Hey Capcom, you got some Okami in my Monster Hunter... and it's so cool!
Remember how Capcom recently reorganized their Beeline Interactive subsidiary into Capcom Mobile Business Division? Promising to focus on Monster Hunter, Mega Man, and Sengoku BASARA?
Well it looks like we might be seeing the first fruits of that restructuring, as the free to play"Monster Hunter Explore" just soft launched in Canada on the iOS App Store. If you have a Canadian itunes account and would like to give it a try, the link to the game is here.
The game description is as follows:
Join the hunt! The first true Monster Hunter game for mobile has arrived.
Track and hunt fierce monsters and explore an island of infinite treasures.
Become a hunter of legend on your own or form a hunting party with friends.
· Travel across the seas and explore new hunting grounds of legend.
· Hunt powerful monsters, discover epic treasures and unlock the secrets of a new land.
· Create a hunting party of up to 4 friends or play with hunters over the internet.
· Master 12 types of weapons – Powerful “Great Swords” dynamic “War Hammers” and the lethal “Gun Lance.”
· Master the art of the hunt by using monsters’ weaknesses against them. More than 100 weaknesses can be targeted to help improve a hunters odds of success.
Capcom announced today that Japan will be getting a special edition New 3DS XL accompanying the release of Monster Hunter X. It will release in a "Special Pack" priced at 26,000 yen. There will also be two special 3DS themes to go with Monster Hunter X. Both the game and the special 3DS XL will release in Japan on November 28, 2015.
I'm probably reading too much into it, but the announcement of a special edition New 3DS XL gets me thinking that perhaps there will be a western release announcement soon? Since North America only has the XL, maybe this means something?
Included in this month's DLC:
- Metroid's Varia Suit
- Metroid's Zero Suit
- Metroid's Arm Cannon
- Taiko Drum Master Hunting Horn
- USJ's Star Rook armor
- USJ's Starlight Axe Charge Blade
- Mega Man
- USJ's F Star
Make sure you head over to the DLC tab and download those extra quests! Me, I'm still working to get to G-Rank, but some of these quests have been pretty fun diversions. And definitely something to do if you've somehow run out of things to do in this massive game!
Capcom released the first of many free DLC packs for Monster Hunter 4U today, and this one's a doozy. Featuring Link armour and two weapons, the bow and the sword and shield, this Free DLC includes:
14 new quests;
11 new weapons;
4 complete armor sets (8 if you count Blademaster AND Gunner) plus the 3 Fan Club pieces;
2 Palico armor sets;
1 Palico weapon;
1 Bonus Palico: Calico Red;
2 Guild Card backgrounds;
1 Guild Card pose;
9 Guild Card titles;
1000 Caravan Points
Pretty sweet for a free pack. Capcom has committed to continued free DLC packs releasing on the first Friday of each month.
I've been playing Monster Hunter 4U pretty steadily since it came out last month, but I've been finding the screen on my original 3DS to be a little on the small side, especially for extended periods of play. Luckily my daughter has a 3DS XL that I can "borrow," so I bought a Circle Pad Pro XL, and put my nifty Monster Hunter 4 plastic cover on it, and voila! A larger version of what I've been using. I love that it's pink. I think a pink Gore Magala is awesome.
GameInformer interviewed series producer Ryozo Tsujimoto about Monster Hunter and his reflections on its tenth year.
Q: Did you ever imagine it would become such a popular franchise?
A: Those of us on the team often said things like, “We’d like to aim for a million sales,” amongst ourselves, but I honestly didn’t expect it to become such a hit. There were a lot of factors involved, but I think the co-op functionality played a major role for the series to have achieved such success.
Monster Hunter doesn’t portray a savage world, as we wanted anyone to feel welcome to jump in and play. If the game were too over the top and savage in atmosphere, we thought that even the co-op experience could come across as rather bleak. For instance, monsters are not defined as an “absolute enemy” in the game. Both monsters and hunters are together in this world just trying to survive; in this world, you either hunt or become prey. But Monster Hunter is also a world that’s designed in a fair way. It doesn’t matter who shows off the most during a quest. The rewards are distributed equally regardless who played the flashiest. We wanted to make sure that all players cooperate and help each other, and making sure everyone feels rewarded was a big part of that.
