When we got invited to check out Capcom’s booth at New York Comic-Con, JakeJames Lugo and I divided up the workload. I would play Resident Evil: Revelations 2 (check out my preview) and he’d do Monster Hunter 4: Ultimate. However, since JJ did a little too much partying the night before and missed the appointment, I had to take up the slack and play it instead. I wasn’t exactly looking forward to this since I’m not a fan of this series or games like it. However, my brief time with the game was pretty enjoyable and I finally understood why people love these games so much.
Upon booting up the game, I had a wide range of classes to choose from. I was told that all of the classes on screen are from the previous games with the exception of the Insect Glaive and the Charge Blade which are brand new. I chose the Insect Glaive and was on my way to kill a big bad monster with two cat-like creatures alongside. I could have gone in with other players but I’m a video game loner and rolled in solo… with the cats… because anthropomorphic cats are cool.
On the journey to slay the monster, I was confronted by smaller monsters which roamed the world. The environment was very well rendered considering that this is a 3DS title. It looked lush and alive thanks to all of the vegetation and creatures in it. After taking in some of the sights, I pressed forward, killing anything in my way… even if it meant me no harm. After introducing monsters to my weapon, I searched their bodies for hides and other materials which I could later use in crafting. The plants found in the world could also be picked up and used as well.
The handy map told me where to find the monster and it turned out that he was in a different zone. I finished killing some more and moved on. The transition from zone to zone was seamless with only a few seconds of loading. The new area I was in was radically different than the previous one. It appeared to be the inside of a volcano and it had a lot of twisted looking rocks and land formations. It looked vaguely organic too which I thought was kind of creepy and cool. Off in the distance I saw my prey: a 15 foot tall bipedal dinosaur-like creature which was accompanied by a smaller monsters which resembled it. I took up my weapon and rushed in for the attack.
The battle was fierce. I not only had to deal with the big monster, but with his little buddies as well. I did get some help from the two cats which was welcome since the beasts were very aggressive. I’d get in a few attacks before quickly dodging to avoid getting hit by the monster’s tail or bite attacks. It seems that I did a little too well because the monster decided to vamoose. I ran after him but he was too fast and left the area.
I went after him to the next zone and found him sleeping. I guess the battle was just too much for him. I slowly crept up on him and got in three attacks before he got up and resumed his assault. This part of the battle played out like the last one with me attacking and dodging as needed. I did notice the monster behaving somewhat differently, as if he lost some of his fighting spirit. It didn’t take long before I took him down and harvested his body for much needed materials.
Though I played this demo solo, this game is actually meant to be experienced with others. Players will be able to play with each other and bring down monsters over the internet which should make it easier for those who can’t physically be in the same room together. I was told that the team spent a lot of time with the online component to make sure it ran as perfectly as possible. This game isn’t as involved as Smash Bros. so even if there is a bit of lag it won’t be noticed too much. Having this game be playable online will certainly be a huge benefit to this title.
This game takes advantage of the 3DS’ touch screen and you can place the map or assign certain commands to it. The menu is highly customizable and will allow gamers to tailor things to what suits them best. For example, the map can be completely removed by those who know the game’s environments like the back of their hand. Camera controls can also be set to the touch pad which is great considering that camera controls in the previous games were always an issue.
Monster Hunter 4: Ultimate seems to be a game that fans of the series will really enjoy. This game is all about grinding for materials to create better equipment and teaming up with your buddies to kill some big monsters. The extra weapon classes seem to fit in nicely with the existing ones and new abilities such as being able to get on top of a monster will add some variety to the mix. I won’t get this myself since I’m not a fan but I think that people who are into these type of games or fans of the series should definitely check it out.
No release date on Monster Hunter 4: Ultimate but expect it to drop sometime in early 2015.