This post is about Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate (which came out roughly a month ago). First of all I do not have this game because something really obnoxious is that it's a 3DS exclusive. Which is annoying to me because I have no handheld video game systems whatsoever.
For those that do not know what Monster Hunter is (and you probably should because they are great games and I blog about them a LOT) Monster Hunter is a action/role-playing game franchise where you fight epic bosses, and turn the in-game rewards into weapons and armor to help you fight tougher bosses. 90% of the time tougher bosses give better gear.
Anyway, Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate is the most recent game in the franchise (ignoring the Japan exclusive Monster Hunter Frontier), being a Western remake of Monster Hunter 4. How is it a remake? The addition of new monsters (most of which are from previous games) and giving all the previous monsters English names (even though some of the translations are silly, like Goa Magara somehow translates to Gore Magala. Basically the same thing! And Dara Amadyura translates to Dalamudur, though that translation does kind of make sense)
Anyway Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate has a heavier focus on the story. It's not going to beat Xenoblade Chronicles or Ni no Kuni in the story compartment. Speaking of which a new trailer for Xenoblade Chronicles X is coming out tomorrow (at the time of this post).
The story of Monster Hunter in a nutshell is basically, your Hunter is hired by the Caravaneer (a dude with an amazing cowboy hat and equally amazing accent) to help him learn about a shiny gold thing he found a few years ago called the Article (yes. Don't judge him by what he finds).
Oh and you have to also pursue Gore Magala in the meantime because it can spread diseases around entire countries in a matter of minutes. Basically a plague starter. So yeah, nobody wants a terrifying dragon thing spreading the plague everywhere. Actually, now that I think about it, Gore Magala just looks like a bigger angrier version of Toothless from How to Train Your Dragon!
But anyway, despite the fact that story is of major importance this time around, it still has the fun good game-play of a Monster Hunter game. You choose a weapon type from one of fourteen (technically twelve as two weapon types are identical but one is bigger than the other). My favorite out of the bunch? It's a tie between the Great Sword and the Gun-Lance. And Yes, the Great Sword is as GREAT as it sounds. Puns! In fact if you've never played a Monster Hunter game before here is a overview of some of my favorites.
SWORD AND SHIELD!
The Sword and Shield is a simple weapon with lots of combos and is relatively fast, but it has poor reach and most Sword and Shield weapons suffer from a low Raw Damage stat (basically how much damage you do per attack). It got a buff in this game and now has a charge-able jumping slash attack that enables infinite combos. This is designed to be a weapon for beginners.
The Great Sword (one of my favorite weapons) is often ignored by beginners because this Weapon type is painfully slow. BUT IT HAS THE BEST RAW DAMAGE STAT OUT OF ANY WEAPON IN THE ENTIRE GAME. It takes practice to use properly, but like I said, STRONGEST ATTACK IN THE ENTIRE GAME. Plus there is a passive ability you can get called Critical Draw that triples the power of the Great Sword (but only the very first attack). BOOM.
Is it a gun? Or is it a lance? IT'S BOTH!!! Even though it technically is not a gun because it does not have a projectile. It works in a similar way to a shotgun, where each shot spreads out and is stronger at point blank range. Also it has the highest vertical reach out of any melee weapon. Plus it comes with a shield that can block most attacks.
This weapon type is new to Monster Hunter. It's a bo staff. That comes with a pet beetle. It's difficult to upgrade because you need to feed said beetle a couple of times before actually upgrading. Anyway, it has been deemed overpowered by many people because it can do everything several weapon types can do, but better. It has the reach of the Long Sword weapon type which has the same vertical reach as a Gun-Lance, but the speed of the Sword and Shield, and the ability to buff up the user like the Hunting Horn. Finally, The Insect Glaive has a pole-vault which is very helpful because attacking a monster in the air sometimes triggers a quick-time-event where you have to attack repeatedly while avoiding being bucked off. Winning instantly trips the monster in question, making it vulnerable to attack. All weapons can do this, but the Insect Glaive is the only one you can do without needing the hunter to jump off a ledge first.
The Charge Blade is a giant Sword and Shield that trades speed for power. It can also transform into a Charge Axe to become even stronger at the cost of even more speed. While in Axe mode this weapon type has perhaps the flashiest attack ever. Ultra Burst! This weapon unleashes what is basically a series of epic explosions that inflict either stun or simply do a boat-load of damage. BUT while in Sword and Shield mode the Charge Blade can charge up (duh) and a charged Charge Axe is even stronger but NOT at the price of speed.
Anyway, that is enough about weapons (these are my favorite and if you want to learn about the others, please go to the official wiki) and they added a little thing that is really cool. You have talking cat sidekicks. The talking cat people called the Felynes have been important to Monster Hunter ever since Monster Hunter 1 released back in 2004. This Blog Post is being published in 2015.
And finally, the final boss of Monster Hunter 4 has been fixed quite a bit because the fight itself had some annoying glitches and hit-box issues (You hitting it when your weapon didn't even connect, It's attacks hitting you when they clearly missed, etc) so now he no longer has hit-box problems.
For more info please go to the wiki.