Platform: Nintendo 3DS
Players: Single Player, 2-4 Local Multiplayer, 2-4 Online Multiplayer
Features: Free monthly DLC
Genre: Action RPG
Release Date: July 15, 2016 [INT] 10/2015 [JP]
This title is a homage to the 10th Anniversary (2014) of the Monster Hunter franchise, in a similar manner to the Monster Hunter G remake for Nintendo Wii (5th Anniversary/ 2009).
Be careful: This game puts all save data on the memory card, unlike MH4U. The best 'backup' would be to have a physical copy of the game, but even then the cartridge is just the game. This can cause a lot of problems for players who are unaware and perform the wrong System Transfer option upon getting another 3DS or New 3DS. Be sure to choose the Online or Low-Capacity transfer options only!
This title has a whopping four mascot monsters named 'The Fated Four,' (one for each generation) with the 4th generation mascot being featured on the box art: Glavenus (Fire). The others are Astalos (1st, Thunder), Gammoth (2nd, Ice), and Mizutsune (3rd, Water). In addition, each one has an elemental type tied to them.
The international demo was released in Europe on July 15, 2016, while the North America region had to wait until July 30. There were limited early access codes distributed via email and Twitter for the NA region (even early retail copy giveaways), but it could be argued that the majority of them went to the Humble Bundle’s "E3 Digital Ticket" Bundle. As for the demo itself, it consists of Tutorial and Solo modes for offline, and a Local/ Online Multiplayer mode.
The demo armour sets and weapons consist of the following:
Great Sword: Female Glavenus
Long Sword: Male Mizutsune
Sword and Shield: Male Bherna w/ starter SnS
Dual Swords: Female Great Maccao
Hammer: Female Bherna w/ starter Hammer
Hunting Horn: Female Malfestio
Lance: Female Astalos
Gunlance: Male Glavenus
Switch Axe: Male Astalos
Charge Blade: Male Gammoth
Insect Glaive: Female Gammoth
Light Bowgun: Male Great Maccao
Heavy Bowgun: Male Malfestio
Bow: Female Mizutsune
Prowler: Bherna set
In addition, the tutorial quests carry over the gender of each weapon type, but use the Chain set and the starter weapons instead.
In Japan, this title was named 'Monster Hunter X.' X typically indicates the word 'Cross' in Japanese, in the same way that 'W' represents 'Double.' The reason being was due to the concept being the 'crossing' of different generations within the game. Also, each of the fated four is tied to its' respective generations' village (for example: Astalos is at Kokoto Village).
The installment combines the look and feel of the first four generations, and features the main villages of Monster Hunter (Kokoto), Monster Hunter Freedom Unite (Pokke) and Monster Hunter Portable 3rd (Yukumo), along with a new village called 'Bherna Village' set in a secluded mountain valley.
The story will revolve around the player travelling to each of the four villages in an effort to help their problems [in a similar manner to MH4U]- this eventually gives way to a bigger, interconnected plot. The Hunter in this title has enrolled into the 'Wycademy,' which is the official research institute for monsters, and doubles as an institute for Hunters and Palicoes. As such, G Rank is apparently for 'graduates,' Guild-trained or freelance Hunters who’ve shown their worth and earned the respect of other hunters.
There is no G Rank/ Expert Rank (Hard/ Very Hard difficulty) for this title, but the developers have stated that there is more content than MH4U.
There are four Hunting Styles to use this time around, with each revolving around a particular playstyle:
Guild: Normal gameplay/ controls. Plays like MH4U; those who skipped MH3U and/ or MH4U might want to use this for awhile.
Aerial: Focuses on aerial attacks and mounts, with less evasive capabilities. Forward roll is replaced with a forward somersault, with the exception of recovering from an attack.
Striker: Simplified controls for weapon types, with a focus on inflicting damage and using Hunter Arts. Hunter Arts charge faster with this Style.
Adept: Focuses on evading through or blocking monster attacks with good timing, which transition into exclusive, powerful counter attacks [called 'Insta-Moves'].
