News Article

Capcom Seeks a Western "Breakthrough" With Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

"We're giving opportunity and options to consumers to really pick up the version they want"

Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate is old news in Japan — in the case of the 3DS version, very old news — yet it's one of two high-profile releases landing on the Wii U in the West in March, while also giving Nintendo handheld owners their first chance of slaying beasts while on the move. As the title suggests, this enhanced and expanded version of Wii title Monster Hunter Tri is the second entry in which Capcom and Nintendo have teamed up — Capcom does all of the development, of course, but Nintendo's played a vital role in localisation and marketing.

While the Wii release wasn't exactly a flop at retail, it wasn't an outstanding success either. Speaking to Eurogamer, producer Ryozo Tsujimoto explained that these new releases should help to bridge gaps in cultural and gaming habits in Japan, where the series is hugely popular, and the Western markets; the goal, of course, is to achieve strong sales. Notably, he also addressed the extensive wait between releases outside of Japan, suggesting that it should be improved if the market shows enough interest in the franchise.

Monster Hunter in Japan started and developed in a very different way to how it's been in Europe so far, Japan being a rather densely populated place with a quite prominent culture of visiting each other's places to play games together. You see kids carrying their consoles taking them to their friends. They already had this basis of playing games through local network, whereas it's a bit more difficult in the US and Europe where your neighbour is seven miles away.

With Wii U, which is online compatible, and with 3DS with its portability, releasing both of them together, we're giving opportunity and options to consumers to really pick up the version they want and the one that suits them.

By doing that we might be able to actually have a breakthrough. That's definitely our intention.

We're well aware of the complaints from the fans about the time difference of releases. We have been trying our best to try to reduce it.

So this time, with great help from Nintendo, we've managed to greatly shorten the delay in release and at the same time we're releasing it for both platforms, which is an achievement in a sense. So hopefully we can implement a more systematic way of doing this in the future.

Another key change that this new version seeks to add is an improved camera, with a "lock-on" option — especially useful for those without the Circle Pad Pro on 3DS — which should help to even out the difficulty for newcomers. That said, Tsujimoto told Eurogamer that a high degree of challenge is essential to the Monster Hunter franchise, and won't be compromised excessively to cater to more gamers.

Monster Hunter is an action game. It's got to be challenging. It's got to be solid in that sense. Not to the extent that it's heartbreaking. But it's got to have significant points to it.

You have a breakthrough. You hit a wall. You ponder for a bit. And then you breakthrough again. There are significant steps where you are satisfied in each, but it's never heartbreaking. It's a matter of balance in that sense.

...At the end of the day, the Monster Hunter difficulty is in the action element, not the camera control. We don't want people to be hindered because the camera control is awkward. We wanted to provide a comfortable environment for the players without spoiling the solidness of the game itself.

Tsujimoto wouldn't be drawn into talking about a Western release of Monster Hunter 4, saying that "before you talk about my next baby, I'd like you to love my first baby." Capcom is clearly hoping that releasing the title on both current Nintendo platforms, as well as including cross-device multiplayer and save sharing, will win a substantial audience.

What do you think of these comments, and do you think that Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate can prove to be a major sales success in the West?

[via eurogamer.net]

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User Comments (83)

Tasuki

#1

Tasuki said:

I dont know about everyone else but by playing the demo I am a fan of the series. This is my introduction into the world of Monster Hunter and I cant wait for it to come out so I can play the full version.

Haxonberik

#2

Haxonberik said:

I'd buy the Wii U version if I had a good internet connection. I had the Wii version but not being able to play online kinda broke the game for me.

AyeHaley

#3

AyeHaley said:

I'm getting both versions and I hope others will do the same if they get the chance. :)

Nintex

#4

Nintex said:

I've already got both versions pre-ordered. I will play the WiiU version when I play at my house and I will play the 3DS version when I go to my friends house. The both of us are looking forward to MH3U!

