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Ryozo Tsujimoto Outlines Capcom's Approach to Keeping Monster Hunter Fresh

Posted by Jowi Meli

Anyone for insect-shooting spear gun pogo sticks?

Capcom's illustrious Monster Hunter series has grown into a phenomenon in recent years, with Monster Hunter 4 surpassing three million units sold just a couple months after its launch in Japan. With such wild popularity, it seems it would be easy for series producer Ryozo Tsujimoto and the rest of the Monster Hunter crew at Capcom to rest on their laurels and make only marginal improvements. An interview with Joystiq, however, illustrates how Tsujimoto-san and his team constantly challenge themselves to keep the hunting experience from getting stale — all while keeping the heart of the franchise intact:

We tend to, on the design side, just think of things that we as players want to do in these worlds but are unable to do in the current state. You start with the kernel of an idea and then they kind of flow from there gradually, layering in more and more. It always comes back to empowering the player to perform more actions.

Tsujimoto-san used the term "freshness" to describe the new concepts added to each incremental step in the series. In the upcoming Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate, that freshness starts with "jump attacks" — maneuvers that make use of the spear-like Insect Glaive weapon to vault over and even mount monsters. It also shoots insects at your enemies, an interesting mechanic that's sure to bring creative new hunting strategies to the table.

Beyond weapons and monsters, online play represents a huge part of Monster Hunter's core appeal; that being so, some 3DS owners may have felt shortchanged when Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate skipped stand-alone online multiplayer on the handheld (a Wii U and dedicated app were required to make that leap). That won't be a problem this time around, says Tsujimoto-san.

In a manner of speaking, all the things you could do with those two versions (3DS and Wii U) previously, you can now do in this one version. [We've] put a lot of time, energy and effort into making the 3DS version.

Making new iterations of a popular franchise can be difficult, especially one as venerable as Monster Hunter. Are you satisfied with the way Tsujimoto-san and the team at Capcom approach each new title? What are some of your favorite improvements to the series over the years? Let us know in the comments!

[via joystiq.com]

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User Comments (28)

Nintendo_Ninja

#4

Nintendo_Ninja said:

I love the series. It has so much growing room compared to other RPG's. The monsters, classes, weapons, and gameplay can be tweaked and as long as they don't suck, it's just a new evolution for the series.

Iggly

#6

Iggly said:

That's great to hear since I definitely enjoy Monster Hunter so it's awesome to hear that the next installments will add in features that makes the gameplay feel more engaging and fun. I wish that other series, even ones that aren't from Capcom could follow this kind of path(when it comes to creativity).

markybbop

#7

markybbop said:

Im not a fan of monster hunter but im suprise that there may not be a wiiu version as I thought it sold alot of units

Kaze_Memaryu

#9

Kaze_Memaryu said:

It's impressive to see how detailed and varied many monsters have become ever since the first game - the same goes for the great variety of weapon types and designs!
Though I do wonder how many new designs they can employ without them becoming too weird.

Noboty

#12

Noboty said:

I see nothing in there that indicates a lack of a Wii U version, only that they will actually try when it comes to the 3DS version.

AVahne

#13

AVahne said:

Hooray! No Wii U version. :D
Meaning they can devote all available manpower and budget power to the 3DS game, and then later on a possible MH5 built ground up for Wii U or PS4....OR BOTH!

Zombie_Barioth

#18

Zombie_Barioth said:

Agreed on the "lack" of a Wii U version.

@markybbop
Handhelds are top-dog in Japan, which is Monster Hunter's biggest market as well. Need I say more? They don't really need a console Monster Hunter, the only reason to make one is for the west, where its niche to begin with so it won't see a huge boost.

TromboneGamer

#19

TromboneGamer said:

Really not sure why you guys want a wii U port on a game with visuals specifically designed for max performance on 3ds. Of course portable 3rd was ported to PS3 but it's environments were very simliar to Tri therefore the upres didn't hurt it's visuals. Personally, I wouldn't want to play an upressed version of 4 because the textures would probably not benefit from an upres whatsoever and overall the look would throw me off.

Ryu_Niiyama

#20

Ryu_Niiyama said:

They may still port it later but until then for me no sale. Unless Nintendo comes up with a 3ds player I'm backing off on playing time sinks on my 3ds. While I understand that handhelds (or rather the 3ds) are king in Japan I still prefer tv gaming.

arkady77

#21

arkady77 said:

got the 3ds version on sale. utterly useless as a portable game for me. wii u version or not at all. capcom is a company that is at least as big outside of japan as within

audiobrainiac

#23

audiobrainiac said:

Portable games are my favorite. I want to hunt anywhere and everywhere. I love my Wii U for MH3U, but I always want them to strive to make the portable experience a full one. Not a scaled back version of the game. Sounds like they're doing it to me. It's gonna be good. I am good. Lol @ game snobs.

ollietaro

#25

ollietaro said:

Wow, so many Wii U ppl on a 3DS topic. As for 3DS users such as myself, I can't effin' wait!! Bring back underwater hunting in MH5!!

coolaggro

#26

coolaggro said:

As far as changes I still want:

  • Slightly better drop rates for super rare items (3% for a ruby is no fun...)
  • Armor upgrading to be more fun/require more skill. Instead of armor stones, make it like weapons and be upgradeable from parts again. Or upgrade it into different armor (even more like weapons).
  • Large Monsters that will interact and possibly fight each other (until they notice you at least)

But really I just want to play this game!!

JaxonH

#27

JaxonH said:

It's gonna be a HUGE adjustment playing this game on the 3DS as opposed to luxurious HD graphics on the big screen, but, I'm just thankful this game is coming west at all.

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