Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate Director Promises Something Cool For Bowgun Users

By Ishaan . July 28, 2014 . 12:28pm

In addition to introducing the Insect Glaive and Charge Blade, Monster Hunter 4 added a variety of new features to each of the game’s existing weapons as well. It gave them all mid-air attacks that could be performed after leaping off a ledge, among other subtle changes made to each weapon class.


In Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate, mid-air attacks are being taken a step further, with the ability to launch yourself into the air with the help of a human opponent or even  your Felyne companions, making the game’s different melee weapons that much more fun to use. There’s just one problem—Bowguns aren’t getting in on any of this fun.


New additions to the Light and Heavy Bowguns in Monster Hunter 4 were a little underwhelming, with the only standout feature being that you could reload in mid-air during jumping attacks. Not the most exciting ability. And while Bowguns have seen some minor changes in 4 Ultimate, there was once a time that they were far more customizable and versatile than they are now. Specifically, in Monster Hunter Tri, Bowguns were broken down into three parts (Frame, Barrel and Stock) and you could mix and match these parts to create hybrid Bowguns that had a weight and feature set of your choice.


So you could, for example, use a Light Bowgun part in conjunction with the barrel of a Heavy Bowgun with a shield on it, and still not be classified as a “heavy” Bowgun. Unfortunately, this feature was removed after Monster Hunter Tri and hasn’t been seen since.


Given that we haven’t seen any major new changes to the Bowgun in Monster Hunter 4 or 4 Ultimate so far, we asked director Kaname Fujioka why the Bowgun customization from Tri was removed.


“In Tri, we experimented with this system where you could mix and match these Bowgun parts. The problem with that was that it got really, really complicated,” Fujioka said to Siliconera. “When it came time to make a new iteration, we looked at that system and thought it would be too difficult to expand upon without making it even more complicated for us to make and users to understand. So, we did make an effort to simplify it a little bit.”


Fujioka added, “Now, we don’t want Bowgun users to feel [the system] is too simple or uninteresting, so there is a certain level of customization and methods of making Bowguns to suit your playstyle, with the way you can remove the Limiter.”


However, the problem stands that Bowguns in Monster Hunter 4 and Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate just don’t seem to be very exciting any more, if you’ve been using them for a long time already. As a Bowgun user, I personally haven’t read anything that makes me want to stick with the Bowgun in the new games, even though it was my weapon of choice in Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate. And so, given the opportunity, we voiced our agony to Fujioka. Why couldn’t we do anything cool?! What was he giving Bowgun users aside from reloading in mid-air?


Fujioka laughed loudly, and replied, “So, there’s good news and bad news. The good news is, without going into specifics, there is going to be some element we can’t really talk about that will be quite appealing to Bowgun users. So you won’t be completely left behind. There will be some cool new stuff to try out.”


“The bad news,” he continued, still laughing, “is that I can’t tell you anything about it right now. You just have to trust me that we’re doing something.”

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  • Neat! Bowguns are made even better! Not sure why bother with the other weapons now.

  • Mastery

    I honestly never liked bowguns in the first place. The idea was appealing, using heavy artillery to blast monsters and bring them down, but when I tried it, I felt it was incredibly boring. I just stood from afar and shot them, then moved away so they couldn’t get at me. I aimed at the body parts that I wanted to break, and being good at the shooty shooty it took away all the difficulty of trying to break specific parts as a melee user.

    They might add a new feature to make bowguns more appealing, but I’d rather they make changes to monsters to make them more of a challenge to gunners.

    • Shippoyasha

      Well, whenever a game has a slow-but-powerful artillery option, it’s always more fun than the quick and nimble sniper/shooter classes for me. There’s a sense of high risk and high reward with slower shooters. Not to mention the sheer visceral fun of seeing a big canon inflict huge damage.

      • Mastery

        Big canon inflicting huge damage? Sounds like Kingdom Hearts.

        I joke. I even felt Heavy bowguns were too easy. I can see why people would use them in multiplayer to support the front lines, but it’s not for me. I like the rush of getting up close and personal with monsters.

        • Shippoyasha

          I guess it’s a nice tradeoff compared to fast fighting all the time. They could try to work the balance into it, and I agree with you there.

          I think non auto aim skillshots will be a ton of fun if that is implemented. I always loved using mortar or cannons even if I may not be as nimble as other classes in games that has dedicated mortar classes.

    • Ban The Jackass

      Have you played with the bow? I get up personal too if I want maximum damage with my rapid/spread arrows. Monsters are a challenge to gunners too, they tend to aim only at gunners if you play multiplayer. If you play solo, they change their attack patterns that seriously makes it hard to dodge if you don’t get the timing right. in fact, gunning is hard against smaller monsters.

  • Namuro

    Ooh, how very exciting! Let’s see what he has in store for us!