Xiao_Pai

#5

Xiao_Pai said:

Well after hearing the updates they're doing for the fans...this may end up being where Monster Hunter picks up here. :p

Sandstorm64

#6

Sandstorm64 said:

Monster Hunter Tri for the Wii was my first game I played in the series and I put 500+ hours into it so I'm very excited for these games.

ultraraichu

#7

ultraraichu said:

So if this sells well in the west, they would not just likely release MH4 in the west but also improve the wait time for localization. Let's hope that sells can come close to match JPN sales. Buy, buy, buy western friends :)

Rashef

#8

Rashef said:

Yes it can provided 3DS gets a way to go online for the hunts and/or Nintendo gets awake and makes something to promote the Wii U more.

The game in itself is pretty solid and I'm charmed anew for the series. :]

idork99

#9

idork99 said:

It's interesting that Nintendo assisted Capcom in bringing this game to the West. After playing the demo, all I can say is that this game seems to be tough as nails which is right up my alley. I don't know if it's because of all the hype I've been reading about in Japan but I did find the game to be fun. Eventhough I kept losing time and again. March looks to be an expensive month for me in terms of games to be purchased. Well played Nintendo and Capcom, you've got my attention.

WindWakerLink

#10

WindWakerLink said:

Good deal. This "transferring-file" thing from home console to portable was what the PS3 & Vita was to do from my understand. However, I'm glad Capcom is doing this for the Wii U & 3DS because it shows that "It's possible to do the same on Nintendo systems." Ha! Haha!

ArcanaXVI

#11

ArcanaXVI said:

I'm getting both versions, and I'm crossing my fingers for good enough sales that they do bring over Monster Hunter 4.

Gustoff

#12

Gustoff said:

For me, the demo on the 3DS sold me. Even though i still can't figure out how to swim and battle the "hard" monster in the demo, i like the fact that it's basically open world, exploring, hunting, numerous quests, 500+ hours of gameplay and various characters, weapons and armors available. I don't have it, but this reminds me of my brothers game Skyrim for the Xbox360. I can't wait to get this and will be day one buy for me. PreOrdering it this weekend from Gamestop, which will include a free digital copy of the strategy guide. :)

DashDG

#13

DashDG said:

I really hope a lot of peole to buy this. I already have both versions pre-ordered and it would be nice to have MH4 coming near in the future!!! =)

Beta

#14

Beta said:

I got the Wii U version pre-ordered and if my little brother likes it enough I will consider getting a 3DS copy for him. Come on, guys, get your wallets out! ^_^

Gustoff

#15

Gustoff said:

Does anyone know if there will be any spotpass or streetpass features for the 3DS version of the game? I think I heard of quests being added thru one of the two features...

Whopper744

#16

Whopper744 said:

Tried to the Wii U demo. Was trying to enjoy it but I had no clue what was going on. I was trying to find this big rabbit thing that I was rarely happen to run into. When I did find it, I would beat the crap out of it with a sword for a few mintues, and then it would run off. Finally, after continuing to beat the crap out of this thing without it dying, time ran out. Also, there was these two little weird guys following me around. They seemed to be trying to help though.

I think I need a good tutorial or something. :p

TheAdza

#17

TheAdza said:

I really want to like the series, but I bought Tri and it bored me to tears. I have the 3DS and Wii U demo, and nothing much seems to have changed. I just don't get it. How long does it take to kill a monster? Forever by the looks of it. Now while I can't say the multiplayer is bad because I haven't played it and am probably missing some key elements, I don't think I can stand hacking and slashing with stiff hard to control characters, constantly having to adjust the camera, for hours on end.
Like I said, I want to like this game. I just don't. What am I missing?

