Monster Hunter 4 Developers On Taking Hunting To The Next Level… Literally

By Sato . September 11, 2013 . 1:32pm

The release of Monster Hunter 4 is just a few days away in Japan, and we recently received a few last minute surprises from Nintendo and Capcom, leading up to release. Additionally, Famitsu recently featured an interview with the series’ main planner Yuya Tokuda, director Kaname Fujioka, and producer Ryozo Tsujimoto.


Famitsu kicks off the interview by talking about the main concept that went into the making of Monster Hunter 4, and how the developers approached it differently, when compared to past titles.


“This time, on top of working on Monster Hunter 4, we’ve raised three concepts,” explains director Kaname Fujioka. “First, in order to make it more fun, we’ve decided to revise the action parts of the game. This was a step we had decided on prior to the start of development. Next, it was to rethink Monster Hunter as a communication tool. And finally, the third concept was to expand the worldview of the series.”


“When it comes to the worldview, it’s something we’ve always wanted to expand for the Monster Hunter series.”


With the newly added jump-attack and enhanced climbing mechanisms, Monster Hunter 4 will be the first game in the series to add several a number of new action elements to your battle against monsters at once, apart from the swimming feature which was introduced in Monster Hunter Tri.


“When the development of Monster Hunter Tri was completed, Fujioka and I planned out the next title, and we both thought that it’d be best to spend the next several years working on the next game,” says producer Ryozo Tsujimoto. “Of course, we’re always guilty of talking about new actions, but since this time it’s a newly numbered title, it was a little different, and so as a new element, we’ve decided to implement an action that utilizes the difference in elevation.”


Where Monster Hunter Tri introduced us to the challenge of underwater hunting, Monster Hunter 4 brings us features using elevation or verticality.


Continues Tsujimoto, “The goal of the introduction to underwater feature was to further expand situational action. This time, we thought of ways to increase the variety of the action that happens on land.”


“While thinking about what to add to a new Monster Hunter, the idea of having a ‘comfortable feeling while playing’ was the most important thing to us,” adds Fujioka.


Monster Hunter 4 main planner Yuya Tokuya also adds, “As a development team, we thought that simply adding new monsters had its limits, so I’m glad we continued on the direction of adding new action.”


After learning how the idea of having elevational differences came to be, Famitsu asks whether the concept came after the implementation of having a jump feature.


“No, having fields with high elevation, along with a three-dimensional hunt was the big premise. Afterwards, the jump action was added,” answers Tokuya.


“When it comes to working on the Monster Hunter series, there’s always one thing I’m conscious about,” shares Tsujimoto. “It is ‘being able to see how fun it is by watching others play it’. With that in mind, I thought that rather than having flat lands, you’ll be looking up and down if you have slants and level differences, which adds more variety to movements, in turn, making it look more fun, in my opinion.”


The jump attacks will be a big feature in Monster Hunter 4, but one of the most important parts the developers had to work on, was making feel as comfortable as possible for the players. Fujioka revisits his previous thoughts on the subject of having a comfortable feeling while playing.


“The thought that goes through my mind when making games, is the important sense of ‘psychologically feeling good’,” says Fujioka.


“In the field of game development, if there isn’t a particular charm to a part of a game, the discussion will be ‘why add those specifications?’ and such. So, I believe that being able to answer [that question] in a straightforward manner with things such as, ‘they’ll want to climb up walls’ or ‘they’ll want to attack while jumping,’ is very important.


Monster Hunter 4 will be released on September 14 for Nintendo 3DS.

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  • Pockystix

    so excited for this one

    it still surprises me how much the series does right, despite being very much the same a lot of the time.

    it’s those small well made changes that make a difference.

    • J_Joestar

      yeah, looking forward to play this in english someday, probably 1-2 years from now…

      • Laer_HeiSeiRyuu

        Stop being unnecessarily cynical. I cant wait to get this on my 3DS.

        Come on GOA MAGARA XL!

        • 하세요

          I still wish they had a standard 3DS version of them, or another one that was non-XL. My hands are too dinky for one :(

          • Laer_HeiSeiRyuu

            Eh I need a 3DS XL, be content with the FE3DS

            Cobalt Blue is Godly

          • 하세요

            It is godly, but I feel a little dirty as I’m not a fan of FE – merely played Awakening. T’was fun, but I’m a diehard MH fan at heart.

          • Laer_HeiSeiRyuu

            You need to play the other games.

          • 하세요

            Just not my cup of tea. I respect the series though.

          • Laer_HeiSeiRyuu

            How do you know that if all you played is Awakening?

            Thats like the most divergent game in the series

          • Hinataharem

            Fire Emblem has largely the same kind of gameplay (Grid-based SRPG) in every game. I assume that is what Haseyo is talking about.

            In that case, once you have played one, you have played them all.

          • Laer_HeiSeiRyuu

            Oh for the love of god
            No, not at all. Only someone who hasnt played the series would says something like that. Shit nobody who regularly plays video games would say this about anything but Dynasty Warriors.

            Like really. A game like Heroes of Mana is widely different from FE and Covenant of the plume which are both grid based SRPGs ( albeit Plume is more tactical rpg rather than strategy but gridbased none the less)

          • 하세요

            I’ve seen friends play previous ones and the basis looks the same; the whole rock / paper / scissors thing. Not sure why you’re so adamant on making me play others when I just don’t care much for the series.

            Anywho, let’s keep this MH related.

