Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate review

"The sailing ship of the sands is plowing the dunes of the desert, in the same way in which a couple of hours ago it sails quietly in the waters of the southern sea, but giving my eyes a completely different, if not almost dreamlike, spectacle in its unreal beauty. The captain approaches me, and placing a hand on my shoulder, he hands me his monocle, indicating the horizon to starboard. Intrigued by this gesture, I bring my eye closer to the lens and direct the other end in the direction indicated to me, and it is with a start that I recognize the unmistakable figure of Dah'ren Moran, an elder dragon larger than this entire ship. I remain speechless as I watch him, wondering how hunters manage to kill beasts of this size, or rather, how am I going to kill such a creature, since that's what I want to become, a hunter, and that beast I'm looking at. in this moment, one day, it could become my prey ”.

More Ultimate than Ultimate
Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate the strengths of the previous chapters

After the European release of 2013 on WiiU e 3DS di Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate, finally his direct following reaches us, Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate, as exclusive to current handheld consoles Nintendo, which excellently consolidates the strong points of the previous chapters and marks - in some respects - a turning point in some habits of the franchise (but we will focus on this later).
Speaking of numbers, in this game there are the beauty of 75 big monsters, 13 of which unreleased between sub-variants and 2 new entries (compared to the original version that never came to us), with new game mechanics able to present a challenge even to veterans of the series. Fortunately, to support us in the hunt we will not only have all the armor and weapons related to these enemies, but thanks to a new system, we will be able to exchange some parts of monsters present in this game with those of creatures present in other chapters in a special shop. to enormously increase the vastness of the arsenal that this game is able to provide to support hunters in their adventures.
The online functionality of the title, not present in the previous one for portable consoles, is accompanied by an excellent initial tutorial system, and also allows novice players to approach this series by making them acclimatise to the rhythms of the game and to obtain support from more experienced players. in the most difficult missions to face alone.


So many changes, so much glory
being in the right position in battle can mean the difference between life and death

The most radical modification of this title lies mainly in theintroduction of elevation differences in maps. Of course, in some areas of previous generations it was already possible to reach small raised spaces, very useful for archers to attack freely without fear of a sudden assault. Now, however, almost every area of ​​the maps has variations in the terrain, capable of transforming the morphology of battlefields, mainly flat, into complex environments in which being in the right position can make the difference between life and death. Of course the monsters won't stand by, and now they'll be able to easily climb over huge drops to pick you up.
This change is closely related to the new possibility of "riding" a monster: hitting him with a jump attack from an overhead position, it is possible to unbalance him on the ground and then start riding him, trying to hold us tight to him when he squirms to throw us off or screams furiously. By injuring its back when it is too tired to rebel, you may be able to throw it to the ground for a long time in which it will be possible to attack it freely. The new weapon introduced in this chapter, the Insect Falchion, makes great use of this mechanic, since it is the only weapon to have a special attack capable of throwing the player into the air, a move that in addition to allowing you to start a "ride" without the need to use gradients, offers the ability to dodge a large number of attacks in a way that is often more effective than normal dodging.

A particularly noteworthy addition, which almost deserves a special section, are the "Explorations", in which you go to discover unexplored areas in the game world, where you can find materials, weapons and armor from the past. On a practical level we will find ourselves in randomly generated maps, in which 1 or 2 races of monsters will usually appear on a continuous basis Our purpose it will not be so much to hunt monsters as, as the name implies, to explore the area from one point to another of its extension; however the rewards obtained for the defeat of the monsters are such as to make it preferable, most of the time, to eliminate them.
Another significant change is represented by the disappearance in this chapter of the farm, of a historical element of the series, which allowed to obtain various materials, sometimes even unique, from our plot of land instead of the normal play areas (all related from a development system that went hand in hand with the plot of the story mode). To compensate for this lack, the Wyverian merchant, which will multiply some objects for us while we are on a mission. However, its function is not limited to this: as mentioned above, this merchant can exchange parts of monsters in the game with some of others that cannot be faced in this game, and finally using Caravan points (one of the many rewards obtained at the end of the missions) we could buy otherwise unavailable items from him. A welcome return in this chapter is the cat-cook, able to prepare delicious dishes capable of providing us with bonuses of life and resistance together with a wide spectrum of useful skills.

