A more dynamic environment that works perfectly with already fantastic gameplay
2 new weapons, the Insect Glaive, and the Charge Blade are awesome
Great cinematics that you can rewatch at your leisure
No more underwater battles from the last game
Story isn't the best, but it's told very well through great cinematics
It's a 3DS exclusive, and very hard to find. It works very well on the 3DS, but a WiiU version would have been nice
The download size is 21000 3DS blocks, you'd need at least a 32GB SD card to be able to download it.
There is nothing more satisfying than taking down a gigantic monster with your own two hands, very similar to Dark Souls. Monster Hunter as a series has always excelled at this feeling, especially when you’re working together with your friends. It’s a game where you don’t get stronger by gaining levels, you harvest the parts of monster you defeat and turn them into armor and weapons, it really gives the feeling of progressing as you play. When Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate (MH4U) first debuted, announcing the ability to climb on walls, jump off ledges and hop onto monster’s backs, I was extremely skeptical about it, but I was pleasantly surprised, no I’m glad I was wrong, they way they made the game more dynamic, worked perfectly.
Graphics and Sounds
MH4U is exclusively on the 3DS, so as graphics go, it’s not revolutionary, but what really makes the game visually, are the cinematic movies that take place when new monsters and areas are introduced. The cinematics are frankly outstanding, it gives a peak of every giant monster or new area, and each one can be replayed from your home in game. The sounds are as great as any Monster Hunter game, the victory music when you defeat a monster is extremely satisfying, though beyond that there wasn’t a lot of new music that stood out to me.
Monster Hunter as a series has never really had a great story line, but the basic premise is that there is a giant black dragon (totally not a night fury) that’s causing a virus to infect the wildlife. You play through missions and watch cinematics, but it’s really just an excuse to make the player do specific missions. Honestly I don’t hate this system, in the previous game, Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate, you had a series of “Key Quests” that you had to complete before moving onto the next level of quests, but you couldn’t know which ones those were unless you looked them up online, this way you can see what quests are next.
By it’s nature, Monster Hunter is a fairly clunky game in terms of maneuverability, different weapons offer different levels of being able to dodge or block, and part of the challenge to the game is adjusting to these controls, but MH4U delivered on every level when they said they were going to make it more dynamic. Being able to run up small ledges, climb walls and jump onto monsters works fantastically, near perfectly. Not to mention there are two new weapons, the insect glaive, which can let players pole vault themselves onto monsters, and you can use a little bug friend to extract the essence of monsters to boost your own abilities. The second weapon, is the charge blade, which is a Sword and Shield, that can build up energy with hits, then it can transform into a giant Axe, and use that energy to increase your damage output. All of the old weapons got new move combos and techniques as well, I personally used to use Dual Swords in previous titles, and now there’s a variety of new ways to use them in this new dynamic environment.
One of the things I love about MH4U, is the variety of types of monsters you encounter, it’s always been primarily dinosaurs and dragons, occasionally a beast, but there’s so much more diversity in the monsters you fight. Now you’ve got giant incests and spiders, and one of my favorites is called the Zamtrios, which is basically a giant shark with arms and legs. MH3U had underwater creatures, but they could always come onto land, they didn’t really stand out as much as the Zamtrios did for me.
As far as controls, the 3DS is surprisingly comfortable, even without the New 3DS with it’s C-Stick, I can play perfectly fine just by using the D-Pad or the touch screen to adjust the camera. Don’t get me wrong, having a new 3DS or the Circle Pad Pro would probably make it easier, but not having them in no way hinders the player.
In any cinematic from Monster Hunter, you see the hunter running around, being very aware of their environment, and using it to their advantage, but not until now has that actually been a reality, and because of it, Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate is quite easily the most fun Monster Hunter game I’ve ever played. If I had a couple complaints, it would be grinding for specific parts from monsters to make new gear can be very tiresome, but that’s a complaint about the series in general, not so much about the new game. My other complaint, is that the game is very hard to find at the moment, I looked at several stores before I found one copy in the back of the store.
The previous game Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate added underwater battles as it’s theme, which in it’s own way were kind of fun, they were certainly more challenging, fighting an aquatic monster in it’s own habitat, but the controls for it were very clunky and it didn’t really feel like swimming. MH4U in contrast adds jumping on monsters, and using the environment to your advantage, and it works phenomenally. I sincerely hope all future Monster Hunter games include this as normal gameplay, because it makes the game so much more fun.