MonHun Nikki: Poka Poka Airu Mura is scheduled to release August 26th in Japan, and Capcom are hoping the game will help lower the series’ barrier to entry, with regard to price (lower than your standard PSP game), complexity and aesthetic when it does.
Airu Mura isn’t quite your traditional Monster Hunter experience. The fact that the battles against monsters take place from a side-scrolling perspective simplifies things considerably. The greater focus appears to be on customization of your Felynes and village, which players would appear to have great control over.
Perhaps, then, Capcom’s target audience for Airu Mura is women specifically. We already know the company is using Sanrio’s Hello Kitty brand to help expand its mobile phone demographic, and Hello Kitty gear makes an appearance in Airu Mura as well. This wouldn’t be the first time a successful franchise has banked upon customization features to attract a greater number of female players either — Square Enix believe this is precisely the reason Dragon Quest IX has a larger female audience than prior games in the series as well.
It makes for an even more convincing argument when you consider the Hannah Montana PSP bundle that Airu Mura is part of. Capcom even announced a mobile phone version of the game last month — although, details on this build are a little sketchy — also scheduled for an August release.
Could the Airu Mura series be “Monster Hunter for women”?