Monster Hunter 4 is one of the most anticipated games of 2013…in Japan. Over here in America, Europe, Australia, and everywhere else that isn't Japan, most people look from afar at some weird game filled with giant dinosaurs, cats, bombs, and massive weapons that just don't make any sense. In order for Monster Hunter to make sense, you would need to have played Monster Hunter before. And, well, that just isn't happening anywhere else that isn't Japan.
Sure, Monster Hunter probably outsells most franchises around the world. When last I looked, the sales of Monster Hunter in Japan per capita exceed that of the Halo Franchise in the United States. In other words, you can make a strong argument if you were to say that a larger percentage of the population in Japan is playing Monster Hunter than the percentage of people playing Halo in the US. That is incredible to think about. Also, somewhat ironically, you could make this case in Japan about Halo. No where is the cultural rift of video gaming more evident than these two franchises outside of their home culture.
Anyway, Monster Hunter 4 is a game that is about to come out (March 2013). While the United States is getting last year's game on the Wii U, Japan is getting the new hottness on the 3DS. It is exciting to see. The whole country is ready for this game to come out. It's goddamned amazing! I mean, look at this picture that compares the lines of the latest Pokemon Game to the Latest Monster Hunter game at a popular game store in Tokyo. The red line and first picture on the left is Pokemon, the blue line and picture on the right is Monster Hunter.
Now, when you see pictures of Monster Hunter 4 in the United States, they look something like this:
What are these pictures? Can you tell that there is a dinosaur infecting a player with a virus that will make them do tons of damage AND take tons of damage. Can you tell that this virus will make the dinosaur come back to life after it dies? What about this second picture? I can make out a dude with what might be a bone moustache or maybe that is an actual mustasche, a heroes mustache that is braided. Is that girl on the right in the background naked?
So, you see articles on Monster Hunter 4 with screenshots like this and they just don't make any sense. Why would anyone in the the non-Japanese areas around the world want to even give this game any part of its days. It is almost impossible to find hi-res screenshots of any of these…they simply take screenshots with video capture software and call it a day.
Now, this is pretty understandable since this game's future is in question in the states. Capcom has neither confirmed or denied that this game will come out here. More than likely they are waiting to see how Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate sells in our markets for the Wii U and 3DS.
Still, I feel somewhat robbed by the lack of content these games have given interested parties outside of Japan. I would imagine that anyone seeing the official page for the game would be amazed to see how high of quality they have managed to make the stuff they then take screenshots of with a shoddy version of instagram. Check these out:
Apparently there are multiple cities in this summer themed Monster Hunter (Monster Hunter Portable 3rd was Spring themed so this one is Summer). Each of the cities can be travelled to by hopping on a caravan that is run by what looks to be an insane group of jolly homicidal maniacs. Seriously, it looks more like a circus tent on wheels than it does a caravan. I really wonder what happens during the caravan? Can wyverns attack and you have to defend it? It will be awesome to see.
Also, we can see that this game has a desert town and a volcano town. Who builds a town inside a volcano? Well, if you've played Monster Hunter, you know that the humans in this game are strong enough to grab the head of a massive wyvern and swing it around like a tiny stick. Apparently their ability to resist the heat matches their ability to be strong.
Also, take a look at this collection of wyverns, monkeys, and weird monsters in the upcoming game.
Look at this collection of Wyverns that want to murder you. From the return of Yian Kut Ku to Tigrex to that Sabre Tooth Tiger to the new and mysterious (top left) Goa Magara, this is a seriously amazing looking set of creatures that hunters will have to defeat. Why is it that we are treated to 400×200 images of in-game footage that looks grainy and terrible? This game deserves better, we deserve to be made jealous of this franchise and demand it be released in the United States. So why is Capcom hiding the good stuff?