I realise this probably more belongs in the "Off Topic" section of the forums, but I thought I'd just share with you my impressions of the Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate demo for the 3DS.
To start off with, I'll talk about the graphics. The only word I can use to describe them is brilliant. They make the game feel like it really...belongs on the 3DS. Even with the 3D mode on at full blast, there is minimal pixelation around the player, their companions and the monsters, which adds a nice feel to the demo.
The monsters also look well textured. You know when in some games, something looks really great from a distance, but when you get in close, you can see the pixels of the object's mesh? That doesn't happen with the monsters. Their textures look very well designed, especially given that it's on a portable console.
The environments look absolutely gorgeous, and really adds to the experience of the hunt, especially in the second mission, where you are placed on this island area. The terrain feels really well thought out, as well.
Did I mention that all of this plays out at a silky smooth frame rate?
The demo version of MH3U allows you to try all twelve types of weapons that will appear in the final game. I thought that this was a great idea, as it allows players, both new and old to the series, to try out which weapon suits their play-style best. It's been great to be able to see what weapon I like.
The demo also allows you to play two different missions, one "easy" and one "hard" mission. These two missions combined give the player a feel of what it'll be like in the actual game, as they cover both land and underwater terrains.
This is probably one part of the demo which really impressed me. Usually, game companies just give you the start of the game as a demo, which doesn't really allow for replay value. Yes, I realise it is just a demo, but with the twelve weapons and the two missions, it feels like the game encourages you to use up the 30 demo uses you have.
To be totally honest, the controls, I feel, let the demo down a little. I understand that games like Monster Hunter are quite complex to create a control scheme for, especially on a portable device. However, I found the controls to be quite frustrating. For example, I would go to press the X button to attack, only to sheath my weapon by accidentally pressing the Y button.
It is also quite frustrating how you can't sprint whilst your weapon is unsheathed. I was using the Great Sword character, but I was forced to walk to the other side of the map where the monster was, because I had the sword out. This is probably a feature which was in the original Monster Hunter Tri, though, so I suppose it is a carry-over from that.
The camera controls are ok, but it's quite annoying having to constantly press L or the D-Pad to change my camera view. I personally will be buying the Circle Pad Pro when I buy this, both for the extra Slide Pad to control the camera with, and for the larger surface area (I have rather large mitts :) ).
Oddly enough, this has been the only 3DS game that I've played where I've gotten the infamous "hand cramp" in my left hand, which was holding the Slide Pad.
It is definitely great how Capcom gives the player all twelve weapon types to toy around with, especially for those who are new-comers to the series (like me), and the two differing missions allow the player to see how effective their playstyle is in the actual terrain. However, the controls feel a little unrefined, however, this may not affect all players. All in all, this demo has me pumped for the release of the full game.
Volky's Rating: 9/10
Played the demo as well? Share your insights below!