McHaggis

#19

McHaggis said:

@TheAdza, @Joshers744 and me. I'd really like to support this game to encourage localisations, but I know that I'd never played it. I gave the demo a chance on the Wii U and I've tried a couple of the games in the past and just can't see what's so great about playing a game that's basically just a huge grind.

ado

#20

ado said:

It's a great game.the full game eases you into it.teaches you how to play as you go.its hard in the demo cause it throws you in the deep end.you have combos for each weapon that you learn to take Down the monsters quicker and you learn how to trap the monster and use bombs etc.the controls are very good when you get used to them.you craft your own armour too that give you better chance against each monster and certain weapons are better for each one too.there is loads to the game.its brilliant i can't wait for it..I'm getting both versions and I put over 100 hours into monster hunter tri on the wii..

ado

#21

ado said:

It's also better when playing with other people.its a hard as nails game.i wouldn't call it a grind its basically a load of boss battles and you have to prepare properly for each one.

RikuzeYre

#22

RikuzeYre said:

Its not a Grind Fest thankfully, its more of an action game where you hunt giant monsters threatening the villages.

Tender_Cutlet

#23

Tender_Cutlet said:

@TheAzda - for me, the online experience turned Tri from a good game into a great game - it took time to find others players in the hub, likeminded and of a similar level, but once you rallied and clicked with three equally matched players online, the real joy was to be found in taking down those monsters with tactical teamwork. I remember when I first beat Alatreon with the aid of online mates - rarely since have I felt so accomplished from a game on a Nintendo console.

ado

#24

ado said:

You will have to kill the same monsters. Few times though to get stuff to craft equipment and weapons but its so much fun fighting the monsters especially with other people that it doesn't matter.loads different things happen in each fight

Gustoff

#25

Gustoff said:

Another question, are there other NPC's that come out in the game thru doing quests? Are there villages throught the game world where you meet other NPC's?

ado

#26

ado said:

Yeah the online was excellent I found people I played with very helpful and into he game.they played it properly.its way better played with others.

ado

#27

ado said:

You get these guys called cha chas that you can bring with you.you can customise them to heal you or give you buffs etc.not really npcs.its not a story drivin rpg.its basically a village you have as a hub and you prepare to fight monsters in each area that opens up.you can farm in the village too

ado

#28

ado said:

You meet n p c s in the village to craft,buy stuff,farm etc.this ultimate edition has more in it so there may be more than one village in it

XCWarrior

#29

XCWarrior said:

Will be buying both versions for sure come March 19.

For those with doubts after trying the demo. The game is meant to played in groups online or locally. It's so much fun to have a 4 man team going and hunting down a monster. And now with good voice chat - Wii Speak was not good - it's going to be easier to coordinate an attack.

The 3DS will be good for the main story or when you want to farm alone offline for certain materials. The cha-chas seem more helpful than they were in the original Tri.

The game has a slow start, the first 5 hours might not grab you, but by the time you take down that first big monster with friends - you will find yourself spending hundreds of hours into this series.

ado

#31

ado said:

I think mii verse will be great for it to find players to go on hunts with and to discuss how to take down monsters.

Whopper744

#32

Whopper744 said:

@XCWarrior. That does sound like it could be very interesting. Just not sure if it's something I would be able to do. I personally know like one guy that actually owns a Wii U. I just don't play online games much.
Maybe in the future sometime.

Dreamcaster-X

#33

Dreamcaster-X said:

Got my pre-order in! Looking forward to playing MH on the big-screen with HD visuals. Mii-verse is gonna be so awesome for a game like this!!!

ado

#34

ado said:

I'm going playing the demo now can't take down that underwater dragon in the twenty minutes you get.thank god you have 50 in the full game

lilman390

#36

lilman390 said:

I'm really looking forward to this game. I want this game so bad. I can't wait till march 19.

Hamguar

#37

Hamguar said:

@ado Plesioth is a bit hard but it is doable to down it in 20. You do need to be on it like white on rice from the get go. I had the best luck with the hunting horn, dual swords, and lances. The lance especially was a pile of Plesie whoopin'.

