Monster Hunter 4 Developers Demonstrate The Brand New Charge Axe

By Sato . August 19, 2013 . 3:00pm


Last week, Capcom held an exclusive hands-on Monster Hunter 4 event called “Summer Hunting Tryouts”. In our earlier report of the event, we got a closer look at the new Insect Staff weapon. Following the event, Capcom shared a video summarizing it, along with a presentation showing the Charge Axe and the new jump actions.



For those of you who missed the latest trailer for Monster Hunter 4, the above video shows it off at the 3:23 mark. At the 15:50 mark of the video, fans who got to try out the Charge Axe and Insect staff got to voice their opinions on the new weapons thus far. According to several of the players at the event, the Insect Staff was a little tricky to handle at first, but after playing around with it, it almost felt like second nature.


One particular Switch Axe veteran went in thinking that the Charge Axe would be very similar to his weapon of choice, as it has similar mode-switching features; however, he comments that it was completely different from what he expected, and he feels that Capcom did a great job giving both weapons their own unique feel when you use them.


Other comments include how tough the fight against Goa Magara was, along how fun and useful the jumping feature is, as it adds a completely new dimension to the hunt.


At  19:20, Monster Hunter 4 producer Ryozo Tsujimoto and director Kaname Fujioka give us another look at hunting with Charge Axes, as both key developers go on to man the weapon for the hunt. They decide on fighting a Great Jaggi to make things easier to see, and a little less hectic compared to the likes of Goa Magara.


Fujioka starts out by giving an explanation of the basic controls for the weapon’s Sword-mode. According to the director, it is simple to use, and has some nice mobile attacks, such as the forward-dashing slash. Once you switch to Axe mode, it has a heavier and slower feel, but it does considerably more damage compared to the Sword-mode. Fujioka says that he believes players will be switching between both modes, as the basic play-style of the weapon.


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The director then gives us a look at what it’s like to stock energy in Sword-mode, by taking down some helpless herbivores. The bottles that get filled on the upper-left part of the screen are your energy stock. Fujioka adds that the play-style will revolve around stocking up bottles, then unleashing it in Axe-mode for powerful attacks. For closer details regarding the charges, check out our report on their earlier presentation.


Next, the developers demonstrate the jumping feature that can be done by running off ledges. This action can be followed up with jump-attacks. Knowing the range and distance of your jumps will be a crucial factor in landing the hits.


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Those of you who’ve played past Monster Hunter titles know that you can’t sprint while having a weapon out, so you might be wondering how this action will be possible unless you sheath your weapon. Tsujimoto shows that you can still do jump actions by simply dodge-rolling while you’re near a ledge. As seen in the demonstration, these jumps cover slightly less distance compared to the non-weapon holding version, so it could take some getting used to, as well.


Starting at 25:45 the two decide to take on the Great Jaggi. According to Tsujimoto, remembering the field will be a bigger factor compared to past titles, as it will be more important to know the whereabouts of specific features and where monsters can be found.



Many players who got to try the demo stated that it was pretty tough to jump-attack monsters and actually remain on top of them. Director Fujioka explains that you’ll need to press X or A while you’re on top and the monster is calm. Once it starts going wild, you’ll have to hold down the R button to stay on it, otherwise it will knock you out. You will then have to wait for it to calm down again until you can resume attacking. You “win” the fight once the blue bar fills up all the way, and according to the developers, it is very satisfying.


Monster Hunter 4 will be slated for release on September 14th for Nintendo 3DS.

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  • SetzerGabbiani

    As a heavy switch-axe user, I’m glad to hear that my favorite weapon isn’t necessarily being usurped by the charge axe, but it definitely seems interesting.

    Edit: It’s almost like the reverse of the switch axe in terms of energy stocking/useage. Nice!

  • Marcelo Henrique Chaves

    My friend and i are so displeased with the color choice of this game.
    I mean, it’s so colorful. So much bright colors. I really don’t like it. It looks unreal.

    Now on topic: I think everybody will play with both new weapons, since we all already tried everything.
    And i wish the next iteration, the weapons will have another upgrade in terms of move set and more new ones.
    One thing that i can’t understand is why they didn’t make the weapons trees have sub-weapons. Let me elaborate…

    Some weapons, like the longsword, have a special one, like a spear, or a scythe.
    What if all weapons were like that? Take for instance the sword and shield:
    You would have sword and shield; axe and shield and mace and shield.
    They would differ from damage, affinity and maybe move set.
    Also this game needs more ranged options…

    • Godman

      That would certainly add some more variety to MH which just makes it even better
      I wouldn’t even mind it it was DLC

    • Sango

      It looks so unreal? Its a video game, lol. The majority of weapons have received two or three move upgrades, adding a shield to other weapons would be pointless, and it needs more ranged options? You mean like the LBG, HBG and the Bow? Have you even played MH? Sounds like you’re just making stuff up based on the article alone.

