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First Look: Monster Hunter Diary

Airu are the stars of of this Monster Hunter spinoff title. First details and screens here.


Monster Hunter is much, much bigger than Final Fantasy in terms of sales numbers now. But you'll still have to excuse me for ignoring this week's big reveal of Monster Hunter Diary as I spent my time rubbing my hands together in anticipation of FFXIII's release on Thursday.

Monster Hunter Diary was the big game this week in Famitsu, which scored some commentary on the title from producer Tatsuya Kitabayashi and other producer Ryozo Tsujimoto. Capcom quickly followed up with an official site. Access the site for a few tiny screenshots.

First announced at the Monster Hunter 3 national tournament finals in October, Capcom kept quiet on Monster Hunter Diary, fully "Monhan Nikki Poka Poka Airu Mura," until this week's update. The big mystery was for something that appears to be like Animal Crossing with Monster Hunter's mascot Airu characters.

In Monster Hunter Diary, you play as your very own incarnation of Airu -- your "My Airu," as the Japanese like to call it. The game is set in Airu village, which is populated entirely by Airu.

In addition to simply experiencing life in Airu Village, your goal is to make other Airus gather at your town. This causes your town to grow, leading to the appearance of new facilities.

Famitsu's story on the game offered a look at two facilities: a house and a guild. The house is a common housing environment where all newcomers to the village initially live. The guild is used for taking on quests.

Just what those quests are is somewhat of a mystery. They appear to involve cooperative group hunting as the Airu. The personal characteristics of each Airu in your party will have an influence on the hunt, with each Airu showing different types of attacks.

As with other Monster Hunter games, Monster Hunter Diary has a variety of Airu types. In fact, Tsujimoto told Famitsu to expect even greater Airu variety here. Samples in Famitsu show Airus with pick axes, musical instruments, brooms, and fishing rods. How the differences between the Airu play out on quests is a mystery at this point.

Different from other Monster Hunter games, quests aren't the main point of Monster Hunter Diary. The focus, explained Kitabayashi to Famitsu, is on life in the village. Hunting is just a part of that.

You'll definitely want to go on hunts, though, as this is one way to get materials for making new facilities. It's not the only way, though, as you can also get materials from your village itself.

One of the main points of the producer interview appears to be that there's no specific way to play Monhan Nikki. Going out on quests is one way to attract Airu to your village. But some Airu will come over if you just happen to have a certain number of a particular item.

Another way to attract Airu to your town is to make sure you have a Monster Hunter Portable 2nd G save file. There will be a bit of connectivity with the triple platinum PSP title, allowing players to bring Otomo Airu and Kitchen Airu to their Monhan Nikki village.

Monster Hunter Diary is currently without a release date, but Capcom is already beginning promotions for the game. Capcom wants players to help out in the creation of unique Airu for the game. It's seeking user-submitted ideas at the game's official site.

Additionally, Capcom has confirmed an appearance for the game at tomorrow's Jump Festa event. It will just be through a stage show, but perhaps we'll get some new details.

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