My deadline for edits on Speaking in Forked Tongues is approaching, so shit is getting real.

It's kind of bizarre to think it's going to finally be published after all this time… I've been chipping away at it over the last month or so, but I'm going to crank the volume up starting next week and get it done. There might be a slight dip in my game-related productivity over the coming days, but we'll see how it goes.

More hard info to come.

I was recently invited to be a guest on the @CaneAndRinse podcast to discuss one of my favorite titles in recent years, I Am Alive.

That episode is now up and available for your listening pleasure.

In a similar vein, my review for Mass Effect 3: Citadel went up a few days ago, along with my review for Etrian Odyssey IV, which, if you will recall, was the sole reason I bought a Nintendo 3DS.

It did not disappoint.

Oh, I also covered the Vergil's Downfall DLC for DmC: Devil May Cry… in case you're curious, you can catch that as well.

Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate Screenshot

Finally, I'm currently working on my review of Monster Hunter 3: Ultimate.

I wasn't able to put as much time into it as I expected because the bridging software which allows players to transfer data between the Wii U and 3DS has not been available, and apparently will not be until the day of release.

Since I'm usually able to catch a few quests here and there on a portable when I'm not in front of my TV, that was an unexpected setback.

The Monster Hunter games are all pretty huge, and it took me something like 60-70 hours to finish Monster Hunter Tri the first time—and that was doing the bare minimum stuff. Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate has added a ton more content, so there's no way anyone will be able to review it top-to-bottom unless they've been playing it for twenty hours a day since the review copies went out.

Luckily, I'm already very familiar with the series and Tri (which Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate is based on) so that helps a lot. Once I'm able to try the data transfer and log some solid time doing online quests, I'll probably call the review good.

So how is it???

Well so far, Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate has been kind of mixed bag.

Tri has never been my favorite Monster Hunter game for several reasons (Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate still owns my heart) but getting any Monster Hunter is a minor miracle these days, so I'm quite happy to have it.

On the other hand, it's been a long time since I was at square one in a Monster Hunter game, and I kinda forgot how poorly they get started… the tutorial missions are painfully boring and the lack of initial resources means that it takes several hours before you have any real options of improving your gear and getting to some exciting battles. I know it gets exciting later, but you'd never guess from how it begins.

I'm hoping that this initial slog doesn't turn potential fans off… I still think the series has a lot to offer, and I'm guessing there are a ton of people out there who would get into it if the circumstances were right. That said, it's a tough sell when the game gets off to such a dull start on top of already being pretty cryptic with explaining the systems and being limited to Nintendo hardware.

Still, fingers crossed this is the start of a good thing for more Monster Hunter in the states!

Brad Gallaway
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