With the release of Monster Hunter 3 for the Wii U and 3DS, Capcom has finally managed to hurdle the obstacles that prevented the game from catching on in the past, while simultaneously creating the most challenging and rewarding Monster Hunter game yet.
There have always been artificial barriers to enjoying the game in the past. The PSP version of the game (the first to be released in the west) suffered from awful camera controls or the complete lack of online multiplayer, which made putting together co-op sessions extremely difficult.
With Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate, it seems that Capcom has addressed every single control and gameplay complaint that people have had in the past, except of course for the difficulty. The fact that Monster Hunter is hard has become one of the core features of the game, and one of the biggest reasons that people enjoy it. Put simply, if you're looking to breeze through a game, Monster Hunter is not for you.
Perhaps even more importantly, despite the lack of online multiplayer in the past, Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate is very much a co-op centric game. If you don't have a group of people that you want to play this game with, you should really think about whether or not you want to spent the entirety of your time with the game grinding by yourself.
If you are new to the series, there has never been a better place to start. It seems that with every subsequent version of Monster Hunter, Capcom makes the tutorials about ten times better, and with 3 Ultimate I am finally willing to say that they have reached a point where there is no need to seek external sources of information
If you are a series veteran making a return, it should be noted that Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate is indeed a simple retooling of Monster Hunter Tri, which came out for the Wii. The number of changes is relatively small, and for the most part, if you played Tri there isn't a whole lot here all that different - except for the 3DS/WiiU connectivity features.
These new features allow you to shuttle your saved game back and forth between the 3DS version of the game and the WiiU version of the game. Sure, it might require you to buy the same game twice, but for many people that small sacrifice will be worth the ability to play Monster Hunter on their big screen in addition to their handheld console.
Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate is more or less completely about sacrifice. There are many parts of the game that many gamers will find clunky or outdated - but if you can muscle past those challenges you will find one of the most in-depth co-op games on the market today. The online play may remain a bit archaic, but once you get connected it works, and you'll find yourself pouring hundreds of hours into what seems to be such a simple concept on the surface of it.