Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate introduces a lot of big changes to the series, from the weapons you use to the way hunts feel, but there’s a ton to discover beyond those fundamental differences. Some of these changes make the game more fun and some are just plain interesting to take note of. Below are a list of smaller changes and observations we recorded while playing the game.




  • Jack: I’m personally quite happy that Felynes are back as your hunting buddies. Nothing against Cha-Cha and Kayamba—I just think the Felynes are more iconic to the series and a perhaps a bit more adorable. Although, their puns can occasionally be a-paw-ling. [Ishaan: Insert Tigrex scream]


  • Speaking of puns, the dialogue is absolutely stuffed full of them. My favorites are probably Rad-alos, and Bad-asarios.


  • Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate Pro Tip #1: In the starting area of the game, the Ancestral Steppes, a good strategy is to take the First-Aid Meds provided by the equipment box at the start and combining them with Honey found on the far end of Area 1. You’ll have to pass by the area every time regardless, so why not treat yourself to some better healing items?


  • Underwater gameplay is completely absent from 4 Ultimate. I don’t miss it. Not even a little. Even if some of the monsters like Ceadeus were pretty cool.


  • That said, the underwater monsters’ spirits live on. Not only can you trade for parts of the missing monsters via the Wycoon, but I also managed to spot a Plesioth while playing a fishing mini-game with the Felynes.


  • Introduction cut-scenes for the monsters are the best they’ve ever been now that they’re in-engine and feature your actual hunter. They give off a very Metroid-y feel now, adding in a sense of isolation and overwhelming odds. Actually seeing your hunter have to fend off attacks in cutscenes got me way more personally invested in the upcoming fight in a way that simply wasn’t present before.


  • Maybe I’m just bad with fake money, but I’ve consistently run out of zenny more often in 4 Ultimate than I ever have in a previous Monster Hunter game. I’ve consistently splurged on armor sets and the like only to realize that I didn’t have enough left over to take the next quest.


  • Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate Pro Tip #2: If you happen to catch yourself being completely broke for some reason and desperately need a pick axe, a free one will occasionally spawn in the second town of the game.


  • I really enjoy that you can go to a bunch of different towns as you progress through the story. There are a few differences between them, too, such as the fact that Rusted equipment can only be polished in Harth and Talismans can only be melded in Cathar. Each new place also adds a little more personality to the Monster Hunter world.


  • Mounting a monster has some interesting multiplayer implications. When someone gets on a monster, everyone else needs to avoid attacking it or else they might accidentally knock their comrade off. This can create some unique downtime where everyone briefly gets to sit back, use items, and enjoy the spectacle until the monster goes down.


  • Another added benefit to the new mounting mechanic is that getting knocked away by your friends is no longer the most annoying thing ever. Now you might be able to convert your air time into a completely intentional team strategy of knocking the monster down with an aerial attack then riding your way to victory.


  • The netcode isn’t completely perfect, but it does seem impressive. I’ve already had experiences playing with hunters around the world and it works shockingly well.


  • Once the hunt starts, your text message options become limited to preset phrases, so make sure everyone knows what the plan is before heading into battle if you’re working with strangers.


  • It may just be my imagination but it feels like your hunters have more stamina than previous games, possibly due to the amount of terrain you have to climb. I remember feeling like my guy would be running out of breath all of the time in 3 Ultimate, but in 4 Ultimate he can traverse steep cliffs like a champ.


  • All of the added terrain you need to move your hunter through can occasionally make figuring out how to get to the next area a challenge.


  • Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate Pro Tip #3: Do not leave your 3DS open and unattended while on a hunt. Scariest moment of the game for me so far was getting my map stolen by a rogue Felyne while in an unfamiliar area after briefly putting the game down. I ended up getting very lost and very close to restarting the quest, thankfully getting “saved” just in time by a charge to the face from my prey.


  • A lot of the new armor looks amazingly cool, and you can get a surprising amount of it fairly early into the game. Some of my favorite designs have been the Nerscylla and the Gore Magala.


  • I’m especially into the Nersyclla armor because it gives off some very Shredder from Ninja Turtles vibes. If only there were a turtle monster you could harvest parts and make soup from.


  • A super convenient change is being able to register item sets, so now you don’t have to go through everything manually before a quest.


  • It seems to take quite a while before you’re able to craft new types of Insect Glaives compared to other weapons. I couldn’t believe how much of the main game I managed to knock out with just an upgraded Kinsect and the basic Insect Glaive until I finally moved onto something more decent.





  • The first new “feature” I noticed in Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate after a couple of minutes with the game: the way the weapon/armour icons in the equipment box are slightly raised in 3D when they’re equipped.


