On March 16, 2010 a photo showing proof for a new entry in the Monster Hunter franchise was leaked from a Capcom press conference. A Japanese trailer was released shortly after, along with the official website. The game was announced for, and released on December 1, 2010 in Japan. There has been no announcement of a North American or European release at this time.
Quests comes in three different forms:
- Hunting - The player is charged with the killing of one or more monsters
- Capturing - The player must injure then subdue one or more monsters with the help of various items
- Gathering - The player must obtain a set number of one or more items from the environment
A large amount of strategic planning is required before hunters take on these quests, as very specific tools are often required to accomplish their goals. As hunters reach more advanced quests, they may want to team up with other hunters using weapons that compliment one another to take down the toughest monsters. Items earned from these quests are then taken into the village where, combined with materials gathered from your farm, they are turned into new equipment for your character to use.
Similar to the other portable entries in the series, Monster Hunter Portable 3rd multiplayer may be played by up to four hunters locally connected via adhoc. However, PS3 owners are able to link their PSP's to their home console and use a PSN downloadable program called Adhoc Party to connect with their friends. While the lack of true online play has caused a large outcry amongst series fans in the west, its inclusion has been seen as unnecessary for the Japanese market.
Unlike most RPG's hunters do not level up, instead becoming stronger through the forging of better equipment.
As hunters repeatedly kill or capture the same monster, they eventually will gather enough materials to create a complete set of armor based off of the monster they have killed. Beyond basic statistics of defense and elemental resistances, these armor sets confer passive bonuses to the wearer themed around the monster they were created from. For example, an armor set created from a monster that makes its home in snowy areas may allow the player to adventure in areas of extreme cold without penalty. Similarly, weapons forged from parts of a specific monster are likely to have special attributes appropriate to their origin. This most commonly manifests as elemental damage or the ability to inflict status ailments such as poison and sleep.
With stronger weapons and more durable armor, hunters are able to take on fiercer and fiercer foes. This allows them to make even more powerful weapons and armor which allows them to take on foes that are fiercer still. This cycle continues until hunters are able to slay the strongest of monsters, the elder dragon Amatsu Magatsuchi, and gather his claws, fangs, horns and scales. Hunters are likely to play hundreds of hours before reaching this point.
Monster Hunter Freedom Unite was the first game in the series to allow hunters to train felynes, cat mascots of the series, and take them into battle with you. This feature has been greatly expanded upon to include the following:
- Felynes can now be renamed
- Hunters can take two felynes into battle while offline, or one felyne each while playing in a duo
- New felyne skills allow felynes to perform combined tactics such as one setting up bombs after the other sets up a trap
- Weapons, helmets and body armor for your felynes can be crafted from the scraps left over by forging a piece of hunter armor
- Three additional skill slots are now available to help customize your felynes, bringing the total up to six
Even larger than the Pokke Farm, the Yukumo Farm brings back the mining, fishing, crops, honey and mushrooms from Monster Hunter Freedom Unite in addition to the following new features:
- The bomb mining, bug tree, and fishing net have been replaced by features allowing you to send up to four of your felyne comrades in an attempt to earn more materials.
- Up to four of your felyne comrades can be sent on quests to gather items, replacing Trenya's boat
- Training has been moved from the kitchen to the farm, allowing you to customize the attributes of your felyne comrades
- A new BBQ machine is available which allows you to cook 10 steak or fish at a time with the help of a felyne comrade
The felyne kitchen has been removed, with its responsibilities being taken over by the Yukumo Farm and the new sauna. From the sauna hunters can increase their health and stamina for the next mission, activate random powerups through drinks purchased from the felyne attendant, and mingle with hunters with whom the player has exchanged Guild Cards, sometimes receiving items from them.
With the return of all of the weapons from Monster Hunter Freedom Unite in addition to the new Switch Axe found in Monster Hunter Tri, Monster Hunter Portable 3rd allows hunters to wield any of twelve different weapon types. Damage calculation has also been simplified, making it significantly easier to determine whether or not one weapon is stronger.
- Great Sword - A massive weapon standing taller than a person, the great sword is extremely unwieldy, making its owner incapable of running while it is drawn. Despite the slow speed, a great sword can be charged up to unleash a devastating blow, making it a favorite amongst hunters with exceptional timing.
- Long Sword - Speed, reach and power all rolled into one, the longsword is capable of dealing large amounts of damage in a very short amount of time. Successful hits with a longsword contribute to building up a spirit meter which, when full, further increases the blade's power. This spirit bar gives the hunter access to a special combo which increases the blade's power one more level, up to three, every time the final attack of the combo successfully lands on a monster.
- Sword and Shield - In addition to the ability to block and inflict both slash and impact damage, the sword and shield is the only weapon that allows hunters to use items without being sheathed. Its high attack speed and mobility make it one of the better weapons for inflicting status ailments on monsters, and extremely well suited for beginners.
