March 2014 marks the first year anniversary for Capcom’s Monster Hunter Tri Ultimate game on Nintendo’s 3DS and Wii U. In a world where monsters threaten the existence of a village, hunters arise to smash, capture and extinguish the enormous creatures. Capcom started a phenomenal franchise that blends fantasy with wilderness survival skills to create a game that leaves the players craving more.

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Monster Hunter’s following in Japan is on a monumental scale and is sometime’s referred to as Japan’s Call of Duty. Unfortunately in the United States, gamers are painfully oblivious that such a beautiful franchise exists. Although an avid gamer, I was completely ignorant of Monster Hunter until a friend had given Tri to me.

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After my first taste of hunting monsters and spending quite evenings (and some early mornings) gathering materials to make potions I became obsessed with playing. Like many fellow monster hunters, I waited patiently for Tri Ultimate to be released, bought it on the launch date, played it all year and am still proceeding through my journey.

Tri Ultimate’s first half of the game is the exact copy of Tri but with the addition of 339 quests, 50+ new incarnations of each weapon category, and 1028 new armor pieces, I find completing the game an overwhelming task. Some of my hunting buddies have already finished every quest, crafted the best armors and weapons, achieved insanely high Hunting Ranks and they still enjoy playing Monster Hunter.

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The urge to consistently play Tri Ultimate, lies within the rush of taking down a Rathalos and battling Elder Dragons. The peaceful hours of gathering and the comical time spent joking around with others who love hunting monsters is what gives us the incentive to keep playing even after an entire year. We can pick up our 3Ds or Gamepads and take our frustration out on terrifying monsters in addition to using our excitement over happy events to fuel our hours-long hunting sessions.

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Monster Hunter Tri Ultimate is able to fulfill the important desires we want from a video game: it fuels our craving for a challenge, we can explore a world to discover its secrets, it’s emotionally satisfying to craft an entire set of armor, and we can escape reality while still learning and practicing life skills such as working as a group to reach a goal. Especially since you never know when a Brachydios will crash into your neighborhood and skilled monster hunters will be needed. With Monster Hunter Tri Ultimate being released a whole year ago hundreds of players continue their path as monster hunters and I plan on playing for second and probably third year… if I can survive that long. Happy Hunting!

 

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