Another unnecessary title from Niantic

Monster Hunter Always:

Explaining the Monster Hunter brand has always been an easy task. Very easy.
Kill the Monster. Upgrade the equipment. Repeat.
The fun is packed into a few simple points: monsters, armor and weapons.
A few ingredients that blend with the player’s skill.

Each weapon forms a world of its own, with unique moves and combos to chain together.
Players become fond of weapons they know how to use best, the armor sets, skills, and the vast customization of the gameplay experience that all these elements concur to diversify.

And then there’s the online multiplayer.
Relaxed and elegant in the lobby, frantic and strategic while hunting with fellow hunters from all over the world.
This has been a solid brand for twenty years now, with very few moments of true failure.

Monster Hunter NOW

Monster Hunter Dynamic Hunting

By 2011, everyone had a smartphone in their pocket. Everyone knew how to use an app.
Everyone was playing Fruit Ninja while sitting on the toilet.
Why would Capcom miss this slice of the market?
No other ideas may lead to Monster Hunter Dynamic Hunting.

This iOS version is so simplified that it becomes childish, totally lacking the strategic side of any good Monster Hunter title.
Weapons are reduced from fourteen to five, monsters only about twenty.
The gameplay is flat and repetitive, with wooden controls and Bluetooth-linked multiplayer for up to two players.

Everything that was good about the series has been completely sold out in order to adapt (and even clumsily) the brand to the device.
It was a dark chapter for Monster Hunter, thankfully eclipsed by the greatness of the subsequent Monster Hunter 4U.

A mistake Capcom will never make again, I thought.
I was dead wrong.

Monster Hunter Now: Glitch Landscape

Monster Hunter NOW

Niantic has earned $100 million in twenty days after the launch of Pokémon GO.
Why would Capcom miss this slice of the market?

Niantic recycled the formula of GPS tracking to manage encounters on the same gameplay of Monster Hunter Dynamic Hunting.

Just to be clear: the worst chapter of the Pokémon brand mixed with the worst chapter of the Monster Hunter brand. What could possibly go wrong?

But let’s proceed step by step.

Monster Hunter NOW

The thin line between gaming and roaming:

Video games are one thing and toys are another.
During the video game experience is constant the interaction with the creators of the game, with a good sense of challenge.
There are goals and methods to achieve them, there are moments of pure abstraction from reality given by immersion in the gaming experience.

If this abstraction is missing, we are not playing effectively.

Monster Hunter NOW, like any AR application, is based on Reality.
Walking down the street is not a game goal, it is a necessity for the game to start.

This creates a clear distinction between true Gaming and Roaming applications.

Although there are flashes of challenge, it is not a real game if it’s forcing players to dodge cars and traffic.
It’s Players trying to focus on fun while paying attention to park closing times, or weather conditions.
It is a category of its own that I do not think has the dignity of the name Video Game.

No Monster, No Cry

The increasing difficulty in facing monsters in the Monster Hunter series has always been accompanied by the variety of species that can be faced.
On Monster Hunter NOW all this has been replaced by the annoyance of a 75-second time limit timer.
On top of this, the encounters are tediously random and repetitive.

Fifteen monsters and only six weapons are available, with negligible differences between their gameplays.
Hunts are basically dodging, made more difficult by poorly designed controls than by player skill.

The wonderful multiplayer mode that distinguished the series is gone; you can only recruit hunters via GPS (in the same area).
This means that I have not seen a multiplayer session in two months.

Potions are obtainable daily on a limited basis; a lazy way to stretch the longevity.

Monster Hunter Now: Tail cuts itself, then graphic fails

Saving what can be saved

Niantic took the models from Monster Hunter World, managing to have an elegant aesthetic impact.
However, on many devices the graphics often slow down due to many problems, and even maps are often chaotic and full of bugs.

The materials dropped by monsters are well managed, recalling the pleasure of farming as in the canonical titles.

There are no pay-to-win or cosmetic-focused microtransactions on the Store section. That’s fine.

Being Free-To-Play and aesthetically pleasing: those are the main advantages of Monster Hunter NOW.
As for the rest, it is simply forgettable.

Some have objected that it is “just a smartphone game” as if the device is some kind of excuse.
But the performance of an Android or iOS system today is comparable to that of a PC ten years ago.
Lots of titles demonstrated how to close the gap with even the most powerful processors on the market (Black Desert, Genshin Impact, Layers of Fear…). 

There are no good excuses for a fiasco like Monster Hunter NOW.
The 50 Gb of installation files are a waste of HD space.

I’d rather use them to emulate a PSP and go back to Monster Hunter Freedom Unite.
Graphically crude, but with genuine gameplay in keeping with the series.

And without GPS.

Monster Hunter NOW

Monster Hunter NOW

“Being Free-To-Play and aesthetically pleasing: those are the main advantages of Monster Hunter NOW. As for the rest, it is forgettable.”


  • Free To Play
  • Aesthetically good models


  • Boring and repetitive
  • Lousy controls
  • Graphical glitches and slowdowns
  • Nothing to do with the brand


Musician, writer and nerd since it was still a derogatory term. I was raised by the warm light of a screen and the soft touch of the controller.