Posted By: wraggster
Finally the Western media seems to have understood Japan’s favourite game. Despite countless million domestic sales on 3DS, PSP, Wii, Wii U, PS3 and PS2, and a whole genre of hunting-action rip-off games, Capcom’s Monster Hunter series has garnered a passionate but small following in Europe and North America, with many of the entries never even being localised.But the European release of Monster Hunter 3: Ultimate on Wii U and 3DS this week has seen a raft of reverent reviews. Edge gave it a 8, and other specialist outlets scored it similarly highly. Even dailies such as The Telegraph have sung its praises, with a well-informed 4/5 review touting the game as “essential”.In Japan, Monster Hunter 3: Ultimate is already old hat. The 3DS version was released as Monster Hunter 3 (Tri) G in December 2011, and fans had already clocked up hundreds of hours of play by the time the HD version was released as a Wii U launch title in December (with a special Ultimate bundle in addition to the Basic and Deluxe models you got in the West).Indeed, hunters in Japan had been expecting to be playing Monster Hunter 4 on 3DS around now, until the release was pushed back to summer 2013. Those of us who played a demo of the forthcoming title at Tokyo Game Show 2012 noted a host of new character moves that lend more of an action feel, as well as new and enhanced weapons – and new monsters to bloody them on. Who knows, if Ultimate’s newfound positive media spin in the West translates to actual sales, you may eventually get Monster Hunter 4 too.Monster Hunter creator-producer Ryozo Tsujimoto and director Kaname Fujioka are presumably now in crunch mode for Monster Hunter 4, as they’ve given few interviews to the Japanese media these past couple of months. Fujioka told Famitsu last September that he was happy with fan feedback from the TGS demo of its latest project. “Although we’ve added new features such as being able to jump, long-time players seemed to find the game comfortable to play,” he said.It’s just as well, because these more nimble action elements will likely be a big part of the next Monster Hunter, refreshing the series for millions of devoted gamers. “This time, rather than wanting to stop and look around the field, we hope to craft it in such a way that players will want to run around and explore,” said Tsujimoto. Players will also be able to attack while climbing walls or even clamber onto a monster’s back for a dose of close-up violence.