    From what I’ve seen in one of the scans, the Charge Axe, Dual Blades, and Heavy Bowguns are definitely getting some kind of new moves / features. I sure hope they will add something for the Light Bowgun as well…

  • SlickRoach

    As someone who primarily uses Bowguns as much as possible the only way they could possibly make it them “boring” is to take away features from it like different ammo. I’ve used Bowguns since Unite and honestly I tinkered with the customization for most of Tri but I don’t exactly miss it or even remember it’s gone unless I’m reminded. Also it’s a blast (no pun intended) to be able to aim at monsters’ weak spots that are out of reach most times while other hunters are risking their tries on the front lines haha

  • Weeb

    The only problem I really had with Tri’s Bowgun system was that there wasn’t enough parts to really work with. It pretty much forced you into heavy bowguns late game because the lack of lighter parts.

  • Ric Vazquez

    This is the new feature, bowguns will make your character look like a Gundam XD

  • jeof96

    I read somewhere that you can preload Wyvernfire, and shoot it anytime you want.
    Perhaps the new feature is that? Along with the upgraded Wyvernfire Ammo?

    • Guest

      It is that. I don’t know why it wasn’t mentioned since it’s on the MH4G site.

    • I don’t know why it wasn’t mentioned since it’s on the MH4G site.

      • Wow, that comment got messed up.

    • We were aware of that feature, but this interview was conducted after the details from that NicoNico stream had already been revealed, so if it was that, Fujioka would likely have said so.

      We even brought the Nintendo Direct trailer up during our talk, so he was aware that we keep an eye on the info they reveal in Japan.

      Also, when we asked the question, we framed it so he understood that we meant a bigger change than, say, mid-air reloading, which was introduced in 4. (For example, a number of the other weapons have new attacks, combos, control schemes and so on.)

  • 6 years into the series and I still don’t really understand bowguns… whenever I reach the point where my pockets are full with endgame materials again, I give it another try and make a gunner set. But then I still struggle with something as easy as a low rank Qurupeco. There must be some really obvious thing that I’m not getting. All I know is that I will keep trying in MH4U!!

    • What do you find difficult about Bowgun use? I actually found them rather intimidating initially myself, but as I played more and more of the games, I began to feel that Bowguns are actually a great weapon for beginners to start with, just because you can attack from a distance and that really facilitates learning monster patterns and behaviour.

      • Hyero

        I’ve tried using bowguns time and time again and I only ever come to the conclusion that they’re underpowered. I can’t kill a lagombi without using most if not all of my shots, the same goes for bows and coatings. In half the time I could kill a lagombi with a sword and shield and only use 2 whetstones.

        I guess I don’t have any natural affinity for the ranged weapons, but I can’t help but feel they’re only there for support.

        • This is exactly what I’ve been experiencing. Especially the part about going through all my shots makes me wonder what I’m doing wrong, because clearly it’s not that I’m just not using “the good ones”.
          Also speaking of ammo, it’s another downside that I can’t satisfy my hoarder urges as a gunner by picking up all the ore and bugs I want if my bag is already filled with bullets. But then you you need the materials to recreate all the ammo you used up.

          That’s why I can’t even imagine starting as a gunner. It just doesn’t seem very cost efficient to me…!

          • triablos

            I usually end up using most of my ammo too, it doesn’t really mean that much. A lot of gunners end up bringing supplies to make more ammo but remember most monsters are weaker to certain bullets. Like plesioth being weak to thunder element shots and pierce

          • Ban The Jackass

            Bowgunning is fun if you play it right. Bring supplies to make ammo. I usually buy my ammo only when the dragon merchant dude comes to the village.

            But I admit, bowguns are underpowered. It will take twice the time to down a monster than a melee weapon.

        • @hyeroshi:disqus @maxiburger:disqus My recommendation would be to create guns that can rapidfire certain kinds of ammo.

          What rapidfire does is, it fires multiple shots in quick succession while only using a single bullet. It’s super useful for keeping monsters at bay, doing damage, and especially for breaking parts, since you can keep up the pressure even from a distance.

          I’ve found that the most useful rapidfire Bowgun early on is the Valkyrie Fire. You can create it using Rathian parts, so it isn’t very hard at all, and it can rapidfire Normal 2 shots, which makes it an extremely versatile weapon for dealing with most monsters. It’ll last you all throughout High Rank. :)

      • J_Joestar

        i would disagree, with it being good for beginners, while you are at a safer distance, there is also a lot more ammo management and general knowledge you need to be effective like what ammo to use and where/how you are supposed to hit each monster with it to be most effective.
        Add the fact that Gunner armor is also weaker than Blademaster armor makes it even more high risk for a beginner.

        • Add the fact that Gunner armor is also weaker than Blademaster armor makes it even more high risk for a beginner.

          Agreed, but ultimately, I feel as though maintaining your distance from a monster while keeping up pressure is easier than being up close and personal, especially when the monster in question is incredibly mobile (like a high-level Barioth, for example).

