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Controls handcuff new Monster Hunter

Feb 12, 2015

By John Powell - G4 Canada

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Monster Hunter 4 UltimateIn this, the next-gen console generation, there are a list of things I just cannot tolerate any more. Things that just shouldn't be, that just should happen, ever.

One of my personal pet peeves is separate controls for the actual camera. For me, that already puts a title securely behind the 8-ball and more often than not, ruins the entire experience for me. It makes targeting an enemy awkward. It makes searching the environment extremely challenging. It makes just traveling a huge pain in the posterior. It makes any game far more complex than it really needs to be.

Monster Hunter 4 UltimateMonster Hunter 4 Ultimate for the 3DS is one of those games. On the surface, it seems to have everything going for it. The graphics and character interactions are excellent in every way but the ungainly camera controls just spoil any fun that is to be had.

Having to move with the circle pad and continually use the touch pad to control the camera just so you can just look around and regain your sightlines is exasperating. It ruins the flow of your adventure and even though you can lock onto your targets, it breaks the combat in a game that is all about hunting and fighting monsters. There is also a lot of clipping though monsters and objects; which can be very disorientating. It would make no difference if you have downed an entire bottle of your favourite alcoholic beverage before loading up Monster Hunter 4 as due to the horrendous camera controls, the game would play exactly the same.

Monster Hunter 4 UltimateIt is discouraging that such a vital element destroys all of the effort and inspiration. For instance, the rousing opening cinematic cut-scene is comprised of some of the best animation work you will ever see on any handheld gaming console. As hunters track a fire-breathing dragon through a forest, over cliffs and through the air, you are totally psyched for what is to come.

The next sequence has you on a pirate boat fighting a sea monster. It is a blast, despite the wonky camera, as you mostly employ cannons on the ship to pound the maritime monster into submission. Still, it is hard to move around and you often will become disoriented.

Monster Hunter 4 UltimateOnce on dry land though, which has deeply detailed scenery, Monster Hunter becomes a grinding, search and destroy game with the focus on aimlessly searching and searching for monsters rather than sadistically destroying monsters. You will scramble through area after area, with no real hints or clues, to locate the creature or objects you are looking for. The exchanges with the NPCs are quite humourous though and the fact that you have a familiar or pet to assist you is helpful too.

For the first time in the Monster Hunter series there is a fully integrated online multiplayer in which you can trade with fellow players and adventure with them as well. Special Guild Quest missions can be shared with other players utilizing Guild Cards or the 3DS's StreetPass capability.

What it all comes down to though is if you can tolerate the separate camera controls and can have patience while stalking the monstrosities you have been tasked with capturing or slaying. Those are the stumbling blocks. If so, you will certainly get more out of Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate than I even did or will.

Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate
Format: 3DS
Publisher: Capcom
Developer: Capcom
ESRB Rating: T for Teen

Official Site: http://www.monsterhunter.com/

Rating: 4 / 10

 
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G4 Canada (formerly TechTV Canada) launched in September 2001. G4 is the one and only television station that is plugged into every dimension of games, gear, gadgets and gigabytes. Owned Rogers Media Inc., the channel airs more than 24 original series. G4 is available on digital cable and satellite. For more information, see www.g4tv.ca.