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Monster Hunter is a video game by Capcom. The game is an action/adventure style game, which focuses on hunting and/or capturing various dinosaur-like monsters. Players combat these monsters with a wide variety of weapons, using parts harvested from their kills to make stronger weapons and armor.

The game is average at best on its own. However, there is an online play option where up to four players can take part in a single adventure. The online adventures are more numerous and more challenging than the offline ones, making this game a mostly online game.

A player can enjoy many, many hours of online play, hunting rare monsters to acquire powerful parts to make new (and very cool looking) armor and weapons.

Monster Hunter refers to the series of games as a whole, as well as the first game in the franchise.

Monster Hunter's popularity has generally been much higher in Japan, however since the middle of the third generation of game its popularity in the west has been growing. The essential experience of the original game has remained throughout the series, although the spin-offs also take on other traits.

The Monster Hunter franchise has spawned a number of sequels and spin-offs. The complete list of Monster Hunter games, separated by generation, can be found below:

Generation 1 Games

Generation 1 introduced the series and set the standard for most of the series' gameplay elements. Monster Hunter G and Monster Hunter Freedom also added new monsters to the games. Monster Hunter was one of Capcom's attempts at a game with strong network features and went on to become a million seller. Much of the content on Monster Hunter was available exclusively online and players had to team up with up to 3 others in order to defeat the strongest of all the elder dragons.

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Title Platform Release Year
Regions
Flagship Monster
Monster Hunter
PS2 2004 (JP, NA), 2005 (PAL)
JP, NA, PAL
Rathalos
Monster Hunter G
PS2 / Wii
2005 / 2009
JP Azure Rathalos
Monster Hunter Freedom
PSP 2005 (JP), 2006 (NA, PAL)
JP, NA, PAL
Rathalos

Generation 2 Games

Generation 2 added a few new weapon types to the game and the ability to decorate armor to gain abilities in battle. All the games added new monsters to the Monster Hunter lineup.

Monster Hunter Freedom Unite is my personal favorite from the whole series and also has the most content by weapon, armor, item, monster, and quest count. Generation 2 also also hosts a number of unique monsters only found in this generation of main series games including the Lavasioth and Hypnocatrice.

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Title Platform Release Year
Regions
Flagship Monster
Monster Hunter 2
PS2 2006
JP
Kushala Daora
Monster Hunter Freedom 2
PSP
2007
JP, NA, PAL
Tigrex
Monster Hunter Freedom Unite
PSP / iOS
2008 (JP), 2009 (NA, PAL) / 2014
JP, NA, PAL
Nargacuga

Generation 3 Games

Generation 3 brought a big mix to the series. Monster Hunter Tri added the ability to battle underwater, removed and added several weapon types, and added a new hunting mode. Monster Hunter Portable 3rd brought back the formerly removed weapon types and removed underwater battling. Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate brought back underwater battling. This generation also removed and added many monsters. This generation saw the rise of the "dog wyvern" family that include the Jaggi line, Wroggi line, and Baggi line. The "bird wyvern" family disappears almost completely, to the great despair of the writer.

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Title Platform Release Year
Regions
Flagship Monster
Monster Hunter Tri
Wii 2009 (JP), 2010 (NA, PAL)
JP, NA, PAL
Lagiacrus
Monster Hunter Portable 3rd
PSP / PS3
2010 / 2011
JP
Zinogre
Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate
3DS / Wii U
2011/ 2013
JP, NA, PAL
Brachydios / Azure Rathalos (NA)

Generation 4 Games

Generation 4, once again, removed underwater battling and added a more flexible jumping dynamic. The ability to mount monsters (Do not attack the monster while its mounted!!!!) was added, as well as more flexibility with climbing and leaping. Two new weapon types were also added to the game. Generation 4 also saw the return of some previously removed monsters as well as the addition of many new monsters. The "bird wyvern" family returns alongside the remnants of the "dog wyvern" family. Oo de lally!

Generation 4 also saw a rise in the story element of the game. Developers have remarked that they wanted to include a more engaging story in the game to draw players in more. The addition of a 'story' was quite a different experience compared to past games and, while not terribly intrusive, is too much story in the humble opinion of the writer. -->
Title Platform Release Year
Regions
Flagship Monster
Monster Hunter 4
3DS/2DS 2013
JP
Gore Magala
Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate
3DS/2DS
2014 (JP), 2015 (NA, EU)
JP
Seregios / Gore Magala (NA)

Spin-Off Games

I personally do not know so much about these games, as they were mostly released in Japan only. Monster Hunter Frontier Online, Monster Hunter Online, and Monster Hunter: Frontier G are all MMORPG style games. Monster Hunter Frontier Online has seen many expansions with myriad content added over the years. Monster Hunter Online was released in China only, suggesting that the release of this game was to combat the growing popularity of knock-off versions of the Monster Hunter series in China. Monster Hunter Dynamic Hunting was the first version of any Monster Hunter game released on a mobile platform and was focused on the action of actually attacking a monster. Finally, the Monster Hunter Diary series focused on the cat-like companions called "Felyne" and "Melynx" that are proliferate in the main series. These games featured a lighter style with cartoon style graphics and lots of cute noises and effects.

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Title Platform Release Year
Regions
Monster Hunter Frontier Online
Windows PC / X360
2007
JP
Monster Hunter Diary: Poka Poka Airou Village
PSP
2010
JP
Monster Hunter Diary: Poka Poka Airou Village G
PSP 2011 JP
Monster Hunter Dynamic Hunting
iOS 2011 JP, NA, PAL
Monster Hunter Online
Windows PC 2013 CN
Monster Hunter: Frontier G
Windows PC / X360 / PS3 / Wii U / PSVita
2013 (Windows PC, X360, PS3, Wii U) / 2014 (PSVita)
JP

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