Players use plenty of math throughout the game. Players need to collect certain quantities of various resources to forge new equipment, and each of these pieces of equipment has its own statistics. Players also need to manage two currencies at once, one that is used for buying and selling goods and another that is used to harvest resources from the village and surrounding areas.
When on a hunt players have access to a detailed map. Certain abilities and items can affect how much of the map a player can see, and others can allow players to sense the locations of large monsters on the map, a great help particularly when hunting down a flying monster.
Creativity & Imagination
By the Player:
The biggest choice players have is which of the game's seven weapon types to use. Choosing a weapon in Tri is a lot like choosing a player class in an MMO; each weapon has a totally different set of attacks and offers a totally different play style from all the others. Bowguns, for example, are great for supporting a team from afar, while Switchaxes and Hammers deal exceptional amounts of damage but are good for damaging different parts of a monster.
While the game starts small, it's not long at all before players have hundreds of different items, resources and monster parts at their disposals. The range of different weapons and armors available is huge, and they all have different properties. Attack, defense, elemental effects and resistances, sharpness on weapons, skill points and slots for additional customizations are all things that must be taken into account, and as players get further along weapon trees more options become available.
Players can also customize their avatar's appearance fairly thoroughly, and on any hunt there are optional items for players to find.
By the Developer:
Monster Hunter's basic formula is here in full, and it's satisfying and addictive, as always. Tri also adds gentle new tweaks to the recipe. Players can now venture outside the base village to collect town resources, and there are new underwater enemies, which come with new underwater battles. A new slew of weapons and monsters make the title feel fresh, even when put next to its predecessors. Hunting monsters in the jungle with three of your buddies is exciting, and despite the familiarity that veterans will feel, there's enough new content to satisfy.
Business skills are a very important aspect of Tri. Players receive money for completing missions, and this money can be used to purchase supplies and equipment. Equipment is highly expensive, forcing players to save up frequently if they want to experiment with new weapons or forge powerful armor. Also, there are a number of supplies that players pretty much need to restock frequently; including healing potions, traps, food and sword-sharpening whetstones, among others. Players need to be able to afford these items, or at least the supplies necessary to craft them.
Players also have a second currency, resource points. These can be used to perform a number of tasks in the village found during solo play. Players can send boats out to collect fish and monster parts or have a trio of workers produce different materials at the farm. Resource points are used to pay for these services. Players can earn more resource points either by trading in certain items or exploring the Deserted Island area and hunting monsters. Many of these monsters also offer special goods, ''commodities," that can be used to trade for rare goods when a foreign trader is in town.
People skills are a huge part of Tri's multiplayer mode, which has groups of up to four hunters teaming up to take down any of the game's monsters. While players can simply hack away at foes independently, coordinating attacks is much more effective, especially when considering that each weapon has its own particular uses. Hammer-wielding hunters can aim at the heads of monsters to stun them, allowing everyone to strike, while sword-wielding hunters can sever tails. Players should also be able to coordinate their use of traps and other items, and being careful not to hit other players - which interrupts their attacks - is also important.
Tri allows players to use a USB keyboard or a Wii Speak microphone to chat, and players can add one another to an in-game friend list for future sessions.
Problem solving in Tri is, mostly, taking down monsters. There are plenty of smaller, fairly nonthreatening monsters for players to encounter during hunts, but there are over a dozen large boss-style monsters, and these are the targets of most quests. Each of these monsters has a radically different set of attacks, and players will need to develop their own strategies for handling every one of them.
Battles in Tri hang on timing; players need to know when to dodge and when they have an opening to strike. To figure this stuff out, players need to learn the attack patterns of enemies. Players that are familiar with a certain foe will be able to tell when a powerful attack is about to be launched, and will often also know how to avoid it.
Outside of battle, players need to constantly keep their resources and equipment up to date, and knowing the best ways to buy, trade, forage and combine items will let players hunt much more comfortably.
Monster Hunter Tri is not a simulation game.
Monster Hunter Tri has been well-received since its release. Most reviews praise the game for being much accessible than previous entries in the series, offering a series of tutorial missions that ease players into the game, as well as a number of small changes that make the game move more smoothly in general.
One of the largest criticisms of the game is that although there are plenty of all-new monsters and mechanics, there is overall less content than there has been in previous games.
Controls & Options
Players can choose from several control schemes, using either the standard Wii remote and Nunchuk or the sold-separately Classic Controller. Players can toggle various other settings, including camera controls, audio settings and various online options. The amount of blood shown during battle can also be reduced.
Monster Hunter Tri received a T from the ESRB with descriptors for Blood, Use of Alcohol and Violence.