The king of TGS returns for another chance to impress.
Playing a new version of Monster Hunter at the Tokyo Game Show has pretty much become a yearly event. Tons of people line up for hours just to get a chance to check out the latest version of the game. To match the hype, Capcom always has an elaborate booth setup to facilitate the droves of people and also to impress onlookers in and outside of the booth. Of course, with the upcoming release of Monster Hunter 4G (Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate in the West) along with the 10 year anniversary of the series, this year was no different. Not only that, but Capcom managed to work out some kind of deal with Nintendo to demo the latest hunting experience on the New Nintendo 3DS. I had a chance to play a multiplayer demo on the New 3DS in Japanese as well as the latest English build on a current 3DS XL during my time at the show.
This latest version of Monster Hunter is undoubtedly the best looking title in the series to date. As I mentioned in my preview with the New 3DS, the game did seem to run noticeably smoother on the updated hardware. The character models and locales looked less jaggy, and the game looked nicer in action. That’s not to say that Monster Hunter 4 looks terrible on the current 3DS hardware, but it is clear that Capcom is making use of the the enhanced horse power in the New 3DS.
Gameplay in Monster Hunter 4G is pretty much what Monster Hunter fans have come to know and love. Unfortunately, given my poor skills at the game, I didn’t opt to go for the new weapon types (the Insect Glaive or the Charge Blade), but stuck with an easier to use weapon type with the Dual Blades. I was lucky enough to play a multiplayer demo of the game - the best possible scenario for Monster Hunter games.
During one of my demos, my team of hunters was tasked with hunting down a huge, crab like Monster that was roaming the ice filled tundra. When we finally made it to our foe, I got to see some of the new attack elements come into play. It is now possible to jump off of ledges for more arial based attacks. Not only that, but now there are also attacks that have hunters climbing on top of the monsters to dole out damage. These two things alone change how players can approach taking out monsters making for a fresh experience, even for the most battle hardened hunters.
There are a lot of cool new upgrades that Monster Hunter fans will undoubtedly enjoy with the upcoming version of 4G/Ultimate. Two new weapon classes, more verticality and returning favorites are a few among the many additions included in the game that bring more to the table. I’m not the most skilled when it comes to playing Monster Hunter, but even I could appreciate these new additions. The addition of easy access online play will could make the game a lot more approachable to people like me who just cannot get into the games solo. Monster Hunter 4G is set to release on October 11 in Japan and in 2015 in the West.