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Mass Effect 2 is stunning with its perfectly told story, instantly lovable ensemble of new and old characters and all-around awesome everything, but it's getting enough love from everyone else. So, I am going to quickly highlight another title: Monster Hunter Tri for the Wii.
I played the first Monster Hunter on PlayStation 2 with two of my best buds and loved it. While two of us lived together, the other was quite a few states away. So, naturally, my first online game happened to be a great experience as it brought us back together.
I now live in Alaska, with two good gaming buds in Wisconsin and another in Japan. Being able to kill monsters with friends and then wear what you killed on top of your head for armor never gets old — though every time I see a sea lion at the harbor I fantasize about cutting it up and wearing it’s head for maximum ice element resistance, as well as getting my hands on a Kodiak bear to use its claws to craft the perfect sword.
Killing beasts is the main point of this online, four-player action RPG. When you take down a giant Barioth (pictured above) you get to carve it up and turn its remains into armor and weapons. Each piece of equipment or weapon is unique and cool to look at because it resembles the beast it was made from. Collecting hides, maws and claws to upgrade weapons or make that slick new armor is addicting, and has resulted in yours truly plunging over 200 hours into Tri.
Monster Hunter Tri for Wii is my favorite online game, has no monthly fee and is something I can still do with my friends. There's a plethora of cool things I haven't touched upon in this brief special bonus article (new underwater areas, combining items, epic "boss" battles and the rare use of Wii Speak) but if I haven't made my point clear, Monster Hunter Tri is one of the best titles for Wii and deserves a game of the year nod.