Focusing more on the action this time around, there are now 'Hunter Arts,' which are special attacks that deal a specific role or inflict damage. They charge as the hunter inflicts damage on monsters, and there are three different Arts for every weapon type in the game. Originally, there were going to be two new weapon types for this title [like how MHFU had 3], but the idea was shelved in lieu of this mechanic.
As stated before, there is no G-Rank; this means there is only a Low Rank Single Player campaign from 1* to 6*. In addition, however is a new Low Rank Palico campaign from 1* to 5* to ease players into the new 'Prowler Mode.'
The kitchen has been mostly reworked: players now unlock individual recipes and ingredients from clearing quests, but don’t know the effect until it is made for the first time [like in previous titles].
Felynes are now playable in 'Prowler Mode,' which adds a whole new level of depth to the game. The player enjoys unlimited skills [with a charge gauge from attacking monsters], and focus on supporting other players as well as themselves (getting exhausted twice is equivalent to 1 KO). This makes the game play like a faster paced MMO-Action RPG, to an extent. They can also be customized via refined versions of the 1st Stringers & Forte mechanics from MH4U. Note that players can swap between Hunter Mode and Prowler Mode in their house. This feature was added to ease newer players into the game, and it is plausible to finish the entire game without playing as a hunter (mainly those who haven’t completely learned the basic gameplay mechanics, or have been put off by the micro-management aspects of gameplay but enjoy the setting and characters).
The Gathering Hall has been renamed 'Hunter’s Hub.' This change was for players to notice the 'crossroads' concept of the game.
Controls will not be listed, as they go very in-depth [depending on the weapon type and hunter style being used] when compared to other titles.
Secrets & Tips:
There is now a 'Reuse Data' option for creating new characters- this is exactly the same feature as MHFU’s 'Copy Character' option. The premise is simple: a player progresses through the game, and decides to make a new character, but they don’t want to start from scratch. Taking an existing character, all items of Rarity 4 or higher are converted to Zenny, along with carrying over some of the existing Zenny, and even which Tutorial Quests were cleared. This lets the player make a new character and palico, but with the added bonus of being able to progress easily through the first 10-20 hours of the game.
Resource Points from MH4U are now specific to the village they were earned in- this also means that each village is specific to its own level of quests in the Single Player questline. For example, getting 100 points from a Kokoto Village quest will yield 100 Kokoto Points. In addition, the reworked point system has resulted in less Zenny earned throughout the game. Be sure to save up for equipment! Ironically, many players have expressed concern about this, despite the fact that most casual players complained about having too much Zenny in MH4U and MH3U, primarily due to not bothering with weapon upgrades.
The Striker Style was added partially as an incentive for newer players; it lets one use the new Hunter Arts more often [as they charge up faster], while retaining most of the attacks for each weapon type and simplifying the combos. Take careful note: some weapon types lose some of their lustre with this style.
Adept Style might seem like the go-to expert players’ choice, but some monsters have been intentionally reworked to exploit the delay between Adept evades; be aware of this. Also, Evasion skills are deactivated while this Hunting Style is active, due to the player having the Evasion+2 armour skill by default.
As a bit of trivia, the Aerial Style was the most marketed Hunting Style before and around the Japanese release. In addition, it was added to allow players to score jump attacks more often, and therefore mounts as well. Lastly, all mounting armour skills are deactivated with this Hunting Style active, as the player has the Mounting Master armour skill by default.
The Awards page on a hunter’s Guild Card has been reworked. Awards are now listed according to the four villages, with a fifth completionist segment.
Monsters now have higher mount tolerances; in MH4U, players exploited the Insect Glaive weapon type to score multiple mounts in a short amount of time. Because of this, expect to get about one or two per hunt instead of the typical two-four mounts. In addition, monsters have somewhat higher paralyze and sleep tolerance overall from MH4U.
Once again, due to there being no G Rank, unlocks are spread out evenly across each level of quests, instead of having them clustered into the latter halves of Single Player and Multiplayer Low/ High Ranks. Expect to be almost swamped in them by High Rank.
