It's here! The new generation of Monster Hunter. Gather your Palico, forge some armor and weapons, and get ready to slay giant monsters!
Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate is the current version of Monster Hunter 4 and the first one released outside of Japan. Monster Hunter was never really about the story, but more for the combat against larger than life monster. Nevertheless, you are a new Hunter traveling with a Caravan. You are mostly gonna travel from place to play, fulfilling quests for the local hunter's guild and figure out the mystery behind a golden shard held by the head of the Caravan. The main monster of this game is the Gore Magala who is the first step towards the offline modes' Elder Dragon final boss. Who knows what monsters you'll face? What armor and weapon will be your bread and butter? Only you can determine your hunting journey.
Shifting from Generation 3 which focused on the swimming mechanic, this game deals with more acrobatic movements, especially with climbing. Much of the terrain is littered with ledges and high cliffs to scale up. While tedious to traverse, these elevated terrain are vantage points for you to use as you slay monsters. Leaping off of these heights and attacking a large monster as you jump has a chance of knocking them down. Once knocked down via this method, your hunter can mount the monster, stabbing away on the monster's back until they are forced to fall over while dealing a huge amount of damage. This adds a whole new depth to the hunting game and I'm pleased to say that there is nothing more satisfying than to hack away at a monster in this method. Combat has been overall sped up, so you can take down most monsters at least twice as fast as you could in Monster Hunter 3, given that you take time to learn monster patterns and the combat system itself. I found myself killing most large monsters in around 5 to 15 minutes on my first attempts. Only the Gore Morgala and the final boss took over 20 minutes to kill on my first tries.
Your assistant(s) in the game are Palicos, the cats of the game that can perform many tasks. Your main Palico is similar to Cha-cha from MH3, as they will always be you and is your main partner in solo mode. You can also scout other Palicos in the field at a certain point, adding a new team member to support you in various ways such as focusing on healing, defending, or even stealing from enemies. The choice is yours.
There are literally hundreds of armor and weapon sets, a lot of which return from the past MH games. There is a ton of customization option and ways to deck your hunter in the latest monster fashions. Sometimes, using a particular set will make the difference for a particular hunt. Two new weapons have been added to this installment, the Insect Glaive and the Charge Blade. Both have been interesting to try out and I highly recommend giving each a spin. Large monsters also may have the Virus status effect, granting new attacks and making them overall much more dangerous. You can be infected as well. Attacking the monster enough times before the virus meter fills will grant your character a temporary attack boost. If it festers, you hunter will take increased damage from virus attacks.
Multiplayer, I can happily say, is as good as it has always been and with the speed of the game, you'll be hunting more monsters with your friends than ever before. Single Player is more welcoming to new players, but is certainly advantageous to have played a previous title.
Nonny's Rating: 9/10. It is easily the best Monster Hunter game yet and it a great multiplayer game or you and your friends. Go out! Be a Hunter and wear the skin of dead dragons!
Nonny's tips: As mentioned before, mounting is super important in this game to speed up hunts. Familiarize your self with your terrains and use them to set up these actions.
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