I’m not what you’d call a mega fan of Monster Hunter, after struggling through (and eventually giving up) Tri, but I still play and enjoy 4 Ultimate from time to time. I’ve spent 64 hours hunting, crafting and capturing on my 3DS. You’ll likely never see a review of the game on here unfortunately, as I doubt I’ll ever get around to finishing off all the content that was added to the Ultimate edition and I only ever review games on here where I have finished the story. Suffice to say, though, that I really, really like Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate. I think it’s about time the series took a break from the 3DS.
Nintendo’s 3D handheld has seen three entries into the Monster Hunter series, and has really helped the Japanese phenomenon begin to take off in the West. Capcom’s series found a loving home on the 3DS, and each title has performed admirably in the West. Towards the end of 2016, Capcom spoke of their desire to expand the series in the West, but felt that, perhaps, the handheld market was holding them back. Unlike Japan, handhelds represent the minority of games console sales in the West, while consoles such as the PS4 dominate. It would make sense for Capcom to want to try their hand at Monster Hunter development for home consoles again – the series started life on the PS2.
Instead of releasing a new title for the PS4 or Xbox One however, Capcom should instead look to Nintendo. Monster Hunter has been successfully affiliated with Nintendo since the Tri hit the Wii, so it would be a shame for Capcom to leave that core group of players behind. Sure, you might argue that they left their loyal Playstation fans behind when the series switched to Nintendo, but in my eyes Monster Hunter feels more at home on Nintendo thanks to its quirky elements. It feels like a Nintendo game. It’s incredible gameplay is backed up by bright graphics and a quirky sense of humour that all can enjoy.
Capcom could make a multi-platform Monster Hunter 5, but I think, instead, that they should focus their attention on the Switch. A Monster Hunter game you can play on your TV or on the go? Sign me up. Monster Hunter is a series that for many, defines co-op gaming. Handheld consoles are perfect for co-op sessions, promoting local over online, and the Switch is perfectly capable of this. To be honest, when I eventually get around to buying a Switch, I don’t see myself using the console in handheld mode all that much – I still actively enjoy my 3DS. Monster Hunter 5 will make me use the console in handheld mode. I’ll “upgrade” from 4 Ultimate to Monster Hunter 5 for my weekly co-op sessions.
Monster Hunter 5 should see a visual upgrade, and while the Switch sadly might not be at the same level of the PS4, the level of detail it can produce as a handheld is astonishing. The Monster Hunter series has been using what looks like a similar engine for years now, and the Switch would act as the best machine to get the most out of it. The spectacular animations would be smoother, the environments more spectacular and you could even get more monsters on screen with the Switch. The HD rumble could be used to great effect in all areas of the series gameplay, from knowing when you land a particularly clean strike, to knowing exactly when your raw meat is perfectly cooked.
It would be interesting to see if Capcom would attempt 2-player co-op out of the box with a single Joy-Con for each person, and whether they’d use motion controls again. Imagine facing off in a particularly gruelling hunt. It’s taking ages, and you need to leave. Now you don’t have to start it from the beginning. Simply take your switch out of your dock and play the game when out and about (or vice-versa). The Switch seems almost like it was purpose built for a staggeringly good Monster Hunter 5. Make it happen Capcom!