The Hunter Art equipped to Slot 1 can be triggered by pressing R+A+B. This is not to be confused with unsheathe/ quick moves, which are performed with R+X+A. If using a Circle Pad Pro/ XL or New 3DS/ XL, ZL and ZR can be mapped to Hunter Arts 2 and 3.
Each Hunter Art has 3 different tiers. Each level/ version of the Hunter Art adds more damage, while sometimes applying an additional effect for the tier 3 variant. An example is a SnS Hunter Art which essentially acts as a KO-damage uppercut using the shield (Street Fighter easter egg), with the tier 3 version adding extra stun damage.
Replacing G Rank are new 'Deviant' subspecies of fan-favourite monsters, which have their quests levelled up from 1 to 12, increasing in difficulty like Guild Quests from MH4U. The only way to actually go on them is by trading for special Ticket items, or earning said Ticket items from Streetpass. The lore behind these monsters is that they’ve become hyper-aggressive towards hunters due to surviving several generations of being hunted, and as a result gained some unique traits. For example, 'Dead Queen' Rathian is an aged Pink Rathian that produces copious amounts of poison, to the point where its bodily fluids are laced with it.
Deviant quests’ difficulty ranges are as follows:
- Low Rank: Lv1-5
- High Rank: Lv6-10
- (past High Rank): Lv11 & 12
Note that the armour sets for Deviant monsters are as-is: There’s no decoration slots, and only two normal armour skills. This forces the user to use the full set, as the third special armour skill activates when the whole set is at Lv6 or higher, and is the 'soul' of the given set’s monster.
The 12 Deviant subspecies of monsters are as follows:
- Redhelm Arzuros (longer range for attacks)
- Snowbaron Lagombi (larger snowballs)
- Dreadking Rathalos (larger fireballs)
- Dreadqueen Rathian (excessive poison)
- Silverwind Nargacuga (projectile tail-sweep)
- Drilltusk Tetsucabra (giant boulders)
- Deadeye Yian Garuga (tail is more resilient)
- Hellblade Glavenus (inflicts Blastblight)
- Stonefist Daimyo Hermitaur (uses its left claw as a shield)
- Grimclaw Tigrex (inflicts Ice and Water damage)
- Crystalbeard Uragaan (more explosive attacks)
- Thunderlord Zinogre (larger area-of-effect attacks)
Replacing frenzied monsters from MH4U are 'Hyper' monsters- these monsters have survived only a few hunts against Hunters [in comparison to Deviant monsters], but have gone berserk; as a result, they will inflict major damage from specific body parts. The body parts in question are marked with blackish-red auras, and once wounded or severed, won’t be weak points- this forces the player to focus on wounding all of the affected parts to maximize their damage.
Armour sets need to be levelled up with materials again, like MH3U. This means Low Rank armour sets can be turned into their High Rank versions, but without the extra decoration slots or skill points. In addition, all armour sets all max out at Lv10, with the exception of Deviant armour sets, which max out at Lv12.
Take careful note of this fact: All weapons now level up and upgrade in a similar manner to Insect Glaives in MH4U. As the player raises the level of a current version of a weapon, then they’ll be able to upgrade the weapon itself to several better versions (this is roughly the same manner of upgrading as Toukiden: Kiwami for PS Vita/ PS4). The good news is that rare drops are not necessarily required for increasing the level [in-between upgrades], but in return bulk amounts of a specific item type are needed, such as ore. This makes equipment upgrades act more in favour of an MMO, as a result. An additional result is that maxing out equipment is easier, material-wise. Lastly, all weapons max out in-between Lv6-10.
Final upgrades for equipment were 80 000 Zenny for Rarity 8, 100 000 Zenny for Rarity 9, and 120 000 Zenny for Rarity 10 in MH4U. Now, it’s double those amounts: 160 000 for Rarity 8,
200 000 for Rarity 9, and 240 000 for Rarity 10.
Insect Glaives now upgrade the Kinsect and Glaive separately. This makes it easier to manage the Kinsect the player wants to have.
