Monster Hunter

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Monster Hunter
Monster Hunter logo.png
Genres Action role-playing
Developers Capcom
Publishers Capcom
Platforms PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Portable, PlayStation Vita, Windows, Wii, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo Switch, iOS, PC
Platform of origin PlayStation 2
Year of inception 2004
First release Monster Hunter
March 11, 2004

The Monster Hunter (モンスターハンター, Monsutā Hantā) franchise is a series of fantasy-themed action role-playing video games that started with the game Monster Hunter for PlayStation 2, released in 2004. Titles have been released across a variety of platforms, including personal computer, home console, portable consoles, and mobile devices. The series is developed and published by Capcom.

The games are primarily action role-playing games. The player takes the role of a Hunter, slaying or trapping large monsters across various landscapes as part of quests given to them by the locals. As part of its core gameplay loop, players use loot gained from slaying monsters, gathering resources, and quest rewards to craft improved weapons, armor, and other items that allows them to face more powerful monsters. While initially single-player games, more recent titles have up to four-player cooperative play, with all Hunters working together to take down monsters.

As of June 2017, the series has sold more than 40 million copies worldwide, principally in Japan and other Asian countries. The series, while critically well received in Western markets, has generally had much lower sales, due to the game's difficult learning curve.

In addition to games, the franchise has an anime based on the spin-off game Monster Hunter Diary: Poka Poka Airou Village, another based on Monster Hunter Stories, a manga Monster Hunter Orange and a book called Monster Hunter EPISODE (モンスターハンター EPISODE~).[1]

Gameplay[edit]

Monster Hunter games are hybrids of action games and role-playing games (RPG), set in a fantasy genre. Gameplay is generally divided between time spent in various villages to manage equipment and resources, and going on quests to hunt down giant monsters that prowl in fields near these villages. The player starts as a novice Hunter and is tasked through quests to help protect and support the villages either by hunting or trapping monsters, or by collecting resources that can be obtained in the field.

Atypically to most RPGs, the player's Hunter does not have any intrinsic attributes that change throughout the game, outside of a Hunting rank that determines what quests they can embark on. Instead, the player selects armor, weapons, and other equipment that grant certain bonuses or penalties to the Hunter. There are several different weapon types ranging from swords, hammers, hunting horns, lances, bows, and guns, each of which provide the player with different combat maneuvers in the field, and determine the Hunter's attack strength and potential elemental or status-inducing effects on the creatures they fight. Armor, made up from different pieces, grants defensive value, strengths and weaknesses to certain elemental attacks, and positive and negative points towards specific skills. These skills only activate after the player equips the Hunter with gear that pass a given threshold; for example, by having 10 total points in the Attack skill, the Hunter's attack is boosted, but may also accumulate -10 points in this skill which can weaken the Hunter's attack. Thus, the player can work to coordinate different sets of armor, weapon, and additional equipment including talismans and decorative gems that can be slotted into certain pieces of equipment to customize which skills their Hunter will have or to avoid inducing a negative skill effect.

Basic weapons, armor, and other equipment can be purchased from village shops using the in-game currency Zenny, but most equipment is constructed from collected resources, including the spoils from defeating monsters, represented in game as the various parts of a monster like hides, horns, and tails. The core loop of gameplay in Monster Hunter is to equip the Hunter with gear best suited for defeating a specific type of monster, questing to hunt and collect parts from that monster, and construct the equipment from those parts that is generally better in combat than their current gear, allowing the player to engage in more difficult monsters. The monster parts and other resources are given to the Hunter based on various percentages, with some parts appearing with high rarity. The player may often be required to undertake the same quest several times to defeat the same monster type to get these parts. Once equipment is crafted, it can then be upgraded. Weapons typically can be upgraded along a "weapon tree", where the player may have the option to choose two or more specialized versions of a weapon at a given upgrade point. Armor typically can be improved through armor spheres to increase its defensive value.

A quest will generally designate how much time the player has to complete the quest (generally 50 minutes), the goals of the quest, the location of the quest, and other restrictions. Prior to the quest, the player selects which equipment for the Hunter, as once on their field, this cannot be changed. Each game features several different fields, each made up of several interconnected areas including a base camp where some supplies and a health-restoring tent can be found. Some areas in a field may be very hot or cold, which can affect the Hunter's health and stamina unless they are protected against these effects.

