I won’t lie: after about 70 or 80 hours of Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate, I stopped. No, it’s not because of any problem with the game, I just have limited time, other games to review, and frankly, living in Japan and being unable to connect with people who live near me is a disappointment. Monster Hunter’s fine online, but a great local player experience, which is why for my Monster Hunter X (remember, it’s not “ex” but “cross”!) demo, I jumped in with some locals to take down the hardest setting available to us.
The demo for today didn’t feel like it added a lot functionally. There’s the new “hunter art” ability, but I totally forgot about it, even though I chose a hunting style that makes more use of it. Hunter art is like a special ability to gain from attacking monsters, and You have 4 styles to choose from: guild, giving you two “art style” options based on your weapon plus supposedly some other tools; striker, which gives you the same two styles plus an “evasive” style; aerial giving you tons of ways to get air for aerial attacks plus one hunter art; and bushido, the defensive art that rewards you for perfectly dodging/blocking attacks and gives you one art. Personally, Striker felt forgettable, but this was also a demo. My Japanese partners apparently chose Striker too, which was too bad. Still, I’m excited to try Bushido and Aerial at some point.
However, the monsters really stand out. While I felt like the new monsters in MH4 were ok, MHX’s monsters just seem bolder. The three on display today felt more vibrant, and Dinovalde’s armored/tail-blade t-rex felt almost sci-fi-ish. It’s a very style heavy encounter that honestly left me mesmerized, though I kept my head and made sure not to literally lose my head. Dinovalde’s everywhere, with both wide and long tail attacks and fire breath. My Japanese companions and I sadly lost, not from dying (though 2 of those happened) but from a time out. I honestly spent a good deal of time trying to learn the “dance” while my partners were in the thick of it, plus I wanted to make sure I was testing the arts.
I don’t know if MHX will infuse as much into the series as 4 in terms of mechanics, but the style variety alone made me want to give it another go, just when I was starting to think that I was done with the series again.
Original Author: Laguna Levine