Playing Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate on the 3DS? Want the game to look better, run smoother and have legible text? We can help.

When Nintendo first launched the 3DS handheld, the company focused its hype machine on one major aspect of the device: Its 3D functionality. In truth, it’s very impressive that Nintendo’s engineers were able to design a portable gaming machine that can offer 3D graphics without requiring players to strap on bulky glasses, but since its debut most players have discovered that the 3D – no matter how technically impressive – is more of a hassle than the promised future of handheld gaming. Speaking personally, I leave the 3D slider set to “off,” only switching it on periodically to check how well a developer has implemented the feature in whichever game I might be reviewing at the moment.

Now, assuming you’re like me and do the same with your slider, you may have noticed that the in-game text found in the 3DS incarnation of Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate looks terrible. It’s not quite unreadable, but it does look smudged and should look far better. The problem here is that Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate has been programmed to render a 3D image, regardless of what your slider is telling the game to display. As a result, the game effectively creates two versions of whatever the 3DS is supposed to display and tosses them onto the screen slightly offset so as to create the 3D effect. The good news is that knowing this makes it quite simple to fix the issue, and as a bonus this trick will also make the entire game look sharper and improve your in-game frame rate by up to 50 percent – which is very helpful in a game like Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate which demands precise timing.

When you first fire up Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate, pay a visit to the main menu’s “Options” screen. Here you’ll notice a toggle for 3D functionality. This is switched to “on” by default, and most players leave it that way, thinking that simply setting the 3D slider to “off” will remove the (oft-literal) headaches of the handheld’s 3D. You’re going to want to switch this to “off.” This will manually force Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate to no longer render that second image, thus removing the smudge effect from the in-game text and freeing up the 3DS’ processor which will no longer attempt to render two images, despite your slider’s insistence that you don’t want to see such things.

Keep in mind that this simple fix does come with one caveat: Once you’ve switched the 3D toggle to “off,” the game will obviously no longer be in 3D. Thus, turning the 3D slider all the way to maximum will have no effect. This isn’t a problem if you disliked the 3D in the first place, but it’s something to keep in mind.

Oh, and before you ask, there’s sadly no text fix for the Wii U version of the game. That’s an entirely separate issue that doesn’t hinge on simply hitting “A” in the appropriate options menu. The good news is that it doesn’t seem to affect most players, but the bad news is that most theories hold that the problem isn’t with the game so much as it’s with your television. Should you buy a new HDTV specifically to play Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate? No, that would be silly. Besides, it’d be far cheaper to kill a Giant Jaggi and a couple Ludroths for the materials necessary to craft one yourself.

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