Right before my Playstation 3 went to the big Funcoland in the sky, I broke down and imported Monster Hunter Portable 3rd HD. This was the first time I’d imported a Monster Hunter title which makes me a bit of an oddity among fans of the series. Since so few Monster Hunter titles are localized (the last one being two years ago), and the games are so similar in terms of mechanics, most hardcore fans throw caution to the wind and choose to import.
I, however, stubbornly refused. Patience is my strong-suit and I figured keeping up with the releases of other games would keep me busy. Besides, since nearly everything is localized in some form these days, it would appear time is on the consumer’s side.
I underestimated several factors that eroded my patience:
- Capcom’s frustrating inability to follow through on their vague promises (1,2,3,4): I realize that there are a fair amount of legal obstacles to clear in the matter or localizing any game, but this… is simply… well, sometimes the only thing you can do is laugh.
- Fatigue: I’ve clocked over 700 hours into Monster Hunter Tri and over 300 in Monster Hunter Freedom Unite. Hosting a podcast devoted to the former certainly keeps me very familiar with the game, but it also leaves me wanting something fresh.
- The Future: Japan is like a crystal ball, allowing one to gaze into the future of the gaming industry — specifically Monster Hunter. I’ve swatted away the flying monkeys and looked into this ball and all I see are tiny screens with less than the optimal two joysticks. I’m speaking, of course, of Monster Hunter Tri G and Monster Hunter 4 — both the newest games in Japan and both for the Nintendo 3DS. I’ve done my time with these small screens and I want the console experience. Since it doesn’t look like that ship is coming around again anytime soon, Monster Hunter Portable 3rd HD just made sense.
- Community: I was inspired to take the plunge and purchase a copy of MHP3rd when a friend of mine on Twitter announced he’d be doing the same. Knowing that I’d be starting at the same time as a friend sweetened the deal since the biggest allure of Monster Hunter is having someone to hunt with. Since I hadn’t imported the game at release I missed the boat on the first wave of importers, but a second chance presented itself and I jumped at it!
Her name is Akina (アキナ), which is a play on the Japanese word for autumn. It can also be written as “秋名”, or “fall name” or “秋菜” which has the characters for fall and greens. The aesthetics in Monster Hunter Portable 3rd are very much inspired by the colors and feelings associated with fall so it felt right.
I do still hope that, for the sake of those who are less capable in the Japanese language, Monster Hunter Portable 3rd HD does receive a western release. I don’t doubt I would purchase it and play it over in its entirety. But for now it’s quite freeing to have taken the leap. I feel as if I’m not at the mercy of Capcom’s shortcomings any longer.