Capcom, the video game company responsible for several favorites such as the Resident Evil series, Street Fighter, and the beloved action series Monster Hunter, announced in late January that the West would need to wait on Monster Hunter 4 until early next year. While this is likely old news to most gamers keen on the franchise, Monster Hunter tends to be one of those cult-like series that slips through the cracks of those that are not long time fans. Capcom, who have been busy revealing things about their latest Street Fighter installment is making the US wait quite a long time for their latest Monster Hunter installment.
Monster Hunter is a mission based game where a player created character hunts down monsters of all types and uses their remains to craft armor and weaponry to continue their hunting. Weaponry is usually highly customizable with several weapon styles to choose from, and tiered equipment for the dedicated. What it lacks in a storyline, it makes up for in addictive gameplay and innovative methods of cooperation. While working one’s way up through missions solo is entirely possible, the big game hunts towards the end of the mission list often require the aid of the player’s fellow Monster Hunter friends. Players must work together to slay massive beasts and then divide up the spoils between themselves when all is said and done. Capcom’s Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate is currently the latest title out in the US, and features a local connection form of cooperation, once the wait is over for Monster Hunter 4, cooperation will be easier than ever.
Monster Hunter 4 will feature a complete online play system. Instead of having to resort to playing within the same room as one’s friends, players will be able to connect seamlessly over Wi-fi. This is a great feature to bring out the best in the 3DS hardware, as online play in action oriented games on 3DS is somewhat rare. Capcom, notorious for re-releasing games with a hefty amount of bonus content, will be providing the US release with hours of extra content not in the original version of the game, effectively making it worth the wait.
Although the Wii U has not quite blossomed into the console players are hoping for, the 3DS has become a large source of income for Nintendo, and Capcom’s Monster Hunter 4 is speeding the portable console along quite well, with 3.9 million sales in Japan in 2013. Though US analysts are quick to point out Nintendo as a falling giant or a sinking ship or another ominous sounding metaphor, the sales figures of the 3DS and its games prove that Nintendo still have a good amount of fight left in them. Monster Hunter has done incredibly well in Japan and hopefully these numbers will reflect similarly in the US after the wait is over. Capcom does not normally disappoint when it comes to adding in extra content, and this game should be no different, and as a 3DS exclusive, it should help Nintendo’s sales numbers in the US and maybe even put the company out of America’s hot seat.
Opinion by Michael Foster