When the Hunter enters the field, they have a health and a stamina meter. The Hunter's health meter drops when damaged by monsters or environmental hazards, and while some health will regenerate slowly over time, the Hunter must use restorative items to bring them back to full health. If the Hunter's health falls to zero, they fall unconscious and put back to the field's base camp, where they can set off again, but will lose some amount of reward Zenny and additional bonuses they had entering the quest. If the Hunter falls three times in this manner, the quest is considered failed. The stamina meter drains when doing any excessive activity like running, or pulling back and holding a bowstring, and if the stamina bar fully drains, the Hunter will pause to recover their stamina, making them prone to attacks. Stamina quickly replenishes if the Hunter does a normal activity like walking. However, over the time of the quest, the stamina meter's maximum will slowly drop, meaning the Hunter will tire out sooner, creating another effective limit on how long the Hunter can be in the field. Various restorative items like potions and rations can be assigned prior to the quest, but only limited numbers of these can be taken. While in the field, the Hunter can gather resources from certain gathering points and if they have the necessary equipment, such as pick-axes for mining spots, or bug-nets for insects. The Hunter only has a limited amount of inventory space while on the field between restorative items and gathered resources and monster spoils.

Monsters will roam between these areas, making them difficult to track. The process of fighting monsters is generally based on watching and learning the various tells that a monster does prior to an attack as either to defend, dodge, or anticipate a counter-attack. As monsters get injured they often will become more aggravated, performing moves faster or engaging in special moves. Various parts of a monster can be targeted for an attack, with different vulnerabilities. The Hunter is awarded additional spoils if they can break hard armor pieces or can cut off a monster's tail. Once the monster is dealt enough damage, it will be slain, at which point the Hunter can carve off random spoils from the carcass. If the Hunter damages a monster enough, it will start limping or some similar sluggish motion, indicating that it can now be trapped rather than slain. Trapping a monster requires the Hunter to place the trap, lure the monster to it, and then tranquilizing it. The Hunter forgoes the carving as with slaying, but may gain different types of rewards for the action. Trapping a monster can be required by a quest, can help to end a prolonged battle earlier, or increase the chance of acquiring rarer materials such as plates or gems.

Outside of quests, the player can use the village functions to craft new gear, buy and sell resources, items, and equipment, interact with farms and fisheries that can help gather resources, and have meals prior to a quest that provide small attribute boosts and skills. Most games also feature a form of "free hunt", where the Hunter can go into a field for an indefinite amount of time to gather resources and hunt any monsters that may appear there for resource points, which are used to improve village facilities or as alternate forms of payment.

All games have a single player component, while the newer games include multiplayer with up to three other Hunters. A new set of quests are generally offered for multiplayer modes, giving more difficult monsters to offset the advantage of having multiple players. Players may also set on multiplayer quests as a single player, where they are then aided by computer-controlled Felynes or Palicos, sentient cat-like creatures that live among the villages.

Games[edit]

Below is a list of games in the Monster Hunter main series. Each generation has a number of entries that are derivative of the original release.

Main series[edit]

Title Details

Original release date(s):
  • JP: March 11, 2004
  • NA: September 21, 2004
  • EU: May 27, 2005
  • AU: June 1, 2005
Release years by system:
2004 – Released on PlayStation 2.

2005 - An expansion called Monster Hunter G was released on PlayStation 2 and Wii.
2005 - A handheld version called Monster Hunter Freedom was released on PlayStation Portable

Notes:
  • First game in the Monster Hunter series.
  • Monster Hunter G was only released in Japan for PlayStation 2 and Wii, while in Korea was released for the PlayStation 2 only.
  • Monster Hunter Freedom was the first handheld game in the series, and it is a PSP version of Monster Hunter G with extra features.



Original release date(s):
  • JP: February 16, 2006
Release years by system:
2006 – released on PlayStation 2 in Japan.

2007 - A handheld expanded port of the game called Monster Hunter Freedom 2 was released Worldwide on PlayStation Portable.
2008 - An expansion of Monster Hunter Freedom 2 called Monster Hunter Freedom Unite was released on PSP.
2014 - A port of Monster Hunter Freedom Unite was released on iOS.

