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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Why hunt? A look at Monster Hunter Tri on Wii

Lagiacrus from Monster Hunter Tri
David Hasselhoff, the singer. Europeans love him and cannot understand why Americans don’t. Hasselhoff is just one example of someone or something that enjoys massive success on foreign soil but never quite catches on in the United States. While the quality of Hasselhoffs singing is questionable the quality of the Monster Hunter gaming franchise from Capcom is not yet they are similar. Imagine a fantasy world where gamers can join their friends on quest to kill massive monsters, dinosaur size creatures that will then be harvested for food, clothing and weapons. The hunts are intense the teams are closely knit … this is Monster Hunter and it’s incredible successful in Japan.

The Monster Hunter concept is concept is quite Western. Creating an avatar, joining a hunting party, leveling up … it’s all so similar to popular PC titles but these features did not guarantee success in the States, not on the level as in Japan. Why is this? Could it be a game ahead of its time, PS2, with its limited, difficult online play? Could it be recent titles on the PSP, a system that is still finding its way? The answer to this gamer is yes on all counts. When Monster Hunter was first announced it screamed awesome, I mean hunting monsters with buddies and using their parts to level up, sweet. Take this concept now on the PS3 or Xbox 360 with standard online and Capcom can put money in the bank. For some reason this is not the case as recent Monster Hunter titles have hit the PSP … and now the Wii.

Yes, the Nintendo Wii is getting Monster Hunter Tri, Monster Hunter 3. The online play looks to be better than any entry in the past with chat support and a packaged in controller that will feel much better than the non-sensical Wii controller motions. Point is simple. This is a solid gaming franchise that was ahead of its time but it’s not too late. This release on Wii, even with limited graphical power, is offering up gamers, a newer generation of gamers a chance to experience one solid series than an entire nation embraces. As the game gets closer to its April release gamers have a chance to pick up the demo disc at GameStop and for a further taste here is a gallery of the new monsters to take on.

This is a chance for hardcore gamers with Wii’s to show they can support a solid title. This is a chance for Wii owners to show success for what is shaping up to be one of the systems best games. This is a chance for Capcom to take notice and work on a truly next-gen Monster Hunter. Best of all this is a chance for US gamers to embrace a series long neglected. That, or you can just go import David Hasselhoffs greatest hits.

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