      • Marcelo Henrique Chaves

        I still have 300+ hours of MH3U( i play since freedom unite), and i’m currently aiming for the award of 120 weapons, so i think i know enough to have a formed opinion.
        Now you think 3 ranged and 9 melee(now 11) is fair? You say that cause you play as melee only, right?
        The color upsets me, maybe cause of the abrupt change. I dunno, just dislike it. And for it looks like my friend and i are alone in this. =P

        • Sango

          That’s fair enough. Not sure what they can add range wise. Maybe a new gunlance that allows you to attack from a distance. Sorry if my comment came off as if I’m attacking you.

          • Marcelo Henrique Chaves

            No problem man. We are here to Disqus. That’s my opinion and that’s yours.
            Happy hunting. =D

    • Rohan Viajar

      I for one welcome colorful-ness.

    • 하세요

      Sounds like you don’t like Monster Hunter. You should probably just not play it.

      • Marcelo Henrique Chaves

        Seriously? I like it, and i want it to be better.
        More selections are worse, because…?
        And i can’t dislike too much colors?

        • Laer_HeiSeiRyuu

          It sounds like you want to play Soul Sacrifice more man^

          Get a bow if you want range. I feel like the long sword could use more range but it just means you gotta get a little closer to the enemy and not do a lot of nonsense because of the animation times

          Fighting a Lagombi really teaches you alot of what you need to know LOL.

          Besides we can jump on monsters and there IS an insect staff.

          See how the new one plays before you start complaining.

          Its not Monster Hunter without the bright colors either.

          • Marcelo Henrique Chaves

            I think Rangurotora is more irritating than Lagombi.
            And yes, the staff will be my pick on this one. At first, i always end up playing with all weapons, since each seems appropriate for each boss.
            And the jump, from the videos, looks like it will make the game easier, since one always jumping will keep the boss staggering.
            Can’t wait to try.
            BTW already finished Soul. I’m really into hunting games. =)

          • Laer_HeiSeiRyuu

            I hope you start living in japan for the foreseeable future lol

        • 하세요

          I have nothing against your color tastes, but it sounds like you’re over-complicating an already content heavy game. Bow and Bowgun are ranged enough.

          • Marcelo Henrique Chaves

            Hehe. I know. I expect/want too much.
            It’s just that i like being ranged and they didn’t add nothing for my playference. It’s just fells unfair.
            But i totally get what you mean.

    • Namuro

      MH4 is very colorful indeed. I was a little surprised to see the color palette and the theme they went for at first as well, but quickly grew to like it. I think the colors work well here, as the theme of MH4 is about exploration and venture into the new lands, braving the unknown, and the array of colors, in a way, represent the new, weird and wonderful things that unfold along the adventure. Whereas, the older MH game, the scenes and environments look grittier and darker, likely have to do with the general theme of mankind’s struggle against the harsh wilderness. Also, most main missions from the last games are about protecting a village from a monster that’s threatening it, so the darker tone fits there perfectly. This is just my thought, anyway.

      The colors in the new game may have put you off (and a lot of people, when the game was first announced…), but just give CAPCOM a chance here to try out something new. Besides, it’s not like they’re implementing something over the top, that might break the game. Also, the game is heading to 3DS, a handheld that is played by a lot of young people, and the change in tone and colors would definitely have an impact on drawing the younger gamers in. Female gamers would likely find the colors pleasing as well, as I’ve heard that a lot of female fans play this game, not just for the challenge, but to collect the beautiful and colorful equipments and weapons. As a fellow MH fan, I’m sure you’ll come to accept the colors (or even grow to like it, like me!). But the chances are that, when you get to play the game, you’ll be so absorbed that you won’t even notice the colors anymore!

      There are games that I found the graphics unsatisfying at first, too, games like Etrian Odyssey. I tried EO4 demo the other day (it was my first proper EO game) and found the dungeons flat and dull (though, it still looks good!), but after I got absorbed into the game, I no longer notice the things that bug me. After a while, I was so immersed in the world of EO that I feel everything looks great, and fits well in its own world.