In the Nintendo Financial Results Briefing yesterday, President Satoru Iawata mentioned that although hard sales numbers for North America had not come in yet, Capcom's quick estimation put the initial sales pace of Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate at three times that of the previous iteration in the franchise.
A similar trend was seen in Europe as well. Figures include sales of both the standalone game as well as copies pre-installed on the Monster Hunter edition New 3DS XL bundle.
OK, so it's not actually a holiday, but a hunter can dream, can't he?
Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate (3DS) releases today for North America and Europe, and tomorrow for Australia.
Along with the release of the game, there will also be a new 3DS themes released with Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate. Free with purchase of the game, the themes are named for two monsters, Gore Magala and Seregios.
It's unclear whether the themes will be available to purchase outside of owning the game, but if so they'll probably go for the normal price for themes in your region ($1.99 CDN here).
Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate is set to release on Friday, February 13th but some people have been lucky enough to receive their copies of the game a little bit early! It seems that retailers in the UK have no qualms about breaking the street date, those cheeky monkeys!
Enjoy the hunt, my friends!
Something new that you'll notice in going from Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate to 4 Ultimate is that your companions, Cha-Cha and Kayamba are not around. Instead you will be accompanied by creatures that you will recognize as Felynes. For Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate, they are renamed as "Palicoes", and executive producer Ryozo Tsujimoto explains why:
The support Felynes are being rebranded as 'Palicoes' this time around and they don't have such a central story aspect, they'll be involved a little bit but not as much as Cha-Cha and Kayamba were. They're part of a system where you can bring these support characters with you out on quests; you can bring two of them with you with one being yours that you can customise, and the other one can be a different one, perhaps one you met on StreetPass from another player and you can even collect them. They're very much involved in the gameplay but not so much a story element this time. The differences, if you like, were that Cha-Cha and Kayamba were unique characters, and the Palicoes are kind of in a category of their own rather than being a character. You can enjoy collecting them, customising them and you can even rename them, for example my main support character is called Fujioka (MH4U creative director), and he gets to help me out on quests just like at work.
You can read the entire interview here on NintendoLife.
This video was not part of the Nintendo Direct yesterday, so in case you missed it:
Nintendo sent out a special email to select customers today with 4 download codes for the new demo of Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate. The criteria for receiving such an email is not clear, but if you purchased and registered the previous Monster Hunter on Club Nintendo, you're likely to have received your codes today.
The demo features a Beginner mode for those new to the series, and an Experienced mode for those who have played a previous Monster Hunter. The Beginner mode includes helpful hints during gameplay, and serves as an extended tutorial to the game's complexities. Monsters are also easier to defeat, as your hunter is stronger. This directly addresses one of the greatest weaknesses of previous demos, which would simply plop the player directly into a quest, with no explanations of any kind, making it a difficult introduction to the game.
The demo also features Local and Online multiplayer, and unlike the Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate demo, has no play count restrictions.
I had a chance to go through the demo quickly, and a few things stood out to me:
- the text, although small, is much more readable as compared with MH3U
- Circle Pad Pro is supported and works well
- gameplay seemed silky smooth on my original 3DS hardware, at least in solo mode
I encourage you to check it out for yourself, if you can snag a code from someone. All mine are accounted for already, but they're floating around. Just ask your Monster Hunter obsessed friends for one, I'm sure they'd be happy to share!
How owning Capcom would help Nintendo for their next console:
"If Nintendo offers third-party developers a dev kit and lets them know that they'll be launching games like Resident Evil, Monster Hunter, Devil May Cry, and Street Fighter in the console's first year, those developers will feel much more confident about releasing their games on the system, because there will actually be a market for them. Very few companies would be willing to launch an M-rated game on a console that only has games like Mario and Donkey Kong on it, but having Capcom's lineup in its arsenal makes it a whole different story."
If Nintendo could sew up all of Capcom's IP, get them in on the ground stage of what the next gen hardware is going to be, and then have those games AT LAUNCH, it would definitely be pretty amazing.
According to Capcom today, there will be a Special Edition of the upcoming MH4U game for 3DS. The package will include:
- a Gore Magala figure
- a pin featuring a Felyne wearing Gore Magala armour
- a Monster Icon lanyard
- a microfibre cleaning cloth
- the NA version of MH4U
- a blue Supply Item Box
Priced at $59.99 and available for pre-order at Game Stop.
Full details can be found on Yuri Araujo's Capcom Unity blog.