Given my own personal playstyle, I tend to stay away from games that are “endless,” at least in the sense that they go on forever, and when the combined time average on How Long To Beat is 131 hours… well, there are pretty low odds that I’m ever going to try out that game. I generally pass on those that exceed ~35 hours. I’m too often pulled away by the allure of something else new and shiny.
But after beating practically every game I had interest in, I was getting desperate for something new to grab me. I picked up Pokemon Yellow, as I destroyed Red/Blue in my youth but the fad had died out by the time Yellow rolled around, but still, that’s a tough game to play straight through, for me at least. I needed something that I could log into, have a good time for 20 minutes, or several hours, and then stop.
Turns out, that game all along was Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate.
Of course, I’d have never ventured into a game of this sheer scale with all of those “actually completable” other games waiting to be played. But I finally hit a point where I had some free gaming time, ready to go.
So far I’ve logged about 10 hours into hunting monsters, and I’ve gotta say, having never played a Monster Hunter game before, I am impressed. It is incredibly fun, and just the right amount of difficulty.
But the area where Monster Hunter 4 ultimately shines is that, simply put, it is incredibly rewarding. Each monster kill is absolutely satisfying, and while the “Quest Complete” music plays and you’re skinning and gutting your prey, it’s immensely rewarding to know that you can now make that new sword, or cool hat, or boots. And the gear pieces themselves are amazingly unique and reflect the style of creature who you murdered to make them.
And speaking of quality and little details, I’m amazed at just how well the game performs. You can skip virtually all of the menus and go from 3DS Menu to in-game in about 30 seconds. That’s better than the Badge Arcade for goodness’ sakes. It’s worth noting that I am playing on a New 3DS XL, so I can’t vouch for the performance on the OG system, but the loading screens between “areas” are about 1 second. Really, they’re hardly even noticeable.
MH4U is also the first multiplayer game I ever played on this system. Last night was my first journey into multiplayer, and I had an absolutely blast. We took down the Tetsucabra, a gigantic monster frog thing, with huge jaws. Completely badass. It had kicked my ass in single player 3 times in a row, and seeking vengeance, we absolutely trashed it in under 10 minutes. What a rush.
One thing I need to explore more are the other weapons – aside from the broadsword and the default sword + shield, I haven’t braved much anything else. The learning curve on these weapons vary, and I feel like I should master one first, or at least devote a decent amount of hours to each before moving on to the next.
I look forward to playing this every chance I get, and what better feeling towards a game could you possibly have? Each time you play for a few hours, you can feel yourself getting a little bit better at the game. And honing a skill is very satisfying to me. If that sounds like something you like in a game, than do yourself a favor. Go out and pick up Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate. The price actually dropped recently, and you can grab a used copy for about $25 in the ‘States. Enjoy!