A beast of a game
I lept at the chance to finally sink my teeth into a Monster Hunter game with Capcom?s newest title in the franchise, Monster Hunter Generations. However, much like the game?s ideal steak?well done?Generations takes a long time to finish, and is tough to get into.
In Generations, you work for the Wycademy, running errands and quests to increase your reputation. By the end of the game, however, the player finds themselves tackling mythological creatures, each with unique quirks that force gamers to adapt, or pummel away futily at until time runs out.
Players can experience the game as the standard Hunter, or?for the first time ever?as one of the franchise?s Felyne creatures, the Palico Prowler, offering a slightly different take on the game?s combat. Also new to the series are Hunting Styles and their subsequent special abilities, Hunter Arts. Defining your character through combat, the four Hunting Styles give players options on how they wish to take on the game. I spent most of my time with the Aerial Style, which allowed me to leap and mount monsters, dealing massive damage and toppling them momentarily. Other Styles grant various powers, such as the Adept?s counter-attack and the Striker?s increased number of available Hunter Arts.
One of the core principles of Monster Hunter Generations is learning to adapt to different challenges. This presents itself not only in the ability to swap Hunting Styles every time you visit town, but also in the collection of weapons you can equip. With 14 different weapon types, it?s beneficial to learn the pros and cons of each to help give you an advantage over your opponents. For example, a lance may offer superior defense, but it greatly limits your mobility. Likewise, a Hunting Horn can provide team buffs, but doesn?t pack a wallop.
For a new player like myself, these options?while exciting?were a bit overwhelming. What?s a ranger bonus? There?s not a ranger class! To get a better grasp on things, I went through several of the training quests available in Bherma, the starting village. These helped a bit, but it quickly became apparent that Generations wasn?t meant for players new to the series. However, after a bit more research into past games, I finally decided I was ready to get to the meat of the game: hunting monsters. I took my first quest, and was on my way.
While there is some variation to these missions (kill, capture, collect), sadly they all tend to blend together. A lack of escalation in the first half of the game quickly creates a sense of monotony in a time where I was hoping for excitement. Killing 10 Maccao is about as exciting as collecting 10 Blue Mushrooms, and that is an issue for a game called ?Monster Hunter.?
After many, many hours, I finally started fighting creatures that required more than ?Jump, slash, repeat.? The Nibblesnarf was the first beast to really stand out for me. Here was a creature that hit like a truck, and would attack from under the sands. After a few defeats, I referenced the game?s Hunter?s Notes, which tipped me off to strategically place barrels where the beast would eat them, resulting in a stun. However, even with this tactic, the fight was more frustrating than fun.
One of the major sources of annoyance is that Monster Hunter is a game that feels like it would be better suited on a console. Despite improvements to the camera like Target Cam (double-tapping L centers the camera on the creature you?ve tagged) and the C-Stick (new 3DS only), it?s still not quite there. Attacking suffers from a similar lack of delivery, with the Circle Pad just not offering the precision needed for a game of this style. Exasperated by the small screen, I can?t help but feel that the game would shine much brighter on a larger screen with more power behind it.
All frustrations aside, there are many things that Monster Hunter Generations does well, and at the top of the list is the game?s multiplayer. Taking down some of the more epic monsters?Gammoth, I?m talking about you?with three friends feels amazing. Best done in-person, being able to coordinate with your team is exciting and rewarding. Plus, it takes away a lot of the micro-managing that you must do when playing solo. I didn?t have to worry about stopping my attack to throw a paintball at the monster, as my support player was taking care of that.
The gear grind is very real, but surprisingly works in the game?s favor. New items can be forged from creatures you defeated?it?s trophies you can wear. Collecting full sets of gear may take ages, but it actually provided me with a sense of accomplishment. My Hermitaur set makes me look like Samus Aran, and I love it.
Finally, the top tier of monsters in the game are amazing. I don?t know how long it took the Capcom team to make Mizutsune flow the way it does, but it was worth it. The epic fox-dragon moves like liquid death through Yukumo?s misty peaks. Sadly, it takes a very long time to get to the point of the game where you run into these creatures, let alone be able to actually vanquish one.
Overall, Monster Hunter Generations is a game best consumed by fans of the series. New players are not only forced into a massive learning curve, but also feel left out due to the many cameos by characters from past games. But, if you enjoy a gear grind?and especially if you have a group of friends who are into it?Monster Hunter Generations might just be for you.
|Developer: Capcom ? Publisher: Capcom ? ESRB: T – Teen ? Release Date: 07.15.16|
Monster Hunter Generations is a game that caters heavily to fans of the series, but sometimes leaves new players in the dust. Yet, a deep armory of gear and an engaging multiplayer experience deliver a game that offers hours of gameplay for those who don?t mind the grind.
|The Good||New Hunting Styles and Hunter Arts give added depth to a game already packed with customization.|
|The Bad||The Nintendo 3DS doesn?t have the ability to do the game?s combat justice.|
|The Ugly||Running out of whetstones 45 minutes into a fight.|
|Monster Hunter Generations is a Nintendo 3DS exclusive. Review code was provided by Capcom for the benefit of this review. EGM reviews games on a scale of 1 to 10, with a 5.0 being average.|