“MHP 3rd will betray the hopes of many MHP 2ndG fans, this is the 'new face' of the series that we hope to present” says Producer Ryozo Tsujimoto during a recent interview with Weekly Famitsu. “This is because we hope the game can be played with a 'new feel', surprise veteran players while keeping the series' experience intact at the same time. This is our goals for MHP 3rd.” Not an unusual statement from developers hyping their sequel but it keeps my hopes of seeing something radical in the new game alive.
Some of the things they are keeping include those interesting experience for single and multiplayer modes and the “portability” of the game. “Using these elements as a base, we hope to expand the gameplay further, incorporating more interesting moments when hunting and introducing new elements.” adds the now famous producer from Capcom.
Different from MHP 2ndG & MH3
When asked if there is any big changes based on previous games, Director Yasunori Ichinose is quick to point out that MHP 3rd is not based on MHP 2ndG as the game is being redone almost entirely, with upgrades to monsters' actions and graphics which 'widen' the entire presentation. He think players will ask questions like “How do you show so many monsters on screens with this kind of graphics?” or “You can even do this?”. So is this closer to MH3 then? “Nope, this is unlike MHP 2ndG or MH3, it has a completely new feel to its gameplay.” is the answer from the Director.
Our village is now based in a valley rich with hot-spring and standard facilities like item or weapon shops are all here. As you can see from the concept illustration on the left (click for larger view), there are a lot of climbing to be made here. Although Pokke Village in the previous game already has elements of traditional Japanese styles in its architecture, MHP 3rd is even more Japanese with some amount of Asian styles thrown in.
Our 'Village Elder' is now a young lady who inherited the title from his father. She also runs the bath house and apparently is a nice person and well respected in the village. She is worried about the sudden rise in monsters activities and therefore invite hunters to the village. She will take care of single player quests.
The Guild, which is the lobby for multiplayer mode, has a large scale bath house inside and there are also rooms for hunters to stay. Taking care of the multiplayer quests in the Guild is another young lady who is said to be an active but often spent her time on unnecessary stuff, which worries her co-workers…
Hot Spring Replacing Ailu Kitchen
“The idea of hot spring has been around since the first MH game, through various exchange of ideas among the development team, it's time to implement it into the game.” says Ichinose. “There will be all kinds of system thrown into the open air hot spring which we can't reveal right now. You can think of it as a place to raise some of your status before going out hunting…”.
According to Tsujimoto, the hot spring facility inside the Guild will replace Ailu Kitchen, a feature in previous games where players get to order their cats to cook food that will provide all kinds of status enhancement before going out for hunting. To gain the same effect, players will have to visit the hot spring now before going out. “In previous games, visiting the kitchen requires loading, which interrupts the game flow. So in MHP 3rd, we put the hot spring inside the Guild, where everyone can see each others and also reduced the time needed to gain status enhancements. This will also avoid situation like other players waiting for their partners who are busy in the kitchen.” explains Ichinose. Just like you can drink with your partners while waiting for others in the previous games, you can now fool around in the pool while waiting.
As for the farm, Tsujimoto won't reveal anything right now but only say that it will be much bigger.
The Image Monster is basically a 'typically huge monster' for the series according to Tsujimoto and it's the target for Yukumo hunters in the early stage. Based on the concept drawing, Famitsu reckons it has a powerful fore legs and has tremendous power with its arms.
With its cute bear-like shapes, Aoashira likes to hang around in watery areas and look for honey and fish with the helps of its extremely agile fore legs.
The non-violent Gagwa belongs to the Bird Dragon species but has lost its ability to fly high. There are people who keep them as pets but for the hunters, their meats should be helpful while questing.
Keiryuu (Mountain Stream)
Ichinose confirms that some maps from MH3 will appear in MHP 3rd together with an entirely new area called Keiryuu (Mountain Stream), which doesn't seem so different from the existing areas. This is an area with nice combination of forest, mountain streams, bamboos, rocky paths and burned trees. As for the MH3 maps, Tsujimoto says there won't be any underwater hunting and these maps are being further refined and redone. Item spots are also fixed now (to make it more handheld friendly I presumed). “By the way, many monsters in MH3 are only special if they are in watery areas, so they won't appear in MHP 3rd, these have been replaced by MHP 3rd only monsters, the amount of which will surely satisfy our gamers.” Ichinose adds.