          Ammo management is actually not very difficult at all. The trick is finding the right kind of Bowgun to use, and that I agree can be a little bit of a challenge if you aren’t quite sure what to look for. The ideal situation is to find a Bowgun that can last you for several Ranks.

          As for aiming for monster parts… you kind of have to do that with all weapons if you want to break off certain parts and get the gear from them, so I don’t feel this is something unique to Bowguns.

          • J_Joestar

            not unique, but it is far more necessary in terms of making sure you hit the right point with the right ammo and are at the right distance for certain ammo types. like how some people in the thread mention how they often end up using nearly all their limited ammo. It would probably be fairly disheartening to be stuck using normal 1 for a beginner because they didn’t prep enough ammo for a fight or ended up wasting it all on the most shot resistant part of the body.

  • Ban The Jackass

    What about bow? I really love my bow. I like the speedy barraging and dodging I need to do with fast monsters but the only thing the bow can’t do is to cut tails. Sadly, most armors need tails to complete ):

    • This wasn’t really big enough to warrant a story, but we interviewed Tsujimoto at E3 last month and asked him about cutting tails with a Bowgun.

      He basically joked that you were out of luck if you were a Bowgunner and playing solo. They don’t want to make every weapon capable of doing everything. Imposing limitations on them is how they encourage you to find other people to play with.

      I assume that same logic extends to Bows as well.

      • Ban The Jackass

        And they never considered that not everyone have neighbours with 3DS and MH3U? But luckily MH4U has online coop.

        • Well, you have to keep in mind that these games are designed for Japan, first and foremost. But yeah, with 4, that issue is basically moot, since we have online.

    • Marcelo Henrique Chaves

      Yes you can, but it’s too damn hard. Go to 1:50

      • Ban The Jackass

        Non non non non. I have tried everything I know of through looking up trusty search engine Google. From Boomerangs to pitfall traps to coatings, I have come to the conclusion that it’s better to just let my great sword wielder teammates to do the tail cutting job.

      • Hahaha. Trust Nahxela to try something like that.

  • triablos

    The one thing I HATE about gunning is the freaking monster minions. I always gun certain monsters in MHFU (basarios,gravios, plesioth, slow elder dragons) and I consistently have issues with those damn bullfangos, crabs, preys etc. Especially the crabs as they run about as fast as the player.

    • Pellet shots! I have trouble with minions myself sometimes, particularly in the Frozen Tundra where you fight complete assholes like Barioth and Gigginox, but also have Baggis attacking you and putting you to sleep the whole time.

      Carry a few Pellet 1 or Pellet 2 shots with you. Those are basically Monster Hunter’s equivalent of shotgun shells, in that they hit multiple enemies at close range. Super useful for getting rid of the small-fry so you can focus on the larger monster.

      • triablos

        Yeah I use pellets, but the thing is, having to switch ammo, fire 5+ shots (from a recent quest i did) just to kill one minion and making sure to keep away from the boss just makes it such a hassle. The minions in 3U were thankfully nowhere near annoying as FU (bar bullfango) and hopefully the preys in 4u have been made more like the jaggis.

    • SlickRoach

      I’m pretty sure EVERY weapon type loathes minion monsters. They always manage to hit you in the middle of a charge attack or pester you at crucial moments like when a boss monster is stunned or downed.

      • triablos

        Gummers have the downside of wasting ammo and having to switch ammo to one more appropriate. That and earlier game minions take like 5 shots to kill.

        • SlickRoach

          Early game is always a hassle, it’s all about dat high/G rank quests/armor/weapons. And I’ve never had problems with ammo since I usually just use a Bowgun that rapid fires Normal shots and wait until all the monster’s parts are broken or it shows signs of weakness to break out the Crag shots or elemental ammo it’s weak to. I haven’t played Tri Ultimate in forever but I think removing the limiter gave you a “super reload” that stocked all your clips at once so if you switched ammos you wouldn’t have to keep reloading as much.

          • triablos

            I always use the best ammo first to make things quicker. For some reason when I gun, I either take much longer to kill monsters or much quicker. For example I gun G rank zinogre in >10 mins but with a switch axe it takes about 15 mins. Then there’s times where I take 35 mins to kill something I usually kill in half the time but that could be from gunning inexperience and poor ammo selection guns

  • Happy Gamer

    I know they gave us a separate pouch which was a BIG BIG HUGE plus for gunners, but we still cap out because of combining to make bullets, phials etc. It would be nice to have the pouch expanded to TWO pages and can hold making bullet related reagents.

    That being said, I’d rather see an ability where you can ride a monster, shove gun down it’s back or throat and pull the trigger till your clips are empty lol

  • rubin

    I miss bowgun customization so much. Playing with that weapon just isnt very exciting anymore when the number and types of shots are all static and all you can do upgrade-wise is rise its fire power (maybe add a silencer too).

    That being said I’m curious what Capcom has in stock for us gunners in MH4U.

  • sd28

    may be bring in ultra rapid fire or make wyvern fire a ranged move

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