The third generation of Monster Hunter is comprised of the third set of three games released between August 1st, 2009 and September 14, 2013. The third generation represents a near-universal revamp and overhaul of the identity, presentation, gameplay, and aesthetics of the series.
The third generation's most drastic new gameplay feature was the introduction of underwater traversal and hunting. Present in Monster Hunter 3 and Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate, the ability for players to explore and battle in three dimensions in an aquatic environment allowed for the introduction of new control types and HUD elements, as well as a multitude of new items and monsters. In additon, the Torch was introduced, as well as the short-lived presence of dark areas which must be illuminated. Elsewhere, the Hunters-For-Hire and Felyne Quest systems were introduced, allowing a team of AI controlled hunters to undertake "quests" for the player, presenting them with items upon their success.
Free-hunt was introduced for the first time, allowing players to explore a randomized version of the Deserted Island with an infinite time allowance in order to collect resources and hunt monsters. A field pouch was implemented, which allowed players to store extra items in their inventory while on hunts. Third generation re-introduced the comrade system, and expanded it by adding a second comrade in the form of a second Palico or Kayamba. Furthermore, these comrades could now accompany players in online quests along with the comrades of other players. Elemental blights were added as a new hazard during combat. Each element would now inflict an abnormal status effect rather than simply adding more damage to the attack.
Through a new system known as "Unstable Environment", other large monsters not originally included in the quest description could now randomly appear during certain quests. Monster Hunter Portable 3rd introduced a system known as "Warning!" in which another large monster could appear after the target monster had been slain, although this was short-lived and not seen again in later games.
The Target Camera was introduced in the third generation, allowing players to focus the camera on the target monster with a simple tap of the L button.
The third generation introduced fifty-six monsters, including three monster types: Leviathan, Brute Wyvern, and Fanged Wyvern. Notably, most monsters featured in first and second generation games did not return in Monster Hunter 3, and a select few were slowly re-introduced over the course of the generation and beyond.
The third generation introduced two weapon types, classified into either melee or "Blademaster" weapons, and ranged or "Gunner" weapons. Notably, the Gunlance, Hunting Horn, Bow, and Dual Blades were not included in Monster Hunter 3, but were reintroduced in Monster Hunter Portable 3rd.
The third generation featured sixteen hunting grounds. Six of these were general hunting grounds meant for multi-purpose exploration and traversal, three were battle arenas, and seven were special boss areas.
|Deserted Island||Sandy Plains||Flooded Forest||Tundra|
|Volcano||Misty Peaks||Underwater Ruin||Great Desert|
|Sacred Land||Lava Canyon||Polar Field||Sacred Pinnacle|
|Tainted Sea||Land Arena||Water Arena||Small Arena|
The offline portions of Monster Hunter 3 and Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate took place in Moga Village, while the online portions took place in Loc Lac City and Port Tanzia, respectively. Monster Hunter Portable 3rd was set in Yukumo Village.
Monster Hunter 3 and Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate focused largely on exotic island themes as far as music and visual motifs were concerned. Monster Hunter Portable 3rd focused on a traditional Japanese style, including allusions to traditional Japanese architecture, music, locations, and equipment.
- The first and thus far only generation to feature underwater combat.
- The first generation to exclude previously introduced monsters and weapon classes.
- Introduced the most new monsters of any generation, even more than the original set.