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Will Capcom find their void filled if they decide to bring Monster Hunter to the Vita?
However, times have changed and there are many competitors that are setting their targets on filling the void that Monster Hunter left behind. And now as a result, the hunting game genre is being filled in a big way on the Playstation Vita. There are currently hunter games available on the system as well as new ones on the horizon. Let's take a look at some of them.
Ragnarok Odyssey/ Ragnarok Odyssey Ace
Ragnarok Odyssey was/is the first game to come out for the Playstation Vita as a potential fill in of the Monster Hunter void. Although the game itself is short and fairly simplistic in comparison, the game is still worth a play through. And the game itself has garnered enough attention that a new, updated version is in development called Ragnarok Odyssey Ace. Although the game is very good, it doesn't have enough content to truly fill Monster Hunter's void. But it is more than enough to pass the time by. If anything else, Gung Ho Entertainment and Game Arts have shown they are willing to make the attempt.
Phantasy Star Online 2
Technically, this series is the one that really kicked off the hunter genre (since the original PSO did indeed come out long before Monster Hunter ever did.) Phantasy Star Online is the first game to show the potential the hunter genre could have. And currently, the sequel, Phantasy Star Online 2 is thriving in Japan. It's a free to play game for both the PS Vita and the PC. Western audiences are very much itching for this one to come to their shores. And rightfully so. The game is literally everything that made you fall in love with the first and then some.
The popularity of this game as well as the long standing franchise name of Phantasy Star in general could definitely fill the Monster Hunter void. But in order for that to have a chance of happening, Sega has to release it worldwide.
Out of all the potential Monster Hunter crown takers on the Vita, this is the game that carries the most burden behind it. This is one of the games that is meant to be a system seller for the Vita. Oddly enough, it's made by a former Capcom main developer, Keiji Inafune. Not only is this game extremely dark compared to most of the other hunter games, but this one adds a new twist to the genre. The twist is sacrificing. Everything you do has a cost to either yourself or others and must be chosen wisely. Thus far, the game sold pretty well in Japan and was well received. The game will be releasing to the western audience this month. Sony has to continue to cultivate this particular game in the hearts and minds of gamers if this one is to take the vacant Monster Hunter throne.
Toukiden is Tecmo Koei's take on the hunting genre. The game is based around hunting and killing demons, much like Soul Sacrifice. And for as dark as Soul Sacrifice is, this game looks to be even darker. And that says a lot. And as almost a mandate, this game will allow up to four players to play together and fight as one. For the most part, aside from the setting, the game shares many of Soul Sacrifice's traits. But details for this one are still coming in. Hopefully, this game will have enough originality to give itself some space from the quickly filling hunter genre.
God Eater/ God Eater Burst/ God Eater 2
With all the other Japanese companies taking a swipe at Monster Hunter, there was no way Namco Bandai would allow themselves to be left out. Hence, their take on the genre, God Eater. Out of all the hunter games, this one is probably the most story driven of the bunch. The single player alone of the original boasts more than 100 quests that. The latest game in the franchise will have the advantage of being both a PSP and PS Vita game with cross platform play. This potentially gives God Eater 2 an edge in terms of player count.
As it stands, that's 5 potential games that can lay claim to the vacancy left by Capcom. Each one of them are worthy contenders and pretty good games in general. And in time, you can even see other companies take a shot. You never know when someone like Konami will tip themselves into the genre, especially with all the other big in Japan companies doing so. So if Capcom ever decided to bring Monster Hunter back to its brand of origin (Playstation Brand), they may find that their once beloved franchise won't be as solid as it was in times past.
But then again, that's what happens when you leave a vacancy. Someone will always vie for it.