Review: Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate (3DS)

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Take up your weapons, greet your fellow adventurers and head for the field to battle huge, fearsome creatures in Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate on Nintendo 3DS and 2DS! With full online and local co-op play, the fight for the land looms large in this sprawling action RPG!

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Pros:

  • Stunning graphics, So much improvement over 3 ultimate. More colour, monsters have more detail but the true wow factor comes from the level themselves. The vista’s are breath taking.
  • Verticality is the new level design.  Less flat ground and more up and down fighting.  Sounds a pain but is actually a really good thing.
  • 3D is implemented,  does a lot to add more depth and atmosphere to it all.  No impact to performance at all.
  • Touch Screen is fully customisable.  You can add/remove and re arrange panels to your liking.  Panels are things like: virtual D-pad for camera, alert button. Inventory control and much more.
  • Pelicos: Your new companions taking over from felines and cha cha. You can recruit them by finding them in the levels. You have full management over them like train, deploy and rest. They are a godsend in battle as they can attack and heal for you.
  • Gather has had a huge overhaul.  More places to gather items,  and now you have a chance to get multiple items in one gather.
  • Online and offline play.  The game supports upto 4 players online both local or through the Internet.
  • Friend list in game.  You can send/receive friend invites and also see and join friends games.
  • Options are plentiful with every aspect changeable. You can invest controls, change layouts, adjust volumes and much more.
  • Sound is still just as awesome as ever. You can change the output setting to mono, stereo and surround. To be honest the game really steps it up when you play with a decent pair of headphones.
  • In game chat is done via a virtual keyboard all though the wireless Pokemon keyboard does work.
  • Shout outs are for when you are in battle and can be customised to your liking. Using a quick button press you can communicate with your team.
  • Loads of new armour has been added following the arrival of new monsters to hunt. fans will also like to note that classic old armour can be forged through a series of trade ins for the materials.
  • Wyporium is basically your new farm.  Here you can multiply items,  trade for rare materials and take on villager requests.
  • Kitchen is back and following quests and requests you can upgrade it to increase the menu,  cook multiple raw meat at once and even hire a palico to cook the meat for you.
  • The game opens up as you play,  introducing new fights,  new areas and new mechanics. It’s a system that works and never feels drawn out.
  • handful of new villages to explore.  Each village has unique sellers or blacksmith’s. You have a quest giver, kitchen and access to your house in every village.
  • Fast travel between villages is easy with a few button presses.
  • Your house is where you can save, manage your pelico and re watch unlocked cut scenes and download any dlc.
  • Cut scenes are re vamps,  looking gorgeous these cut scenes really do set the fight up. All in engine,  the cut scene will show your character with your armour and your weapon on your character. At the end of each monster cut scene,  The camera will pan round to you and then give you control.  it’s an awesome way to set the fight up and it never gets old.
  • Combine is still a big part of the game.  You can combine items from your stash box.
  • Stash box is where all your items/ingredients that you have gathered are stored.  Stash boxes are now found in your house and near the quest depart entrance.
  • Offline quests are called caravan quests and are split up into star levels.  Going from 1 star to 10 star,  The difficulty increases as you complete quests.  The general rule is you do enough quests to unlock a urgent request which is your first taste of a new monster but also the new next difficulty.  Finishing this quest will unlock the next difficulty.
  • Aside from caravan quests you can also get side quests from the villagers.  Finishing these can get you items or better yet,  Upgrade amenities like the shop stock,  kitchen etc.
  • jewels can be found and indeed crafted.  These are inserted into applicable gear and weapons and give buffs.  buffs vary from fire resistance to faster carving to using less stamina.
  • Armour pigmentation is now a thing.  you can customise the colour of your armour.  How much so is determined on the armour.
  • Sets.  now you can set up weapon/armour sets. Doing this means you can quickly swap armour and loadout with a simple button press.
  • new 3DS allows you to take screenshots and post to the Miiverse.
  • Online gathering Hall still has the dining table for hunters to sit around eating, drinking and even sleeping. There is a arm wrestling mini game and a shop. You can also leave the gathering Hall whilst remaining online and visit other villages and do what ever.
  • Fishing.  Fishing is back and has been completely overhauled. now you can hire upto 4 pelico to fish for you. It is a mini game in which you can see the fish shadows under water,  You have a circle that represents the net.  placing this and hitting the button will set the net. Every pelico has abilities which can change the ease and efficency of the fishing.  You can make the circle bigger,  add more fish and improve the quality of the fish.  Every now and then a rare big fish will appear and grant you bonus items. Hauls are rated on a small, normal and large.  Your character will either Clap, dance or fall to his knees in disbelief at your haul.
  • Meownster hunter is a side mini game,  again using your pelico. Here you setup a route, choose 5 pelico and watch it all pan out.  the game is played out as a bad puppet show, you can fast forward the action or choose to auto complete.  When your pelico get into a fight you will get button prompts to allow your pelico to use heavy weapons.
  • HR rank is your online rank. Working much the same as offline caravan quests.  You complete X amount of key quests to unlock an urgent which in turns unlocks the next difficulty and increases your rank. As you increase your rank,  the colour of your name will change,  high rank hunts will unlock which also unlocks high rank gear and weapons.
  • High rank is where the game starts getting interesting with harder hunts,  new gear,  new weapons and more variety. High rank is available both offline and online.
  • Opening tutorial missions are available allowing you to try out every different weapon within a set mission.
  • One of every weapon is given to you at the start and put in your stash so you can swap them out as you wish.
  • New weapons have been added to the game.  insect Glaive and charge blade the front runners.  Each bringing a new and unique experience to the game.
  • Mounting: You can now mount the monsters. Doing this triggers a mini game in which you stab the monster repeatedly when the bar is green and hold on when the bar is red.  Filling the bar will knock the monster down.
  • Achievements are in game.  They do not pop up like ion the Xbox or PlayStation. Instead you find them listed in the guild card section.
  • Guild card is where you can set a picture of you with a pelico,  add a background and even set a pose. Street fighter stages have been added which is cool. Aside from the image your guild card also contains all earn achievements,  all stats with full breakdown and what armour and weapons you are currently using.
  • Full stats breakdown is available as said in the guild card section.
  • Arena is where you and a friend can tackle a monster with special circumstances like set armour or set weapons.  You are timed and once ,,  your score is uploaded to a leaderboard.  You can earn rare items form these arenas.
  • Mystery charm/battered armour/battered weapon. Very much the random legendary drop in the game.  collecting these will result in you finding rare or basic weapons and armour or even jewels and charms.  You need materials like abrasive to clean the items so they can be used. What this actually lands up doing is setting the mining rocks up as the chests of the game. Chipping at them can reveal superior and inferior items.
  • Shiny drops from monsters is now more common and it’s possible to get  many in just one fight.
  • Varied lands to explore and unlock.  forests, sand dunes and even frozen wastelands await you. Some require you to drink hot or cold drinks in order to survive whilst some are just outright dangerous.
  • Expeditions are a new thing in the series. Every visit is random,  monsters inhabiting the level change and you have a chance of finding wild pelico for hire and treasure rooms containing a lot of loot. Killing monsters in expedition can unlock the fight for guild battles. As you kill monsters in caravan missions,  they in turn  then get added to expedition. it’s a unique addition as you never know what you are going to get.  You can attempt a expedition whenever you like. Again the Expeditions come in low and high rank versions.
  • Gild battles are where you face off against an enemy,  once beaten you get loot and level the monster up in terms of difficulty. You can keep doing it,  making the fight harder and harder but also increasing the value of the prize. You can send/recieve these battles through guild cards online.
  • Loads of dlc is planned with a lot of cross promotion from other games. Zelda weapons and armour is planned as well as devil may cry,  Metroid and many more.
  • Action is more immediate and feels a lot more accessible. The clinking of games past is banished.
  • Game saves after every battle.
  • Multiple save slots.
  • You can rename pelico in your team.
  • Every pelico has unique abilities for the many games they can take part in. They have buffs for fishing,  different attacks for the quests and of course the on field actions.
  • Destruction is now a lot more in your face this time round. big monsters can smash bridges away, level entire sections of the level and even knock all cover away.
  • Getting online is a lot quicker than 3 ultimate.  With only  a few screen taps,  You can be online and hosting or joining a game.
  • Online gathering halls can have titles to tell people what you are planning to do,  hunting or gathering are a few examples.  You can also lock the room via a password and even have a password on it that isn’t required by friends.
  • Pelico armour and weapons can be crafted.  They use a scraps system.  Scraps are found by doing the pelico fishing and hunting mini games.
  • Game is a lot more accessible to em players.
  • Hundreds of hours of fun to be had. Single player can easily house over 60 hours of hunts and missions.

