Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate

Bigger, better and more accessible than ever before - this will be the Monster Hunter to convert newcomers and keep the faithful happy, too.

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Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate makes me feel like a kid again - and sometimes, being a kid can be a real pain. Every school day you're overloaded with a flurry of information that you find yourself only half paying attention to, monetary income is sparse, and time always moves just a little too slow as you await the next exciting life change. But then you get to fight dinosaurs in a video game.

As someone who writes about video games for a living and plays them in their spare time, it's fairly important that I keep up with what's new and fresh and exciting in this industry. And in 2015, I've been doing a rubbish job of that. You see, this year something like 90 per cent of my gaming time has been split between only two games: Bloodborne and Monster Hunter 4: Ultimate. And why wouldn't it? They're both Essential titles, after all. They're also quite similar! Both are known for their steep difficulty, bombastic bosses, varied weapons, deep combat, and cooperative multiplayer. And yet, only Bloodborne has seen any kind of notable success in the west while Monster Hunter has famously struggled to replicate its craze from Japan.

Majora's Mask 3D bests Evolve in February US retail sales

Majora's Mask 3D bests Evolve in February US retail sales

Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate fastest-selling Monster Hunter title in US history.

The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask 3D was the top-selling game in US retail, analyst company NPD Group has revealed.

Majora's Mask 3D is the fastest-selling Legend of Zelda hand-held game in US history, Nintendo said, with more than 515,000 combined physical and digital units sold. Not bad for an updated version of a 15-year-old game.

Second and third places were Evolve and Dying Light respectively. The latter was expected as Dying Light launched in January, but Evolve's place as number two might be somewhat surprising as it's both a brand new game (as opposed to a remake) and available on multiple platforms. Then again, Majora's Mask has a huge cult following and it launched alongside the fancy New Nintendo 3DS.

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Loot is the new level up. A few years ago, people posted about their fourth prestige on Facebook, most probably humming Call of Duty's butt-rock progression jingle as they did so. Come 2015, and my Twitter feed is cut with great swathes of pictures of Destiny's tooled-up future-warriors, owners boasting about their new exotic codpiece, screenshots saturated by more purple than a Prince album cover.

Evolve claws its way to UK chart top spot

Zelda: Majora's Mask second, Monster Hunter 4 fourth.

Last week saw the launch of the New Nintendo 3DS and New 3DS XL, but it was 2K's Evolve that sank its teeth into the top of the UK all-formats chart.

Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate review

Eurogamer has dropped review scores and replaced them with a new recommendation system. Read the editor's blog to find out more.

In all the hundreds of hours I've spent on the series, there's a single frame of animation which defines Monster Hunter for me. It's an inconsequential little pose, a brief celebration: arms held aloft and chest puffed out with pride. You can't be certain, but I'm pretty sure your hunter is also wearing a massive, turd-eating grin.

It's not a grand victory pose, it's the mark of a tiny achievement: just what happens every time you drink a potion, or an energy drink, or one of the little mugs of virtual cocoa that stop you freezing to death in icebound regions. Sip sip sip. Tadaaa! It's cute and quirky and completely unnecessary. It's also incredibly annoying, because whilst your avatar smugs it up for managing to have a drink some treacherous bastard inevitably lumbers up behind you and clatters you in the soft parts.

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Is there any game out there with more character than Monster Hunter? Capcom's series has never really enjoyed the same success over here as it has in Japan, which is a shame. It saddens me to think of all those who've missed out on all the little flourishes that make Monster Hunter so charming; the jolly mewls of your Felyne as it fights by your side, the threatening bounce of a Great Jaggi as it sizes up its prey or just the way you flop, triumphantly, on to the bed in your homestead after a good day's hunting. And, of course, the mighty, majestic and all-conquering prance.

The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask 3D release date

The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask 3D release date

Monster Hunter 4 dated for Europe, too.

The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask 3D will arrive in Europe on 13th February, Nintendo has just confirmed.

That date is timed to coincide with the launch of the New 3DS and New 3DS XL, which finally arrive in the UK on the same day.

Meanwhile, fellow 3DS adventure Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate see its European launch on 13th February as well. Both games will get their own New 3DS XL special edition hardware.

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Dead Rising 3 sales rise to 1.2m as Capcom enjoys profit boost

Dead Rising 3 sales rise to 1.2m as Capcom enjoys profit boost

But it's Monster Hunter 4 that steals the show.

Xbox One launch title Dead Rising 3 has now sold 1.2m copies, Capcom has said.

Reporting its financial year ending 31st March 2014, the Japanese company highlighted its zombie kill 'em up alongside the PC, PlayStation 3, Wii U and Xbox 360 version of Resident Evil Revelations and Nintendo 3DS game Monster Hunter 4 as million-sellers.