Slash Axe, which is again another MH3 items, appears to be the only 'new' weapon for MHP 3rd. Including those from previous games, there will be a total of 12 weapons for players to use. “We're working hard to make every weapon fun to use. In fact, we are adding all kinds of new elements to all the weapons, they are basically the same but some weapons will see changes in their handling and attacking flow.” says Ichinose. This is basically what have been said for previous versions of the game, so Tsujimoto is quick to add that “Although some weapons have undergone changes in MHP 2ndG, the adjustments this time are much bigger. For example, Lance will become much more stylish and useful.”
As for the number of weapons and armors, it won't be as much as MHP 2ndG due to the lack of G Class quests, but will still be more than MHP 2nd according to Tsujimoto. Although there are attempts to make changes like switching the elemental attributes of your weapons at will, they have decided to keep the existing weapon upgrading flow. “Besides retaining the best part (of the weapons) of MHP 2ndG and MH3, we hope to include some surprising new elements. However, the basic characteristics of each weapon is still the same, there won't be complete change.” adds Tsujimoto.
A pair of samurai looking armors set were shown but this is only one of the many new armors, Ichinose assures us that not every new armors will take on this traditional Japanese styles. “I can confirm that all the armors that players are familiar with are here.” adds Tsujimoto. As for Skills, Ichinose says the team is still trying out some changes and hopes to make it fun.
According to Famitsu, the Otomo Ailu feature introduced in MHP 2ndG is a fans favorite and they will be happier now that you can bring two of them to single player quest. Basic features like recruiting methods, acting independently during quest or hiding underground once they have taken enough damages are still the same but there are some interesting new additions for MHP 3rd. Since there is no Ailu Kitchen in the game, players will manage their Otomo Ailus from their home by standing in front of the Otomo Board. There will also be more new animations for them and depending on the type of Otomo Ailu, some of them can have unique actions.
Players get to customize Otomo Ailu's head gear, armor and weapon in MHP 3rd and just like carving items to produce hunters' armors, Otomo Ailu's armors are made from various monsters' items too. However, the method of producing armor for Otomo Ailus will be from that of hunters because it will be too time consuming for players. The team is still working on this. “Customization and upgrading will change the look of weapons and armors. This can becomes something that players can dive deep into. For example they can try to collect all the Otomo Ailu's armors.” says Ichinose.
According to Tsujimoto, they work really hard to make sure single player mode can be more interesting with the inclusion of Otomo Ailu. “There are players who like to take on multiplayer quest alone and balancing this is of great difficulty to us. We do not wish to reduce key elements like the number of monsters and their attacking power for this because it is rather hasty and doesn't really solve the problem. As a result, we try to make use of new feature that will make the game even more fun. We work really hard to let players bring two Otomo Ailus to quest and this is truly a tough efforts.” according to Ichinose. “Since there are two Otomo Ailus joining a quest now, the playing field is larger than MHP 2ndG.” adds Tsujimoto.
Those who are serious about their hunters name will be happy to know that you can have Kanji, Hiragana and Katana in your character name. Players won't be able to transfer their hard earned items in MHP 2ndG to MHP 3rd, the most they can do is probably add some “small little things” according to Tsujimoto. Ichinose says there will be plenty of downloadable quests in future. Finally the article also hints at a “entirely new communication method” for multiplayer mode, which was not discussed in the interviewed but from the info box, it seems that MHP 3rd will support both Ad Hoc and Infrastructure Mode for the first time.
Coming By The End of This Year
“In order to let people enjoy the fun of Monster Hunter again, we are working really hard. We are making sure that it will match everyone's expectation, so please wait a little while. The information revealed this time is just one of the many new additions, more exciting news are coming soon, please look forward to it.” says Tsujimoto in his parting words. When asked about the release date, Ichinose say they are targeting the end of this year. From the footer of the report, Capcom put the progress at 50%, which is still a long way and hints at many new stuff are indeed being planned.