Since it’s release in February 2015, Monster Hunter 4 for the 3DS handheld has only climbed in popularity, and developers at Capcom have been working diligently working to release completely free content patches once a month. As a matter of fact, the August DLC pack showcased and released August 7th and readers can find the video below.
The Monster Hunter series is a relatively recent franchise developed by Capcom that puts players in control of a customized monster hunter. Monster hunters do exactly what you’d think they do: slaying the peskier individuals of the vast population of gigantic, unique, and interesting monsters that inhabit this world so you can make armor and weapons out of them. Sure there are villages and towns and civilization, but it oftentimes takes organized efforts on the part of civilians to ward off these monsters from their sanctuaries…or they can hire a monster hunter. The game has a deep and complex combat and stats system, not to mention the equipment and skills. Combat focuses on single enemy standoffs against one to four players. Players can block and roll to avoid the ferocious attacks of the monsters, but their maneuverability depends on what weapon they are using and how they decide to use it.
You see, what makes these RPGs so appealing are the weapon and combat systems. New and naively impatient players will struggle with the patience and timing based combat, similar in many ways to the Dark Souls games, yet certainly not quite so unforgiving. While the monster fights can be awfully difficult, the game is fair in a way that allows the player to analyze and pick apart their strategy and say to themselves, “Yeah, he got me with the tail flip, but it was my fault. The telegraph was clear. I’ll be sure to watch for it next time and be less careless.”
Beyond the satisfyingly difficult combat is the real source of the depth and longevity of the game, the weapon system. Each game features eight or more varieties of weapon the player can wield (Monster Hunter 4 has ten different weapon types), and each weapon changes the way the game is played drastically. If the player prefers the cover of a shield, they can use a lance or a gunlance, but they’ll surely notice quickly just how slow those weapons leave you. Instead they could opt for the sword and shield, but then they are sacrificing an awful lot of damage and the shield isn’t quite as heavy and effective. Players that would rather stick to rolling may use dual blades, or choose a weapon that hits harder but less often, like the switchaxe or the great sword. And this discussion won’t go nearly as deep as it needs to cover the ranged options: bows and light and heavy guns.
The game has had a head start in Japan where it launched about six months sooner than its NA, EU, and AUS counterparts, which means they’ve received more monthly content. There is even exclusive DLC content that requires players travel to Universal Studios Theme Park in Japan with their 3DS in tow. Still, the rest of the world is catching up. For example, this August DLC pack contains a mission that pits players against the White Fatalis, a species of monster previously unavailable to non-Japanese players. Because of the nature of the game, this also meant that players did not have access to the equipment that could be forged from the parts carved from the White Fatalis. Besides the significant content such as that, there are tons of cosmetic additions that allow players to dress up their Felyne companions (they’re cats that walk on two legs and speak, as well as wear armor and fight beside the hunter and gather items, etc, etc) as characters from other Capcom and Nintendo titles, such as Devil May Cry.
If you haven’t tried Monster Hunter and you’re a fan of RPGs or truly fair and challenging combat, you may really be missing out. You can even catch up to all the other players by immediately downloading all the free DLC that will continue to be released on a monthly basis until stated otherwise by Capcom. As the characters of the game traditionally say, “Happy hunting!”