With nearly 30 million units sold to date, the Monster Hunter series is gaining momentum and gaining it at a rapid rate. The original Japanese release of Monster Hunter 4 (which never made it here to North America) sold nearly 2 million copies alone within the first 48 hours of release alone, and when the Ultimate Edition (which I’ll refer to as MH4U from now on) was released, it too peaked over that mark. Needless to say that when Nintendo was looking for titles to help launch the New Nintendo 3DS, this one definitely had to come to the top of the list. So far it’s shone. So popular was this release, in fact, that my longtime friend and Twitch Monster Hunter 4 streamer “Quenchiest” decided to do a 24 hour marathon right at release, and had over 340,000 views and nearly 12,000 followers. The game has already spawned a sold out console (which I won’t even link since it’s long gone) and the first wave of the game itself has sold out already.
So what’s the big deal?
Release Date: February 13th, 2015
Rating: T for Teen
Console Availability: Nintendo 3DS (Optimized with New Nintendo 3DS)
Maybe it’s the the thrill of the hunt. The Monster Hunter series sees you roaming the world in search of monsters. Defeating them allows you to harvest parts to build better gear and weaponry to take on even more monsters. MH4U takes things much further than past titles. With 98 monsters overall (both new and returning,) this is the largest game by far, and despite it being on a handheld console, the sheer size of this game seems bigger than one little cartridge could hope to hold.
The Monster Hunter series, while captivating, can be a bit difficult to jump into. While being a Action-RPG series at its core, it’s frustrated curious gamers in the past with its rich, yet complex combat and strategic systems. Capcom decided to try out something new this time and have actually integrated some of the tutorial base into the game itself which should help ease new gamers into the game’s engine much easier.
Once you are into it, get ready to be immersed rather quickly. Hundreds of quests abound for starters, and you could easily suck up dozens of hours without blinking an eye. Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate sees a drastic step forward in the combat system, making your characters far more dynamic than they ever were. You can attack vertically by climbing walls, and even in mid-air for the first time in a North American release. You can even ride atop and attack the monster for as long as it will let you come back down to earth. MH4U also sees Nintendo WiFi integration, allowing you to play with your friends remotely, or you could all get together and play locally in a party of up to 4 players together.
While you lose the underwater attack scenarios from Monster Hunter 3, you gain so much in battle that I’m hoping you won’t miss it. Monsters can change the way the battlefield looks throughout battle, requiring you to rethink your strategies on the fly. In addition, they can also attack you in a feral state, making them even more erratic and more powerful than in their normal state.
If you are at all worried, by the way, about playing this on your Nintendo 3DS because you haven’t yet purchased the new one, you can still enjoy the game, but your loading times will be a little slower, and you won’t have the luxury of using the C-Stick to play with your camera view like new system owners will. This might not be a big deal to you, so don’t let that stop you from picking up the game!
In case you were wondering what “Quenchiest” thought about Monster Hunter, I’ll leave you his thoughts to close this all out:
“Fantastic. (I’m a) long time MH player and this is without a doubt the best iteration yet. Most content, best gameplay, etc.”
While it’s hard to convey all your thoughts into 140 characters, I’d say that’s about as good a review as you can get in a couple sentences.
Time to get hunting! Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate is now available for Nintendo 3DS