If you own a PlayStation Portable, chances are, you’ve already played at least one Monster Hunter game, and even fortunate enough to play it on multiplayer.
In Japan, the Monster Hunter was a huge hit, it even has its own MMO version of the popular franchise. Here in the Philippines, Monster Hunter is quite popular for the PSP gamers, you can see a group of guys in corporate suits playing the portable version at a fastfood chain or even in a famous coffee shop.
Hunting monsters with a group of friends is very fulfilling, and probably this the secret winning formula of Capcom for their monster franchise (the Giant monster vs. group of players kind of formula), so it wouldn’t be surprising to see other game developers to follow this formula.
Namco Bandai releases God Eater for the PSP last February 4 in Japan and will release an English version in 2011. The game has some similarities with Monster Hunter and it boasts over 100 missions for both single and multiplayer modes, you can get to switch your weapon easily from melee or range.
Even the famous anime Naruto is joining the monster craze, Naruto Shippuden: Kizuna Drive will focus more on team battles (more multiplayer action) and some “Tailed Beasts” monster battles, so it’s probably going to have a small hint of Monster Hunter feel to the game. Namco Bandai will be the ones who will release the Naruto game but no news if there will be an English release. Naruto Shippuden: Kizuna Drive will arrive this year.
Square-Enix (the people behind the Final Fantasy series) is also joining the fray, with their upcoming game Lord of Arcana. Set in the world of Horodyn, players take on the role of slayers trying to get their hands on the incredible power of Arcana. The game will feature 4 four player Ad-Hoc gameplay with tons of missions and Downloadable Contents for additional missions. Lord of Arcana is set to release on August 19 in Japan and a confirmed release in Europe.
But Konami, on the other hand, made a different approach. Instead of borrowing the concepts from Monster Hunter, they borrowed the franchise itself, by collaborating with Capcom for their famous stealth action game Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker. Peace Walker has a secret Monster Hunter mission where you get to duke it out head-to-head with some famous monsters from Monster Hunter. You can get the secret mission by watching this guide (and I’ll be making a review for Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker in the coming days, so stay tuned for that).
Monster Hunter may not be the one who invented the concept of Giant monster hunting with friends, but they did manage to make it a hit for a portable console that inspire others to follow and give the players more games to enjoy.