Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate - 3DS

Release Date:

13 February 2015

Viewing UK:

Also on USA.
8.7

Summary:

Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate for the 3DS casts you in the role of a monster slayer. When your ship is attacked by a giant Elder Dragon, your impressive skills are noticed by the Caravan. This group's goal is to protect the citizens of the land from the evil creatures that inhabit it. After accepting this offer, you'll find yourself hunting the remaining Elder Dragons that are plaguing the population. Your primary goal is to defeat every monster that terrorizes the land. You'll start each adventure by accepting a quest from the current town. After accepting a quest, you're taken to the wilderness to hunt.

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by Nintendo Uk Ltd
Release Date: 22/03/2013

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Posted:
2015-03-10

Dave_Finnigan

Writer

3DS

8.7

'Monster Hunter' has been around for a long time. It is one of the highest selling franchises in all of Japan with its peak coming on the Nintendo Wii with the title 'Monster Hunter Tri'. Since then Capcom, the developer, has made the strong move over to the Nintendo 3DS. Their second released title for the platform is 'Monster Hunter 4: Ultimate'. It is an enhanced re-release of the same title that came out in Japan back in 2013. Capcom devoted more energy to sharpening the product and filling it with content. We've been a long time fan of the anime-derived series so it didn't take much to coax us to pick it up for a review. Though this game is for the mobile platform it may be one of the biggest unheralded blockbusters we've ever played.

A world of adventure...

If you are unfamiliar with the lore behind the 'Monster Hunter' then we advise you to go back and pick up an older title. For more than just nostalgia's sake, there is a ton of great gameplay that you are skimming over. Failing the ability to do that, we'll give you a brief run down.

In the 'Monster Hunter' universe you star as a Hunter. Your job is to hunt down dangerous monsters that inhabit a wide variety of areas on the map. Along the way you'll complete different tasks for the people all while upgrading your own weapons and skills. Along the way you'll experience creatures that will humble you and your meager starting abilities. It is sort of like 'Pokemon' if that franchise were given a darker, more bloody treatment.

'Monster Hunter 4' begins with the character assuming the role of a novice Hunter. Our character is heading to the town of Val Habar, riding a sandship, when we get attacked by a gigantic Elder Dragon. Welcome to a world filled with Monsters. What ensues is a fun little tutorial that shows what to expect from the game going forward, albeit from the perspective of advanced Hunters with better gear than you'll have. The dragon is eventually scared off and the group continues on.

Once we made it to Val Habar things got interesting quick. This is a great turn away from some of the older games where story was often pushed aside for more action. In Val Habar we met up with 'The Man' who quickly enlists us onto his ship to help with defense. From there you will start to get your feet wet in the game while honing your techniques in the beginning levels. More story elements begin to fall into place revealing that 'The Man' is hunting for an ancient item known as 'The Article'. You'll help to unravel the mystery as the stakes get deeper and the monsters get bigger, and more dangerous. The story isn't intrinsically complicated and it really doesn't push our brains to work over time, but it is nice to have something to follow along between the many battles that we find ourselves getting into.

The heart of 'Monster Hunter' always comes back to the way that the battles are treated. Capcom had the unenviable position of needing to create a game that catered to long time fans of the franchise while still being approachable to those that wanted to try it for the first time. We feel like they accomplished this by putting an emphasis on larger, literally, monsters that more frequently showed up in the game. This rewarded the long time fans with something spicier than the old while being interesting to new fans who had no idea the long backstory that exists in the lore of the game.

Speaking of monsters, we have to take a moment to applaud Capcom for their inclusion of a wide and varied roster. Our last count showed that there was a roster of over 70 gigantic monsters that will pop up throughout the game. The majority of these will block out the sun and sky when they stand in front of you. From giant dragons to sand worms and all of the Tigrex in between, you are never wanting for 'more'. Thanks to the dual screen of the 3DS and the 3D technology, these creatures look as good as ever. With the 3D mode engaged it was possible to feel like they were looming up at you in your lap, their animations elegant and detailed in the 3D space. New monsters have been as carefully designed as old fan favorites and there are sure to be some new fan favorites out of the bunch.

One of the key changes in this game, versus older titles in the franchise, is the addition of the 'virus'. You'll come to find through the story that a certain virus is spreading itself all over the world, causing monsters to gain an almost zombie like strength. This virus also changes the way that the monsters will fight you thus forcing you to be on your toes for the entirety of your battles. The virus also can have adverse effects on the player as well. So each battle feels like a race against the clock as you want to put down the mutated creature before it causes big damage to you.

Along your journey to the end of the game you'll partake in the usual RPG based grind. You will collect different weapons and then you will embellish them with certain equipment upgrades. You won't be spending much of your time trying to boost your own stats, as your gear takes the center stage through much of the battles.

'Monster Hunter 4: Ultimate' for the 3DS can be considered a blockbuster game of the highest caliber. The gorgeous graphics kept us intrigued while the deliciously textured creatures kept our eyes glued to the screen. Battles always felt up in the air until the killing blow and the mutating virus kept things interesting, long past when we'd normally begin to feel the onset of the grind. This is a quality game that has insane replay value for the RPG gamer.

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profile Dave_Finnigan Monster Location.
Mar 10, 2015
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Release Date:

13/02/2015

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