NS Preview – Monster Hunter Generations (3DS)
Last year I discovered Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate and it became my most played game last year. What I enjoyed the most about it was its challenging and fun action-oriented gameplay combined with its extensive character customisation. So, when it was announced that Monster Hunter X would be localised to the west as Monster Hunter Generations I was ecstatic and therefore it was a very easy decision for me when I was asked to preview the game. For those unacquainted with the series, as the title suggests, it is a game in which you go out and hunt (and sometimes capture) a variety of monsters and that’s it really. There are other quests that involve collecting items but hunting monsters is really what makes the game shine.
Although the premise is simple the game becomes incredibly captivating as each monster you fight is a new challenge and this motivates you to progress so you can test your skill against a new monster. Character customisation is another excellent aspect of the Monster Hunter series and Generations offers the most customisation out of all the games so far. What is enjoyable about the customisation is that in order for you to get that set of armour you really want is that you have to repeatedly hunt the same monster to get the materials you need. This may sound boring but it isn’t because the combat in this game is highly enjoyable and if you want to freshen things up you can always change the weapon you use or try to beat your best time.
Monster Hunter Generations offers a number of major new features to the Monster Hunter Series. One of these new features is the option to switch to ‘Prowler Mode’. Prowler Mode involves controlling a Palico, which is a cat (or Felyne to use the correct Monster Hunter term) that helps hunters on quests. Playing as a Palico involves a different approach to hunting as it encompasses a number of gameplay differences in comparison with playing as a hunter. Going into more detail, Palicos are unable to use items and have lower stats compared to hunters however they have their own unique strengths such as unlimited stamina and the ability to burrow into the ground to hide from monsters.
In Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate the AI controlled Palicos will help the hunter using various support abilities such as healing for example and these support abilities can be used in Prowler Mode too. So not only is playing as a Palico a new challenge for veterans of the series it is also a good choice for beginners as they can focus on providing support to the hunters and attack the target occasionally to ease them into playing the game.
Another major new feature in the game are ‘Hunting Styles’. In Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate, players had a wealth of weapons to choose from and in Monster Hunter Generations there are 4 different weapon arts for each of these weapons. The different Hunting Styles are as follows; ‘Guild Style’, ‘Striker Style’, ‘Aerial Style’ and ‘Adept Style’. Guild Style is the balanced one, Striker Style and Aerial Style are self-explanatory and the Adept Style relies on Street Fighter-like execution to get the most of out of it.
The last major new feature is the ability to use ‘Hunting Arts’. During a quest there will be a gauge that fills up and when full you can use your Hunting Art which is a special move such as a powerful attack for example. There are a lot of Hunting Arts to choose from and the number you have available to you on a quest depends on the Hunting Style you select. For example, those who select the Striker Style can equip three Hunting Arts, whereas those who select the Aerial Style can only equip one.
Monster Hunter Generations appears to already be an improvement on Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate. Everything I liked about Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate, the tight controls, the whimsical characters and the longevity is all here in Generations in addition to the new features it brings to the series. I really look forward to seeing what else this latest instalment of Monster Hunter has to offer.