Somehow I ended up with copies of Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate on both 3DS and Wii U. Well, I know why. Because at a time I was toying with the idea of collecting a full Wii U set, so I grabbed MH3U pretty cheap. But then I got the 3DS version in a trade, and knowing that you can transfer saves between versions, I couldn't see a reason to get rid of either.
Anyway, my past experience with the MH series has been with Monster Hunter World on Xbox One back when it launched. I had a blast with that game, and called it one of my favorite games of that year. But, I knew it was a streamlined experience as opposed to previous entries. So I wasn't sure what to really expect playing a true numbered entry in the series.
I started playing this sucker on the Wii U, but I couldn't figure out how to get everything (gameplay and HUD) on the Gamepad, and I wanted the option of playing it portably while my wife was watching TV. So pretty quickly I transferred my save over to the 3DS and figured that I'd reserve the Wii U version for when I have time to hide out in my game room and play on the big screen.
The interesting thing here is I got a chance to try both versions and compare and contrast. So far, HD visuals aside, the 3DS port does a fine job of retaining the experience from its big brother console version. But, I'm happy to have both.
The compelling game-loop is here. It's what I've loved about games like Phantasy Star Online for instance. You start in a hub world; go out; do a mission; come back; level up equipment and so on and go back and repeat. I could see how some folks might find this game tedious, but me, I kind of love this kind of comfort game. It's probably why I dug Xenoblade Chronicles X so much - it reminded me of these kinds of games.
I've only played a couple of hours so far, so I'm still very early in getting things going. It's basically a bunch of easy tutorial missions to get your feat wet. Speaking of, the swimming levels are different. I'm not sure if I like them or not yet. Time will tell.
But yeah. Monster Hunter games are fairly awesome, at least from the bit I've played of the series so far (along with rip-off companion, Dauntless). So I think I'm in for a treat here. Though one thing I notice about games like this - I tend to start them, get sucked in a while, take a break and come back in between other games. Which is fine. These kind of time-suck games certainly serve their purpose for me.