The Average Gamer

Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate Demo Impressions

Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate Logo

Hand up if you decided that Capcom’s Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate was going to be a great time to jump into the storied franchise? *raises hand*

I am a sponge, ready to absorb what Capcom has to throw at my pleasure nodes. There was pleasure found during my time on Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate, and also some pain.

I own a 2DS. I do not own the add-on thumb-stick, or have plans to purchase the LL 3DS systems. I like the layout and feel of the 2DS, so I’d purchase a 2DS XL. Yet, Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate isn’t made for those of us who haven’t adopted the add-on stick or LL 3DS. Yes it runs on our machines, though it is limited.

Because the camera is designed for dual-stick approach, it adds a level of frustration to the whole experience. You are forced to either remove your thumb from the left stick to pan the camera around with the D-pad, or, more frustratingly, you can use the touch screen to turn the camera. Using the touch screen provides a new set of issues; you can’t attack at the same time. Suddenly Capcom have released Monster Roamer. Also, it could just be me, but I was unable to find any sort of lock-on system in general. But, it’s not all bad. No, sir.

MH4U - TeostraThe graphics are some of the better on Nintendo’s handheld; lighting works really well when moving past mountain ridges, entering new zones over a vista, or exiting from a cave. I had no stuttering, slowdown or other such annoyances. I was pleasantly surprised by the level of detail in parts of the game and the weapon models are the standout items here.

In battle, combat felt responsive and fluid. It’s a rather simple system on the surface, akin to titles in the Zelda franchise. Jump, attack, strong attack, potion. Yet, it can get rather deep and complex. Weapons, weapons everywhere. I tried my hand at a handful of weapons; a lot felt as you’d imagine. Huge, Excalibur-esque swords will leave the monsters wishing they’d never left their nest. Axes cleave away, but felt less impactful.

Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate Insect GlaiveThen there is the Insect Glaive weapon archetype. This weapon, my giddy aunt, is made for a gamer like myself. It has multi-target lock-on mechanics, basically a ranged cleaver. The glaive didn’t feel as impactful as the sword type, yet it was nimble and allowed for more fast-paced combat. Weapons in MH4U feel like their own characters. I barely scratched the surface during my play time.

The monster AI likes to play cat and mouse with you, with a few dozen smaller enemies also seeking you down. I hope that final game improves on the camera as this will remove 90% of the negatives that I have with the game. Overall, if you can get round the camera controls, I can see a lot of evenings spent playing Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate.

Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate will be out for 3DS on 13th February