With MH4, Nintendo pulls a coup while Capcom hits the easy button

I've been a big fan of the MH series, having harshed it's unforgiving learning curve and dealt with it's less than intuitive controls for years now. While it's less than a blip on western gaming's radar, in Japan it's the kind of franchise that can make a system. So for fans of the series like me, the announcement of a move to 3DS was big news. For Nintendo it's a gutsy move that probably cost more than a pretty penny. But for Capcom, it's just another in long line of decisions that seems dedicated to keep the franchise always one step behind modern game design. Capcom's move to 3DS allows them to continue to use an older engine and therefore again escape the need to generate next gen graphically assets (which to be fair are time consuming and expensive). Additionally, Nintendo's inept understanding of how online multiplayer works fits perfectly with Monster Hunters' archaic multiplayer design. While the concept video for Monster Hunter 4 shows much more dynamic action than has been generally seen in the series, it's only a concept. Who knows how far those ideas will actually factor into the actual game, especially within the limits of the 3DS.
 
I was really hoping that the next MH would be the leap in game design the series is desperately needing. With the Vita, I feel Capcom would have been more inclined to try for a more interesting online multiplayer experience, and HD graphics the series has been in need of (I don't count the recent MH 3rd PS3 port, or Frontier. Both those games simply use up rezzed textures and relatively low poly models to middling effect). Sony and Capcom have both been silent on if we will even see a Vita version, with Sony execs basically saying the ball is in Capcom's court. My guess is Capcom will play wait and see with the Vita, and watch how things go for their 3DS offerings. But if history is any indicator, they are gonna place their cards on the safe bet as they always have, and keep the bar set at a level behind modern game tech. And I will probably still play the damn thing to death, ridiculous nub add-on and all.

7 Comments
7 Comments
Posted by Chris2KLee

I've been a big fan of the MH series, having harshed it's unforgiving learning curve and dealt with it's less than intuitive controls for years now. While it's less than a blip on western gaming's radar, in Japan it's the kind of franchise that can make a system. So for fans of the series like me, the announcement of a move to 3DS was big news. For Nintendo it's a gutsy move that probably cost more than a pretty penny. But for Capcom, it's just another in long line of decisions that seems dedicated to keep the franchise always one step behind modern game design. Capcom's move to 3DS allows them to continue to use an older engine and therefore again escape the need to generate next gen graphically assets (which to be fair are time consuming and expensive). Additionally, Nintendo's inept understanding of how online multiplayer works fits perfectly with Monster Hunters' archaic multiplayer design. While the concept video for Monster Hunter 4 shows much more dynamic action than has been generally seen in the series, it's only a concept. Who knows how far those ideas will actually factor into the actual game, especially within the limits of the 3DS.
 
I was really hoping that the next MH would be the leap in game design the series is desperately needing. With the Vita, I feel Capcom would have been more inclined to try for a more interesting online multiplayer experience, and HD graphics the series has been in need of (I don't count the recent MH 3rd PS3 port, or Frontier. Both those games simply use up rezzed textures and relatively low poly models to middling effect). Sony and Capcom have both been silent on if we will even see a Vita version, with Sony execs basically saying the ball is in Capcom's court. My guess is Capcom will play wait and see with the Vita, and watch how things go for their 3DS offerings. But if history is any indicator, they are gonna place their cards on the safe bet as they always have, and keep the bar set at a level behind modern game tech. And I will probably still play the damn thing to death, ridiculous nub add-on and all.

Posted by WinterSnowblind

I called this back when the Vita was first announced. I doubt it had anything to do with Nintendo paying for the series to be made for their system.

Developers favoured the PSP, because it was a cheap and quick alternative to making current generation games, which can be very expensive. Now that the Vita is more or less on par with the PS3, why wouldn't they just make a PS3/360 game? The 3DS is going to become the default system for a lot of the big PSP franchises, expect the Dissidia series, Phantasy Star and Valkyria Chronicles to go next.

Posted by Scrumdidlyumptious

@WinterSnowblind: They wouldn't make a PS3/360 game because it's still significantly cheaper and easier to develop for the Vita. Development costs are the same as the PSP apparently and the Vita is the easiest Sony platform to develop for.

Posted by Enigma777

Pretty sure Capcom has split the MH franchise into two: Portable (Frontier) and the numbered series (3, 4 etc) so I'm not too worried. Either way it's still the same recycled crap they've been pushing since 2006.

Posted by MiniPato

I think there's definitely going to be a MH on Vita. It's only a matter of when. I think a lot of people know that too.

If you look at the big picture, with RE: Revelations, MGS3DS, MH3G and MH4, and the second circle pad add-on, the 3DS is trying to emulate console quality experiences on a portable. But compared to the Vita, the 3DS is only offering a half-way console experience while the Vita seems to be able to fully deliver on that console-on-the-go experience. Will people be willing to settle with the 3DS's offering when the Vita seems much more successful at being that portable console? It's not like the Vita can't have the same light hearted portable games like on the DS either. I guess it's just a matter of who is willing to wait for MH:Vita.

Posted by Chris2KLee

Capcom has shown it has been willing to take risks with many of it's franchises. I can't say they have all been successes, but I like the fact that they at least tried, and are trying. But MH just seems to be stuck in amber, and I'd really like it to move forward in a more meaningful way. Maybe Dragon's Dogma will give me the evolution of the Capcom monster slaying game I want. And there is a still a better than even chance of a Vita MH (but by then the jump to Vita will be, again, a step behind current gen standards probably). I'll follow MH where ever it goes, but my eagerness for the series is not exactly at an all time high.

Edited by MarxMygdala

^Those are Monster Hunter 3, Monster Hunter Portable 3rd, Monster Hunter 3G, and Monster Hunter Portable 3rd HD.

And this is Monster Hunter 1.

Anyone who gets pissy about Madden or Call of Duty can eat a fucking dick, is what I'm saying, basically.