Eric Kelly On February 11, 2015 at 11:45 am

Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate LogoThe Monster Hunter series has been around for a considerable amount of time, but unfortunately many of the titles have remained in Japan. When Monster Hunter 4 was announced, months went by without any word f a localization, despite how well the previous release on the Wii U and 3DS did. As it turns out, the reason for such the long silence was broken, and it was revealed that Capcom had been working on bringing the updated version of the title, Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate. And the wait was well worth it.

The game plays much like other titles in the series, with you playing in an action RPG setting. You can choose a created character of your choosing based on the presets, and then go around doing quests, killing giant monsters and making or upgrading new gear. The available weapons types are quite varied, allowing more multiple different play styles. There are two new weapon types as well. There’s the new Charge Blade, which is a hybrid of the Sword and Shield, with the ability to transform into an axe for that extra power needed for larger foes. But there’s also it’s ability to store energy gained through attacks to unleash later for even more powerful axe strikes. The other weapon is the Insect Glaive, which is a spear that also can launch markers that your Kinsect can hone in on in order to gain specially colored extracts that boost your character in various ways. It’s kind of like the Hunting Horn, but with less time needed to setup, while also being more mobile. The Kinsect itself can also be given extracts to make it and the weapon stronger. So it kind of behaves like the Mags from Phantasy Star Online.

New features to the game also include Expeditions and Guild Quests. Expeditions or like Monster Hunter 3’s Free Hunts, only there is a lot more to do in them. The maps are randomly generated, and any monster you’ve ever run into before can show up there. This randomness means that each experience is exciting, and you also can land the chance on picking up rusted equipment. Once polished, they can become pretty decent equipment, with unique stats or slots that wouldn’t appear on their standard counterparts. So there is a big reason to engage in these excursions. The Guild Quests are basically specialized quests given to players from others through exchanges of Guild Cards or street-passing. They have special conditions with preset equipment, but the reward are nice considering the challenge they provide. They also level up once completed, allowing for greater rewards.

The game does seem to have some kind story going on, but it’s all really about the monster hunting. The game’s core is gathering materials, making items and gear, and hunting large creatures to get even more powerful equipment. And the monsters themselves are the set-pieces. They are brutal and challenging boss like fights, and the satisfaction you’ll get once you’ve wounded them, chased them down, and land the killing blow is cathartic. To add to the thrill of the hunt, you can now climb walls and jump onto ledges for aerial strikes, which can knockdown the monster long enough to mount them. Doing so allows you to inflict some more damage and possibly get more parts from them. These elements just work to make this the most refined and Monster Hunter yet, like the game it should have always been. And it looks great in 3D, all while playing at a constant 60 frame per second, even while online. The monsters themselves sound and look great, and aside from control restrictions from lacking a Circle Pad Pro or New Nintendo 3DS, the game plays great. This is definitely a solid entry for fans of the series or players that just want a great action RPG with a touch of challenge and loads of content.


The most refined Monster Hunter experience yet. Plenty to do, and good for short bursts of play.


Quite the technical achievement looking as good as it does while running at a constant 60 frames.


While the music is mostly for events and is just serviceable, the sound effects of the monsters are terrific.


A great action RPG that’s great for quick plays, which also feels like the game that Monster Hunter was always supposed to be.

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