  • The art is really nice. Unlike Monster Hunter Tri/3 Ultimate, which had a warm, very “bloom-y” look, the colours in Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate are very saturated. Shades of red really pop, and some areas and even in-engine cutscenes in the game are a real treat for the eyes, just in terms of how the colours come together.


  • Everything looks so much more animated in 4 Ultimate. In the first map alone, there are leaves blowing in the wind, lots of little bits and pieces moving in town. Additionally, the camera in some of the towns is more “3D” instead of top-down, which is a nice change from 3 Ultimate.


  • Every map in the game has a lot more variety within it. The P. Forest map is particularly impressive in the way it goes from happy and colourful to grim and uncomfortable.


  • Movement feels really good. Little ledges and hillocks don’t stop you dead in your tracks any more. Your hunter just hops onto them automatically. You feel very agile.


  • The camera controls for vertical camera movement are now smooth instead of having three set levels like in 3 Ultimate. You’ll be nudging the camera a lot in this game, due to the verticality in the terrain.


  • There’s a nice sense of vertigo when you jump from a height. There are lots of these moments are sprinkled throughout the different areas, and they look great in 3D.


  • Early quests are actually 2-Star quests. Most of the 1-star quests are things like “Training: Insect Glaive,” “Training: Great Sword” etc. They’re useful to help you get acquainted with each weapon, and there’s also a bit of documentation on various aspects of the game, in order to make it more newbie-friendly.


  • The Guildmarm points out that you can use Harvest Tour quests for gathering. Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate does a better job of introducing newer players to the game. At the same time, it also speaks to veteran players. The Guildmarm pokes fun at the fact that the first few quests in the game involve gathering mushrooms and killing Jaggia. “Be careful not to stub your toe out there” etc. etc.


  • There is a “farm” in the game, but the farming process is described in a much more straightforward manner. The Wycoon (merchant) simply says he will take any item you give him and multiply it, making it much easier for new players to understand. He also handles villager requests and lets you trade monster parts that aren’t available in MH4U. (Arzuros, Royal Ludroth etc.)


  • You can now access your item box after having signed on for a quest. A duplicate of your item box can be found near the exit to town. Additionally, you can also register item sets at the box and swap back and forth between different sets, depending on what you need for the hunt. This is useful for someone like me that is fond of both melee weapons and Bowguns, since both those require different items in your inventory.


  • The colour change while cooking steaks is much easier to notice now, but that could just be me.


  • There’s a lot more Monster Hunter-specific slang and humour in the dialogue. My favourite is “she’s saved my poogies more than once.”


  • You can visit Dundorma Town from Monster Hunter 2 right away. It’s the town where you’ll find G-Rank quests, so there isn’t a lot to do there early on, but you can visit the Assembly and request songs for the Diva to sing. You can listen to these with other people, too, and everyone can queue up their requests. It’s pretty neat! (Also, the town looks very similar to the MH2 version, but some of the texture work and lighting has been updated.)


  • Since the cutscenes are in-engine, the game has taken on a very Nintendo-like quality, where your Hunter has a personality that is constantly conveyed through his/her body language. He’s got this curiosity about him and he doesn’t flinch at the sign of danger. At the same time, he’s cautious enough that he doesn’t dive headfirst into danger without being aware of the risks. It’s very reminiscent of the kind of body language that Link and Samus display in their own games. At first, I thought it was just me, but Jack felt the same way about the cutscenes, too.


  • Having the monsters interact with your hunter in the cinematics was a great idea. It makes them seem even more threatening than in previous games, just because you feel more connected to the character. (And yes, it is your hunter in the cutscenes. Since they’re in-engine, all the cutscenes reflect what equipment you’re wearing.)


  • The game does something I personally love, which is that it goes out of its way to be “gamey”. There is a story and it’s just interesting enough to provide a backdrop to the action, but the gamey and fun personality of Monster Hunter is still intact.


  • I feel that part of the reason Monster Hunter is so successful is that it doesn’t take itself too seriously. It doesn’t pretend to be a “mature” game, full of grit and darkness and angst. It isn’t afraid to poke fun at itself. It isn’t afraid to constantly inject humour into its characters. There’s just something so amusing about seeing your hunter excitedly bang his knife and fork on the table in anticipation of a meal while dressed in full Gore Magala armour.


  • This humorous aspect of the game becomes even more important during multiplayer. Because Monster Hunter constantly gives you things to smile at or joke about, every single multiplayer match is filled with so much laughter and joy. We’ve failed so many online quests because we were all too busy laughing and cracking jokes rather than focusing on the action. That doesn’t just happen by itself—a game needs to create an environment where that sort of interaction between a group of strangers is possible.


  • Subquests are back.


Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate will be released this Friday, February 13th.

Jack and Ishaan

You may also like

More in News