A soup, but not the usual soup.
Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate offers a slightly more complex storyline that makes the game world more alive

This series, although capable of thrilling hundreds of thousands of people, has never made the plot its strong point. Usually in all the chapters of the game the same process is repeated:
our character is a novice hunter who arrives in a village where he is welcomed and given basic equipment; it is then up to the player to rank up to become a hunter able to protect the village from the worst threats. Here, while the usual climb towards increasingly stronger enemies reappears, a slightly more complex plot is proposed, which will move us from the initial village of Val Habar towards the mines of Harth, up to the legendary and remote Cathar, and during our travels we will meet many characters, who, even if they do not participate in the battles, still make the game world more complex and alive, and make the final parts of the game less tied to an individual effort and bring to a victory obtained thanks to the collaboration of the whole community.
A praise, however, to the improvement of this RPG aspect: Seeing the board of missions fill up as we talk to the people of the village instead of appearing out of nowhere in the list, provides greater satisfaction, enticing the player to complete them.

Always better to hunt in company
The lack of voice chat and the inability to communicate easily in-game undermine the excellent Online sector

As usual, the game is divided into two closely related modes: the Story, the only offline part, in which all the additional features of the game are unlocked, and the Guild, to be played preferably online or via wireless in the company of other players.
In offline mode, however, you will never find yourself hunting in solitude, but you will be accompanied by a faithful Comrade Felyne, Called Great companion, which will follow you in the various missions and will help you by distracting and hitting the monster, in order to provide you with the time necessary to devise attack strategies or to heal yourself. It will be possible to obtain other Felyne Companions (it is even possible to deploy a second Palico in our squad in Story mode) that can be recruited in the various maps simply by finding them and talking to them, in this way we can briefly know their specialty (distinguished between attack, defense, support, healer, etc.) and at the end of the mission we will be able to enlist them. Once they have become part of our group we could divide them between owners and reserves: the function of the owners, however, is not only that of being able to be chosen as secondary companions, but based on the pairings of the same specialty, they provide the Great Companion with additional skills of the same. such as, for example, holding 2 healers in the holders, the Great Companion will get the ability to "cure by area", with the ability to cure poisons, and so on, in a system of customizations perhaps fairly complex, but highly customizable, especially considering that it is possible to equip the feline companions with weapons, armor and helmets.

As for the online game, the heart of this game, we are forced to point out some rather annoying shortcomings, first of all the lack of voice chat, and to aggravate the situation, the impossibility of communicating within the hunts by typing with the keyboard, and forcing you to communicate using a maximum of 18 pre-filled sentences, which can only be modified outside the mission. An annoying limitation capable of creating misunderstandings and even causing damage to the progress of the online session, without considering how people engaged in a quest cannot communicate with the hunters who are waiting for their return to the collection room, yet another completely removed social feature.
The hunter ranks will still be present, a value designed to represent the growth of the character from rank one to rank 8, based exclusively on the overcoming of certain key missions, and the overcoming of an "urgent" mission. Once at the maximum rank, the hunter's ability is recognized, the ranking will no longer be linked to certain missions and will only depend on the points we will get from completing the missions and therefore evaluated through the classic levels.
Every aspect of the game has been studied and expanded, and is therefore able to keep busy for a long time with extended hunting sessions between friends, or why not, even strangers, with the only weak point of a scarce possibility of communicating one's intentions. . The monsters thanks to the new power of the console, and an excellent and improved sound sector, seem even more alive, thanks also to the good 3D level, and hunting these creatures accompanied by the captivating soundtrack is a real pleasure.

Verdict 9/10 50 shades of Rathalos Comment In conclusion, this title manages both to respect the expectations of the veterans and to provide a good platform to get to know this series. The amount of knowledge to learn is considerable, as is the amount of content available but the learning curve is well studied, so what are you waiting for? The hunt has begun again, and awaits only you! Pros and cons Extensive gameplay improvements
Huge arsenal
Very stable netcode
Immense longevity, thanks also to the free DLCs x No Voice Chat
x Communicating was made unnecessarily difficult
x Texts not always legible

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