- Dual Sword - Sacrificing defense for offense, the dual sword is able to land more strikes in the shortest time frame than any other melee weapon. This makes it particularly well suited for fighting monsters vulnerable to elemental damage. Dual sword wielders can enter a demonization mode which grants them increased power and a special attack that deals nine hits within seconds while continually draining their stamina. Similar to the longsword, hits landed while in demonization mode contribute to a spirit meter which, when full, grants additional striking power to the dual sword.
- Hammer - The hammer is made for the hunter that wants to go for the head. Hits with a hammer not only do damage, but also decrease the stamina of the monster it hits. Once a monster's stamina has been decreased to a sufficient level, the monster will become exhausted, losing speed and access to its most powerful attacks until it can replenish itself by eating or resting. Any hit against a monster's head has the added benefit of dealing concussive damage which eventually leads to a KO, knocking the monster from its feet for several seconds while hunters are free to attack with impunity.
- Hunting Horn - The hunting horn allows hunters to assume a role closest to a support class. While no slouch in the damage dealing department, the true advantage of the hunting horn is its recital mode. During recital mode, hunters are able to play from a set of notes that their weapon has access to. Specific combinations of two or more notes grant the hunter and their party a variety of benefits such as healing, increased elemental resistances and attack boosts.
- Lance - The tower shield that is paired with the lance give hunters the strongest defenses available. Able to withstand all but the most powerful of attacks, lance wielders are most comfortable weathering a storm of attacks before looking for an opening to strike. Slow moving, a hunter with a lance finds their mobility in a charge attack and triple dodge step unique to the weapon.
- Gun Lance - For hunters that want high defense with a little more offense, the gun lance is an extremely attractive weapon. The gun lance is fitted with a firing mechanism, allowing its owner to discharge shells from its tip for additional damage and reach. In addition to being able to reload mid-combo, the gun lance can be charged up for a devastating wyvern fire attack, overheating the weapon for a short duration.
- Switch Axe - The switch axe is a powerful weapon with the unique ability to transform. While in axe mode, the switch axe deals swift, powerful strikes against enemies in a manner similar to the longsword. When switched into sword mode, the switch axe behaves more like a rapid fire greatsword, with limited mobility but an even faster attack rate. Special phials which grant switch axes various bonus properties such as increased strength or elemental damage activate while in sword mode. However, hunters must be wary because if used in sword mode too long, the switch axe will force itself back into axe mode leaving the hunter temporarily vulnerable.
- Light Bowgun - A long range weapon, the light bowgun has great mobility and versatility. Able to utilize a large variety of bullets, the light bowgun is best used in a group setting to support allied melee hunters. Example ammo types include piercing and scatter shots, explosive rounds, elemental and status shots, and bullets that can heal or buff allies. Because of its low damage, it can be extremely difficult to kill a monster in the allotted time while soloing with the light bowgun.
- Heavy Bowgun - The heavy bowgun is ideal for hunters that want to deal large amounts of damage to monsters from afar. Sharing the versatility of the light bowgun, the heavy bowgun sacrifices mobility for power. Skilled hunters with strong evasion skills can overcome the heavy bowgun's shortcomings and, when the time is right, kneel down and unleash a rapid-fire barrage on their target.
- Bow - Sacrificing some versatility in exchange for a balance between strength and mobility, the bow is a ranged weapon that functions very differently from the bowguns. Rather than reloading, hunters knock an arrow and their bow begins to charge as their stamina drains. Each bow has multiple levels of charge, with each level firing a different type of shot. Hunters with exceptionally good aim can fire an arrow rain attack, a powerful volley of arrows with exceptional range.
Hunters are able to hunt and capture monsters from past games in the series in addition to several new faces.
Third Generation Monsters - Altaroth, Baggi, Bnahabara, Delex, Giggi, Jaggi, Jaggia, Rhenoplos, Great Jaggi, Qurupeco, Royal Ludroth, Barroth, Grat Baggi, Gigginox, Barioth, Agnaktor, Uragaan, Jhen Mohran, Deviljho, Alatreon
- Furogi - A Jaggi variant that uses poison stored in its neck sac
- Gagua - An ostrich-like herbivore, it sometimes drops an egg when startled
- Zuwaroposu - A territorially aggressive herbivore with a green, floppy hide and stout horn
- Great Furogi - A larger, more dangerous Furogi, similar to a Great Jaggi
- Aoashira - A large bear-like monster with ferocious claws, it will sometimes attempt to steal honey from hunters
- Urukususu - A white, rabbit-like monster native to snowy regions that can slide on its belly at high speeds
- Rangurotora - An armadillo-like monster with a long tongue and the ability to roll-up into a ball
- Hapurubokka - A desert leviathan with an extremely large mouth, it buries itself in the sand to ambush hunters
- Jinouga - Also known as the Thunder Wolf Wyvern, it attacks with speed and agility despite its great size
- Doboruberuku - A giant brute wyvern with a large, clubbed tail used to make smashing attacks
- Amagatsu Magatsuchi - The final monster, it hovers in the air during battle and uses wind and water for powerful attacks
In addition, several existing monsters will be receiving new subspecies with altered characteristics including:
- Qurupeco - An electric variant with the ability to emit a blinding flash capable of stunning hunters
- Royal Ludroth - A poison variant with purple scales and a bright pink mane
- Barroth - A blue and white variant covered in ice and snow
- Gigginox - A yellow variant with lightning attacks similar to Khezu
- Barioth - A desert variant with bright orange fur and the ability to create small tornadoes
- Tigrex - A faster, stronger variant with black scales found in extremely hot environments
- Nargacuga - A faster, stronger variant with a greenish-yellow coloration
- Agnaktor - A white, ice variant with frozen armor that softens over time
- Uragaan - A variant with a steely exterior of various shades of blue
As with previous games in the series, hunters will track monsters across a number of different locations. Each locations is divided into a number of smaller zones separated by a loading screen. Most of the maps have been carried over from Monster Hunter Tri, some with significant changes. Unlike Monster Hunter Tri, however, resource gathering points are no longer random spawns but fixed locations similar to previous games in the series.
