Monster Hunter Freedom Unite

Key events

As Monster Hunter turns 10, can Capcom finally make the west listen?

We interview its creator Ryozo Tsujimoto to find out.

10 years ago today Capcom released the first Monster Hunter game. It launched in Japan for the PlayStation 2 as part of a new initiative from Capcom's Production Studio 1 designed to test the waters of online console gaming. It was a triumvirate that included cel-shaded racing game Auto Modellista, the multiplayer-focused Resident Evil: Outbreak and, of course, Monster Hunter. Capcom hoped at least one would sell a million copies, what the company considered then to be the mark of a hit title. One did.

Strategy guides heading to PSN

PlayView service launches in Japan soon.

Japanese gamers will soon be able to view strategy guides through PlayStation Network, Sony has announced.

MH Tri Portable is "a rumour" - Capcom

"Not even remotely close" to announcement.

Capcom UK has poured cold water on reports that the Wii's Monster Hunter Tri will get a PSP version, saying, "This is a rumour."

Games of 2009: Monster Hunter Freedom Unite

Ain't no party like an adhocParty.

So, six months on from my review I'm still playing Monster Hunter Freedom Unite. Granted, it's not the all-consuming, four-hours-each-and-every-day obsession that it was back in June, but the UMD is still a regular lodger in my PSP. Incredibly, or perhaps predictably, I still absolutely suck at it.

Capcom profits up despite low BC sales

Capcom profits up despite low BC sales

Monster Hunter also "weak" in West.

Capcom is celebrating record summer profits for the three months ended 30th June, with profits at $38.4m - a 23 per cent increase on the same period last year.

Resident Evil 5 broke records to ship 5m units around the world, and Monster Hunter Freedom Unite rampaged to ship 3.5m units in Japan alone. Wii-exclusive Monster Hunter Tri has been pre-ordered 1m times already, and prepares for a gigantic Japanese launch tomorrow.

Capcom also singled out Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth and Sengoku Basara Battle Heroes as strong sellers.

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UK Charts: Fight Night 4 the champ

But fellow newcomers disappoint.

Fight Night Round 4 has become the first boxing game to top the UK All-Formats chart upon release. Perhaps it will now go to America and never be heard of again.

Monster Hunter Freedom Unite

I've done it. After 70 hours, six weeks, dozens of missions and a great deal of inventive invective I've finally made my mark on Monster Hunter. I'm now Hunter Rank 2. Yes, two. And no, it's not an inverted rank table - two is actually the second level, the first rung on the vertical learning ladder.

It seems pathetic, now I have it in front of me in black and white, but I'm feeling tremendously proud. There have been so many crushing defeats over the last month and a bit, so many unceremonious spankings, roastings and straight-up surprise sexings, that I feel like I've earned that extra tiny star next to my name on the Guild Card with my very own blood, sweat and tears.

It's not been wall-to-wall fun - there have been plenty of fist-clenching moments of pure, frustrated rage - but I've thoroughly enjoyed it. I'm not a patient person but, oddly, the catharsis of Monster Hunter Freedom Unite's insanely sadistic learning curve has granted me a Zen-like calm. Turns out that patience isn't just a virtue, it's a lesson well worth learning.

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PSN update: Monster Hunter and more

PSN update: Monster Hunter and more

Rock Band Unplugged demo, for example.

PSP demos for Monster Hunter Freedom Unite and Rock Band Unplugged lead the PlayStation Store refresher this week. The former is being thrust on Europe by both Capcom and Sony as the pair try to spark a Japanese-style frenzy when the game launches in late June. The latter, while we're on topic, has face-button presses instead of instrument peripherals. Rock Band Unplugged is also out in late June.

There are samplers for CellFactor: Psychokinetic Wars and Inferno Pool - the two PSN game offerings this week. CellFactor is an FPS and Inferno Pool is a pool (the one with cues) game. Try them. Go on.

We like the look of the 2000 AD-themed costumes for LittleBigPlanet because we like comic books, and we feel we ought to mention the inspirationally named Ferrari Challenge "Pack of 5 New Cars and 1 Track".

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Sony plans major Monster Hunter push

Reeves dates game with bundle, demo.

In one of his last public appearances as president of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, David Reeves last week paid tribute to Capcom and announced details of the two companies' plans to introduce Monster Hunter Freedom Unite to PAL territories.

Captivate: Keiji Inafune and David Reeves speeches

On reshaping Capcom and leaving Sony.

Last week in Monaco, Capcom gathered games journalists from around the world to showcase its product line-up for 2009 and beyond. On the first night, the publisher invited outgoing Sony Europe boss David Reeves to speak, after Capcom R&D chief Keiji Inafune had outlined his hopes for the publisher's resurgence.

PSP takes top spots in Japan

Hardware and software victory.

The PSP has claimed the top spots on both the Japanese hardware and software charts for the week ended 18th May, according to figures from Media Create, reports.