Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate Review
From developer Capcom, Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate is exactly the kind of experience any fan of the series expects it to be. Players take on the role of a Hunter who has just arrived in town and is ready to make quick work of whatever monster is plaguing the people. You’ll be sent out on a variety of quests to track, gather, and hunt all manner of monsters and resources. While the gameplay will be incredibly familiar to anyone who has delved into the series before, Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate adds just enough little touches to make it well worth the dangerous journey back into the wild, and having it on the Switch to take it anywhere, or play on the TV at home has been a fantastic plus – although without one notable drawback – it’s lack of story.
For anyone new to the Monster Hunter franchise I have good and bad news for you: The game does a wonderful job in supplying helpful and useful tutorials so you can learn the basics of mining, fishing, tracking, hunting, managing stamina, and so much more. You’ll even walk away with some serious pocket money the more tutorials you complete. The downside? If you are a completionist like me you’ll have to slog through the multiple tutorials for each weapon fighting style – fourteen styles in total. I attempted to make my way through each tutorial for the sake of being prepared, but after the first few hours, I was dying to just get the game started. Players can also choose from up to six hunter styles, each with their own unique buffs, and each hunter style has multiple special abilities called Hunter Arts that can be equipped. These offer some incredibly in-depth customization of your play style and new powerful attacks and abilities.
Heading out into hunts is just as fun as you remember. Managing your health, stamina, inventory, and weapon sharpness will all be vital to a good hunt, and balancing your inventory between food, potions, essential gear, and crafting material is a whole other level of difficulty as you try to weigh your best options. Enemies are a little more intelligent this time around, but just enough to keep you on your toes without being overwhelming. Looking for that fifth kelbi horn or trying to slay just a few more jaggi for their hides is a lot of fun, and these bite-sized missions work wonders for the Switch’s portability. While combat feels a little stiff, I had to remember this is a game about picking your moments, not just swinging wildly for the fences.
Speaking of portability, Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate will let you join other players online for multiplayer hunts, or take your Switch on the go and link up with your friends to tackle massive creatures of destruction from the comfort of your friend’s backyard, sitting on the bus, or anywhere you may find yourself. The fact this title was built with the 3DS in mind and was then improved upon makes this an excellent experience for Switch gamers who want that authentic RPG feel but only have time to play in small doses. If you’ve already been playing Monster Hunter Generations on your 3DS, Capcom has included a way of transferring your save file to the Switch so you can keep all of your gear and progress to show off the next time you and your friends go for a hunt.
While the familiar gameplay is just as solid as you remember, the fact this is a port of a Nintendo 3DS game with some extra features added on will start to seep through the more you play. While on the go, the game looks fantastic but dropping the Switch into the dock and playing on the big screen reveals that little has been changed visually since its launch on the 3DS. This also means that – if we ignore the additional features added to the game for the port – Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate remains a condensed version of the series due to the size limitations of a 3DS game. For some, this is great because it cuts down on what little narrative the Monster Hunter franchise has and throws you right into the gameplay, but for others who are looking for a larger experience, they might find this one just a little hollow. Monster Hunter hasn’t been known for its deep narrative, but there is usually an all-important end goal for the player. Generations doesn’t seem to have that, instead just wanting you to dive in and enjoy the game for what it is.
Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate is a fun and satisfying addition to the Switch’s ever-growing library of games. Being a port built for playing on the go, it feels naturally at home on the Switch for the gamer who likes to play in short bursts, however, anyone interested in sitting down to sink serious hours into a Monster Hunter title might get burned out on the repetition quickly. With solid gameplay, enjoyable and colorful hunting grounds, and customizable combat styles, the only thing holding this hunter back is the immense amount of tutorials and the general lack of a motivating narrative.
**Switch code provided by the publisher**
- Familiar and fun gameplay
- New combat customization
- Built for portability
- Extensive tutorials
- No story