Review by LostSoul

Reviewed: 01/15/16

Satisfying, infuriating, then satisfying again, like always...

Oh. My. God.
Nintendo has gotten the latest Portable Monster Hunter, and Sony got the shaft. Not surprising given the Vita's poor sales, but satisfying since Monster Hunter seemed to be on Nintendo systems in Japan, then thrown onto other systems when brought overseas (dammit Capcom). Anyhow, the tagline says it all, now onto the review:

GRAPHICS: 4.5/5
Jesus f***ing Christ Almighty, this game is gorgeous. Enjoy nature's beauty. Hunt awesome giant monsters. Craft and upgrade cool-looking weapons and armor. And enjoy the totally amazing visuals the entire time. This game pushes the 3DS to it absolute limit, yet there is no slowdown, even with the slider cranked to the max. Overall, the MH games have always looked good, and this is one of the best. The only complaint was that it took me some time to get used to the smaller screen, but a 3DS XL will fix this problem easily if that's one of your concerns. Overall, the graphics are jaw-dropping...

STORY: 2/5
There really isn't much of a story, but that shouldn't really turn you away. Still, what is here is a HUGE step forward compared to the other MH games. Basically, you meet up with a Caravan run by a guy who is referred to as the Caravaneer. He hires you to explore the world with him, along with a cook, a merchant, the smithy, the Guildmarm, and another smithy for crafting decorations as you attempt to find out the truth behind some doodad he keeps in his hat called "the article". First, you land in Val Habar. Find your cook and merchant, then set out for Harth. Harth has had some monster problems, so after you take out a Nerscylla, you build a ship, and set out with the chiefs daughter crafting decorations. The ship is attacked, you defend it from a monster, and end up in other places. That's pretty much it.

GAMEPLAY: 4/5
Well, if you thought the MH3 characters were "tanky", you'll be pleased that your hunter moves with a lot more ease. Stamina is no longer depleted when climbing, you can get up smaller ledges by just walking/running up to them, even when you have your weapon drawn, and you can now mount larger monsters, hacking away at them as you attempt to stay on while they thrash around in an attempt to throw you off. There are a lot of little tweaks to almost every activity in the game, from exploring to fighting to gathering to make this game incredibly fun, refined and easier to use. Finding monsters and materials in no longer a chore, and your Palico partner ACTUALLY HELPS YOU! GASP! Basically, this game is great for seasoned vetrans who will appreciate the tweaks, and newcomers who will find a nice, user-friendly system.

LIFESPAN: INIFINITY
Yes, infinity. This game can be played until you die. It is that big, immersive and awesome. I will mention that the game is VERY HARD at points. Certain monsters that you suddenly need to take down can be a MASSIVE spike in difficulty. For some reason, though, you'll have the desire to keep getting you @$$ handed to you until you beat the overwhelming odds you are faced with. And when you do, you feel on top of the F***ING WORLD, all-powerful and untouchable, until the next big monster comes along and you get infuriated all over again. Nice cycle, dipping and peaking with perfect balance...

OVERALL: 4/5
Mainly a good game, some minor flaws that have plagued MH since the beginning, but problems have been ironed out and the game has been polished up nicely. If you're a seasoned vet, well worth your time, and if you're a newcomer the perfect place to join the fun...

Rating:   4.0 - Great

Product Release: Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate (US, 02/13/15)

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