Unless you’ve been camped out under the nearest geographical landmark for a month, you might have heard that Capcom let a new Monster Hunter title loose on the western world on 3DS. Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate brings back many of the monsters adored by long time fans, while opening the game up to new players with more accessible gameplay and tutorials tuned to inform those totally new to the franchise of to the journey laid out before them. Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate came out on 3DS and Wii U at the same time, so why didn’t Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate follow suit?
It seems a little odd, to be honest. A huge onus was put onto the opportunity afforded to owners both the Wii U and 3DS versions of Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate allowing them to cross saves between the consoles. This allowed everyone who owned both versions to play through a hunt on the train to work, then get back home to transfer their saves and continue on with their adventures on Wii U. It was a good system that worked surprisingly well for the title and one which upcoming PlayStation 4 and Vita title Toukiden: Kiwami plans to use.
Well for one the reason Capcom may have decided not to bother is in the fact online play in Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate works via the 3DS. Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate didn’t offer such luxury, forcing Capcom to funnel this online gameplay solely into a Wii U version. They probably could have managed it. After all, if they didn’t offer this in some way Capcom would be absolutely slaughtered by fans. They may have expected players to buy a Wii U and a copy of Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate on the console rather than on handheld.
It wasn’t perfect but hey, if there’s a way to do it someone will always make that choice. As time went on, Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate gained a pretty damn big fan base on Wii U with many of the players transferring game saves between handheld and home consoles at will.
With the availability of online play on 3DS, Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate on Wii U wasn’t a completely necessary step. It would have been nice to bring this massive name to the home console market rather than leaving it on handheld. If the only reason for Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate being on Wii U was to offer online multiplayer though, it makes perfect sense not to bother doing the same with this latest entry.
That’s likely closest to the official reason why Wii U owners won’t be seeing a version of Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate on their console. It is a shame in fairness but no one can force Capcom to bring out a game. What if that isn’t actually the case though? What if Capcom were actually open to the idea of bringing the creature-slaying smash hit to Nintendo’s ailing home machine and fly in the face of this idea that it simply wasn’t necessary?
Get your tinfoil hats out kids, we’re going to delve a little deeper into this.
So you’re Capcom and you’ve got a history of releasing one game on two platforms with the option of cross-save functionality. This rare and almost unique selling point outside of Sony titles should be a boon for Capcom here in the grand scheme of things. People like things that are a little different even if they’re actually counter-productive. Something like this could have worked a second time, yet for whatever reason Capcom decided that wasn’t a good enough reason to do it. It could have been because gamers simply can’t afford to buy Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate twice.