Reviews
Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate

By Dana Russo - March 11th, 2015

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Five times. Five times, I have tried to get invested in the world of Monster Hunter – and five times, I have failed. It wasn’t that the game was bad. The franchise has an explosive community of fans that will line up around the block for days just to get the newest iteration. It was more like…the game just wasn’t my cup of tea. Enter Capcom’s Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate for the Nintendo 3DS, where I was given my sixth chance of redemption with the series.

In the past, I would yawn my way through tutorials and destroy my eyesight just to be able to read the text on the screen and within ten minutes, the game was turned off and I was onto other things. Starting up Monster Hunter Ultimate was different, though. Very different. Instead of wandering around a rickety tropical town listening to townspeople drone on in a bland tutorial, you’re thrown into the action – literally – when your ship bound for town is attacked by a large monster. You have to jump onto its back and fight for your life before it destroys the town. Once you’re successful, only then are you expected to run errands for the townsfolk.

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Dammit! I just spent all day cleaning this place up!

I was really impressed with this new tutorial system because it engaged me completely and compelled me to keep going. Even better? I could read the text very clearly and never missed any instructions or hurt my eyes. Five minutes into the game and I could already see vast improvements – always a good thing.

The world of Monster Hunter is more beautiful than ever, too. In character creation you are given many choices to customize your hunter to your liking, and if you’re a weapons and armor fiend like I am, you’ll be happy to know there are tons of ways to arm your hunter. In fact, it might be a little overwhelming at first because there are so many choices – this is a minor quibble though. Grab whatever weapons you think you might enjoy and run with it! For my first hunter, I picked dual daggers and haven’t looked back since.

Like other Monster Hunter games, there is multi-player, which is probably the lifeblood of the games. What better way to spend a snow day than to hang out with your friends slaying giant monsters? Luckily, getting together with your friends is easy. I remember trying to play with friends in past Monster Hunter games and having a little bit of a struggle and I always felt like I was missing out on a major part of the game. I’m glad I’m able to find other hunters to play with quickly and efficiently in this latest iteration.

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Like stuff? Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate has lots of it!

A not-so-great thing is that the campaign progress that you make is separate, so you’ll have to do it all over again when you get together with friends in multi-player. This is unfortunate, especially when doing those tedious fetch quests that have you killing banal monsters that pose little to no challenge. This issue aside, Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate is definitely the best game in the series so far, especially for new potential hunters who want to get in on the fun (like myself). The game is ideal for those who are looking for all the challenge and complexity of MMORPG raid bosses (each monster boss behaves in its own way and requires a certain strategy to kill), but who don’t have the time to commit.

If you’re a previous fan of the franchise and worried it might not be worth the investment, I would urge you to reconsider. There’s a lot of content here to explore and new monsters to kill so grab some of your buddies and your favorite beverage and go hunting!

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