Plenty of gamers, including various members of the Nintendo Life team, thoroughly enjoyed Monster Hunter Tri, not least because it was a terrific Wii title that had the impressive scale and online functionality often reserved for its HD rivals. There was a nagging feeling amongst some, however, that the story in the single player game was a flimsy affair thrown in as a loose cover for, 'kill lots of monsters and grind to fight even bigger monsters'. The task may have been to save a village, but did anyone actually care about the village?
In a Famitsu interview (interpreted by Andriasang), director Kaname Fujioka has promised that the single player campaign will feel more like a fully-fledged adventure, with drama and significant story progressions being combined with the most NPCs (non-playable characters) in the history of the franchise. The base this time will be called 'Barubare', and will actually be a group of caravans that moves from area to area, making opportunities for narrative a bit more varied than in the third entry.
Other details to emerge include the implementation of a free camera to to show the different levels in environments, jump attacks and enemies that react more naturally to sloped terrain. The water-based battles from Tri won't feature, however, and so far information has only referred to local multiplayer for up to four hunters, though we should stress that it's still possible that online multiplayer will be included.
We still don't know, of course, whether this title will be released outside of Japan, but we'd like to be optimistic. In case you missed it at the weekend the trailer is below, and the monster with the big ears is called 'Kecha Wacha', if you wanted to know.