Monster Hunter (モンスターハンター, Monsutā Hantār) is a series of fantasy-themed action role-playing video games developed and published by Capcom. As the title suggests, the player takes on the role of a hunter in a fantasy environment who completes quests by hunting out specific kinds of monsters to kill or capture, in order to upgrade weapons and armor among other goals.
The series, which debuted year 2004 on the PlayStation 2 console, has branched out into PlayStation Portable games, Nintendo games and a massively multiplayer online game. The Monster Hunter series is immensely popular in Japan, and it has gained a cult following in the west, with the port Monster Hunter Freedom (Monster Hunter Portable in Japan) and its sequels selling millions of copies. Since the series debuted, it has sold 32 million units as of February 17, 2015. There is also an anime based on the spin-off game Monster Hunter Diary: Poka Poka Airou Village and a book called Monster Hunter EPISODE (モンスターハンター EPISODE~).
In the hunting quests, as the hunter progresses through the game, the monsters will become more difficult to defeat, but will consequently provide better items for the hunter to use. This is the most important section of the entire series of games, as killing a monster is the only way, in most circumstances, to carve a monster for its various body parts. Hunting quests can not only increase in difficulty through bigger and stronger creatures, but also through the online only addition of "plus level" monsters. These beings are exactly alike in appearance to their normal counterparts, but have a great increase in damaging ability and health reserves.
In the gathering quests, the hunter must "gather" items. These items may be simple to gather, like herbs, or require tools to gather them, like ore and fish. Other quests may require the player to kill monsters and hack off correct parts of meat or bone. These quests generally give out the least amount of rewards, but in some cases give valuable items. Although these are more than occasionally challenging, all gathering quests are required to be completed in order to reach the highest hunter rank in online play, as well as a way to earn items that can be used for rare novelty weapons such as the "Teddy Bear" hammer weapon.
Two common species found in every Monster Hunter game to date are Felynes and Poogies. Felynes are cat-like companions and, along with the Melynxs, a subspecies of the Lynian race and the Poogies are pet pigs that can be dressed in a variety of silly costumes. They all serve as mascots to the Monster Hunter series.
Games in the Series Edit
- Monster Hunter - (2004)
- Monster Hunter 2/Dos - (2006)
- Monster Hunter Tri - (2009)
- Monster Hunter 4 - (3DS - 2014)
- Monster Hunter X - (3DS - 2015)
- Monster Hunter Freedom - (2005)
- Monster Hunter Freedom 2 - (2007)
- Monster Hunter Freedom Unite - (2008)
- Monster Hunter Portable 3rd - (2010 - Japan only)
- Monster Hunter Portable 3rd HD - (2011 - Japan only)
- Monster Hunter Frontier - (2007 - Xbox 360 - Japan only)
- Monster Hunter: Frontier G - (2013 - Xbox 360 - Japan only)
- Monster Hunter i - (2006 - Japan only) - mobile phone game.
- Monster Hunter Diary: Poka Poka Felyne Village - (2010 - PSP - Japan only)
- Monster Hunter Diary: Poka Poka Felyne Village G - (2011 - PSP - Japan only)
- Monster Hunter Diary: Poka Poka Felyne Village DX - (2015 - 3DS - Japan only)
- Felyne Puzzle - (2012 - PSP - Japan only)
- Monster Hunter Online - (TBD - PC - China only)
The Monster Hunter series seems poised to arguably have as confusing a history like that of the Street Fighter series what with its many sequels, expansions and updates. The original Monster Hunter was released in Japan on March 11, 2004 and in North America on September 21 that same year. It was later updated/expanded with Monster Hunter G, which was released in Japan on January 20, 2005 for the PlayStation 2.
Monster Hunter G itself was altered slightly upon its release for the PlayStation Portable in Japan (known there as Monster Hunter Portable) and was brought to North America and Europe as Monster Hunter Freedom for the PSP. The sequel, Monster Hunter 2/Dos, was also released only in Japan on February 16 in 2006, and then Monster Hunter Portable 2nd was a Japan-only PSP expansion to it. This version was brought to North America under the title Monster Hunter Freedom 2 on August 28, 2007. Again, this "portable upgrade" brought some new things with it that the original game did not have. Monster Hunter Freedom Unite was the Western release of yet another updated PSP version of MH2, Monster Hunter Portable 2nd G.
In Japan, a Nintendo Wii version of the first expansion Monster Hunter G was released on April 23, 2009. Currently, Monster Hunter 3/Tri is available exclusively for the Wii. Monster Hunter Portable 3rd, is another portable MH game that is unrelated to the first ones with less content than Monster Hunter Tri but more monsters (a PS3 version of it was released as part of Sony's "PSP remakes" in the title of "Monster Hunter Portable 3rd HD Ver.").
Monster Hunter 3/Tri G is an expansion of Monster Hunter 3 released on Nintendo 3DS and later Wii U. It was released internationally as Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate in 2013. Monster Hunter 4 was released on September 14, 2013 for Nintendo 3DS, and will be rereleased as Monster Hunter 4G in Japan in Fall 2014. This version was released internationally as Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate in early 2015.
In November 2015, Monster Hunter X (pronounced "Cross"), was released in Japan. It is a game with four different fighting styles, and features the first time that Felynes are playable.