FIRST-IMPRESSIONS – Monster Hunter Generations (PAX East 2016)

Monster Hunter has been a huge success for Capcom through the years. The first one I got into was Monster Hunter Tri on Wii. I remember playing it for hours, but I was still far away from getting everything. I also remember there was a challenge that was not existent in many other modern games.

This year at PAX East, I was able to meet with the great people at Capcom and check out Monster Hunter Generations, the newest game in the series, which will be out on Nintendo 3DS. (Note: This is the same game Japan got last November as Monster Hunter X.)

I did warn the representative that I was far from a Monster Hunter expert, and I will also pass that warning on to you. But while my experience will be different than the experts, it might be very helpful for the relatively unexperienced who have been considering the game.

To start with, the game looks great running on a New Nintendo 3DS. It does run on the original, though. The frame rate and environments looked just like one would expect from Monster Hunter. It really looked like the experience I had with Tri on my Wii shrunken down to a smaller screen. The load times were also barely there, which is something I did not like on Tri on my Wii.

In addition to the four main monsters and new hunting-arts attacks, there are 14 weapons available this time around, but there are also four different styles of play available along with many extra abilities to make this the most customizable Monster Hunter game they have ever made. As usual, you can also craft some items using parts of the monsters you defeat. One example is when you create something like ear plugs from a monster with a loud scream. Using the earplugs, you will be able to approach him, though.

Of the four play styles (Guild, Striker, Aerial, and Adept), I decided to try the new Aeriel style, which allowed me to jump. This meant I could attack from overhead, but I could also have a chance at mounting the monster. This took a bit to get used to, but I eventually realized I liked this style a lot better than the traditional style of past Monster Hunter games.

The ability to lock-on the monster by tapping the L button was incredibly helpful, as it is really easy to lose track of them in the middle of combat. This is somewhat similar to the targeting system used in modern 3D Zelda games. With this feature, it quickly centers you back on target.

I did not complete my task, though, as I ran out of time (because I am not that great at Monster Hunter). But during the combat, I was able to test out the new aerial play style with the dual blades. It was really fun to have more motion and abilities within combat. In past Monster Hunter games, I felt a bit too restrained. That was not the case this time around.

The game also features multiplayer, similar to previous versions. Unfortunately, though, I was unable to try it this time. Although, I was told the basic play is essentially the same as the single-player mode. The only difference is that you are in a hunting party with other humans.

Monster Hunter Generations will release on the Nintendo 3DS sometime in summer 2016.

For more of our coverage on Monster Hunter Generations, click here.