Monster Hunter Tri

Publisher: Capcom

Price: �44.99

Format: Wii

Age rating: 12+

Score: 4/5 Stars

ONE of the most popular games in Japan at the moment is the Monster Hunter series. Each new game sells millions of copies, yet none have had any success in the UK. Hopefully, that’s all about to change with the release of Monster Hunter Tri.

In case you’re not familiar with the games, the idea is to gather resources, craft weapons and slaughter as many giant creatures as possible. It’s deliberately slow paced, so you can’t just run off and start clobbering some of the game’s bigger beasts until you’re deemed ready for the challenge.

At the start of Monster Hunter Tri, you assume the role of a monster hunter hired to slay an underwater beast that’s been terrorising a village. Initially, your focus is on mining ore, growing food and honing your hunting skills. It’s a time-consuming process, but if you persevere you’ll be rewarded with better weapons and more challenging quests.

There are seven different weapons to choose from, each one having its own strengths and weaknesses. The great sword was our first choice, but it was a bit slow, so we also went for the switch axe. This can transform from an axe to a sword at the press of a button and is great for devastating energy attacks.

In total, there are 18 unique monsters to hunt, ranging from the tiny Curupeco bird, which can summon other animals to its aid, to hulking great leviathans such as the giant Lagiacrus that uses electricity to stun its victims.

Having won minor skirmishes with smaller beasts, your first big boss battle is a real adrenaline rush. Coming after hours of tedious preparation, each fight can last up to 50 minutes and they’re genuinely exhausting.

Once you’ve exhausted the single-player campaign, you can join up to three friends online to tackle some of the game’s bigger monsters. Working as a team is definitely rewarding and there’s a local two-player split-screen mode if you can’t get online.

Overall, Monster Hunter Tri is hugely entertaining and does exactly what it says on the tin, letting you lock horns with some of the most impressive monsters you’ll ever see in a videogame.

Natalie Bowyer