Score: Not scored
Platform: PlayStation 4 (reviewed), Xbox One
Release Date: January 26, 2018
I’ve always marvelled at video games’ potential to bridge cultural gaps. Mario adventures, for example, transcend language and ethnicity, scratching the same itch for people of different backgrounds and experiences all over the world. An eight-year-old boy in Canada can have just as much fun playing as a 60-year-old woman in Brazil, and for more or less the same reasons: The satisfaction of landing a perfect leap on a goomba, the pleasure of teleporting through pipes, the rewarding tinkling sound that comes with collecting coins.
But not all video games make the transition between borders so easily. Take, for example, Monster Hunter, a series of multiplayer-focused fantasy RPGs that pits groups of player-controlled hunters against massive monsters in epic battles. A cultural behemoth in Japan for the last decade and a half – Monster Hunter has the same sort of mainstream recognition on the streets of Tokyo as Star Wars does here – it’s been a much harder sell beyond its home borders.