Well, at least it would be if forty-foot monsters actually existed in the world. A bit of a background on me and my love/hate affair with the hunting game that Capcom saw fit to unleash upon the world: I got into the game very, very late; like, Monster Hunter Freedom Unite late, and that was already on the PSP, which I didn’t have ‘til it was nearly too late, and I was a solo Dual Blade Hunter.
Fast-forward to 2013 and the first few games I got on the 3Ds. Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate was among those titles, and I really just needed the fresh start. True enough, I was hooked all over again. I’d play with people at the office, and I switched to the Charge Axe from the Dual Blades.
I have never made G-Rank. People have lives, and at times, it gets in the way of a good hunting session. Let’s skip on to February 2015, days before Valentine’s Day. People have this habit of asking what your plans are, I normally don’t answer – or I get snarky about answering – this time… I said I had a standing date with a sleek, blue-and-black clad rockstar named Minato. Minato is my 3DS.
I was one of dorks who managed to get a copy of the hotly-anticipated Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate. I’d already had my first taste of the game because of the Demo, and a ton of gameplay videos from Hunters in Japan.
So, what did happen when I got my hands on the game?
All-New (sorta), All-Starring (kinda)
As a sort-of, kind-of, veteran of the latter entries in the series, let me just say that Capcom is doing very well with the franchise. MH3U was the last iteration of the game released for the PSP, and was ported to the 3DS. The port was far from perfect, but an awesome game nonetheless.
Demos are demos for the simple reason that it won’t show you everything you need to know about the game and the demo and trailers didn’t show us a lot. Hunting grounds have become more expansive, and the game brings back a lot of the old Monsters that haven’t been seen in some time, like the Tigrex and the Velociprey/Velocidrome species.
Capcom also introduces new Monsters to the game, and one of them is a ginormous, armored spider called the Nerscylla. The flagship monster for this iteration, however, is the Gore Magala; a black dragon that could probably give Bahamut a run for its money.
If you’ve played the game before, you’ve probably had the feeling of just wanting to jump onto whatever large monster you happen to be hunting and stab the living daylights out of it. A new feature to the game is the ability to ‘mount’ the larger monsters and wail on them with what looks like the knife you normally use to carve off parts. Your prey will likely try to shake you off, so hang on for dear life when they do.
The addition of two new weapons – the Charge Blade and the Insect Glaive – brings the grand total of weapons to fourteen. All of the weapons have also been given additional moves, or have alterations to their attack patterns.
The Felyne companions, now dubbed Palicoes, have been given an overhaul as well, changing their roles in your party considerably.
One of the most intriguing new features to the game is the fact that you no longer stay in a single town, that and the fact that you can now go on a “random” Hunt through an Expedition. The monsters here change and you won’t have supplies from the get-go, so it’ll be best to go on an expedition prepared and armed to the teeth (or with teeth).
Online Multiplayer is now available, so you can never quite say that you’re Hunting alone. The only issue one might have with it is the bandwidth limitations in the country. Speaking of, if you’ve ever had a problem finishing a Quest; Capcom has added the Sub-Quest feature – that allows you to either acquire more supplies to finish the actual Quest, or to return to town without it counting as a failed quest. Handy, and less of a drain on resources.
Gimme,Gimme, Gimme a Melynx after Midnight~
Not that the game does that, but Capcom in general has always been generous with Downloadable Content. Case in point, when the game was released, they also gave out a Starter Pack of items that generally meant early hunting life would be much easier. Said pack also included the required items to make one of the many Palico gear featuring Capcom and Nintendo characters – in this case, a Mario or Luigi set. Capcom has plans to release the quest that will allow Hunters to acquire the items needed to create the set you didn’t choose.
A month since its release has seen another set of free DLC, which includes a Palico you can recruit. The Legend of Zelda Armor and Weapons, along with the weapons from the design-a-weapon contest Capcom sponsored can be acquired through the quests released with the March DLC, as well. Yeah, have a video ‘cause there’s a lot.
Yes, you heard it right: the free DLC comes on the first Friday of every month for the next few months.
Capcom has built the franchise to the point where reinvention isn’t necessarily the worst that could happen to it. The revamp of many features from the previous iterations of Monster Hunter might take a little getting used to for veterans.
While the overall package might make it feel somewhat daunting to new players, the game has been designed around the accessibility of the 3DS to all kinds of players; it’s inclusive and engaging without making you feel like you have to slog through every hunt.
Older iterations of the game didn’t have much of a story to build on, just what you made for yourself. MH3U started with the whole “destruction of the island” storyline, and now you have the Caravan. It feels somewhat like an evolution beyond what the game originally was, and certainly not to its detriment.
So, what are you still sitting around here for? Grab a copy of Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate now, and Hunt to your heart’s content!