Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate

Capcom's Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate is a director's cut, as well as the first must-have cross-platform title for Nintendo's consoles.

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First up, I have not learned to speak Monster Hunter. I am still learning. In fact, I am pretty much still at the beginning of it. I have almost no good equipment. I have tangled with only the most feeble of Monster Hunter's terrifying beasts. I know what Psychoserum does, but only because I looked it up. But anyway, I have started! I have ventured into the wild lands, which at first seem very tame and blurry and empty - I am playing Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate on the 3DS - and they have just started, over many hours of early-game missions, to seem truly wild. This is how it begins, I guess. I have always wanted to do this, and this is how it begins.

FeatureAs Monster Hunter turns 10, can Capcom finally make the west listen?

We interview its creator Ryozo Tsujimoto to find out.

10 years ago today Capcom released the first Monster Hunter game. It launched in Japan for the PlayStation 2 as part of a new initiative from Capcom's Production Studio 1 designed to test the waters of online console gaming. It was a triumvirate that included cel-shaded racing game Auto Modellista, the multiplayer-focused Resident Evil: Outbreak and, of course, Monster Hunter. Capcom hoped at least one would sell a million copies, what the company considered then to be the mark of a hit title. One did.

FeatureMonster Hunter 3 Ultimate: Dat G-Rank - Getting the Horn

One of Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate's most eccentric weapons is also one of its best.

In the third of a short series of articles, Rich Stanton guides you round the world of Capcom's masterpiece. We've taken you through the pouch and the armour - and this week it's time to look at the weapons.

FeatureMonster Hunter 3 Ultimate: Dat G-Rank

In the first of a short series of articles, Rich Stanton guides you round the world of Capcom's masterpiece. This week - what's in your pouch?

It's barely a month since the release of Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate in Europe, arguably the greatest game ever made. Say what? That's right ladies, and it's all about dat G-Rank; the license to hunt the very toughest monsters Capcom can devise, and the mark of a true hunter.

Register three of eight Nintendo 3DS games to get another free

Luigi's Mansion 2! Fire Emblem: Awakening! Animal Crossing: New Leaf! More!

UPDATE: Nintendo UK has told Eurogamer that to qualify for the promotion all you have to do is register the appropriate games by 30th June 2013. It doesn't matter when they were registered as long as it's before this date.

UK chart: Xbox 360-exclusive Gears of War: Judgment storms top

UK chart: Xbox 360-exclusive Gears of War: Judgment storms top

Activision's The Walking Dead game manages third.

Xbox 360-exclusive Gears of War: Judgment has Roadie Run to the top of the UK video games chart, but sold four times less in its launch week than Gears of War 3.

Two other new entries this week also made the top 10: Activision's mouldy-looking The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct in third; and Wii U and 3DS role-player Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate in seventh.

Encouragingly, Wii U-exclusive Nintendo Land reappeared at the bottom of the UK top 40 (in 39th). It's the first sighting of the game in months, and suggests Monster Hunter 3 has slightly reinvigorated the Wii U.

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Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate review

Monster Hunter has never enjoyed much western success - and we're the losers. Of all Capcom's modern series, this co-operative action-RPG is one of the deepest, funniest and most rewarding. It lacks the nostalgia and immediacy of Street Fighter 4 or the big-budget production values of Resident Evil, but has something at its core that I find more fulfilling. Call it camaraderie, the rush of a team sport played well - with a sideline in snazzy uniforms.

Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate is available for both 3DS and Wii U; the two versions have the same content and you can play local co-op and share a save between them (eventually - see sidebar below). It's the definitive version of 2009's Monster Hunter Tri, the third entry in the series proper, each numbered Monster Hunter being a game that Capcom refines over the course of years and multiple entries. So the foundation is an old game, but one of exceptional durability and quality - though the first few hours do Ultimate no favours at all.

The opening quests are no good, really, too basic for experienced players and too bamboozling for new ones. They're designed to teach the basics slowly; from gathering to fishing and hunting small fry, it's a cascade of little factoids, menus and seemingly unrelated activities in which Monster Hunter's tightly-wound logic is far from immediately clear. This is a game in which you earn success, and in these early stages the earning is hard and the rewards are far from obvious.

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Monster Hunter's the archetypal Japanese success story that never quite translates to the West, the stubborn difficulty and steep learning curve doing much to put off audiences over here. Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate sees Capcom doing its level best to address the gap, smoothing out the difficulty and introducing a camera system you won't have to cripple yourself to manage.

Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate region locking to be lifted in April patch

Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate region locking to be lifted in April patch

Will add option to play entirely on the GamePad, too.

Earlier this month there was quite a lot of outrage when it was revealed that Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate would region-lock its online multiplayer on Wii U (while the 3DS version wouldn't allow online multiplayer at all). Well it looks like Capcom and Nintendo heard your feedback and have decided to allow European and North American players to play together in up to four-player battles as part of a free update to the Wii U version to arrive in April.

The patch will also add the option to play the game entirely on the GamePad in case someone else wants to use the TV.

Capcom noted that it will continually add free content to Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate on both Wii U and 3DS for several months following its release. The first bonus downloadable quest will be available at launch on 22nd March.

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Wii U LAN adapter announced for Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate

Nintendo has announced a LAN adapter for Wii U which will let you play the 3DS version of Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate online.

The 3DS version of the game does not have online play built in, unlike its Wii U brother. But by plugging in the Wii U adapter you can trick the console into connecting your 3DS version to Wii U servers for the game.

It's a bodge that makes use of the fact that 3DS players can join in a local Wii U game.

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Pikmin 3 delayed to Q2 2013 in Europe, US

Updated launch info for Fire Emblem, Scribblenauts, Brain Training, Luigi's Mansion, Animal Crossing.

Nintendo's much-anticipated garden adventure Pikmin 3 will now launch for Wii U in "Q2 2013", Nintendo has announced.

How Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate Wii U and 3DS work together

Save data transfer, cross-platform play and online on Wii U.

At the Tokyo Game Show last week Capcom showed for the first time Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate on Wii U and revealed how it will work in tandem with the Nintendo 3DS version, already out in Japan but scheduled to launch on these shores alongside the Wii U version in March 2013.