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TGS 08: Monster Hunter Unite headed for US

One of the reasons (or the reason) the PSP is doing so well in Japan is due in no small part to Monster Hunter Portable 2nd G. As we predicted, the game is being brought over stateside as Monster Hunter Freedom Unite. The Monster Hunter titles certainly haven't done as well in the States as they have in Japan. Will Unite change all of that? We doubt it, but we'll find out come Spring 2009, which is when the game is expected to be released in the US.

Monster Hunter Unite could be name of localized 2G

Wondering what's taking Monster Hunter so long to make its way from Japan to other countries? The multi-million selling Monster Hunter Portable 2nd G perhaps won't sell as many copies elsewhere, but it'd be easy money for Capcom to take advantage of. Well, the announcement of a new Infrastructure mode for the game (enabled via PS3) has us thinking the game is finally getting prepared for a wide release around the world.

A survey was released on the Capcom-Unity site, one which specifically mentions the Link functionality. Link would allow players "to play with other players across the world via a PS3 connected to the internet." Sounds just like the newly announced feature, no?

And the title of the game featured in the survey? Monster Hunter Unite. While Capcom reps refuse to comment on Monster Hunter Unite at the time, we think our guess that it's a localized version of 2G is a solid one -- guess we'll have to wait to find out more.

[Thanks, Yuri!]

Monster Hunter set to make more money with new products

"Monsuteru Hanteru" really must be Japanese words for "fast cash" because the series has been exactly that for Capcom. The Monster Hunter series is sure successful, and what do you do with successful franchises? You milk them until the teats start bleeding colored paper with funny looking people and numbers on them.

In line with this, Capcom is releasing more products in its Monster Hunter kitchen line with: a coffee tumbler (¥1,365 - $13), sack bag (¥840 - $8), coffee mug (¥945 - $9), and hand towels (¥525 - $5). The kitchen line products as well as beach sandals (¥2,100 - $20), and key covers (¥525 - $5) will be available August 14. You can find all of these at Capcom's online store. Go ahead and splurge, and while you're at it, pick us up some ramen!

[Via Gpara]

DLC fight!!! Monster Hunter and Phantasy Star expand

This week, Monster Hunter faces some competition. One of the big selling points of Monster Hunter Portable 2nd G was its free DLC, available weekly for eager fans. Just days after its launch in Japan, Sega is also making free Phantasy Star Portable DLC available. The first thing you're going to kill? A very Monster Hunter-dragon. Do you smell the competition in the air?

While both of these PSP RPGs go head-to-head in Japan with tons of features for fans, we're left here on this side of the Pacific, scratching our heads. Why don't we get this cool stuff too?

[Via PSPHyper]

Monster Hunter makes Capcom filthy rich in first quarter

It's no surprise that Monster Hunter is a hit in Japan, and it shouldn't come as a sucker punch to know that the title has made a pretty penny for Capcom. In fact, Capcom is gloating; the company has posted first quarter financial results (April 1 to June 30) which shows off a 60.1 percent profit increase of ¥4.02 billion ($37.2m). No doubt, this huge gain in cash is due to Monster Hunter Portable 2nd G which released March 27.

In this short time frame, the game has sold over 2.4 million copies in Japan -- the first PSP game to break the two million mark. Sales during the period went up 14.5 percent from the previous year raking in a total of ¥16.35 billion ($151m). Capcom notes that software sales other than Portable 2nd G were "mainly small-scale titles including spin-off software and repeated sales of existing products."

So Capcom, when can we expect the next Monster Hunter PSP game? It's obviously successful and needs some more money milking. Better yet, when is North America going to get in on the party with 2nd G?

Show off your cool Monster Hunter self with this shirt

Hey, we all know how playing Monster Hunter can make you into a "chick magnet" by just playing it. But, how about wearing it? Yeah, wear the pride of being a Monster Hunter with this polo shirt available at Play-Asia. You too can join the "Hunter Club" with this official club shirt which proudly states membership started since 2004 (when the series began).

The shirts come in available sizes M, L, and XL with a price tag of $39.90 plus shipping. While the shirt looks pretty cool, perhaps it won't make you that much more of a lady's man. You'll perhaps have to pick up some Monster Hunter plushies for that.

Ad: Yes, girls play Monster Hunter too

Want to be a "chick magnet" in Tokyo? Why not pick up Monster Hunter Portable 2nd G? This ad from PlayStation shows fashionable Japanese females getting together for an Ad-Hoc game of the popular PSP exclusive. Don't you wish you could join them? (Also, why does a game as successful as Monster Hunter need to advertise?)

Challenge yourself with this week's Monster Hunter DLC

This week's Monster Hunter Portable 2nd G DLC features two different quests in the same training ground: Hipknock Dairantou and Challenge Quest 09. Bird creatures known as Hipknocks that have the ability to put you to sleep will be your opponent in the first mission while a group of Ranposu and a single Diablos become your foes in the second.