Notes:
  • The original game was released only in Japan while the handheld games had worldwide releases.
  • First game in the series to add the use of gems.
  • New weapon classes include Long Sword, Gunlance, Hunting Horn, and Bow.
  • Monster Hunter Freedom Unite was released in Japan as Monster Hunter Portable 2nd G.
  • Monster Hunter Freedom Unite was released in Japan for iOS as Monster Hunter Portable 2nd G for iOS.
  • Monster Hunter Freedom Unite was available in the PlayStation Vita Store, with enhanced graphics and second stick support for controlling the camera.



Original release date(s):
  • JP: August 1, 2009
  • NA: April 20, 2010
  • EU: April 23, 2010
  • AU: April 29, 2010
Release years by system:
2009 – Released on Wii.

2011 - An expansion called Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate was released on Nintendo 3DS.
2012 - Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate was released on Wii U.

Notes:
  • Released in Japan as Monster Hunter 3 (tri-)
  • First game in the series to include underwater exploration and combat
  • New weapon class added: Switch Axe
  • Weapon classes Dual Swords, Gunlance, Bow and Hunting Horn were not included in Monster Hunter Tri.
  • Cross-platform play between 3DS and Wii U versions.
  • Online mode is only available in the Wii U version.
  • Wii U Edition is high definition remastering of 3DS Edition.



Original release date(s):
  • JP: September 14, 2013
Release years by system:
2013 – Released on Nintendo 3DS in Japan.

2014 - An expansion called Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate was released worldwide on Nintendo 3DS.

Notes:
  • Announced on "Nintendo 3DS Conference 2011" (September 2011)
  • Monster Hunter 4 was released only in Japan while Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate had a worldwide release.
  • New weapon class added: Charge Blade and Insect Glaive
  • Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate was released in Japan as Monster Hunter 4 G.[2]

Original release date(s):[3]
  • JP: November 28, 2015
  • NA: July 15, 2016
  • EU: July 15, 2016
  • AU: July 16, 2016
Release years by system:
2015 – Nintendo 3DS
Notes:
  • Plays with more emphasis on action and customization.
  • Released in Japan as Monster Hunter X (cross-)
  • Announced in a Nintendo Direct presentation on May 31, 2015
  • Added new "Hunting Styles" and "Hunter Arts" abilities to make Generations the most customizable and personalized Monster Hunter yet.



Original release date(s):[4][5]
  • WW: January 26, 2018
Release years by system:
2018 – PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows
Notes:
  • Will initially release on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One with Microsoft Windows to follow.
  • First Monster Hunter title to be released in Japan, North America, and European regions simultaneously, and allows for cross-region play.


Spin-offs[edit]

Title Details

Original release date(s):
  • JP: June 21, 2007
Release years by system:
2007 – Microsoft Windows
2010 – Xbox 360
Notes:
  • The first full-fledged MMORPG spin-off.
  • Released only in Japan.


Monster Hunter Online

Original release date(s):
  • CHN: August 18, 2013
Release years by system:
2013 – PC
Notes:
  • Second Monster Hunter MMORPG game as a collaboration between Tencent and Capcom
  • Uses Crytek's CryEngine 3
  • Free-to-play business model
  • Beta in Cancini began on July 6, 2013
  • Planned to be released only for Windows
  • Though developed primarily for Chinese players, and solely uses the Chinese language, the game is not region locked, and only limited by the language limitations. Tencent has approved the distribution of an English-language patch created by a fan group in May 2016.[6]



Original release date(s):
  • JP: April 17, 2013
Release years by system:
2013 – Released on Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii U
2014 – PlayStation Vita.

2016 - An upgraded game called Monster Hunter Frontier Z was released on Wii U, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita and Xbox 360.[7]

Notes:
  • Another MMORPG spinoff.
  • Frontier G was not released outside of Japan.



Original release date(s):
  • JP: August 26, 2010
Release years by system:
2010 – Released on PlayStation Portable.

2011 - An expanded version called Monster Hunter Diary: Poka Poka Airou Village G was released on PlayStation Portable.
2015 - An enhanced port called Monster Hunter Diary: Poka Poka Airou Village DX was released on Nintendo 3DS.

