MONSTER HUNTER: WORLD - Will Western Gamers Finally Embrace this Popular Japanese Game Series ?

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 Monster Hunter: World is set to release January 26, 2018. Current fans of the series who played the beta are already touting it as the best Monster Hunter made to date. Some first timers to the game in beta seem lukewarm about it, with complaints that the button mechanics are unfamiliar and not intuitive, although that may simply be the result of the beta version having such a bare bones tutorial. Gamers that enjoy open area environments with interactive ecosystems, and hunting and taking down large prey through a combination of combat tactics and tracking are most likely in for a treat.

The past year has been popular for dinosaur fans in the gaming world, from shooting mechanical monsters in Horizona Zero Dawn to taming a T-Rex and riding it around in ARK: Survival Evolved there has been plenty of oversized lizards for us to both fight and ride. Now Capcom is throwing a hat in the giant lizard themed game ring with a new installment of Monster Hunter: World, which held a free beta for playstation players over the weekend.

Although Monster Hunter: World already brings with it fans of earlier games, with eight previous international titles for both Playstation and Nintendo, overall the series has been far more popular in Japan than anywhere else, thirteen titles have been released there and reception of the games have always been more positive. Capcom, known to be making some major changes in their budget lately, is trying to translate the success  of the title in Japan to the international stage. They have made some major changes in this latest game including updating and modernizing gameplay,  removing loading screen time beween areas on the map, taking time to focus even more on graphics, and releasing a free beta version to wet the appetite of first time monster hunters.

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One of the outstanding aspects of the game so far has been the lighting quality within the environment, and Kaname Fujoka the executive Art director of Monster Hunter: World explains why it looks so realistic,  “We were able to make dark areas slightly brighter using secondary light reflection, as well as show light permeating monster wings and plants. They (development engineers) provided stacks of technical proposals that allowed us to produce natural, realistic light using physics-based calculations.” This kind of attention to detail, both in art direction and gameplay, may be what finally brings the western audience onboard with this popular Japanese franchise. Capcom is due for a win after recent declines of both sales and profits, and if it delivers all that it promises with Monster Hunter: World, this may well be it.

Did you get a chance to try out the Beta? What did you think? Let us know in the comments below!

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