OK, a bit of an older game, but I have to ask. Who else here found this port of the game you loved to be made of fail? I mean, I was fighting giant monsters back in Freedom Unite by the time Tri gets around to teaching you how to MINE. Seriously, I clocked it. In the time it took me to get to mining in Tri, in FU I had graduated to hunting Khezu, a giant LIGHTNING breathing dragon monster that could electrify it's whole body, fly, scythe tail, and leap across the field in the time it takes to say the 'oh' in 'oh shit there is a giant monster charging me'.
Tri's controls are as unintuitive and clunky as all hell, you can get it done, but you have to look everything up several times, and item use sucks compared to earlier entries. Its harder to cycle to the item you want, and using tools is harder than ever.
The Switch Ax. which had the POTENTIAL to be great, failed because it was poorly implemented. It was a pole-ax that switched to a giant elemental chain-sword. Now then, the switches are time consuming and CAN BE DONE EASILY BY ACCIDENT. Also, there is never any reason to use Ax mode in actual combat. It's weaker and slower than the Sword. The only reason to keep the ax out is that ...you're sometimes forced into it if you overuse the sword mode and need to wait for it to fully recharge before you can change back. Oh and the element? ALWAYS lightning. Because there are NO creatures that resist it obviously.
Well OK it's not all bad, at least they have all the classic weap where's my Hunting Horn? Ah well, I can see why they wouldn't include it. I had a great one for FU, but Hunting Horns mostly provided party buffs. They had good attack power, but were slower than even Hammers and didn't combo well. And really they were only good for multi-player which was hard to do on a handheld with no wireless system so it makes sense that they dropped it for a solo console game. Wait, what's this? WiFi connectivity? Oh goody I can now play with people from all over the world without having to be in the same room. Let me grab my Horn to buff the group and....wait....well at least I still have my Hammers which I loved for solo play.
Hunting Horns aren't the only weapon to get the ax (no pun intended, I didn't realize it until after I wrote it). Now Hunting Horns existed for only one game and were not that popular. It's somewhat understandable you might remove it and try a new weapon in it's place, even though the changed multi-player environment supports the use of Horns more. Gun Lances, another newer weapon, was also scrapped. Fair enough, it stepped on a lot of other weapons toes, namely the lance AND bowgun, so it's understandable you'd remove it to make the other two more unique. Removed the bow? Well...the bow was popular, and was the Status Effect king. Still, it took skill to use, and it might be harder to do with motion control, but that one I'm not giving you CAPCOM.
Still it's not like they removed....no, they didn't....they did. DUAL BLADE IS GONE! For those not familiar with the game, let me put it this way, '20 hit combo'! Dual Blade is one of the oldest and most popular weapons in the game. They were great for inflicting status ailments, elemental damage, and combos. They were ideal for hunting larger monsters that had more HP than armor. They are one of the most sworn by weapons in the game, and you removed them. WHY? So what's the combo class in Tri? Why the Sword and Shield of course! Admittedly, S&S isn't bad for comboing, but it dose less damage than Dual Blades (OK, technically each blade is equal in power, but you wield TWO and hit much faster) and doesn't deal as much elemental damage. It's OK for Status, but again it's a percentage chance per hit, and Dual Blade hits more. So what did S&S have going for it? Items and Shield! No really. S&S can use some items while shielding, something no other class can do, becoming vulnerable when they use items. They can also use items without sheathing their weapon, such as pit traps. Like the Bow user, the S&S user was a more tactical game. And now you want them to be the combo monkey as well? No CAPCOM, just no.
Well on the bright side they left the Great Sword as is (giant super swings, and can block with sword), the Hammers are still swinging (top damage and stun, but slow and no guard). Long Swords are still around (armor shredding, good speed, and nice special attacks, requires skill to use though), and Lances are still Guard, Charge, and Poke, The only class to really benefit is the Gunner. In previous games you were stuck with stock Light or Heavy models. Same had more power, some had more capacity, some added rapid fire, but all in all there was almost always that one flaw in your favorite gun. Not anymore. Now you can customize the pieces of your bowgun (Barrel, Stock, Frame) to modify such things as Weight, Range, Reload [time], Recoil, Drift, and Ammo Capacity, enabling you to customize your bowgun to fit your personal style.
All in all, the games only good points were adding underwater monsters to hunt (the controls for it were a little iffy, but not horrible) and adding in the idea of customizable bowguns. I'll just leave you with this thought. It is impressive when your Big Bad is a giant sea monster. It's less impressive when it's predicesor was 'what, behind the mountain?' "It is the mountain."
I'm Kriss, and if you'll excuse me, my PSP is calling. Going to bag me a Monoblos.