URAlsr

#39

URAlsr said:

ill pick up the wiiu version when its around 30ish. not interested in the 3ds version.

justin6d

#40

justin6d said:

pre-ordered the 3ds version like a month ago im pumped for this one a little sad that luigis mansion dark moon is coming out so close to it though, there goes my free time

justin6d

#41

justin6d said:

@ado i m so glad to hear that i was doing good against it on my 4th try but i ran out of time, this will be my entry to the series

CrispyGoomba

#43

CrispyGoomba said:

I'm thinking of picking up the Wii U version but I won't be able to play online. Is there a lot of online only things to do in the game that I won't be able to do offline?

Dpullam

#44

Dpullam said:

I was really impressed with how smooth the game demo ran on my 3DS. Thankfully this was my second entry in the series so I blew through both bosses with little trouble. Also, the auto target system works great. I was disappointed that it didn't support Circle Pad Pro though.

Dpishere

#46

Dpishere said:

I really do hope Monster Hunter catches on in the states as it is truly a fantastic series and after playing Tri for 300 hours I am contemplating purchasing it again for 3ds so I can play local with my bro.

ueI

#47

ueI said:

I don't expect this to sell any more than the one on the wii, as they're essentially the same game.

AVahne

#49

AVahne said:

@ueI
There's way more content in this one.
In comparison, the Modern Warfare games in the Call of Duty franchise are pretty much the same game, yet they all sell millions upon millions every release. Then again, CoD is pretty much crack for society; they just love it.

ueI

#50

ueI said:

Even if there's more content, some people will probably assume the games are identical like I did, and choose not to get the new version for that reason. Monster Hunter isn't crack in the United States.

LDXD

#52

LDXD said:

Got the demo then got the preorder this will be my first monster hunter game coming from a demon souls expert so y'all don't be to harsh on me online lol. I know I will learn to love this game based on the gameplay alone

CerberusAzdin

#53

CerberusAzdin said:

I hope this game not only creates a bigger following this time round but it creates enough impact to make Capcom release more games outside Japan. There are thousands of people who import japanese consoles to play these games and this should stop now! There is a massive Monster Hunter following in the EU and US and this is the chance we have to prove how badly we want this franchise on our shores. Ryozo Tsujimoto wants us to play and truly enjoy Monster Hunter here in the west as he had a Q&A with gamers on Facebook about the game and is even releasing a patch in April to play on the gamepad. Not only that, but the fact that US and EU servers will be able to play together for the first time is a great move. They have done their research in order to make this work and it will pay off. One thing I'd like to see is real Gathering Halls like the one they had in London in 2009, that would really help the 3DS sales.

The success of this version will start slow and rapidly pick up due to the fact that it is an awesome game and that it will boost Wii U sales dramatically. The Miiverse is catered for this game; people can talk, draw and comment on hunts and strategies. Anyone who reads this, has a Wii U or is getting one just because, add me to your list! CerberusAzdin

Zombie_Barioth

#54

Zombie_Barioth said:

I'm glad that they're trying to push for the game to catch on in other countries, and want to be able to share such an awesome series with the rest of the world.

I actually like how they did the lock-on camera, since its not a traditional lock-on it just snaps the camera in the monster's direction. I really hope the series catches on, I really hate the idea of picking up the Wii U for it only to find there aren't very many people playing.

TromboneGamer

#55

TromboneGamer said:

I cannot stress enough to newcomers that you're ticket of entry will seem so much more expensive when you're not playing with friends or other knowledgeable hunters. They almost NEED to play with others. The thing is, who is going to tell them that?

EOTW

#56

EOTW said:

I love Monster Hunter Tri. That said, I was disappointed with the demos for Ultimate. I became very accustomed to the Wii Remote/nunchuck controls,and the new controls feel very... bad. They didn't even seem to use the trigger buttons, which would have been great for dodging. Instead you have to awkwardly reach down to the B button every time you dodge. They also overlayed certain buttons, like the run button being the same as the 'weapon specific action' button, which makes no sense when you have unused buttons. I couldn't find a way to switch this in the demo, but I hope I was just being stupid and couldn't figure it out. This game deserves better controls than the ones I just used.

