REVIEW – Monster Hunter Generations (3DS)

Monster Hunter Generations has to be one of the most interesting experiences I have had with a Monster Hunter game. To say that the game is any different from its predecessors is a stretch, but there is some new content packed in with all the tedious side quests. To date, I have 114 hours on the game. I wanted to explore more, but it is hard to pick up and go. I’m not going to poke too much at the controls and graphics, but there are some notes I will make at the end of this review, so keep on reading! Much of my thoughts can be summed up as the good, the bad, and the ugly.

First, the good. This game adds variety to combat, making it seem fresh. The four hunting styles of guild, striker, aerial, and adept create an endless possibility for combat. In addition, you have arts to equip and use, which change up your combat . Guild style is your traditional Monster Hunter styled attacks, with the ability to have two equipped arts. Striker is for heavy art users, since it allows you to equip the maximum of three arts. Ariel is for people who mount monsters (which was something you could do on the insect glaive exclusively in the previous game). It allows you to equip only one art, but it also gives you the ability to jump onto the monsters without the aid of a nearby ledge. Adept is a defensive style that rewards powerful counterattacks to those who evade at the last-minute.

The game also added four new flagship monsters to the mix: Gammoth, Glavenus, Astalos, and Mizutsune. Gammoth is a very large woolly mammoth-like monster that walks around the frozen wastelands in the game. Gammoth has the most health of any of the flagship monsters and is the slowest to kill. Glavenus is otherwise known as “flaming butt-sword lizard” in my rants to people about him is another unique monster to the series. His move set is similar to Deviljho and Uragaan where they use their bodies to attack, but Glavenus has a very tail that he can sharpen, heat up, and slam down and swipe at a moments notice. Best to stay away from his hind quarters when you fight him. Astalos is like the other wyverns in the game; has a similar move set except its shtick is that it uses electricity to damage you and its fast. Mizutsune is a leviathan, with fur on its belly and a colourful style. It main attacks use bubbles and if you get hit with them they’ll have you slipping around the area while being chased.

You can also now play as your felyne companion in the games. They play sort of like, ‘tank-floaty’, meaning they don’t feel right to control and they move a bit like a floating tank. They aren’t very strong, but what they lack in strength they make up for in skill to help your companions online. Your companions can be decked out in all sorts of armor and weapons so be on the lookout for better materials for them.

The bad, the game just doesn’t keep you interested. I started on Monster Hunter Tri on the Wii. Having played my first few hunts in a very confused I was able to get the handle of the game rather easily with help from veteran players. But that again seems to be the problem with the game. There is not a lot of tutorial in the beginning to give you a good understanding of the game. They teach you just enough about the new skills in this game and imply that you have played previous Monster Hunter games.

The game has terrible pacing issues. Several times while completing the online quest you’ll be forced to go back to single player to do several tedious fetch quest and a few hunts to unlock an online quest you need to progress. This forced requirement is part of the reason it’s hard to pickup this game and go. If you’re running low level armor and weapons and having to do this then it becomes more of a chore than a quest. It makes the game unnecessarily longer than it really is. Before I dive further on to this, the game isn’t that difficult. In fact it’s easier than Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate was. Monster Hunter going forward really needs to fix these pacing issues to really help the game grow.

Now the ugly. A lot of my complaints here aren’t so much bad, as they are personal biases when it comes to games. The game just doesn’t take advantage of the hardware in the New 3DS aside from faster loading. The games are almost identical and have the same frame rate dips in the same situations. Graphically the game looks like a polished turd (As Mythbusters has proven you can polish a turd). Though it does look great and the additions to the environments really make them stand out, given the restrictions of the 3DS. I wish they added high-resolution textures for New 3DS.

Control wise, the game still uses analog camera controls. Analog meaning it has a left-right, up-down motion, not the full 360 degree of freedom that a game like this needs. This goes further when you’re trying to play the light bowgun and heavy bowgun classes, the analog controls make precise movement near impossible. Everything else I can forgive, but the cameras is not one. The New 3DS and the grip accessory for the game isn’t well utilized for their digital inputs for the game.

My last point on this is that this game doesn’t feel like it should be a mobile title. The way this game is presented is more akin to that of a fleshed out home console title. Which is not bad, but when you have to be hunched over an hour or more at a time, it kind of hurts. With the Switch on the arrival hopefully we see Monster Hunter make its way to the hybrid console and ease a lot of the complains people have had with the series in regards to how it looks and plays.

Overall, the new features and monsters certainly make the game interesting. The ability to play as your felyne friend is very welcome online, although they don’t control all that well. Monster Hunter Generations doesn’t have consistent pacing and it forces you to go offline when you don’t want to. The lack of tutorials in the game make it inaccessible to new players. Terrible camera controls tend to ruin the experience for people use to the digital inputs of home consoles. In the end, the game is very much restricted so much by the console’s limited ability.

GAME: Monster Hunter Generations
ESRB: Rated T for Teen
OBTAINED: Review code from Capcom