If there’s one thing I like nearly as much as playing Monster Hunter, it’s looking at the series’ amazing art! The Monster Hunter Illustrations books are gorgeous artbooks for people like me who can’t get enough of exactly that. As of this October, Udon Entertainment has localized the third book in the series, Monster Hunter Illustrations 3.
Monster Hunter Illustrations 3 covers Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate (4G), my favorite Monster Hunter game to date, so needless to say I was especially excited to get my hands on this one! The artbook includes monster art, armor sets, weapons, iconography, backgrounds, NPC art, rough sketches of things that didn’t make it into the final game, and more. As a hardcover with 376 pages, it’s extremely comprehensive and makes a great companion to Monster Hunter Illustrations 1 and 2.
The monster designs in Monster Hunter are especially interesting to me because of all of their real-world inspiriations, making it fascinating to read about how they were designed. Notes from the developers provide insights into their design and the physiology of the monsters that give more context to how they are depicted in the games themselves.
Whatever you want to know about Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate‘s creature or world designs, you’ll find it here! Unlike the previous two Illustrations books, this one is in hardcover, which would make it an even better coffee table book, in my opinion! Udon Entertainment provided me with a digital copy for review, so I can’t comment on that aspect of the presentation, but if the previous two Illustrations are any indication, it should be very solid indeed.
Another highlight of the Monster Hunter games for me are the amazing armor designs, so of course I spent a lot of time enjoying this part of the book. There are so many cool designs, both ones that made it into the final game, and alternate versions that were discarded along the way. It’s so fascinating how the different armor incorporate different aspects of the monster designs!
I think my only complaint regarding Monster Hunter Illustrations 3 is related to the layout of the previous two books, too – I understand why the sections are grouped by types (monsters, armor, wepaons, etc.), but it would be nice to see all of the armor and weapons for one monster grouped together with the monster to better see the connections between the designs, rather than having to flip back and forth through the book.
That doesn’t really detract from the book as it is now, though. All in all, this is a must-have addition to any Monster Hunter fan’s collection, especially if you like Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate as much as I do!