Why Monster Hunter World Will Succeed in the West

Why Monster Hunter World Will Succeed in the West

The Monster Hunter series is one of the most successful franchises in Capcom’s repertoire, having sold 40 million units according to Capcom’s latest sales data. But most of those sales have come from Japan, where Monster Hunter’s emphasis on grouping together with friends to take down monsters in local multiplayer found a larger audience in the series homeland than in the more online multiplayer-focused West. Which is why Capcom’s focus on attracting Western audiences with the upcoming Monster Hunter World, is all the more surprising—most of all, because it has the best shot at finally propelling the series to success outside of Japan.

Why Monster Hunter World Will Succeed in the West 6
Monster Hunter Worlds – gameplay image via Capcom

The upcoming free beta for Monster Hunter World, is set to run from December 9 to December 12 on the PlayStation 4, is Capcom’s latest move to ensure that success is indeed found. The beta features three quests across two different zones for players to explore and hunt, which can be completed in single player or multiplayer. It’s similar to the demos of the game that Capcom has shown at previous events, including Tokyo Game Show and Gamescom. The inclusion of online multiplayer in the beta is what makes it stand out, as this will be the first chance for Monster Hunter to show what its greatest strength is—taking down giant monsters with friends.

But for the decade old franchise to capture a new audience, changes both minor and major have to be made to ensure it sticks the landing. Monster Hunter’s appeal often lies in the complex, challenging systems that force players to undergo hours and hours of tutorials before stepping out to try their hand at taking down one of the tougher and more impressive monsters. It took several attempts across multiple games before Monster Hunter could finally sink its teeth into me, and I was happy to see that Monster Hunter World felt intuitively good to play when I tried it out for the first time at PAX West.

Why Monster Hunter World Will Succeed in the West 4
Monster Hunter Worlds – gameplay image via Capcom

One of the primary reasons why is because playing Monster Hunter with a controller feels right at home for anyone who has played any of the Souls-inspired games on console. The shift in focus from handheld devices to modern consoles is a transparent attempt to appeal to players in North America and Europe since Monster Hunter has always found its greatest success with its handheld titles in Japan. Whether or not Japanese fans will follow Monster Hunter through its platform change remains to be seen, which is why Capcom’s focus on Western audiences is a big risk for the franchise.

Why Monster Hunter World Will Succeed in the West 11
Monster Hunter Worlds – gameplay image via Capcom

Outside of the platform change, Capcom has aimed to reduce as much of the clutter and idiosyncrasies that have helped to define the franchise through the years. Some changes such as the scout flies, a glowing green cloud of insects that reveal objects of interest or can follow a monster’s trail, the ability to switch weapons while on a hunt and the addition of drop-in/drop-out multiplayer are all intended to lower the difficulty curve for newcomers. This all speaks to a Monster Hunter that is more exciting and accessible than past titles have been, and even though some of the changes have longtime fans worried, it is ultimately still a game where the act of taking down a monster with powerful and often insane weapons feels just as good.

Monster Hunter World is Capcom’s biggest push to attract Western audiences in franchise history. With the beta taking place this coming weekend, Capcom and Monster Hunter faithful fans—such as myself—will be hoping that this will be enough to get more than just franchise fans talking about Monster Hunter World when it launches on PS4 and Xbox One on January 26, 2018. What’s more, Capcom will be aiming to capture an entirely different and possibly wider audience when it launches on PC later in 2018, which currently only has Dauntless to satiate the thirst of those looking to team up and hunt giant beasts.

Why Monster Hunter World Will Succeed in the West 5
Monster Hunter Worlds – gameplay image via Capcom

Capcom has spent years slowly laying the foundations for Monster Hunter to succeed outside of Japan, though it’s a gradual change, and their newest instalment will be the ultimate test. Because if this push doesn’t bring the success Capcom is aiming for, I’m not sure if Monster Hunter will ever catch on in the West.


