I love the Monster Hunter games — I'm old enough to remember playing the original North American release on the PlayStation 2. My purchase of a secondhand PSP was largely predicated on my need to play Monster Hunter Freedom 2.
As excited as I was for the announcement of Monster Hunter: World at Sony's E3 conference, I was equally shocked by Capcom's announcement that they wouldn't be porting Monster Hunter XX to the Switch in North America, so that they could focus on the upcoming PlayStation 4/Xbox One/PC title.
Monster Hunter XX: the decision not to port the game to North American Switch consoles is a major upset
There was never an official plan for Monster Hunter XX to come to North America. Although the pragmatist in me wants to sit on a high horse and say "this is the issue with speculation," the reason why so many people were shocked by this announcement is because every main Monster Hunter title has come to North America since 2008's Freedom Unite.
• Monster Hunter Tri (Wii) – 2010
• Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate (3DS/Wii U) – 2013
• Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate (3DS) — 2015
• Monster Hunter Generations (3DS) – 2016
That's a good six years of precedent for assuming that if a new Monster Hunter game was coming, it would be coming to the new Nintendo console. So now that it's not, fans are pretty disappointed. Perhaps more details will come to light to help everyone make sense of the sudden switch back to the PlayStation. As is, this is a pretty major upset, especially for those of us who were waiting to buy a Switch in the hopes that a slick Monster Hunter bundle was on the way.
Monster Hunter XX: Monster Hunter: World will sacrifice portability, and we're hopeful the trade-offs will be worth it
The biggest issue that I can see with the Monster Hunter XX only being available for stationary consoles is the sacrifice of portability, which has previously been one of the series' strongest selling points. I passed many a commute grinding for Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate gear without having to set aside dedicated time, and was hoping to be able to do the same with Monster Hunter XX on the Switch.
That said, a PS4/Xbox One/PC release for Monster Hunter might give the series the much needed graphical boost that a game about bringing down giant beasts has always deserved.
Although I'm a diehard series fan, I'll be the first to admit that the control schemes aren't always the most intuitive, and a real controller would probably shave off some of those rough edges. The game's trailer, embedded below, also shows off a number of cool features:
There's a lot to be excited about, including the Hunter's camouflage cloak to the mini-crossbow grappling hook strapped to their arm. The trailer seems to show the player mounting monsters — which was introduced in 4 Ultimate, along with the Insect Glaive weapon — on specific locations, allowing them to more easily get to the parts of the monster they'd like to break off for crafting. Couple that with the footage of the bowgunner continuing to fire at a monster while walking around and aiming, and I've almost forgotten that the trailer also shows the reintroduction of the widely disparaged swimming mechanics from Tri.
It's a shock and an upset that Capcom has no plans to localize Monster Hunter XX for the Switch, but if World can deliver on some of the features it seems to be promising, there's a pretty bright future ahead for fans of the series.
More news from Sony PlayStation E3 2017
Check out more of our coverage from the PlayStation E3 2017 press conference, including the sweeping new Shadow of the Colossus remake, gameplay for Days Gone and a look at Monster Hunter Worlds. Don’t miss the breathtaking cinematics from God of War 4 and Detroit, as well as the showstealing game: Spiderman.