Review: Monster Hunter Generations (3DS)
In every generation a new hero is born from the ashes. Rising up from being thrown into the pit of the very beasts that terrorise the lands and bring despair and sorrow. Rising high above the mountain tops, venturing further into the desert oasis and gaining the power that is bestowed upon every generation of Monster Hunter. Will you be that hero of this generation?
It’s been just about a year and a half now since Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate launched and revitalized the Monster Hunter series. Bringing with it not just new monsters to slay, but lots of new content that has left Monster Hunter fans in awe, and had left me feeling and thinking, “What more could they possibly add, especially in just over a year?”. To my surprise and joy after playing Monster Hunter Generations I can honestly say that this is definitely my favourite Monster Hunter title to date.
The Good, The Bad & The Prowler
For beginners Monster Hunter Generations is just like every other Monster Hunter title guides you through the usual tutorials and basics on hunting and gathering. The best part about this, if you’ve never played a Monster Hunter title before, is that the game provides you with a starter weapon of every type to test what you’ll be most comfortable with. Monster Hunter Generations has 14 weapon sets, which among them include the Great Sword, Dual Blades, Switch Axe and, my favourite, the Insect Glaive. For returning veterans of the series you’ll be happy to know that you can skip past the tutorial/training quests and head straight into the action. Alas don’t expect much from the 1 star quests however, as I found that to be more of a chore rather than challenge. The good news however is that there are only seven 1-star quests. The sad news is that the 2-star quests are not much of a challenge either but the game does start picking up from the 3-star quests and onwards. This is unfortunately the case in most new Monster Hunter games for returning players and if you thought that you’d be able to transfer all your gear and items from Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate you’re unfortunately out of luck. The game does however transfer a few items such as twenty potions, ten mega potions and 5000 zenny, to name a few, but it really isn’t anything significant.
Apart from all the grinding that returning players will have to do before getting to a decent point in the game, I believe the greatest new asset that Monster Hunter Generations brings to the table is the new hunting styles – apart from the colossal new monsters of course. If you’ve played the demo you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. Monster Hunter Generations introduces four new hunting styles. These hunting styles determine the kind of attacks and special arts you can use. Without going into too much detail the four styles are Guild, Striker, Aerial and Adept. Each style does have their own abilities such as charge attacks, which are more powerful when utilising the Guild style or performing air born attacks while wielding weapons other than the Insect Glaive while making use of the Aerial style. In turn each style also allows the hunter to equip different arts such as absolute evasion, heal gain and escape runner. Each art in turn has their own special abilities. For instance, the absolute evasion art allows the player to perform a sort of speed move away from danger that results in sheathing your weapon at the same time and providing a moment of invulnerability.
One thing is certain, these new hunting styles will create a greater variation in hunters and their styles of hunting.
Another thing I’ve noticed is that Palicoes play a large role in this Generation of the Monster Hunter series. YES, even larger than Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate believe it or not. This includes the player being able to go on hunting and gathering quests as a felyne, to sending off your companions on their own expeditions, not to mention that they have quite a large area in the main village dedicated to training them at the Palico Dojo and numerous Palico vendors spread out in the area. There is also a new feature added while you’re engaged in a hunt called the Pawstal service, allowing players to send items home from their base if their inventory is full. It’s a small improvement that makes the world of difference if you’re out in the world hunting. At first playing as the felyne was a bit weird. It is vastly different from the hunter in the aspects that you’re not only smaller but it takes a few more hits to take out monsters. The felyne however has three things that I thoroughly enjoyed while on gathering quests – unlimited pickaxes, unlimited bug nets and, my favourite of all, unlimited stamina. This makes them the Ultimate gathering tool in this generation. The “Meownster Hunters” are sure to bring about a completely new generation of hunters in players.
Another small yet significant change in Monster Hunter Generations is the layout of the new hub area as well as the many menu layout features when hunting online with friends. Just like Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate the bottom screen on your 3DS will be utilised for a mapping system when you find yourself in any of the villages. I found that the layout is much simpler and easier to look at compared to the games predecessor. Thankfully Monster Hunter Generations retains the function of customizing your bottom screen menu layout before departing on quests, making it easier to tap on items from your inventory in the midst of the hunt. The layout of the new hub area is also quite different and takes a little time to become accustomed to. Unlike Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate this area is outside and not in a gathering hall. Additional to that there’s a nifty little feature in that players won’t need to go “home” to change weapons or armour sets as the “hub” has an area that’s a home away from home known as the “prep area”. This is specifically for the hunter to change and upgrade their gear compliments of your very own personal blacksmith.
Although Monster Hunter Generations might seem like Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate 2.0 at first, it plays and especially feels like its own game all together but still retains all the best elements from its predecessor. It also combines aspects from every other generation of the Monster Hunter series, which Monster Hunter fans will appreciate far beyond the limites of this title. Yet it still adds so much additional content that you’ll wonder how on earth did they manage to fit it all into the game. Monster Hunter fans, this might be the best Monster Hunter title to date.