You know that thing portable thing? That thing that plays ridiculous looking discs? The one you probably sold in preparation for the Vita? I love that thing. Why? There are multiple reasons, but I'll only focus on the most important feature, known as being region-free.
Approximately all of my PSP collection consists of imports. Some are from Europe, some are from Japan, and so on. They are games that would never survive the harsh North-American climate. And by that I mean they aren't commercially profitable in this region.
But enough of that, this blog is about one import in particular: Monster Hunter Portable 3rd. About half of you have stopped reading right there. But that's okay, because you're apparently still interested, so read on!
I'll immediately get on all the objective stuff. Monster Hunter Portable 3rd is a game by Capcom for the PSP. It is the sequel to Monster Hunter Potable 2nd (Freedom 2 in the States and in Europe), which is also on the PSP. It was only released in two regions: Japan and Korea/Asia. At launch it was, and still is, the single fastest selling Capcom game of all time, with 2.58 million copies sold within the first two weeks.
Monster Hunter is a skill-based action-RPG. The gameplay is remotely similar to Demon's Souls. The series isn't well-received in North-America and in Europe, due to a metric buttload of factors, none of which I'll be spelling out.
That's as far as objectivity can go. We are now entering the realm of my personal opinion.
There are three things about this game that make me prance like an idiot. The first thing is that they fixed goddamn everything. The hitboxes are spot on, so you can cry knowing it's your fault you got hit. Everything about the timing, the animations, the way the monsters move, etc., has been polished so that the experience just feels right. The monsters feel lively and unpredictable. The weapon attacks have all been fully optimized for the PSP control scheme.
Speaking of polish, the game looks downright beautiful. I can't stress that enough. The developers really pushed the hardware to the limit. It's so colourful and detailed and HOLY BEJESUS I LOVE IT. There are literally hundreds of detailed objects moving around. I even stopped a few times to admire random creatures scurrying on the ground somewhere. Of course, you're not in it for the visuals, you're in it for some righteous gameplay!
Which brings me to my third point: This game is hard. I've never been challenged to complete a game like this since Ghosts 'n Goblins. And I've never been so eager to take the punishment.
You see, Monster Hunter knows how to reward your OCD. You'll die a lot. You'll fail a quest or two. But once you finally kick that monster's ass, you're goddamn unstoppable. The most satisfying thing about this series is the "kill it, skin it, wear it" concept, which involves using parts you carve off of dead monsters to make new weapons and armour. Not only does it look cool, but you get some sweet armour skills to help you out during future battles.
I don't mind that you don't like this game, I just want you to know it exists. Gotta show some love so we can see some neat releases in the West.