          • Laer_HeiSeiRyuu

            I wasnt talking to you was I?

          • 하세요

            Well excuse me, princess.

          • Laer_HeiSeiRyuu

            Boy, sit your arse down before I come over there and have Sully shove it!
            Nihon isnt having radiation problems right now is it?

          • You two are gonna have some great make-up sex.

          • Hinataharem

            What? I have played Fire Emblem. And I was talking about ONLY FIRE EMBLEM. Don’t be such an ass.

            Fire Emblem in general uses grid based strategic combat. Please tell me how I’m wrong, and learn to read first next time.

            It’s like, if you don’t like how Tekken plays, they are all largely the same. Most game series have this going on.

          • Laer_HeiSeiRyuu

            I can be as much of an ass as I want, deal with it in whichever way pleases you. Fire Emblem itself has pretty different strategy(due to the elements), the core and unit relation is relatively the same but the series has progressed in different ways. Also they’re RPG’s. you play them for a myriad of reasons.
            Grid based combat is grid based combat, thats the lowest common denominator. If you want to make a point have a more targeted focus.

            I asked a question rather than assuming. You assumed correctly apparently.

          • Hinataharem

            Well of course not every fire emblem game is the exact same. But my point was, if you don’t like grid based strategy at all, then you won’t enjoy one FE any more than the next one. Its kind of like monster hunter, hate hunting gameplay? Well you won’t find much difference overall between games

          • Laer_HeiSeiRyuu

            Well from his comments its not so much grid based combat as the strategy elements and base in Fire Emblem,(unit relation, and planning, “the whole triangle based thing” as he said)

          • Hinataharem

            And that is where I gave a rough estimate. That is completely understandable.

            I apologize, let’s sweep this under the rug and stay friendly.

        • ronin4life

          Yes please.

          All my wants.

    • konsama

      Totally agreed, i don’t get why people seems to get the urge for it to change drastically, like getting rid of the area system and stuff, or calling it the same game as 9 years on PS2, when it has totally changed and while the basic aspects are indeed the same, the game is nowhere like MH1 or MHF1.

      I for one am totally waiting for this, i jsut hope they don’t take more than 6 months to release it on the west. :/

      • Laer_HeiSeiRyuu

        Its changed quite a bit yes. They’re are games that make big changes or spin offs or they consistently evolve the formula, or reinvent.

        • QueenDecim

          I’d say most of the flack comes from the constant “upgrades” of series titles. Which is something Capcom is notorious for, for pretty much all of their titles; and something they really need to stop.

      • randominternetperson

        I don’t mind if it doesn’t change drastically, I just wish they don’t reuse resources that much. Too many same animations between bosses and subspecies can be done better.

      • teknik1200

        6 months would be just right. I pass the 500 hour mark in 3u just last week.

        There’s not many games you can still get excited about after playing for 500 hours!

        • konsama

          Yeah, i thought 3U would last me tons of hours, but for some reason it lasted me even less than P3rd, which already has less content than 3U.

          And i know of some friends that burned out at around same time as me (400~ hours). That’s why i thought that time gap would be fine, for the poeple that are just starting or not done with 3U as of now. And would be enough time for people to not lose the MH hype.

    • teknik1200

      It’s because they stick with the formula instead of breaking things!

      I really hope we start hearing of more MH coming to the west. It just needs some of the right exposure. The Frontier G coming to PS 3 and Wii U both have console specific infrastructure so it sounds like they could actually bring it over without the massive investment they’ve claimed Frontier would take in the past.

  • Ardus

    Iv never had the chance to play a monster hunter game properly but iv always wanted to.
    Once this finally roll out to the UK maybe i’ll finally get my chance.

  • SlickRoach

    From swimming to jumping, climbing, and platforming. Imagine if MH5 took place in space with zero gravity or something.

    • J_Joestar

      We’d have to strap those Felyne Rockets on our backs just to get to the monsters lol.

  • 하세요

    I’ve literally been checking the eShop every few hours in case they accidentally put it up in advance.

    I feel like a crack fiend.

    • ronin4life

      This… was a possibility!!??


      While on the subject, exactly when is it supposed to go up? I assume JPT midnight of the 14th, right?

      • 하세요

        Usually it would be, but I recall seeing a thread somewhere about how a translation from the official page said (paraphrasing) “We want everyone to have access to this around the same time.” So there’s a thought that maybe it’ll be up around the time JP stores open? Not 100% sure. I WILL be checking every 30 minutes on the JP 14th though.

    • You knew the rules when you first picked up a weapon.

  • Fango

    how about taking graphics to the next level for once?

    • Ferofax

      lol, graphics. i thought people like you kept themselves to consoles and PCs?

      • Fango

        im convinced that mh sheeps dont have eyes to see with

    • hongisfire

      play MHO you graphic whores

    • Chris Evan Jonance Ingeniero

      you dont need graphics to a game already as gorgeous as MH

  • Ric Vazquez


  • Ony

    They got me when I saw hunters bending depending of the angle of the ground <3

    Seriously this is so magical.

  • Mrgrgr and Unacceptable World

    Really Happy that Mon Hun 4 is finally going to come out in Japan here. And here i thought i am still waiting for this game one year ago.T_T

    Now, I am going to be able to brush out the new weapon and of course use mario and luigi felyne lol.

  • mymartyrcomplex

    I have a feeling the Ultimate edition of MH4 will have both vertical combat and underwater battles…

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