NS Review – Monster Hunter Generations (3DS)
After clocking over 25 hours of playtime it’s time for me to review Capcom’s latest entry in the Monster Hunter series. In a nutshell, Generations is like a greatest hits album of the previous Monster Hunter games with added extras such as being able to play as a Palico and a choice of Hunter Styles. The story is simple, you’re a rookie hunter who goes on quests to become the best hunter in the land. It’s not the most compelling story but Monster Hunter Generations doesn’t need one in order to be both a captivating and enjoyable game.
Generations is all about hunting a wide range of big monsters and using their claws and scales to make better weapons and armour to fight a stronger group of big monsters and so on. Given how each monster has its own fighting style it means that the player has to opt for different approaches when fighting each one and this keeps the game fresh. What keeps you coming back for more is that hunger to test your skills against an even more powerful monster than the last. In Generations Hunters can now hunt ‘Deviant’ monsters which are much more powerful versions of monsters that can be fought in standard quests.
For a 3D game on the 3DS, the controls for Generations are intuitive. For example, when fighting a large monster, you can lock on to it by simply selecting its icon on the touch screen. Then when the monster is locked on simply tap the ‘L’ button and the camera will position itself so that it faces the monster straight on. This saves having to use the d-pad or C-Stick to reposition the camera to face the monster. Multiplayer is when Monster Hunter is at its finest and Generations offers both Local Multiplayer and Online Multiplayer and when playing online I have encountered no lag whatsoever.
The option to play as a Palico (Prowler Mode) is a great addition to the Monster Hunter series as playing as Palico has some notable gameplay differences in comparison with playing as a Hunter such as being able to burrow underground and use a tank. There are also quests that can only be undertaken as a Palico however given that I have been able to complete the majority of standard quests with ease as a Palico these seem redundant.
A minor criticism of Prowler mode is that when your Palico is equipped with some good armour it essentially becomes more powerful than your hunter. Although your Palico may not be able to pack as much as a punch in comparison, they have so many advantages over Hunters that it makes them the more effective choice for hunting. Firstly, they are able to revive themselves with half their health back twice before it counts as one faint (a total of three faints in a group means the quest fails). Secondly, they have no stamina bar and thirdly they don’t ever need to sharpen their weapons. That isn’t all the advantages either, so in other words, Palicos are over-powered in this game.
Generations is a vast game which makes up for its lack of story with additional features. Prowler mode and Hunter Arts are welcome additions however the Hunter Styles have watered down the uniqueness of each weapon in the game. For example, in 4 Ultimate the Insect Glaive was the only weapon that allowed for jump attacks from neutral ground whereas this can now be done with every weapon in the game if ‘Aerial Style’ is selected.
For this entry in the series, Capcom have focused on delivering what the Monster Hunter games are best at; exciting battles, in depth character customisation and hours upon hours of gameplay. For fans of the series this will be the icing on the cake however those new to series will be wondering what all the fuss is about. The first Monster Hunter game I got into was 4 Ultimate and one aspect I really liked about it was how it ushered me in with its eventful story. When you start Generations it’s just “Welcome to this village, here are some quests you can go on”, it’s quite a hollow introduction. Therefore, for those who are new to the Monster Hunter series I recommend playing 4 Ultimate first and if you really enjoy it, pick up Generations. For those who have spent over a 100 hours hunting large monsters (including myself), Generations is the most exhilarating and complete hunting experience yet on the 3DS.