The Wii was the only console with a single, non-multiplatform entry that enough RPGamers stood up to have their voices heard on. While not a contender in the HD race, this title proves that the Wii can still offer at least one unique and engaging title to shine in a world of shiny, multiplatform blockbusters.
The situation between the Wii and RPGamers is fairly grim this year compared to other platforms. Thankfully, Monster Hunter Tri could potentially be the only RPG we ever need. The first Wii version of the action-RPG series that is an absolute phenomenon in Japan, thankfully includes just as much content as previous titles, and additionally supports the Classic Controller Pro as a comfortable change to the PSP versions' cramped control scheme.
Monster Hunter Tri offers a deep single player mode and an even deeper multiplayer mode that some might consider an MMORPG in its own right. Players are tasked to collect herbs, mine ore, hook fish, and catch bugs all while dealing with anything from vicious dinosaurs to gaseous primates. The reward for slaying one of these beasts is the ability to carve it into useful materials that are then forged into stronger weapons or armor. Upgrading equipment in this manner is the crux of Monster Hunter Tri.
Tri has a fleshed out story mode, but the game is at its best when playing online. A fight against an impossibly difficult monster becomes a joy when you're taking it down with a friend wielding a switch axe, another firing a bowgun, and a fourth spinning across the map with a hammer. Playing alone or with friends, every journey into Monster Hunter Tri's multiple lands will yield a different result, and the monsters just keep on getting more challenging as you play, making it easy to sink in dozens, if not hundreds of hours. As a nearly endless game with content bursting out of its seams, Monster Hunter Tri is positively one of the best RPGs the Wii has to offer.
by Tom Goldman, Michael Cunningham