Liked this article and want to read more like it? Check out more by Preston Dosza here and here!

Want to see more videos? Subscribe to our YouTube channel and check out the First 15: Star Wars Battlefront II, Sonic Forces + Episode Shadow, and  Super Mario Odyssey!

Don’t forget to tune in every Friday the Pixels & Ink Podcast to hear the latest news, previews, and in-depth game discussions!

Never miss when new CGM articles go out by following us on Twitter and Facebook!

CGMagazine is Canada’s premiere comics and gaming magazine. Subscribe today to get the best of CGM delivered right to your door! Never miss when a new issue goes live by subscribing to our newsletter! Signing up gives you exclusive entry into our contest pool. Sign up once, you’ll have a chance to win! Sign up today!

Monster Hunter Stories (3DS) Review – An All-New Way to Go Monster Hunting

Monster Hunter Stories (3DS) Review – An All-New Way to Go Monster Hunting

I’ll be honest; I’ve never been able to fully get into the Monster Hunter series. I understand the appeal of the games and why the series has developed such a hardcore fanbase, but something about the gameplay just never clicked with me. Monster Hunter Stories managed to not only give me an enjoyable experience but also convinced me to make another push at playing the main titles in the franchise.

Title: Monster Hunter Stories (3DS) Review – An All-New Way to Go Monster Hunting 2
Monster Hunter Stories (3DS) – gameplay images via Nintendo

Monster Hunter Stories is turn-based RPG spinoff of the main series, taking place in its own world with its own expanded lore. Players control their own fledgeling avatar in a remote village of riders, skilled warriors who fight alongside monsters. While the plot that Monster Hunter Stories follows is simple, there’s so much charm to it along with the world it’s set in that I found myself becoming more invested than I thought I would be. The game features a ton of fully-voiced cutscenes spoken in its own fictional language, which helped to deepen the lore of the game’s world. The character and monster models definitely stand out as some of the best I’ve ever seen on the Nintendo 3DS. Unfortunately, I can’t say the same about the backgrounds. While the main village looks good, many of the environments look a bit flat when compared to the main Monster Hunter titles.

Title: Monster Hunter Stories (3DS) Review – An All-New Way to Go Monster Hunting 1
Monster Hunter Stories (3DS) – gameplay images via Nintendo

When I first looked at Monster Hunter Stories, I was expecting the game to play like a Monster Hunter version of Pokémon. I’m so glad this proved to not be the case. The immediate difference between the two is that when you get into a battle, you aren’t controlling your chosen monster or “monstie” as the game calls them. Instead, you control your own weapon wielding avatar in order to fight alongside your AI controlled monster partner. Battles in Monster Hunter Stories use a rock-paper-scissors mechanic between three types of possible attacks. Different monsters follow along unique combat patterns which will mean that one of the best ways to fight effectively is to study and learn how each monster will come at you, not unlike past Monster Hunter games. My only complaint about this system is that it can become a bit repetitive once you figure out how to defeat one type of monster. Luckily there is a fast forward button that can be used during battles.

What really helps add to Monster Hunter Stories’ combat are the ways you can cooperate with your monsters. When you make the winning choices during the rock-paper-scissors matchups, you fill up what is known as the Kinship Gauge. When the gauge is full, you gain the option to mount your monster and perform stronger attacks than what you could do on your own. Aside from that, you can use special rider skills in order to further support your partner or use items to help heal them. Combat in Monster Hunter Stories feels like an equal partnership between you and the monster you’re bringing with you and that’s what helps to make them so enjoyable.

Title: Monster Hunter Stories (3DS) Review – An All-New Way to Go Monster Hunting
Monster Hunter Stories (3DS) – gameplay images via Nintendo

Outside of fighting, there’s still a ton of stuff to do in Monster Hunter Stories. Fans of the series will be happy to find that they can craft items and weapons along with taking on a variety of side quests unrelated to the main story. Another fun thing to do is search out monster dens where monster eggs can be found, stolen, and then hatched, resulting in a new member of your party. There’s no real way to tell which monster you’re going to end up with so it’s always a surprise. Monsters can also be combined in order to gain additional skills so you’ll never feel ripped off if you didn’t get the monster you were hoping for.