Notes:
  • A game based on the series' catlike "Felyne" creatures, known as the Airou (アイルー, Airū) in the Japanese language games.
  • The subtitle of the game can be translated into English as "Warm Felyne Village".
  • The game has only been released in Japan.



Original release date(s):
  • JP: December 1, 2010
Release years by system:
2010 – PlayStation Portable
2011 – PlayStation 3
Notes:
  • Has an overall more eastern setting compared to previous games in the series.
  • Not a port or expansion of Monster Hunter Tri but a completely separate game.
  • Released only in Japan.
  • Does not have underwater exploration and combat.
  • Cross-platform play between both consoles.



Original release date(s):
  • WW: June 1, 2011
Release years by system:
2011 – iOS
Notes:
  • First game in the series to be on the iOS system
  • A fighting spin-off.



Original release date(s):
  • JP: September 3, 2015
Release years by system:
2015 – iOS
2015 – Android[8]
Notes:
  • Name was changed from Monster Hunter Smart



Original release date(s):
  • JP: October 8, 2016
  • NA: September 8, 2017
  • EU: September 8, 2017
  • AU: September 9, 2017
Release years by system:
2016 – Nintendo 3DS[9]
Notes:
  • Plays more as a traditional RPG and less focus on action elements.
  • Has turn-based combats.


Reception[edit]

Since the series debuted, it has sold 28 million units as of March 31, 2014.[10] As of February 17, 2015, the series has sold 32 million units.[11] By June 2017, Capcom reported over 40 million units sold.[12] As of March 2017, the series is Capcom's third highest-selling series, following Street Fighter and Resident Evil.[13]

Total worldwide sales for Monster Hunter games exceeding 1 million units, through June 30, 2017, are listed below:[14]

Title Sales (Millions of units)
Monster Hunter Portable 3rd 4.9
Monster Hunter Generations 4.2
Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate 4.1
Monster Hunter 4 4.1
Monster Hunter Freedom Unite 3.8
Monster Hunter Tri G 2.6
Monster Hunter Freedom 2 2.4
Monster Hunter Tri 1.9
Monster Hunter XX 1.7
Monster Hunter Freedom 1.3


The Monster Hunter series is widely more popular in Japan and other Asian markets compared to Western (North America and Europe) markets, primarily due to the percentage of ownership of handheld consoles in Japan compared to the West, and that all but one main title in the series were developed for handhelds. The series also struggled with a difficult learning curve that had made the games off-putting in Western markets.[12] In an October 2016 interview, Capcom chairman Kenzo Tsujimoto said they are looking towards increasing the popularity of the games in the Western markets, recognizing that gaming consoles like the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One have dominance in these regions over handhelds.[15] Monster Hunter: World, the series's first major entry targeting home consoles and computers, was developed to be more alluring for Western markets.[12]

Other media[edit]

Video Games[edit]

A female Monster Hunter will be a playable character via downloadable content in Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite. The game also features a stage called "Valkanda," which combines Val Habar from the fourth installment with Wakanda from the Marvel universe.

Anime[edit]

A series of anime shorts titled MonHun Nikki Girigiri Airū-mura Airū Kiki Ippatsu (ja:モンハン日記 ぎりぎりアイルー村) was broadcast beginning August 10, 2010. A sequel, MonHun Nikki Girigiri Airū-mura G, was produced.[16] An anime series based on the franchise premiered on October 2, 2016.

Manga[edit]

A manga titled Monster Hunter Orage was published jointly by Kodansha and Capcom in April 2008. The author of the manga is Hiro Mashima. There are four volumes total with the last volume published on May 4, 2009. An English release of Monster Hunter Orage first took place on June 28, 2011.

