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.