[Via PSPHyper]

Monster Hunter celebrates Dengeki Festival

After last week's Famitsu-themed DLC, another gaming magazine will be this week's choice to be featured in Monster Hunter Portable 2nd G. Dengeki Festival G will be the title of the Event Quest this week. The player must venture into the cold climate to battle two electric monsters, Kirin and Furu Furu. For your efforts, you will be granted a special ticket. With 2.3 million units of this game sold in less than four months into this year, it is no wonder Capcom is offering such uncanny support for the game.

[Via PSPHyper]

Pink invades weekly Monster Hunter DLC

After last week's more serious affair, Capcom decided to give us a splash of color in the newest Monster Hunter Portable 2nd G DLC. Titled Famitsu Sakura Mai Season, players will take on a pink theme of three monsters: Baby Konga, Pink Rathian, and Yian Kut-ku. If victorious, the player will be granted a special ticket. A more difficult Challenge Quest 08 will involve dealing with "sub-species of Shogun Gizami, Furu Furu, and Diablos." We are thinking pink is the new black this week for Monster Hunter Portable 2nd G players.

Another week of Monster Hunter DLC

Ah, another Monster Hunter Portable 2nd G DLC. This week features a quest to face a trio of monsters: Narugakaruga, Tigarex, and Yian Garuga. The rewards will be items to create a rare sword and shield. Why can't Capcom, or any other company for that matter, ever support a game here in the States like they support Monster Hunter Portable 2nd G? We are just a tad bit jealous, aren't we?

[Via PSPHyper]

Wall St. Journal talks about Monster Hunter and PSP

If you ever needed a summary of proof that Monster Hunter is huge in Japan, this Wall Street Journal article would be it. The international financial newspaper credits the incredible success of the PSP in Japan over the past year to Monster Hunter. It outlines the appeal of the series, summarizing the mechanics of the game which allow a group of friends play together in co-op mode to battle monsters and gather materials for weapons and armor.

Writer Yukari Iwatani Kane asserts that the Japanese are "uncomfortable with the idea of playing video games with strangers over the Internet," and Capcom "overcame that hurdle" by incorporating the Ad Hoc mode on the PSP into Monster Hunter. This brought in unconventional fans such as a 37-year-old Tokyo architect who held a "weekend retreat" with his 14 friends, which included a doctor and corporate executives, to play Monster Hunter together. Members of fan-sites such as Oyaji Hunters (Old Geezer Hunters in Japanese) "participate in regularly scheduled face-to-face get-togethers."

Statistics obtained by the WSJ from Enterbrain Inc. shows that as of June 8th, 9.3 million PSPs were sold in Japan, compared with 4.75 million units in February of 2007 before the release of the first PSP Monster Hunter game. The combined sales of the two games have reached almost 4 million, and they are the only PSP games that have sold more than one million copies in Japan -- Kane attributes these sales partly to the fact that each player needs one copy of the game to play together. The article finally ends with some negative observations, stating that "Capcom hasn't made a serious effort to market the games in the U.S." and noting that the next Monster Hunter game will be on the Wii, rather than the PS3.

Though the article makes some legitimate points, it is hard to trust someone that contradicts herself ("uncomfortable with the idea of playing video games with strangers" vs. "participate in regularly scheduled face-to-face get-togethers") lists "Evil May Cry" as a popular Capcom series.

This week's Monster Hunter DLC ...

Besides Rock Band, we don't really know of any other game that updates its downloadable offerings as frequently and regularly as Monster Hunter Portable 2nd G. Every week, Capcom releases a new quest for the insanely popular action RPG. And every week, PSP is the top-selling system in Japan. We're not suggesting that those two trends are related in any way, but we have to say that Capcom is really treating its PSP fans quite well in Japan. We wonder what the Western equivalent of Monster Hunter will be ...

[Via PSPHyper]

Yes, even more DLC for Monster Hunter Portable 2nd G

The ever-popular Monster Hunter Portable 2nd G continues to expand its downloadable quest collection. The game has been expanded upon quite a bit already, and next up is a trip to the desert featuring a fight against two Dodobrango. This kind of over-enthusiastic support from Capcom is one of the reasons why the game has earned so much popularity in Japan. Perhaps other developers (PSP and others) should take heed of this practice -- building a strong community will reward you with incredible sales.

[Via PSPHyper]

Monster Hunter 2nd G gets even more downloadable content

It's quickly becoming one of those games whose life gets extended further and further thanks to downloadable content, but we're not complaining because Monster Hunter Portable 2nd G deserves it. Their latest downloadable quest is going up tomorrow. It's called "Challenge Quest 05" and allows hunters to get dressed up in chef outfits (muffin hats and all) and battle against some Dosfango for slabs of meat. Look for this content tomorrow and let us know if you found it most scrumptious!

[via PSPHyper]

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