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Monster Hunter Now, with the potential of a true Pokemon Go successor, lands on iOS and Android in September

Seven years after the Pokemon Go phenomena first exploded, Capcom and Niantic look set to recapture lightning in a bottle.

A blurred piece of key art from Monster Hunter Now (two players and a big dragon in an urban setting) behind a sharp version of the game's logo saying Monster Hunter Now.
Image credit: VG247 / Niantic
You really wouldn't think that Monster Hunter – a tactile series that's more about quick reflexes, smart decision making, and brutal suppression than it is walking and collecting – would be a good fit for Niantic and it's map-based gaming outlook. But it is. It really is. In fact, Monster Hunter Now might be one of the best mobile gaming experiences I've had in years.

And, very soon, you will get to see why. Per a special stream today, developer Niantic and IP owner Capcom confirmed that the mobile game will be landing on September 14, and pre-registration (complete with tiered-bonuses) starts today. Register to be a part of the process here.

So how do those rewards work? Put simply, everyone who pre-registers will get special in-game bonuses when the game launches – and those rewards increase as more players pre-register. A rising tide lifts all ships, as they say.

Pre-registration bonuses include:

  • 500,000 people: Potion x10 and Paintball x3
  • 1,000,000: Founder Medal and Wander Pebble x3
  • 2,000,000: Special pre-order Makeup x2 and 500-slot Item Box Expansion
  • 3,000,000: Special pre-order Makeup x2 and Double Rewards Ticket x3
  • 5,000,000: 10k Zenny and ANOTHER 500-slot Item Box Expansion!
A selection of Monsters that will come in the launch version of Monster Hunter Now, presented in a grid.
All the Monster Hunter Now assets are based off Monster Hunter World. | Image credit: NIANTIC

In terms of what gameplay the title actually offers you, I summed it up in my preview:

The core loop – hunt, carve, upgrade, repeat – is intact, wholesale. Find a monster, kill it, hammer its body parts into your gear, and get back in the field. Break its horns or slice off its tail and get better drops, level up quicker. Monster Hunter Now doesn’t interfere with the formula that’s sold 22 million games. Good.
But how you go about doing that, how you make your hunter slide and roll and hop and cut and carve, that’s the impressive thing here. Like spinning and tossing your PokeBall, it’s all done with your index finger: swipe to left or right to dodge, swipe up or down to advance or retreat, tap to attack, hold to charge, or block. And you can manually tilt your handset to aim your bow or ranged weapon, if that’s your thing (but I really can’t stand motion controls). Simple! So simple even the non-Monster Hunter players in my session were dancing around and interrupting monster attacks like they’d been playing since Monster Hunter Tri by the time we had to give the phones back.

And what monsters will you be hunting? Lucky for you, I've got a complete list (at least, complete for the launch of the game) right here: Great Jagras, Kulu-Ya-Ku, Pukei-Pukei, Barroth, Great Girros, Tobi Kadachi, Jyuratodus, Paolumu, Anjanath, Rathian, Legiana, Rathalos, Diablos.

And what weapons can you use? There are far fewer than in the base game, but it's likely the developer will add more in time. So far, confirmed weapons include: Sword & Shield, Great Sword, Long Sword, Hammer, Light Bowgun, Bow.

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About the Author
Dom Peppiatt avatar

Dom Peppiatt


Dom is a veteran video games critic, published author and columnist that has appeared in publications ranging from Daily Star to NME. Passionate about games and the greater good they can achieve, you can usually find Dom listening to records, faffing about in the kitchen, or playing Final Fantasy VIII (again). They also have a column about games and music at The Guardian.

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