My biggest complaint about Monster Hunter Stories would be its lack of difficulty. Once you become accustomed to the game’s battle system—which doesn’t take long—there’s little chance you’ll actually die. The game resurrects you three times before ejecting you back to the village but the chances of getting knocked out three times are pretty unlikely assuming you’re paying attention to the fight.

Overall, Monster Hunter Stories was a game I didn’t expect to enjoy so much. It managed to forge its own identity while retaining many of the beloved staples of the series. If a non-fan like me could find so much to like about this title, fans with prior knowledge of the series will definitely love it even more.


Liked this article and want to read more like it? Find out why Remington thinks the Escapists 2 makes breaking out of prison fun, or why Sonic Mania earns its spot next to the titles released during Sonic’s golden era!

Want to see more videos? Subscribe to our YouTube channel and check out the First 15 – Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite and Cuphead!

Don’t forget to tune in every Friday the Pixels & Ink Podcast to hear the latest news, previews, and in-depth game discussions!

Never miss when new CGM articles go out by following us on Twitter and Facebook!

CGMagazine is Canada’s premiere comics and gaming magazine. Subscribe today to get the best of CGM delivered right to your door! Never miss when a new issue goes live by subscribing to our newsletter! Signing up gives you exclusive entry into our contest pool. Sign up once, you’ll have a chance to win! Sign up today!

Monster Hunter Movie in the Works. Paul W.S Anderson to Direct.

Monster Hunter Movie in the Works. Paul W.S Anderson to Direct.

The Monster Hunter film now has a director and it’s Paul W.S. Anderson, director of the Resident Evil film series.

Back in September, Capcom revealed that a Monster Hunter film was in the works. The announcement was made at Tokyo Game Show and at the time, not much was known about the project. Capcom’s Resident Evil franchise has seen amazing success in its film adaptations and with Resident Evil: The Final Chapter releasing in January, it was only fitting that the same director, Paul W.S. Anderson, would be signed onto the project.

While there are no specific plot details about the Monster Hunter film, what we do know is that Anderson has written the script and that he and his producing partner Jeremy Bolt are shopping for a studio and have VFX renderings of creatures for the film. We also know that a Toronto-based VFX studio, Mr. X, made the renderings and are in partnership with Anderson and Bolt.

In an interview with Deadline, Anderson and Bolt spoke about how they became attached to the project.

“We started the process and talking to Capcom about five years ago.” Said Anderson.  “They really wanted to be sure that we were going to do it justice because it’s their top money earner now. It’s huge, a cultural phenomenon in Japan and it’s giant in China, where it’s an online game that has 15 million paying users. If you do the math, the movie could potentially be the biggest of the year in China and Japan, where people line up around the block when new games are released. It has sold 38 million copies so far, which is bigger than Resident Evil was when we started the adaptation of that franchise.”

Bolt added, “They’ve said what they love about Paul is he understood the spirit of the game and expanded and made more of it. Commercially and creatively, they really respect that. They are trusting us again, on Monster Hunter.”

Anderson teased that he had two films planned for Monster Hunter, that shooting would take place in China or South Africa and that the films would have a budget similar to the Resident Evil franchise. Anderson also spoke about why he was so eager to get started on this new endeavor.

“What I love about Monster Hunter is the incredibly beautiful, immersive world they’ve created. It’s on the level of like a Star Wars movie, in terms of world creation,” he said. “There are no real central characters so it’s a bit like when we first approached Resident Evil and imposed our own characters and story on that world. I think this is a perfect IP for us to do exactly that same thing again.”

There is currently no information regarding when the Monster Hunter film will begin shooting or when the film will be released. There’s also no stars attached to the movie yet.

