TGS 2005: Monster Hunter i Hands-On

We got our hands on the unique mobile iteration of Monster Hunter to see if it holds up to its console counterparts.

TOKYO--Monster Hunter i is not currently slated to be released outside of Japan, but there's still hope, Capcom assures us. In this RPG, which we've seen extensively in the console form, you'll experience brand-new Monster Hunter gameplay in a brand-new mobile format.

We had the opportunity to slay a few monsters in this unique mobile RPG. Your character is always in search of monsters to fight, and this game certainly provides them in spades. Some of the creatures we fought in the first level included a crazy-looking mouse, a brutish pig, a fairy-leprechaun hybrid, and a puppy (Nintendogs beware!). Although your perspective on the outer map is top-down with a hint of an isometric view, the viewpoint switches to over-the-shoulder during the turn-based battle sequences, so that you have a good view of the enemies that you're facing. The RPG mechanics are well-put-together, including small but worthy details, such as automatically moving on to the next opponent if the first one dies before the round is up. This is pretty standard for console RPGs nowadays, but it's nice to see those details being carried over in the portable form.

Monster Hunter i is a completely unique game for mobile, meaning that it has no relationship to any of the previous games. As such, we're excited to see what the story has in store, although currently it's not clear what's going on. Monster Hunter i does provide a distinct collaboration of the fierce and the cute, and frequently you won't know whether to cuddle with your opponent or slash through him. Here's a hint: always go for the throat. We look forward to getting more time with this sophisticated RPG, and we hope to hear more about a release outside of Japan in the near future.

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