Frozenx07

#57

Frozenx07 said:

@Gustoff I'm also curious about streetpass. Anyone know if it will have that?

I pre-ordered my 3DS copy. I loved the demo. Tri was my first Monster Hunter game. I want to show Capcom that there are Monster Hunter fans in the US! I hope MH4 come out here!

OGGamer

#58

OGGamer said:

@EOTW I felt the exact same way . I was also used to the wiimote and nunchuck but after an hour or so the new controls started to grow on me . After several playing sessions I now feel like a more than competent player . It takes some getting used to but you'll get it . However if the full game has the option for wiimote and nunchuck I'm all over that ! Players who used the classic controller in tri should feel right at home .

WildMan

#59

WildMan said:

I would only want this to succeed so Capcom will release more games over here. However, I think the MHU 3 is really overrated.. Combat's repetitive and it really should have been a real open world game..

BATRA

#61

BATRA said:

I THINK THAT INJUSTICE GODS AMONG US WILL BE A VERY BIG GAME FOR THE WII U I JUST NO SOME THING DLC ARE COMING TO THE WII U

LAA

#63

LAA said:

I wish they'd have something similar to cross buy though. As much as I'd love to transfer my save to 3DS and play that whenever, I dont think its worth an extra £30 to do so.
Hoping MH3U will be awesome anyway, not bought an MH before and it took me a few days with the demo to decide whether I'd like it and now I think the answer to that is yes! (Plus when I heard about 70% more content from original MH3, that blew my mind too)

Beta

#64

Beta said:

@hydeks Of course not! This game like several games inside one. One of the sites that say how much time it takes for an average gamer to finish this is 170 hours, but it's debatable since I have heard people even clocked 400 hours of gameplay with it so they probably meant not an average (more than an expert) gamer rushing through it :P

cornishlee

#65

cornishlee said:

Well, I hope they look at attach rate rather than overall sales figures if they're hoping for a big success.

Judging by other people's comments here, I'm looking forward to this a lot less now. I downloaded the demo but I haven't played it yet and if multi-player really is a central element to the game then I'm out - I simply don't have anyone to play with.

Falk_Sturmfels

#66

Falk_Sturmfels said:

@cornishlee: You can play the whole game as a single person. Its just easier when you have a buddy on your side. But be warned - if you get hooked to that game it will suck at least 300 hours from your lifetime. I played the predecessor 338 hours and did not get tired of it.

Nintenjoe64

#67

Nintenjoe64 said:

I started to warm to this game after a few tries but they won't win too many new people with that demo. It will sell well for a Wii U game though because we're all desperate for something to play!!

SetupDisk

#68

SetupDisk said:

I am getting these game because I know it is awesome but the demo was quite poor if you aren't a fan. While the combat is great the creation and selection of gear, etc is my favorite aspect of the game. Plus I couldn't set up cha cha's moves!

Ernest_The_Crab

#69

Ernest_The_Crab said:

@Gustoff If your issue is with the swimming aspect I recommend you use a weapon that has more defensive abilities, like a Sword and Shield. If your problem is with hitting the monsters you may be better off going with a longer/wider weapon (Switch Axe, Greatsword, or a Longsword).

EOTW

#71

EOTW said:

@OGGamer Yeah, I'm starting to get used to it. Using the Pro Controller definitely helped, but it's still so weird that they left the triggers completely unused.

Gustoff

#73

Gustoff said:

@Ernest_The_Crab
Thanks, I'll try that. I'm also thinking that it may be easier with the CPP. I just preordered it at Gamestop with confirmation of my free digital strategy guide. Can't wait..

