks. These attacks are performed in a manner of ways depending on what controller you are using, as Tri is set up for both Wiimote and Classic Controller play, even allowing two configurations with the Classic.
The general way things go involves starting in the village (or city, if online), taking a quest (or just wandering to the solo woods if free hunting) that leads to killing monsters (some peaceful little deer types, some gigantic monstrous dragons that want to eat you and your friends), carving them up for parts (random "drop" achieved from carving), gathering other goods (through mining ores, picking plants, catching bugs, and searching bone piles), and (if on quest) achieving the goal of your quest. Anything gathered is then either sold or, more often then not, stored for later use as a weapon or armor component.
Weapons and armor can both be Forged and Upgraded. In the case of weapons, upgrading is the way to go, costing less and enhancing the weapon to new forms with better qualities. In the case of armor, Forging new pieces is the greater help, as upgrading simply increases the defensive stat a little each time. In both cases, different components are needed (such as 2 unknown skulls, 3 scales, an 15 bones) with a bit of money to complete. The rewarding part, however, is seeing how all these parts put in makes it look different (you can tell someone killed the big red dragon to make the armor, since it looks very similar to the big red dragon).
Camera controls are done with the D-pad, allowing a pretty good range of not having blind-issues. In underwater segments (new to Tri), the up/down camera is also used to control depth while in motion (looking down while swimming forward makes you go down). While underwater, there is also a breath gauge, which can be restored by surfacing, items, or swimming into bubbles - it isn't something that drains so fast it makes you feel in a hurry though, which is good considering the kill-carve- repeat philosophy of the game.
As said before, the controller setup dictates the controls of the game, and with the wiimote it can be a little hairy at times - having the controller tilted left while hitting "A" for instance will do a side slash, while holding it perpendicular to the floor an holding "A" will do a chargeable overhead slash with the Great Sword. Sometimes though, you aren't holding the controller just right and you get a swing opposite what you wanted. More troubling then executing the attacks (which are easy when you get the hang of it and practice with a weapon) is lining up attacks. Monsters are constantly moving, an even though the camera offers you great control, getting that forward cut to hit when you are off by just a little can sometimes cause much grief.
Some mini-game like material exists, with the combining of items (as simple as picking combine, selecting an item, and looking for the material that is highlighted informing you it can be combined) and cooking of food (raw meat carved from monsters can be cooked using a BBQ pit, resulting in a game of watching your spinning fillet turn progressively browner, and stopping it hopefully before the charcoal black BURNT status).
All gauges are easily visible and laid out across the screen nicely, from time left on a mission, air, health, weapon durability (sharpness), and stamina (regained by eating food, used by running/dodging/blocking).
The largest problem with the game doesn't really come from gameplay, but rather the feel of grinding - there are no levels, but the amount of material needed to upgrade your gear can lead to spending two hours simply killing the deer-type Kelbi to try and gather some horns, for example. Part of this may have been able to be remedied if there was a bit more focus on a plot, but then it wouldn't feel like monster hunter if you took the emphasis away from hunting monsters.
Multiplayer is set up similar to a quest-only version of single player, with I believe 4 people per hunting party, but numerous people per "city" (I have yet to really tool around with the multiplayer, thanks to not having anyone I know own the game).
There is also an in-house split screen mode called Arena, that I haven't tried, that alludes to being you and a friend versus whichever 'boss" character you choose to fight.
really isn't one. Your a hunter, hired by a village, to eventually kill
a giant water monster that showed up. Ideally, you take jobs as a
hunter, become a better more renowned hunter, and just keep killing more
monsters that get harder as you go. With a game that has such a blunt,
straight to the point title as Monster Hunter, I guess it should be
expected that the game is all about hunting, and not a huge story of
love and revenge and saving the world. Right?
Graphically, it's the best Monster Hunter yet. The animations are all fluid, although the walking animation will often carry you past what you wanted when you wish to move just ever so slightly. It might not be up to the standards of games on the other current gen systems, but the wii handles it near flawlessly, so far exhibiting no frame rate drops or odd glitches, although the game itself's gear can cause clipping issues (when sheeted, the sword and shield combo weapon's sword goes THROUGH the shield, which makes it look like a strange off-centered spike on the shield).
The sounds are pretty top notch. Animals all sound different, the cooking pit noise is incredibly catchy, and most of the weapons sound like they hurt when they hit. Music is good, when you heart it, but most of the time if it is there you barely notice thanks to all the ambiance.
Overall, I love the game, even if it is essentially grinding for items to make the next better gear. It reminds me a lot of Phantasy Star Online, except with gear that visibly changes every time you equip it, and no real noteworthy in-house multiplayer. Rent it first to see if you could enjoy it, and buy it if you are already a fan.