What a glorious day! The sun is shining over a fantastical landscape, gentle giants striding the fields to reach the lake in the center… So many possibilities are within my reach today, armed with my trusty Lance, and yet… I find myself having to fetch mushrooms for the entirety of the village…
Monster Hunter has come a long way since first being released on Playstation 2, 12 years ago. Unbelievable, right? I am a newcomer to the series and was quite surprised by this fact. Though despite the franchise having been going so strongly for the past 12 years, it doesn’t seem like it’s been reaching many new heights, but is instead still working it’s way up the mountain, relatively slowly. With the release of Monster Hunter Generations, it has seen new implementations, whilst ignoring some of the eyesores that it still has.
It is true that it’s predecessor, Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate, is considered one of the more successful titles, and much of what was in MH4 Ultimate has been brought over into Generations, alongside its new features. These new features include the new Hunter Styles and Arts which once again adds more customisation to your preferred way of combat, adding even more ways to fight with the plethora of choice weapons you can use. You can choose between 4 styles; A similar combat style to that of Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate focusing on balanced offense and defense, another that focuses on dodges being followed up with a strong counter-attacks, another one that quickly charges up special attacks, and finally, one that focuses on aerial attacks. If you find you are needing to try a different Hunter Style, you are able to switch between Styles in your Hunter Home or the Hunter Hub Prep Area via the Item Box.
And let’s not forget that we are able to play as a cat… You heard right, you are able to “stable” your Hunter and run around as your trusty Calico companion in Prowler mode. I had more fun with this than anticipated, possibly more because I enjoyed the comical way my Calico interacted with the environment during the Gathering Quests, not being able to handle the weight of a pickaxe, hiding among bushes to find herbs and mushrooms, or just the general way he walked around. Despite being a cat, they can pack a punch in combat, and even provide very helpful buffs. As far as new features go, that’s where it stops.
And speaking of Gathering Quests, I found there to be a lot more of those than actual Monster Hunting Quests, which got me questioning the meaning of the title of the game, and at the same time, I probably enjoyed these more than the Monster Hunting Quests, because the combat controls feel clunky and difficult to master, more in the frustrating kind of way where you aren’t able to change direction of your attacks once you’ve begun your onslaught. One out of every four of my attacks hit the monsters, because after the first hit, the monster would side-step and stare at me, most likely laughing off my first strike as I gradually get dragged away from it. At first I thought I was being a noob, but after doing more research I found that even “seasoned veteran” Monster Hunter players have similar problems with the combat controls. I would have thought the lock-on mechanic allowed my Hunter to follow the movements of the Monster while attacking it.
The storyline takes a little bit of a backseat in this title, featuring about only 10 hours in the campaign, leaving more room for Multiplayer and general messing around, I guess, whether it be to speak to the numerous NPC’s who each have unique long-winded, albeit entertaining, monologues, or even to pet a sheep. Something that will really impress the fans of the series is that this title revisits 3 of the iconic towns from the old games, such as Kokoto Village from the first Monster Hunter, Pokke Village from Monster Hunter Freedom Unite, and Yukumo Village from Monster Hunter Portable 3rd. The reason Monster Hunter Generations has been named as such is to pay homage to previous titles and to say thank you to the fans who have been playing the series.
Despite the fact that the game has gone over numerous upgrades, it should be easier for newcomers to the series like me, but it most definitely isn’t. I found that I spent more time in the dense menu than I did spending time finishing the objective for my quests. Much frustration was caused by this, where options are hidden among more options. I had no other choice but to consult online guides to help me out, instead of being able to rely on the in-game tutorials, which in truth, didn’t help me much. If this could be simplified along with the combat, I think I could enjoy the game a lot more.
All of the collective features of this game do make it a great addition to the franchise considering its reputation, however, speaking as a newcomer who not only reviewed the game, but also just wanted to have a fun time playing it, there were many moments where I felt like the game was purposefully torturing me. I’ve heard somebody say “you either try it for a few hours, get frustrated and give up, or try it for a few hours, get frustrated, but somehow things just click and you can’t stop playing”, and I agree with this. I am the former of the two possibilities. If you are already a fan of the series and are familiar with it’s mechanics, I have a feeling you will enjoy this title greatly, but as for me, I must regretfully say, I had a tough time enjoying it.
Reviewed on: Nintendo 3DS XL
Available on: Nintendo 3DS
Genre: Action RPG
Age Rating: Teen
Estimated RRP: R539.00
Initial Release Date: 28 November 2015
Release Date (SA): 15 July 2016
- Running around as a cat
- Too many gathering quests for a “Monster Slaying game”
- Clunky menu system
- Fighting system very primitive