I ended up buying monster hunter 3 ultimate for wii u on amazon for $42 (used). I'm just getting into the swing of things. The main point of the game is to kill big monsters, take body parts from them, craft new weapons and armor with said parts, then head out to kill even bigger monsters. There is a lot of item farming, crafting, and ingredient picking too.
I'm about 10 hours in and it seems like the type of game you can play for a long time and still not feel strong enough. Fun so far. 8/10 for me.