But it was Monster Hunter 4 which was the star of the show. It launched in September 2013 in Japan and has now sold 4.1m units, making it the sixth best-selling Capcom game ever. Capcom said it saw "explosive popularity with long lines forming at major retailers across the nation since the release date". It was a smash hit, Capcom added. The series has now sold over 28m copies. Monster Hunter 4 launches on these shores in expanded form in early 2015.

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FeatureAs Monster Hunter turns 10, can Capcom finally make the west listen?

We interview its creator Ryozo Tsujimoto to find out.

10 years ago today Capcom released the first Monster Hunter game. It launched in Japan for the PlayStation 2 as part of a new initiative from Capcom's Production Studio 1 designed to test the waters of online console gaming. It was a triumvirate that included cel-shaded racing game Auto Modellista, the multiplayer-focused Resident Evil: Outbreak and, of course, Monster Hunter. Capcom hoped at least one would sell a million copies, what the company considered then to be the mark of a hit title. One did.

Capcom expects Xbox One exclusive Dead Rising 3 to sell 1.2m

Capcom expects to sell 1.2 million copies of Xbox One exclusive Dead Rising 3.

The figure was revealed in a document released alongside the Japanese company's financial report for the first half of the financial year ending 31st March 2014.

The 1.2 million figure is below lifetime sales for previous games in the open world zombie kill 'em up series: 2006 Xbox 360 game Dead Rising shifted 1.8 million, and 2010 sequel Dead Rising 2, which launched on PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC, has sold 2.7 million. It should be noted, however, that as an Xbox One exclusive launch title, Dead Rising 3 has a limited install base to sell to.

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Capcom bounces back with stellar Monster Hunter 4 sales

Capcom bounces back with stellar Monster Hunter 4 sales

Resident Evil 5 now Capcom's best-selling game ever.

Amid the doom and gloom surrounding Capcom, a beacon of light: Monster Hunter 4.

The Japanese company reported financial earnings this morning for the six month period ending 30th September 2013, and they paint a positive picture.

Sales were up 16.9 per cent to 53 billion yen, with net income up 20 per cent to 4.95 billion yen.

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How exactly do you improve upon Monster Hunter? The series represents so many cornerstones in everything from the weapon classes, quest structure and crafting system, that from game-to-game, the most apparent changes are less fundamental and more supplementary. The addition of new monsters, subspecies and equipment has always been the easiest way to please the hardcore fanbase, but while the introduction of underwater combat in Monster Hunter Tri was a solid attempt at offering a twist on a familiar concept, it was hard not to feel a sense of déjà vu after setting a shock trap and hurling a couple of tranquiliser bombs.

Capcom may shed half its European staff

Continental belts tightened as core titles underperform.

Capcom is preparing to slash its European operation by more than half, according to the UK trade magazine MCV. "More than half of the European arm faces redundancy, with a number of jobs set to merge," reads the report.

Monster Hunter 4 sells over 1.7 million retail copies in two days

Monster Hunter 4 sells over 1.7 million retail copies in two days

Becoming the best-selling third-party 3DS game in Japan.

This weekend saw the release of Monster Hunter 4 in Japan and the 3DS-exclusive dinosaur slaying game managed to sell an incredible 1,715,060 retail copies in its first two days on store shelves.

This figure comes from Japanese chart company Media Create (via Gematsu), which only looks at retail figures. In this case, it only covers the period of 9th-15th September and Monster Hunter 4 only came out on the 14th.

Capcom explained that combined with its digital sales, Monster Hunter 4 has shifted over two million units in four days, well ahead of the publisher's estimate to shift 2.8 million copies by 31st March, 2014. (Thanks, GamesIndustry International.) This phenomenal launch has made it the best-selling third-party 3DS game ever in Japan.

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Capcom delays Monster Hunter 4, says Resident Evil 6 sales

Bad news from Capcom this morning: it's delayed one of its key titles and said Resident Evil 6 won't meet sales expectations.

The delayed game is Monster Hunter 4, the Nintendo 3DS exclusive sure to set tills alight in Japan. It had been due out there in March 2013. It will now release at some point after that “in order to further raise the quality of this game”, Capcom said.

As for Resident Evil 6, Capcom said this morning it is unlikely to sell as many copies as the Japanese publisher had hoped.

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Monster Hunter Tri G sells 471k in two days

Monster Hunter Tri G sells 471k in two days

3DS has best week ever in Japan.

Monster Hunter Tri G on 3DS launched to thunderous success in Japan, selling 471,055 copies in just two days.

Its launch caused 3DS hardware sales to skyrocket, beating even its launch-week total, Japanese chart company Enterbrain reports (via Andriasang). 378,114 3DS units were sold - the highest seven-day sum ever for the machine in Japan.

Those numbers pushed Nintendo's handheld past the 3 million mark in the country.

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