Water is gone
When the west finally gets Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate — what Capcom calls “the most complete version of 4 that it’ll get” — players are going to need to turn their attention to the layering of the game. Rather than solely ground-level areas, Ultimate features plenty of ledges to climb up and to hop onto monsters’ backs from. That’s the big difference from the Monster Hunter you may already know and love.
Gone are the water terrains, which Capcom called “controversial.” The newly placed emphasis on vertical play replaces them, in what is kind of the “hook” for the game. However, that doesn’t mean Capcom expects the same mixed reception. The opposite, in fact. It anticipates that players will welcome the verticality because it’s fluidly interwoven into play. Small ledges will be automatically ascended, and larger ones will actually take some effort to climb.
With this new information in mind, a party of four of us set off to best the Daimyo Hermitaur — a giant crab-like creature. Equipped with a weapon called the Insect Glaive, one of our members sent insects toward our target to retrieve essences from him. The Insect Glaive also served a second (and more fun) purpose. It can be used to pole vault on top of a monster and ride him into temporary submission.
Over the course of 15 minutes or so, we implemented whatever attacks we could to eventually weaken and defeat this monstrosity. Some ranged, some melee, one buckin’ bronco, we chased him from area to area and successfully slayed and plundered him. Three cheers for teamwork!
The other change to Ultimate is that this iteration is coming to 3DS only. Because of this, it’s not necessary to use a Wii U to play with others. Instead, any old wireless hub will work. Three cheers for accessibility!
By the time the demo was over, I was ready for another round. We fired up a quick go at a early-game dinosaur monster named The Great Jaggi. We took him down without much difficulty, but more importantly, it satiated that quick need to play just a bit more. It’s easy to see why this game is so popular in Japan. Three cheers for Monster Hunter!