FritzFrapp

#74

FritzFrapp said:

I thought Freedom Unite on the PSP was by far the best game of the last generation. I've put 800+ hours into that masterpiece. And about half that on Tri on the Wii.
The Wii U/3DS demo is very bare bones, and so was the demo for Freedom Unite. There is so much to the Monster Hunter games beyond what you see in those demos. I never thought a game would come along and rival my affections for Zelda, but Monster Hunter has, and then some.
For those questioning buying the game for mostly/all single player use, then don't have any worries – the game is brilliant in single player and multi. Single player makes you improve as a hunter – learning how to hunt effectively with your weapons, how not to get hit so much, so that you can free up space to gather more goodies rather than carry lots of health items. Eventually learning the skill to take down a big monster with a well-timed finishing move AND doing it stylishly – that feeling is what gaming is all about to me.

ivanmata

#75

ivanmata said:

I see that I'm not the only one that dislikes the game. I did not like the demo at all, maybe they should've shown something more interesting to attract more people.

Zombie_Barioth

#76

Zombie_Barioth said:

@Frapp I think you summed things up perfectly.
Once you get the hang of things you'll get to the point where your killing the stronger monsters in 10-15 minutes offline, its just the online ones that take a while longer due to being buffed for multiplayer.

So I take it that the Wii U version doesn't use the L&R buttons? Thats really weird because the 3DS version does. Unless the control setting have more than one set-up but the demo doesn't let you change it, like the 3DS one lacking CPP support.

FritzFrapp

#77

FritzFrapp said:

@Zombie_Barioth
The Wii U demo doesn't let you use the ZL & ZR triggers – unintuitively, you're forced to use the L & R buttons, which creates a bit of a stretch as mentioned earlier.
Japan got an update to use the triggers for panning the camera. With the excellent updates the game has already had pre-release I'd imagine Capcom would certainly consider patching in an option to swap the buttons if enough people raise their concerns. They do seem to making an effort to push Monster Hunter in the West this time.

Grubdog

#78

Grubdog said:

I'm willing to give this a shot now. Capcom's putting effort into it, and so will I. This is almost unprecedented support for a localisation, I hope Square-Enix is watching.

teknik

#79

teknik said:

@idork99 it really is a fun game but you should save your money on those other games.

once bitten by monster hunter you will be consumed, this is not the kind of game you'd want to play if you are a completionist. 1000 hours later you'll still be trying to craft all of the gear.

You might as well wait for those other games to hit the bargain bin. I've actually avoided looking at what games are up and coming because I don't see myself even taking a break for 6 months solid.

teknik

#80

teknik said:

I'm a complete monster hunter addict and I simply can't wait for March 19th! I'm having a blast with the demo, it's a good excuse to try all of the weapons out.

I hope the punishing difficulty doesn't turn too many people off, while there is a learning curve it is manageable and once you get the hang of it those skills carry over to the rest of the game.

It's a game of being prepared! If you are prepared for the fight ahead you'll fare much better.

For the new players try circling the monster up close and wait for it to attack you and miss before you attack and hit!

erv

#81

erv said:

I'm going to buy it on wiiU, play it online and never look back. It'll be great.

I do think they underestimate the fun this game could be for the portable crowd if they allowed 3ds online play as well. Typing on the touch screen is very possible, the game is very suited for a setup like that.

Oh well, they are doing great as it is though.

Punisher1

#82

Punisher1 said:

i think this is the most dumb think they could do i mean not alot of people can buy the WII U personily it looks like a total waste of time i wish they would keep the reg servers running if they dont im done!

Bucho

#83

Bucho said:

Tri on the Wii was my first Monster Hunter, loved it, fun, challenging, egaging all the way, i'm getting the 3DS version of ultimate in just 9 more days! and i wil definitely get the Wii U version when i get the console later this year.
Need to support the franchise as much as we can so we will some day get Monster Hunter 4 localized.

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