      As for the sub-weapons, the long sword-variants like Fang Breaker and Mountain Sickle, aren’t those basically just a long sword as well? Their shapes are different, but their range and move sets are the same. Also, there are already axe and shield (Bone Tomahawk), and mace and shield (Carapace Mace), each with different attack power, affinity, element, and sharpness. The move set is obviously the same, because otherwise, it might as well be a different weapon. As for the guns, I think at the core of Monster Hunter, it’s a brawling game, where you get out there and trade blows with the monsters (not really, though, LOL I mean you’ll be dead in seconds…). So most weapons you’ll be handling would be of a melee kind, but the guns are there, should you wish to switch tactics, but they are not the kind of arms that represent the world of Monster Hunter. Even then, I think you have enough options there with 2 bow guns and a bow. I’m not sure what other kind of firearms that you can add in there (it’s possible, CAPCOM can surely come up with something in the future) that would be any more different to what the bow guns and the bows can already offer. There are all kinds of bullets from shotgun shells to flaming shells, even sleeping and fatigue shells. Then there’s the run and gun option, or the scope mode for sniping, and even mounting. I think the current set of guns already provide the hunters plenty enough.

      Each new Monster Hunter also gives the weapons some new moves, if you notice. For one, in newer games, long sword users can do a side-Fade Slash in addition to the back-Fade Slash (and then there’s the new Spirit Slash system as well, but let’s leave it at that). There’s also the great swords, which gain a new side-slap attack that causes impact damage, and lances, which now allows the users to perform counter-thrust. These are just some of the new moves.

      If you’re still unsatisfied by the options, however. The only thing left to do, would be to find a way to play Monster Hunter Frontier. From what I’ve seen in the trailers and read from various sites; it’d seem that they have some really unique sub-weapon classes in there. Something like a super-long lance, twin claws, and even gunlances that can fire a charged laser beam. There are also some new cool moves (which I wish they could add them in MH4, but I doubt it) like the forward-sliding slash, or the flip jump slash. Frontier also allows you to raise a pet hawk-dragon thing to help out in battle!

      • Marcelo Henrique Chaves

        Thank you for your comment. I really enjoyed reading it.
        i’m displeased now, but i might get used to when i finally play it.
        Maybe i’m just being bitchy cause i can’t play yet. xD
        But it’s actually for the best, since i still need the weapons and big/small bosses awards on the MH3U to finish it.

        BTW i’m also currently playing EO IV together with Xillia, 20 something hours in both.
        And i really liked the 3D effects on the EO, too bad my eyes get tired of it real quick. =(

    • J_Joestar

      Damage-type sub variations on the Melee weapons would be interesting, although Dual Maces would probably wreak havoc on monster stamina, my Stygian Tristitia really looks like it should be able to cut a tail between jam sessions.

  • Godman

    You’re killing me here Capcom
    The instant I saw the Charge Axe I knew it was my destined weapon
    It’s awesomeness is what got me to get into MH, but I had to be content with the SA
    Now with every article my hype burns! X)

    oh man im having such a hard time choosing between the charge axe and insect staff guess ill just have my male main one and female main the other but then it comes down to which i wanna use most, I am very pleased with what i see and read

  • Ferchenko

    Marcelo Henrique Chaves can eat my colorful pants.

    • Marcelo Henrique Chaves

      No thanks, if they were black i would think about it. Maybe after some dinner? =P

  • AndyLC

    This is EXACTLY what I wanted, hahah. I’ve always thought that it’d make more sense to go from sword->axe than the other way round.

    Thanks for reading my mind Capcom Japan!

  • Namuro

    It’s great to hear that the jump attack and the rodeo is actually harder than they look. I was worried that these new mechanics will allow for players to spam and cheapen the combat (though, I have confident in CAPCOM’s ability to keep their action games tough and challenging).

    Talking about Rodeo though, just imagine if you can hop on the Velociprey and ride them into battle! LOL

  • I initially thought the Charge Axe was just gonna be a cheap reiteration of the Switch Axe but the footage released in the last week or so has completely changed my mind. It looks fantastic and really unique. I use the Switch Axe and Dual Blades lightly right now. I think I’ll drop both and pick up the Charge Axe and Bow in MH4. I won’t be needing the Dual Blades since underwater combat is gone.

  • Virevolte

    Rodeo on Great Jaggi…
    I’m falling in love.

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