Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate Review (3DS)

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Developer: Capcom
Publisher: Capcom

Main Review

Review Context: I have played and enjoyed Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate, Monster Hunter Tri, and Monster Hunter Freedom Unite.
Date of Playthrough: February 16, 2015

Capcom does it again with their extremely popular series Monster Hunter! The addition of Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate does not disappoint with additions of new weapons, monsters, and story elements. Capcom’s ability to produce these sequels and not lose any quality whatsoever still amazes me. Being one of the several games in the franchise, it loses nothing that the previous game brought to the table. This new addition to the Monster Hunter franchise isn’t a letdown, even if it’s only limited to the Nintendo 3DS.

One new feature in Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate is the ability to play with people over the globe with the new online feature. This was something that the previous game, Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate was lacking. Surprisingly, the multiplayer shows little to no problems. From personal experience, I had little to no problems with lag. The only main problem is if someone in your party lags, causing you to lose all your party members making you complete the quest you are on alone. Finding a new party is as easy as 1, 2, 3; with choices from multiple rooms in which you can join the game and can continue like it never even ended.

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The quests that you embark on in multiplayer are slightly harder, but seem a lot more fun because of your teammate’s help. The quests are mostly the same in multiplayer and in single player, but the only real difference are the strengths of the monsters. This difficulty boost is easily combated with you and your teammates communicating and hunting together as a big unit. The way that you can communicate outside the quest is quite easy. You can use the keyboard, but you also have a choice of pre-written responses and sayings to choose from. When on a quest however, you can only communicate using pre-written responses. This the one downfall in multiplayer that when you’re on a quest you cant say what you truly want, only what the game allows you to say. Its kinda like a cheap way to censor the game. With the help of your skilled friends and party members, you should be able to slay any monster with or without perfect communication.

Even when playing single player you still have help. This help is from your companions, which are cats called “palicos.” These palicos are awesome, with the ability to perform special moves together, and even go on there own mini-quests. You can even forge your own armor and weapons for these companions so that they can become even stronger than before. Although the palicos can only have two types of weapons, a sword or hammer, they still get the job done.

Although the new online feature is important, it is not the only thing new that Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate brings to the table. There are two new weapons types; the Insect Glaive and Charge Axe. Both of these weapons completely change the way the way that you will play the game. With the addition of both weapons it will have you collecting even more materials and ores than ever before. The grind to get these new weapons and make them even stronger is now easier with the cooperative play. These two weapons open up tons of new combos for you and your team to coordinate when taking down that G-ranked monster.

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In Monster Hunter your ability to take higher quests is determined by your hunter rank. This can only be increased if you do certain quests in the gathering hall. The raising of your hunting rank will help you be able to hunt better and slay stronger monsters. This then allows to be able to get the parts to make stronger weapons and armor. The graphics and design of the new weapons and armor look amazing, even with it being limited to the 3DS’ graphic capabilities. In plain words, these things just look bad ass!

Acquiring weapons and armor is not your only reason for hunting these monsters. You can also get and craft items such as potions, traps, and even bombs. These items help you throughout your quest of becoming the very best hunter. Traps will help you get more materials for new weapons and armors, but for these traps to work you need to have tranquilizer bombs, which are quite rare to get and make. You also need to weaken a monster so you can trap it. This makes trapping the monster a little more difficult than just straight up murdering it.

The difficulty of the game seems to be scaled up quite a bit compared to Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate. This is a great advancement which allows the players to be more challenged with each of the monsters. The fun in this genre is trying to master these monster’s attacks and being able to beat them without breaking a sweat. Becoming the best hunter and saving the people in the world from monsters is your only true quest in this game.

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The controls of the game are the same as the previous installments, with the D-pad controlling the camera and the thumbstick controlling player movement. On the 3DS you are able to assign a touchable D-pad to the bottom touch screen when playing, allowing easier movement. I personally prefer using that instead of the actual D-pad. Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate is compatible with the Circle Pad Pro, but I personally don’t like because it makes the 3DS feel huge and clunky. I use a 3DS XL, so it would make it feel even larger.

The soundtrack does not disappoint in the slightest. The songs in the game are amazing and epic when fighting a huge monster, but also fun and relaxing when walking around town or doing other things. The sounds coming from the 3DS are amazing! The sound affects are clear, and there is never anything that would make you want to turn the volume down. You’ll end up wanting to crank that volume to max and listen to every single note of the soundtrack.

One of the best new features in the game is the mounting feature. This allows you or your party member to jump on a monsters back, and stab it for damage. If you successfully complete this mini-game, the monster is then knocked down for a longer amount of time than usual. Many people do not like this feature, because what are you supposed to do when the other member is riding this monster? Well it gives you time to heal up and sharpen your weapons. It allows for more strategic attacks on the monster.

The series that started on the Playstation 2 has grown into an awesome franchise with thousands of players. Although getting all of these meticulous materials to make new weapons and armor can be annoying, it adds a certain type of achievement system in the game. After getting new pieces, armor, or a better weapon, you feel a great sense of accomplishment. It feels good to getting that high hunter rank, or getting that armor that took 10 hours to get.  That is why Monster Hunter has the huge following behind it; they are all grinders who want to be the best. Hopefully in the future they release more monsters, weapons, armors, and quests via the Nintendo e-shop.

Similar Games Liked:
Monster Hunter 3 Tri (Wii)
Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate (Wii U)
Soul Sacrifice (PSVita)
Dragon Dogma (PS3)
God Eater Burst (PSP)

Similar Games Disliked: 
Hunter Blade (PC)
Lord of Arcana (PSP)

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