[Editorial Tuesday] The History of Monster Hunter

Monster Hunter World has recently released on the PS4, Xbox One and PC and already has become one of Capcom’s best selling video games in a long while. People on various consoles all around the world are joining together in the hunt to defeat monsters and other large beings together with friends online. However, many people aren’t fully aware why Monster Hunter has gained so much popularity as of late. In fact, we here at Honey’s Anime have met numerous gamers who have joined the Monster Hunter World craze without any knowledge of where this series even originated from. Luckily, here at Honey’s Anime HQ, we have several people well versed in the world of Monster Hunter and wish to share its deep history as a gaming franchise.

In our The History of Monster Hunter article, we will dive deep into Monster Hunter from the very beginning and talk about it as in depth as we can. We will examine what made Monster Hunter so popular, what caused it to change so dramatically with the recent release of Monster Hunter World and why you should join now while the series is popular. Now, are you ready for a Monster Hunter lesson that will show you one of Capcom’s greatest franchises? If you said yes, then scroll down to begin learning about Monster Hunter and why it is so amazing.

The birth of a franchise

Monster Hunter began in 2004, first releasing on the popular PS2 console. The idea of killing wild beasts that remind gamers of giant dinosaurs and dragons instantly appealed to many and it wasn’t hard to see why. Players could play Monster Hunter entirely alone or go online to team with others in defeating various beasts. Monster Hunter reminded many gamers of the popular—albeit seemingly dead—series Phantasy Star Online. Monster Hunter would be remade—at least the first version—for the PSP. Even on the smaller system, it was still incredible and tons of fun.

As time went by, Monster Hunter became more and more well known as the game that allowed a loner to just play by themselves without any repercussions but would gain some advantages to actually going online and fighting with others in cooperative play. The original Monster Hunter had monsters that would only be able to be seen in the online component and that meant you needed to somehow hook your PS2 to an ethernet cable to go online, which many really didn’t do back to during that gaming era. Monster Hunter would show PlayStation—at least in our opinions—that online was a necessary thing for the next console as it would bring about more players worldwide. That’s why it was kind of sad to see it take until Monster Hunter World for Capcom’s big franchise to once more appear on a PlayStation main console—we’ll get into that later—but regardless, this was how Monster Hunter spread out to other consoles and began to start the franchise we know and love.

Monster Hunter’s Appeal

No, many gamers out there—especially ones not use to games that are mostly about loot and or killing beasts over and over again—might not understand why Monster Hunter is so appealing as a franchise. That’s where we wish to educate those who might have this mind set about Capcom’s Monster Hunter franchise. Monster Hunter appeals as a game because it is a ton of fun to play regardless of the console it is on. Hunting gigantic beasts by planning out what to do exactly, gearing up with large weapons and coordinating plans with players is more exciting than most action orientated RPGs. However, is this really all that makes Monster Hunter so enjoyable? Just the idea that you can kill monsters with friends something we see in hundreds of other games? Well, let us explain more of what we mean.

Monster Hunter’s appeal is that it was the first major game to ever do what it did. RPGs—especially those that allow online gameplay with friends or strangers—aren’t new to having players defeat monsters that are the size of skyscrapers, but what it did better than other game was letting you play with others. Capcom’s greatest strength prior to Monster Hunter was making titles that were single player focused but with Monster Hunter, Capcom allowed freedom to fight with others or go at it alone. This meant Monster Hunter was versatile in design—something we briefly mentioned above—seeing as how it could be played on handhelds online or consoles. Monster Hunter has always been a shining example of how to make a good action RPG work well and keep the longevity of it going way into the future.