Returning Locations - Sandy Plains, Tundra, Volcano, Great Desert, Small Arena, Land Arena, Sacred Land
- Deserted Island - Zones 11 and 12 in addition to the underwater portions of zone 10 have been removed
- Flooded Forest - Zones previously underwater, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 8, have dried out and are now accessible by foot
- Mountain Stream - A new major hunting location that new monsters Aoashira and Jinouga call home
- Lava Canyon - An area of extreme heat and the new home of Akantor
- Polar Zone - An area of harsh cold and the new home of Ukanlos
- Sacred Mountain - A stormy mountain peak where hunters face Amagatsu Magatsuchi
Downloadable quests, often with unique challenges, are available to hunters with internet access for their PSP. These quests commonly are cross-promotions with popular Japanese companies and properties such as Famitsu magazine and the anime Negima! Capcom currently has planned releasing going through May 6, 2011 as follows.
|Release Date||Quest Title||Quest Description||Quest Reward(s)|
|12/01/10||Detective Conan - Continuous Hunting!||Hunt all the large monsters:||Conan Felyne Armor|
|12/03/10||FAMITSU - The Raging Festival Rush!||Slay 20 Bullfango||Silver Crown Gunlance|
|12/17/10||JUMP - Two Arms of Red Heat||Hunt Rathalos and Agnaktor||Pirate J Edge Dual Blades|
|12/22/10||Negima! - Vampire of the Frozen World||Hunt at least 2 Gigginox||Houma no Tsurugi Great Sword|
|12/24/10||MGS - Solid and Liquid||Hunt Agnaktor subspecies and Barroth Subspecies||Solid Felyne Knife|
Infinite Felyne Bandanya
Solid Felyne Suit
|12/27/10||UNIQLO - Ultimate Material Pursuit||Hunt two Tigrex subspecies||Uniqlo Series Armor|
Uniqlo Felyne Armor
Uniqlo Felyne Bottle
|01/??/11||FAMITSU - Clash of the Giant Hammer & Horn!||Hunt Diablos and Uragaan||Brainfox Lance|
|02/18/11||FAMITSU - Overcome the Abnormal!||???||Gold Crown Gunlance|
|04/08/11||FAMITSU - Minemaya Dragon Festival||Hunt Jhen Mohran||Felyne Warrior Equipment|
|05/06/11||FAMITSU - Giant Hammer & Horn, Again!||???||Platinum Crown Gunlance|
As part of their cross-marketing deal with Konami, the first Metal Gear Solid themed quest was released for download in Japan on Dec 24, 2010. Completion of this quest allows players to create the Felyne weapon "Solid Felyne Knife" and equipment, "Infinite Felyne Bandanya" and "Solid Felyne Suit." Quests to create male hunter armor based on Naked Snake and female hunter armor based on The Boss are planned for a later date.
Release and Reception
A standard and collector's edition of Monster Hunter Portable 3rd were released on UMD alongside a limited edition PSP-3000 on December 1, 2010 in Japan. The collector's edition includes an adjustable Jinouga shoulder, wait and hip bag in addition to Jinouga in-ear headphones.
Special features of the limited edition PSP-3000 include:
- A custom theme (also available on the Japanese PSN store)
- The Yukumo village symbol beneath the face buttons
- Jinouga-head symbols on both rear grips
- Front speakers reshaped to resemble felyne paws
- A redesigned, concave analog nub
- Thicker rear grips for more comfortable holding
- A larger battery pack promising increased battery life
Monster Hunter Portable 3rd sold over two million copies in just over five days and over three million copies during its first month of release. This has not only earned it the title of fastest selling PSP title in Japan, but fastest selling game in Capcom's history.
No digital version of the game has been made available, nor has Capcom indicated they have any plans for one in the future.