The Monster Hunter franchise may not enjoy much popularity in the West, but Capcom more than makes up for that fact with Japanese gamers' rabid enthusiasm. Already, the latest installment in the franchise, Monster Hunter Tri, has proven to be a success. As part of its laudable April-June financial report last week, Capcom said that the Wii-exclusive action role-playing game shipped more than 1 million units to retailers in the lead-up to its August 1 launch in Japan.
Still, Capcom hasn't quite given up on the West when it comes to Monster Hunter. The publisher declared today that Monster Hunter Tri will be available for the Wii in North America and Europe in early 2010. Though the announcement did not say so explicitly, it is unlikely it will be bundled with the Wii console as it was in Japan--the first third-party game to have the privilege.
Monster Hunter Tri was initially announced as a PlayStation 3-exclusive. However, citing the "high development cost of titles for PS3," Capcom said in October 2007 that it would be releasing the title only for Nintendo's console.
As noted in GameSpot's preview of the game from the 2008 Tokyo Game Show, Monster Hunter Tri features gameplay that is highly reminiscent of other installments in the franchise. Gamers are tasked with hunting a variety of monsters across various environs, with Capcom introducing underwater levels with this latest installment. The game supports both Wii Remote and Nunchuk controls, as well as the traditional Classic Controller gamepad.
Multiplayer will factor heavily into the Monster Hunter Tri experience, with Capcom promising a four-player online co-op mode, as well as two-player split-screen action. Lone gamers can also compete in a single-player mode, questing through the remote wilderness with survival expert Cha-Cha.
For more information, check out GameSpot's previous coverage of Monster Hunter Tri.