The change from Sony to Nintendo

At one point, Monster Hunter stopped being PlayStation exclusive and Nintendo was quick to jump on board to allow Capcom’s now popular franchise a new console home to enjoy. That’s why wgeb Monster Hunter Tri—the third main console title excluding the spin offs—released in 2009 for the Nintendo Wii, this would begin the series main games shift towards supporting Nintendo and only Nintendo. Monster Hunter Tri, Monster Hunter Generations and Monster Hunter 4 were exclusive to only Nintendo products. There were other spin off games that would release for not only Sony’s various consoles, PCs and even mobile devices but until the more recent Monster Hunter World, the main games were locked to Nintendo.

This was a bit of an issue for fans—more so Sony fans—as their beloved series that began on the PS2 was not appearing anymore on the PS3 or even PS Vita. Luckily, Capcom seemed to be prepared for this eventuality as Monster Hunter World was announced for Xbox One, PC—eventually—and of course, the PS4. This would finally mean the end of Nintendo’s main hold on Monster Hunter, but of course, we here at Honey’s Anime know that eventually Monster Hunter will make its way back to Nintendo one day. For now though, we’re glad to see it go on the PS4 and Xbox One as more gamers will get the chance to enjoy Monster Hunter in general. We can’t blame Capcom for sticking with Nintendo for so long as the Nintendo Wii was super popular but as many know, the Nintendo Wii U was less popular and that kind of showed that it was time for Monster Hunter to move on.

The present and future of Monster Hunter

January 26, 2018 would be the day that Monster Hunter World would grace the gaming landscape once more on the PS4 and Xbox One. Monster Hunter World would be quite a shift in gameplay style—not everything mind you though—as players could now go online freely with others and explore a more open world than ever seen before in the Monster Hunter franchise. Monster Hunter World was also dual released in the world so Japan—who originally had earlier releases for the series—and The United States of America would get the game on the same day. With new beasts to engage with, a new world to explore and tons of new weapons to try out, Monster Hunter World would make for one heck of an amazing action RPG and we know we weren’t alone in thinking that.

Ultimately, with the success of Monster Hunter World, we have to wonder just one specific thing. Where will the Monster Hunter franchise go from here? Monster Hunter has basically tried many genres out—with some of the Nintendo 3DS titles being more RPG focused than action themed—meaning what could Capcom do next to surpass the greatness that is Monster Hunter World? Honestly, we could only imagine more games like Monster Hunter World. Capcom will probably continue to add more creatures and even more areas for players to explore and that will be refreshing to see. However, we do hope that Capcom might take more risks with future Monster Hunter games by maybe changing the time period or adding new items/weapons to try out but even if say Monster Hunter 5 plays out virtually the same way as Monster Hunter Worlds, we’d be okay with that here at Honey’s Anime.


Final Thoughts

Monster Hunter is one of those series that will be around for a lot longer. If we had to bet, we’d take that bet without a second thought. The idea of killing giant monsters either alone or with friends never gets old and is something that can only be enhanced as the series progresses into the future. Will the next Monster Hunter game surpass the popularity of Monster Hunter World and become the next reigning champ in the franchise? That we can’t predict but we do know that right now, we’re just enjoying our time with Monster Hunter World and can’t see us changing gears anytime soon. What are your thoughts on Monster Hunter, were you around since the beginning or are you a newer fan? Tell us down below and for all your gaming history lesson needs, be sure to keep stuck to our hive here at Honey’s Anime. Now if you’ll excuse us, we need to go hunt a Kushala Daora.

Aaron

Writer

Author: Aaron

Hey everyone I’m Aaron Curbelo or Blade as I’m called by my YouTube Subscribers. I’ve been an anime/manga fan since I was a young kid. In terms of anime I have watched nearly a thousand shows and have read hundreds of manga series. I love writing and honestly was so happy to join Honey’s Anime to get a shot to write articles for such a wonderful site. I’m a firm believer in respect in the anime community being the most important embodiment we should all have. We all love anime and we have varying opinions of series but we should respect one another for those differences! Life is too precious to spend it making needless arguments in a community that should be the shining example of loving an amazing medium. I hope as a writer for Honey’s Anime I can bring you folks some amazing articles to read and enjoy!

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