The demos for Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate have been up for a week or so, and I've had the chance to check them out. I had to try the Wii U version at my friend's house, but I at least got to try it.
As it is with most action games on the 3DS, the 3D looks nice but isn't practical at all. If you can keep your hands 100% steady while dodging and smashing the monster, more power to you. For the rest of us, I recommend turning it off during the fights. The game does look pretty though.
Honestly, I don't like the touch screen camera control d-pad. Most buttons I go based on tactile feedback, so I always had to look at the screen to make sure I would touch the correct part. It definitely makes me want a circle pad pro, but too bad Nyko cancelled their awesome one (it was also a shell and extra battery). According to the demo, the circle pad pro isn't compatible with it, so you would have to wait for the full version to try it.
Other than that, the game was great. I wasn't sure how to get the lock on button to work though. Since, my good buddy that you may know as "Mark" from MH Tri told me how to use it. Anyway, it was fun and controlled really well, the camera notwithstanding. So far, it transitioned to the small(er) screen really well.
The first thing that was really throwing me was how little I knew the Wii U controller. The second stick is above the buttons, not below, as I'm used to, so I kept missing the face buttons. After a few minutes, I had adjusted and it felt good. The controller is a bit big, but didn't hinder me after putting some time into it. I didn't use the touch screen at all, since I am used to playing Tri, where there is no touch screen. It might be more helpful to use it, but I don't know yet.
The game looked so good, though. I really like the HD in Monster Hunter. Maybe I've just been playing it on my blurry capture unit, but it really did look a lot better than Tri. The time limit on the monsters is not fun, though. I imagine for new players, it's even worse. I had the Plesioth limping, but then ran out of time. Yeah, there were a few swear words, I'll admit it. At least I know he's not as bad as he was on the PSP games, so that in and of itself is comforting. Although, I don't think they should have put it on the demo. I think just about any other monster would have been a better choice, given how much players hate the Plesioth.
All in all, the demos were a good way to hold me over until the game(s) release later this month. I am really, really hoping to snag a review copy so I can bring first had impressions of the actual game. Now to just get a Wii U of my own...somehow.
I just tried out the lock on feature and I really like it. It's like Phantasy Star Online, so I adjusted to it pretty quickly and it was a lot better for me than the touch screen d-pad. I think I'll use that if I don't get a circle pad pro by the time I get the game.