Monster Hunter Generations, the most recent installation in Capcom’s acclaimed Monster Hunter series, launches in just three days and fans are no doubt excited about it.
While I’ve never personally had much experience with the franchise, it was always something I really wanted to play around with. And I’ll be the first to say that Generations was a great place to start. Intuitive, easy to understand and fun, the game got me even more interested in the rest of the series.
Hunting and gathering
Monster Hunter Generations mainly consists of quests that involve either hunting down monsters or collecting items for delivery. Hopefully, if you’re going into this handheld experience with any background knowledge of this game (and by that I mean you read the title), then this should be expected. The core mechanic is to hunt down monsters as a response to people’s requests.
I found this to be extremely fun, and I’m going to go ahead and guess that if you’ve played the series before and come back for more you’ll agree right along with me.
Something I didn’t expect to see going into Generations was the gathering and collecting of resources that the quests also assign you. Sometimes as main quest objectives and sometimes as sub-quests, you’ll be asked to go into large areas of land to farm for materials: fungi, flowers, bugs, ore, and anything else your little brain can imagine.
I’ll admit that the gathering aspect of the game became really frustrating. While collecting plants is as simple as going over to a flower and button-mashing to harvest it, things like bugs and ores require tools (bug catchers and pickaxes respectively) that aren’t as easily available to you. This also isn’t explained to you at any point in the beginning of the game, which made starting these kinds of quests both confusing and irritating.
Overall, the gathering quests were interesting and a nice change of pace from the hunting, but the real prize is getting to chase down monsters and bring them down with whatever weapons you’ve chosen for a particular mission.
Hunting arts and styles
Of course, in order to hunt down monsters, a hunter needs his arsenal. And weapons aside, any good hunter is trained in at least a few abilities that will help them take down whatever monster they may need to. And new to Generations comes just that – Hunting Arts. Hunting Arts are special moves that provide an advantage during any fight you may be in.
Hunting Arts, of course, need to be charged and will start the process at the beginning of a hunt. Once they’re charged, they can be activated at any time and offer a multitude of different effects; from dealing massive damage, to healing yourself or allies, to providing certain buffs, to allowing you to sprint away from enemies, the Hunting Arts are a great way to give you the upper hand in a fight that’ll make fighting certain monsters that much easier. Fully customizable as well, I found that the Hunting Arts were intuitive and felt natural to the game, and I almost couldn’t believe that it was in Generations that they made their first appearance.
Hunting Styles is another feature introduced in Generations, and is similar in that it allows you to customize your fighting style to your liking to make things as easy as possible for you, and the most natural. These Hunting Styles come in four different forms: Guild Style, Striker Style, Aerial Style, and Adept Style. These four styles all offer unique and different forms of fighting with your weapons, and just like the Hunting Arts, you can choose whichever feels most natural to you to make things as easy as possible.
I’ll admit: While I did truly enjoy my time with Generations, I’m torn with some of the gameplay that came along with it. There were aspects that I really did enjoy, but overall I found quite a bit of the gameplay to be rather slow – and in a game where I’m hunting monsters, I felt like I should have been moving faster, even when my character was running.
I will say that as a beginner, the gameplay was easily understandable and felt simple, despite the fact that there’s quite a bit of depth to it. Still now I’m learning new things within the game, but at no point did I ever feel like I was missing out on any mechanics to the point where they were detrimental to me.
I will say though, that much of the gameplay led to very rewarding and satisfying experiences. Finally finishing a quest that I thought I’d never get done, or slaying a monster that seemed impossible to kill, would always lift my spirits.
And while I did find the resource missions rather tedious and frustrating, I will say that the resource mechanics were highly developed and made gathering resources incredibly simple, and I will commend the game for that. Everything about gathering and hunting felt very intuitive and flowed well, and my only real complaint with the gameplay was the fact that it felt a little groggy.
Lastly, going into this game, expect to have to use strategy. It’s a strategic game with strategic mechanics, and everything within it will require you to really think about what you’re doing. Monster Hunter as a series, I’ve learned, is more than just a hack and slash type game, despite what the name might imply, and you have to play accordingly.
If there’s one thing I need to give the creators of Generations credit on, it’s the visuals. I played the game on the New 3DS, and it was absolutely stunning. From the character and monster designs to the environments, everything presented to me was more than gorgeous, with an aura that had me wanting to know more about the world I was suddenly immersed in. I’ll admit that it’s a little mysterious, but that’s not a bad thing. The creators did a great job in making this a world that feels like it could be familiar, but it isn’t and that you need to make it familiar.
Additionally, everything within the game runs smoothly. Even if I did feel that it was a bit slow, everything looks and feels just as it’s supposed to; I didn’t run into a single hiccup visually while playing through Generations, which is always a wonderful and pleasant surprise.
While there isn’t too much to say about the visuals of the game past their beauty, I will say that everything in this game popped right out at me, both because of the extremely effective 3D and because of the vibrant and detailed colors, textures and designs.
Powerful, intense and focusing, the music of Monster Hunter Generations is just as good as the visuals and works in tandem with it to provide an unrivaled experience in killing aggressive beasts.
You won’t find this type of music while lounging around in town and talking to the surrounding villagers, but the minute you embark on any quest, you’ll find yourself empowered and ready to take on whatever the game may throw at you.
Everything you hear at any given point during the game sets the tone for what you’re up against, and you’ll be shocked at how well the music works with you to help push you to strike the final blow against a monster that you think is going to kill you. Again, I don’t have much to say about the topic past “it was amazing and I loved it,” but… it was amazing and I loved it.
As anyone might expect from the Monster Hunter series, the most recent installment of the game is just as good as I imagine the previous ones are. With a following as big as its own, Monster Hunter has an expectation to meet, and I can confidently say that fans of the series will be more than happy with the game.
The game felt slow at times, but I still enjoyed every minute of it. And I’ll admit – and I feel that it’s fair warning – that while the game does offer a lot to do and a lot of content, the content that it offers isn’t all unique. You’ll find yourself doing a lot of the same things over and over – gathering, hunting, and collecting. While the fun shouldn’t end anytime soon after you pick up Generations, it’s worth noting that it feels rather repetitive, and there’s unfortunately not a whole lot of plot to it.
Nonetheless, I have no doubt that anyone who picks up the newest title will enjoy themselves immensely. An absolute blast, Monster Hunter Generations will have you as satisfied, immersed and awestruck as possible.Leave a Comment
System: Nintendo 3DS
Release date: July 15, 2016
Categories: Action role-playing game