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Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate Is the Perfect Entry Point for the Series

by Neal Ronaghan - February 12, 2015, 1:46 pm EST
Total comments: 7

It’s never been easier to get into the Monster Hunter series than with the latest 3DS game.

After spending a dozen hours with Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate, the celebrated series finally has its hooks in me. The crazy thing is that, after trying to get sucked into Monster Hunter 3 a few times and failing, I was immediately impressed with the fourth mainline entry. I went from zero to hooked in minutes. Mostly, it’s because of how absurdly gentle Monster Hunter 4’s opening hours are and how understandable the entire game is for what might just be the first time ever.

More so than past entries, Monster Hunter 4 begins cinematically. You’re a hero with no name who comes across a guy who’s trying to make sense of some artifact. The story isn’t very compelling, as you follow this dude and his growing gang across multiple locations seeking understanding of a MacGuffin, but it provides a nice enough backdrop for the monster-hunting proceedings. The story’s most important purpose in the first several hours is to serve as a natural, unfolding tutorial. Different layers keep getting added as you progress, whether it be series firsts like mounting enemies or staples like forging new gear.

If you have ever been overwhelmed by the specific mechanics of combat or different weapons, there are numerous tutorials, most of them optional. As someone who always kind of stayed with a simple sword whenever I tried playing Monster Hunter, it was awesome being able to actually make sense of the Bagpipes or the new Insect Glaive. While I’m still mostly a close-up melee guy (Dual Blades right now), I love being able to comprehend some of the other weapon tactics. The tutorials in Monster Hunter 4 are easy to understand, with in-game options allowing you to learn even more about different weapons and mechanics.

Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate is the easiest entry in the series to comprehend. If you’ve ever been on the fence, now is the time to try it. It’s exhilarating and rewarding slaying huge monsters. It’s fun in online multiplayer (even without voice chat). It’s addicting trying to get different weapons and armor sets. Even if you don’t intend to get deep into the challenging post-game content (I know I don’t), the basic story of Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate is a fine, satisfying experience that, sincerely, anyone can get into.


fred13February 12, 2015

I'm actually considering buying it to play with my wife. I assume I'd have to buy 2 copies is that correct?

Also, I'm buying a New 3DS tonight, but she'll just be using an XL will it be a big deal that she doesn't have a circle pad pro

KITT 10KFebruary 13, 2015

Yes you will need two copies and the lack of a Circle Pad could be a pain for her, (unless she doesn't mind using the D-pad or touch screen on it, but that depends on her). But I am getting the New 3DS and MH4U as well.

StratosFebruary 13, 2015

You can tap R to center the camera behind your character and this can work 90% of the time for your needs. There is also the targeting option that centers the camera on the monster with R instead. Play with the options and see what works.

Leo13February 15, 2015

Thanks guys, I really enjoyed the demo and I'm about to pull the trigger on buying 2 copies (so we can play together) but I have 1 more question, in the demo you can pick beginner or experienced, is there something similar in the full game? I only picked beginner and I'm hoping it's not way harder when I buy the full game

Mop it upFebruary 18, 2015

Quote from: Leo13

I have 1 more question, in the demo you can pick beginner or experienced, is there something similar in the full game? I only picked beginner and I'm hoping it's not way harder when I buy the full game.

This is a bit tough to explain, but I'll try. The full game has different quest "ranks," which are low rank, high rank, and G rank. High rank quests will feature some new monsters, but there will also be high rank quests with the same monsters as low rank quests, except that they will have a lot more HP and will hit you harder. Then G rank is a similar story, even tougher monsters. They're kind of like a "hard mode" I guess.

In the demo, the "beginner" quests are low rank ones and the "experienced" quests are high rank ones. So you will start out playing the low rank quests which should be similar in difficulty to the ones you tried in the "beginner" demo, and then later after you beat enough certain low rank quests you will reach high rank and will be able to take on the more difficult quests that are similar in difficulty to the "experienced" demo.

Leo13February 19, 2015

Thanks, that explanation is good enough for me. Now if we can just get the game... My order got backordered. I thought about canceling it and buying somewhere else, but everyone is sold out

StratosFebruary 19, 2015

Also, the monsters learn new moves at each level.

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