A Decade of Hunting
It’s been just over 12 years since the debut of the original Monster Hunter in 2004. Since then, over 20 Monster Hunter games have been released in Japan, and a few of those in the West. Monster Hunter has only recently become big in the West, and people regularly look forward to the new additions to the franchise. I jumped in on Monster Hunter originally with Monster Hunter Portable, and started really enjoying myself with Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate. Since then, I’ve spent countless hours hunting, farming, and capturing monsters in an effort to constantly improve my hunter throughout the various games released over the years. Naturally, I was incredibly excited for the release of Monster Hunter Generations in the west. A greatest hits collection of everything from Monster Hunter history, with new improvements that only improve and help the formula become deeper and more complex? Sign me up!
One Hell of an Addicting Loop
Monster had and still has a deceptively simple formula too it. If you were to explain the gist of Monster Hunter to someone who doesn’t play it, it can easily come across as repetitive and boring, but trust me, Monster Hunter is anything but boring and repetitive. Monster Hunter is primarily split into two different modes; Village and Guild. Village acts as a single player mode, which only supports one player. It consists of a fairly minimal storyline, which is interesting at best, but more often than not, it’s not very noticeable. You can do quests as you please, and as you rank up in Village, you get better gear, and you become more equipped for Guild. Guild acts as Monster Hunter’s multiplayer mode. Up to four players can jump in on the action, and hunt together. Monster revolves around a simple yet addictive process: Hunt a monster, harvest its goodies, and then create weapons and armour out of said goodies. As you progress further monsters get hard, weapons get stronger, and armour gets tougher. This leads to Monster Hunter Generations having once again, an incredibly sense of progression to it. No matter what you’re doing it always feels like it’s going towards something bigger, and that’s awesome. Some of the weapons and armour that can be crafted look awesome, and there’s a ton of options in terms of customisation for your hunter. There are 14 different and unique weapon types, ranging from bows to great swords and more. New to Monster Hunter Generations are Hunting Styles. There are 4 from hunters to choose from; Guild, Striker, Aerial, and Adept. Guild style has weapons act similarly to the way they did in previous Monster Hunter games, Aerial Style allows for use of aerial based attacks in order to topple and mount monsters, Adept Style uses last-minute dodges to counter with powerful attacks, and finally Striker Style lets hunters use 4 hunting arts as opposed to the limited amount of arts in other styles. Speaking of which, Hunting Arts are also a brand new addition to Monster Hunter Generations. Each weapon has three exclusive Hunter Arts, and which one you use comes down to your preference and play style. The addition of Hunting Styles and Hunter Arts means that you can play and customise your hunter to how you want to play. Every hunter you play with will be unique, and while some weapons are better with certain Styles, it definitely does not negate the other styles. For the most part, it’s incredibly well-balanced and a feature I really do hope is a permanent staple in future games.
Hunt, Carve, Craft
It’s the simple addictive hook that keeps you playing Monster Hunter, and it’s definitely the same case in Generations. Over the 50 or so hours i’ve played, I’ve enjoyed every single moment, and always feel like I’m progressing towards something. Questing with multiple players is incredibly enjoyable, and some of the sheer size of these monsters can be absolutely incredible, old and new. Generations acts flawlessly as a greatest hits collection for Monster Hunter, with areas, monsters and weapons pulled from past games, along with brand new ones being added in. You can also play as a Palico now, which is honestly pretty enjoyable and very viable in terms of using it for hunts. They’re way stronger than you’d think they’d be and you don’t have to stress over items and healing while playing as them. The one issue I have with Monster Hunter Generations is the menu functionality. The menus in Generations are almost identical to those of past titles, they feel aged, cluttered, and unorganised, making for a hard to navigate menu which can definitely be daunting for those new to the franchise.
A Beautiful Hunt
For what it is, Monster Hunter Generations does a surprisingly good job at looking good and running even better. While definitely not the best game looking game on the system, Monster Hunter Generations does a fine job of being a treat to look at. Environments are varied, bright colours pop out and monsters look incredibly detailed sometimes. The game always runs at a smooth 30fps on a New 3DS for me, which was a delightful surprise considering the potential for slow down in a game like this.
Monster Hunter Generations is fantastic,worthy homage to Monster Hunter as a series. It takes what made all of the past games brilliant, improves on those things, and add new things that further deepen and extend the gameplay of Monster Hunter. Although dated, clunky menus hold it back from being perfect, Monster Hunter Generations is a definitive Monster Hunter experience. If you’re a Monster Hunter fan, go out and buy this if you haven’t already. If you’re looking to get started with the series, Generations is brilliant place to start.
Thanks for reading guys, up next is No Man’s Sky!