Earlier in the month, players all across the world began to receive e-mails from Nintendo containing four (yes, enough to form a party with) codes to the Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate Demo. After some tinkering (and some slow download issues), the demo was ready.
A Not-So-Limited Hunt
An interesting tidbit about this demo: it doesn’t have a trial limit, unlike the MH3U demo. Meaning, you can play the game as much as you want without worrying that you won’t get your fix. Like the previous demo however, you will have a pre-generated Hunter – male, female, and wearing a weapon/armor set – and three 25-minute Quests to select from.
You also get to choose whether you take the Beginner or Experienced difficulties at the start of the demo, along with three modes of play: Solo, Local, and Online Multiplayer. A choice to display a weapon tutorial at the beginning of the Quest, and if beginner-friendly tutorials appear during quests is also given.
New Ways to Hunt
The release of two new weapons is a bit of a game-changer – in a good way. The Insect Glaive and Charge Blade make for very versatile additions. More than that, many of the existing weapons include minor tweaks and improvements. For example, the Bow now has a new follow-up attack, switching between the Axe and Heavy Sword modes for the Switch Axe has become more fluid.
A new fun little mechanic is the ability to pull off a jump attack by running off a ledge and attacking. It can knock down larger marks and allow you to mount them, inflicting damage as you go. Be warned though that they can shake you off. The Insect Glaive allows you to pole vault though; eliminating the need to run off a ledge should you wish to exploit this particularly useful mechanic.
Each of the three Quests (Great Jaggi, Tetsucabra, and Gore Magala) offers a different setup of Palicoes, though their names are the same. This time around, your Felyne companions are hardier and get in your way much less, often providing opportunities for you to attack. They buff and heal more often, as well.
The demo lives up to some of the hype, some, only because the rest of the game can’t be explored just yet. What’s interesting about the demo is that it’s sleek, moreso than Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate. The visuals are smoother, even outside of 3D mode. The game’s beginner mode presents a nice jumping point for players new to the franchise, and overall, is one of the most hotly anticipated games of Q1 2015.
Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate arrives on the 3DS February 13, 2015