Card game[edit]

A trading card game titled Monster Hunter Hunting Card was released in October 2008 with periodic updates planned.[17]

Comics[edit]

Elements from Monster Hunter were later included in the Worlds Unite comic crossover from Archie Comics, which featured several other Capcom and Sega franchises making guest appearances in the previously running Sonic the Hedgehog and Mega Man comic lines.[18]

Film[edit]

In 2012, it was reported that Resident Evil director Paul W. S. Anderson might direct a film adaptation of Monster Hunter.[19] During the September 2016 Tokyo Game Show Capcom producer Ryozo Tsujimoto stated that a live-action Monster Hunter film is currently in development within Hollywood.[20] Anderson and producer Jeremy Bolt, who both helped to bring Capcom's Resident Evil game to a series of films, have obtained the rights from Capcom to adapt Monster Hunter after about five years of discussion. They foresee a series of Monster Hunter films. Anderson said he was drawn to the Monster Hunter property not only because of the series' popularity but also for the "incredibly beautiful, immersive world they've created". Anderson has already written a script, which would involve an American being dragged into the parallel universe that the Monster Hunter series is set in, learning how to fight monsters, and then having to deal with the situation when monsters cross back into the real world and start attacking, such as a final climactic battle at Los Angeles International Airport.[21] Constantin Film has confirmed they will be producing the film, with the aim of going into production in late 2017 or early 2018.[22]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "MONSTER HUNTER|モンスターハンター 公式ポータルサイト" (in Japanese). Capcom(Japan). Retrieved 2011-07-06. 
  2. ^ 2014-01-26, Monster Hunter 4G Announced for Nintendo 3DS, Siliconera
  3. ^ Maiberg, Emanuel (May 31, 2015). "Monster Hunter X Announced for 3DS, Watch the Trailer". GameSpot. Retrieved May 31, 2015. 
  4. ^ [1]
  5. ^ Wright, Steven (June 15, 2017). "Q&A: 'Monster Hunter World' Leads Answer All the Big Questions". Glixel. Retrieved June 15, 2017. 
  6. ^ Whitaker, Jed (May 23, 2016). "The beautiful Monster Hunter Online is getting an English patch on May 30". Destructoid. Retrieved May 24, 2016. 
  7. ^ 2013-09-18.TGS: Monster Hunter: Frontier G Announced for Vita, IGN
  8. ^ http://www.mh-xr.jp/pc/
  9. ^ http://www.siliconera.com/2015/04/11/monster-hunter-stories-announced-nintendo-3ds/
  10. ^ Yin-Poole, Wesley (8 May 2014). "Dead Rising 3 sales rise to 1.2m as Capcom enjoys profit boost". Eurogamer. Gamer Network. Retrieved 8 May 2014. 
  11. ^ Matulef, Jeffrey (February 17, 2015). "Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate has shipped over 3m copies worldwide". Eurogamer. Gamer Network. Retrieved February 17, 2015. 
  12. ^ a b c Webster, Andrew (June 23, 2017). "https://www.theverge.com/2017/6/23/15861708/monster-hunter-world-interview-xbox-ps4-e3-2017". The Verge. Retrieved June 23, 2017.  External link in |title= (help)
  13. ^ "Game Series Sales". Capcom. March 31, 2017. Retrieved June 24, 2017. 
  14. ^ "Platinum Titles". Capcom. June 30, 2017. Retrieved August 28, 2017. 
  15. ^ Saed, Sharif (November 3, 2016). "Capcom wants Monster Hunter to grow in the West, knows handhelds alone aren't enough". VG247. Retrieved November 3, 2016. 
  16. ^ "Monster Hunter Nikki Anime Shorts Get Sequel". Anime News Network. 2011-04-07. Retrieved 2011-06-04. 
  17. ^ "Monster Hunter becomes a card game". andriasang. August 22, 2008. Retrieved December 10, 2010. [dead link]
  18. ^ http://www.ign.com/articles/2015/02/23/capcom-and-sega-join-forces-for-worlds-unite-comic-book-crossover
  19. ^ Paul W. S. Anderson to direct Capcom's 'Monster Hunter'?
  20. ^ Ashcroft, Brian (September 15, 2016). "Hollywood Is Making A Monster Hunter Movie". Kotaku. Retrieved September 15, 2016. 
  21. ^ Fleming, Jr., Mike (November 21, 2016). "As 'Resident Evil' Nears $1 Billion, Paul W.S. Anderson & Jeremy Bolt Set 'Monster Hunter': Q&A". Deadline.com. Retrieved November 21, 2016. 
  22. ^ Hopewell, John (May 21, 2017). "Constantin Drives Into Tentpoles With 'Monster Hunter,' 'Resident Evil' Reboot". Variety. Retrieved June 14, 2017. 

External links[edit]