The Hunting Style being used directly affects how many Hunter Arts that can be equipped at once. For Adept and Aerial styles, only 1 Art can be equipped due to the player’s mobility; for Striker, 3 Arts; Guild can equip 2 different arts.
The Hunting Horn has been altered with a new 'Double-Note' feature, which turns a normal note into a Double-Note if the given attack connects. When a Double-Note recital is played, the effects will be upgraded, and the previous recital’s effect timer will be reset and buffed.
Sword and Shields now have 'Oil Coatings' that can be applied to the weapon. They have to be brought into the field beforehand, and there are four different types:
Red 'Affinity’ Oil (2:00): Affinity +30% (higher critical hit chance per hit)
Green 'Partbreaker’ Oil (3:00): Partbreaker (wound/ break body parts faster)
Yellow 'Stun’ Oil (2:00): KO & Exhaust Damage (exhaust damage applied to weapon, and more KO damage is applied on head hits)
Purple 'Mind’ Oil (1:30): Mind’s Eye (attacks don’t bounce)
Players have been stating that the SnS is much more powerful in this instalment, primarily due to the Oil Coatings opening up more options of how to approach a given monster. Four player SnS runs are now much more common as a result.
Kinsects now use 'Jelly' to upgrade their statistics, instead of Nectar from MH4U. They now have a visible stamina bar as well.
The Lance’s third thrust has been changed into a three-hit attack, with a minor windup. The upside is that elemental and body part damage is increased on this reworked third hit. This has thrown off a lot of MH4U players’ timings, and should be noted.
The Charge Blade was ridiculously overpowered in its transition from MH4 to MH4U, and as such has had its overall power reduced from MH4U to MHG. It will no longer KO in a single three-hit Phial Burst combo, and the Shield charge feature [which is its attack upkeep] provides less of an attack increase.
Bows have a new fourth type of arrow shot: Heavy. This type deals more part durability damage on monsters, and lowers their flinch tolerance faster as well.
Bowguns now have 'Internal Ammo'- that is, there are specific, sometimes exclusive ammunition types that are pre-loaded into the weapon on each quest. The list is exhaustive, too:
- Wyvern S (from MH4U)
- Slicing S (pure Cutting damage)
- Blast S (Blastblight)
- Armor S
- Demon S
- Flaming Lv2 S
- Water Lv2 S
- Thunder Lv2 S
- Ice Lv2 S
- Dragon Lv2 S
- Force S (high power, but high recoil)
- Heavy S (Flinches upon contact if in critical range)
- Sting S (extra damage to weak spots)
- Cannon S (explosion on hit)
- Long S (longer critical range)
- Stone S (simple, high-capacity)
- Piercing Flaming S
- Piercing Water S
- Piercing Thunder S
- Piercing Ice S
- Triblast S (three explosions on contact)
- Shrapnel S (Pellet S effect on body parts weak to impact)
- Dazzling S (high-speed light round)
- Poison Smoke S (Poison Bomb effect)
- Demon Affinity S (Demondrug + Critical Eye effect)
- Super Armor S (Armorskin + Unshakable effect)
- Flash S (Flash Bomb effect)
- Dung S (Dung Bomb effect)
- Remedy S (dispels status effects and boosts recovery)
- Group Recover S (Lifepowder effect)
- Demon Armor S (Demondrug + Armorskin effect)
There are DLC collaborations with other games, along with Nintendo collaborations. These are:
- Fire Emblem (Marth’s armour w/ Fire Emblem SnS)
- Okami (Palico 'Okami' Armour set)
- Ghosts ’n’ Goblins (Palico 'King Arthur’s Armour' set w/ Arthur’s Lance)
- Strider (Strider Hiryu’s armour w/ Cypher DS)
- The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker (Palico 'Toon Link' set w/ Wind Baton)
- Star Fox (Palico sets for Fox Mccloud, Falco Lombardi, Slippy Toad & Peppy Hare w/ Blaster Pistol)
In addition, the Baby Tigrex Palico armour set from the Japanese release is being carried over as a bonus for detecting MH4U save data, prior to starting the game for the first time.