The game system from MHTri remains unchanged on the whole [covered in the original review], but with some major additions and one or two subtractions. Gone are the mix-and-match 3-part bowguns and the medium bowgun entirely, Wyvern Fire shells now only have a single strength, and from bad to worse - internet online play has been replaced with local-only multiplayer "online" mode. Importers are now stuck playing alone unless they can find another hunter close to where they live/work.
What do players get in return for this steep price? What seems to be double the number of monsters they had in MHTri, as they now have the alternate coloured subspecies to fight as well as the majority of the monsters featured in MHP3rd. MHTri capped off at around the 400 hour mark for this reviewer, with all quests completed and the Alatreon armours for both gunner and swordsmaster made, along with all weapons. The sleep-bombing quests to get the necessary "carves" (monster parts used for forging equipment) from Alatreon taking countles hours alone. MH3G has the potential to out last this by at least another hundred hours. The game-specific monster to TriG is Brakideos, being an explosion-type monster, completely new to the series
All the weapon types that were available in Monster Hunter Portable 2ndG/Freedom Unite and 3rd/3rd HD are back, bringing the total to 12 different types of weapon, rather than the limited 8 featured in Tri. Fans of the twin blades, the bow, the horn and the gunlance can rejoice at their return. There is also a new shell type for gunners - explosive shells. Different to the Crag and Cluster shells, these are more an elemental type such as fire or ice than anything else.
With the slide pad and D-pad the opposite way around to the PSP, it's not possible to use the "MonHanMochi/Claw Grip" on the 3DS, at least with the physical set up. The customisable touch screen interface comes into it's own here. The player can place different tiles on the screen for things like the map and inventory, and even a resizeable virtual D-pad to control the camera. Another new feature of TriG, the lock-on camera, is one of the best tiles available as it enables monster-based re-centring of the camera based on the selected large monster. With this on and active, one push of L (or ZL if using the slide pad extension) and the camera faces the monster. Two quick, sequential pushes and the camera centres behind the player instead. No more tracking with the camera keys is required with this, although it doesn't work for the smaller monsters.
The slide pad extension is very much an ugly piece of plastic that is only really necessary for swimming sections or for those with larger hands. It is comfortable to hold, with ergonomic design being something that Nintendo is consistantly very good at when it comes to controllers, but not so good with handheld consoles since the original Game Boy Advance.
MH3G looks better than Tri and fits in the palm of your hand. Playing in 3D becomes second nature and turning the effect off actually makes it look worse. The battery life of the console does become a hampering factor, or the only reason to get up and do something else - it depend up on the point of view. Gameplay-wise, the difficulty is spot on. As unforgiving as ever, yet victory tastes ever so sweet. That balance is the main draw of the Monster Hunter games, and the reason that so many spend their time playing them.
Overall, MH3G is the Monster Hunter game that players dream of. It contains a huge variety of equipment to make and monsters to fight, and easily several hundred hours of happy gaming with a sprinkling of crushing defeat to balance things out. But no proper online mode...
+ Almost all the best features of other games in the franchise
+ Hundreds of hours of gaming
- No actual online mode
- Doesn't look as good with the 3D off
Buy this at Play-Asia