Capcom Talks Street Fighter V, Monster Hunter Sales in the West

Capcom Talks Street Fighter V, Monster Hunter Sales in the West

2016 has been a busy year for Capcom, especially in the West. First, Street Fighter V hit store shelves worldwide on Feb 16th and has, according to news from October, has been struggling to sell well since. Then Monster Hunter Generations reached North American audiences during the summer. Since then, a brand new sequel to Generations has been announced. But according to a story posted by Esuteru, Capcom is already looking into long-term plans for their franchises, included a major focus beyond Japan for Monster Hunter.

Read moreCapcom Talks Street Fighter V, Monster Hunter Sales in the West

Monster Hunter XX (Double Cross) Headed to 3DS

Monster Hunter XX (Double Cross) Headed to 3DS

Earlier today, Nintendo of Japan hosted a Monster Hunter Nintendo Direct. Featured in Japanese, the Direct discussed the Monster Hunter series’ future through a brand new instalment: an enhanced version of Monster Hunter Generations. Monster Hunter XX (Double Cross) is coming to Nintendo 3DS next year in Japan.

Read moreMonster Hunter XX (Double Cross) Headed to 3DS

Monster Hunter Generations (3DS) Review

Monster Hunter Generations (3DS) Review

The Monster Hunter franchise has become a surprisingly divisive one in the gaming community. Some swear by its long hunts, intricate inventory system, and repetitious gameplay. Others criticize it for being too formulaic, having an unfriendly user interface, and generally lacking offering gameplay variety. Based on my own experience with the franchise, I’d say fans and detractors both have valid points. From the looks of Monster Hunter Generations, Capcom agrees with me. Generations sticks to the core mechanics that made the franchise a success while also adding new elements that fix some of the series’ weaknesses.

Read moreMonster Hunter Generations (3DS) Review

3DS Monster Hunter Crosses Over With Ghosts ‘n Goblins

3DS Monster Hunter Crosses Over With Ghosts 'n Goblins

Capcom revealed Monster Hunter Generations is crossing over with one of it’s most celebrated franchises. In a new trailer for the upcoming 3DS title, Capcom announced players who select the Felyne class can able to equip Arthur’s famous knight armor and lance from the Ghosts and Goblins series.

This is the second Capcom franchise featured within the game, along with Ameratsu from Okami. A Fire Emblem armor pack is available on release as well.

Monster Hunter Generations releases on the Nintendo 3DS on July 15th.

Nintendo Direct Shows Strong Momentum For Nintendo

Nintendo Direct Shows Strong Momentum For Nintendo

The second Nintendo Direct since the passing of Satoru Iwata showed a strong push for Nintendo, promising a strong summer lineup.

Showcased for the WiiU was further gameplay for Starfox Zero, was well as an official April 22

nd

release date. Not only that, but a spin-off game (originally showcased at E3 2014) titled StarFox: Guard where players will set up 12 cameras to find and defeat enemies who are attacking the mining site of Slippy Toad’s uncle, Grippy Toad. The game includes about 100 stages, but players can also create their own stages by editing the placement of enemies and uploading their levels online.

Along with updates to Super Mario Maker, and Splatoon, Shin Megami Tensai’s Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE (which I officially couldn’t care less about now) as well as Lost Reavers coming to WiiU, the biggest announcement for WiiU was Paper Mario: Color Splash. Looking very similar to Sticker Star the game looks to blend gameplay elements from Sticker Star with a new color-based and painting mechanics. Being one of the few defenders of Sticker Star, I’ll be reserving judgments of gameplay, but I must say Paper Mario looks incredible in HD.

For the 3DS, Nintendo is rolling out a new Kirby game: Kirby: Planet Robobot which has Kirby piloting a giant mech. Enough said. Along side Planet Robobot will be an official line of Kirby amiibos, so anyone who missed a chance to get a Meta-Knight can lament no more!