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Cons:

  • Cannot use keyboard in game.  You can only use the chat shout outs.
  • online disconnects at random times with no real decent explanation.
  • no house decoration abilities this time round.
  • A few areas are just re hashed versions of older areas.  One in particular is just the same level but swaps the water for lava.
  • Missing some player favourite monsters like Barroth.
  • No filter options between low rank and high rank items/forging etc.
  • Annoying that you cannot see friends online unless they are in an online game.
  • On old 3DS exiting the game reboots the whole system.
  • No game invites.

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In Summary, This is the definitive version of Monster Hunter. Its been a long time coming but we finally have a version that is both innovative yet familiar. It allows new players to experience the game and in no way feel overwhelmed, It has an extensive tutorial list, simpler interface so it is all very accommodating. Returning players will love the new mounting mechanic as it brings something new to the series.Gone is the water fights and in comes faster fighting, Less clunk and more funk is the story here. If you have always thought about playing the series, Or tried it before and found it heavy…Get this one as it will gently bring you in, care for you, let you build your confidence then…..crush you over and over and over! Thats when you know you are truly a monster hunter! Well worth a look and a must for fans of the series!

 

Jim Smale

Gaming since the Atari 2600, I enjoy the weirdness in games counting Densha De Go and RC De Go as my favourite titles of all time. I prefer gaming of old where buying games from a shop was a thing, Being social in person was a thing. Join me as I attempt to adapt to this new digital age!

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