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.”