Monster Hunter, for its hardcore appeal and daunting learning curve, has never really gained a solid foothold for Western audiences. Similar to Fire Emblem in that respect, this series suffers from a lack of support in other areas of the world, but enjoys mass success and appeal across the board in Japan. Thankfully this latest update of the popular Monster Hunter Tri, originally for the Nintendo Wii not only improves on the concepts in the original game, but also offers enough new content for those that played the game previously.
The general plot is little more than an excuse to kill monsters, but it's enough to get you interested. A giant sea creature is threatening a sea-side village and as the hunter, it's your task to conquer it and protect the village. This general story structure doesn't ever really develop, as the charm is in the details, not the story arc itself. The localization is great, the writing is top-notch, it's funny and I actually enjoyed reading the moderately sized walls of texts between quests. My one gripe with the structure of the game is how incredibly top-heavy the tutorial pieces of the game seem to be. For the first several hours you will slog through tons and tons of tutorials learning basics that often seem intuitively obvious, but some concepts do require explanation. The developers would have been well-deserved to pace the tutorials and concepts a bit better, as opposed to throwing it all at you from the very start.
Taking the cumbersome controls into consideration, the game is still a joy to get sucked into. The graphics are beautiful and rival all other versions of the game with detailed character models, beautiful environments and gruesome monsters to battle. The soundtrack is wonderful with lots of sweeping scores that set the mood perfectly. This latest version of the game features a whole slew of new content by way of an all-new large monster called the Brachydios. Kayamba joins as a new companion, there are over 200 new quests over 2000 new pieces of equipment and over 1000 new armor pieces and much more. A game that already had hundreds of hours of content is even bigger and longer now, all in the palms of your hands.