Nintendo also showed off more gameplay for the much loathed Metroid Prime: Federation Force, as well as Fire Emblem Fates: Revelation the third entry to the Fates story. Nintendo also showed gameplay for Bravely Second, Hyrule Legends and rolled out Dragon Quest VII: Fragments of the Forgotten Past which is being remade from the ground up for the 3DS.

The biggest reveal for the 3DS was Monster Hunter: Generations which looks just as good as the latest Monster Hunter offerings on 3DS, as well as showing off some interesting new features. Also being added to the 3DS is the inclusion of SNES games to the 3DS eShop, and while some may lament buying many of the games they already have for a third time, it would be pretty cool to play Earthbound on the bus, so sign me up!

Overall, this looks to be a promising summer for Nintendo.

Who of the Big Three Should Buy Capcom?

Who of the Big Three Should Buy Capcom?

Early this week, Capcom posted a press release update on their investor relation page. The press release states that at the last meeting, the majority voted in favor of not renewing their takeover defense agreement. This means if a party or company were to purchase a majority share of stock from Capcom, they’d technically own the company.

This has lead to a lot of speculation about who should buy Capcom. Here are our opinions about the Big Three and their prospects with Capcom.

Nintendo

Let’s get the most obvious answer right out of the way. Nintendo currently has Monster Hunter, Capcom’s largest growing franchise on their platforms almost exclusively. In Japan alone, Monster Hunter Ultimate on 3DS and Wii U helped to sell systems, and the Wii U version was considered to be the one of the only reasons to buy the console in North America until the end of last year.

Nintendo has also been the first home to many Capcom classics before being ported to other consoles. Acclaimed games such as Viewtiful Joe, and even Resident Evil 4, considered to be one of the best video games of all time made it’s home on a Nintendo console. If Nintendo did purchase Capcom, it would obviously take their IP’s and make them Nintendo exclusive. Now, this would cause an uproar with the gaming community, however it would be a good business decision on their part. Nintendo has been lacking third-party support since the Wii was their current console, and now with the Wii U they aren’t selling enough hardware. Having Wii U exclusive games from a third-party would give the system more games to add to it’s tiny library, and would create more customer want for the console to play these games.

Sony

Sony’s PlayStation consoles also have a history with Capcom, and would be a likely buyer of the company. Games like above mentioned Viewtiful Joe, and Resident Evil 4 made their debuts on the GameCube, but received their best versions on the PlayStation 2. Viewtiful Joe received extra characters such as Dante from Devil May Cry, while Resident Evil 4 got brand new weapons, as well as a whole extra story mode that was exclusive to the PS2 version at the time. The PlayStation 2 was also the home to other great exclusive Capcom titles such as the first three Devil May Cry games, and the highly praised, but poor selling  Okami, a critically regarded cult classic.

Another good thing about Capcom being acquired by Sony would be that their games wouldn’t be hindered by having them be developed them the other consoles on the market that don’t perform as well as Sony’s. This would mean that time and resources wouldn’t be wasted to make two different versions of the same game. It would also mean that future PS4 exclusives have the potential to be bigger and better looking.

Microsoft

Capcom being bought out by Microsoft won’t ever happen. Japanese law makes it a convoluted process for foreign companies to acquire or merge with Japanese companies. There’s also the fact that the Xbox 360 didn’t do well in Japan, and the Xbox One is not even being available there yet.

No one

The best outcome right now for everyone is if no one buys the majority of stocks from Capcom. Having all of their IP’s tied to one company’s system would make gamers absolutely furious, and wouldn’t lead to the sales that they want or need, as multiplatform games sell in far greater numbers than console exclusives.

What Capcom really should do is take a hard look at why their titles aren’t doing as well, and evolve with the market, pay attention to customer complaints. Stop making customers pay for DLC that’s already on the disc. Stop expecting games to make money when there’s next to no promotion for it.

Also, please remember that you have Megaman, and do something with him.