Third Mania

Having finished my 4th game recently, I’m quite close to repaying my backlog debt for Gran Turismo 5. But of course, there is always another game looming at the horizon. Monster Hunter 3rd was released in Japan today. As the host of the most popular english speaking Monster Hunter Podcast in the world, I felt obliged to pre-order my copy. I did so on eBay and I’m awaiting the arrival in the following days.

Of course, the launch was Japanese-only. However, the crass disparity between the perception of the game in Japan and in the west become apparent when you consider the launch coverage. It seems like the series bypassed the most recent Pokémon Title and currently equals Dragon Quest in terms of popularity. I assume you want me to substantiate that claim? Take this for example.

MHP3RD vs Pokémon Black/White (small)

Red indicates the waiting line for Pokémon Back and White. Blue is the waiting line for Monster Hunter Portable 3rd at the same store. Click to enlarge. (soruce)

Some shops in Tokyo reported lines of up to 3000 people. Apparently, the craze is so huge that even a non-gamer friend currently living there couldn’t help to notice. It’s so weird to see the game not being anywhere near that popular in the west. Sure, not every craze carries over that well. But the contrast is quite jarring with Monster Hunter. And it’s not that the game strikes some alien, incomprehensible nerve. It’s well-made and the features that make up it’s fascination are pretty universal. Maybe it’s a marketing problem? Perhaps it’s just on the wrong platforms?

In any case, I will need to pay off my backlog debt for this game as well. However, I do have some time until the western version comes out. I don’t think I will actually attempt to finish the Japanese version. I will check out some of it’s features and I will use it to try to learn some Japanese. But I still have some time to spend in Monster Hunter Tri. Speaking of which…

Krystian Majewski

Krystian Majewski was born in Warsaw and studied design at Köln International School of Design. Before, he was working on a mid-size console project for NEON Studios in Frankfurt. He helped establish a Master course in Game Design and Research at the Cologne Game Lab. Today he teaches Game Design at various institutions and develops independent games.

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The Game Design Scrapbook is a second blog of group of three game designers from Germany. On our first blog, Game Design Reviews we describe some games we played and point out various interesting details. Unfortunately, we found out that we also need some place to collect quick and dirty ideas that pop into our minds. Hence, welcome to Game Design Scrapbook. You will encounter wild, random rantings. Many of then incoherent. Some of them maybe even in German. If you don't like it, you might enjoy Game Design Reviews more.


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