It’s not often that we get not one, but two Monster Hunter games in a year. After the outstanding success of Monster Hunter: World, Capcom is following it up with the localization of 2017 release Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate for the Nintendo Switch.
The Monster Hunter series has made itself at home on Nintendo hardware in recent years, but the 3DS’s form factor didn’t make it the most comfortable system to play for extended periods of time. The Switch pro controller is a welcome option that rivals the PlayStation 4 controller, making it perfect for long hunting sessions. Plus, players who miss the 3DS’s portability can still take the Switch on the go and meet up with friends for local gaming sessions in addition to the usual online multiplayer.
Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate is very much a “greatest hits” of the Monster Hunter franchise, spanning locations and monsters from all the past games while introducing new Play Styles and a Prowler mode where you can play as a Felyne, one of the cat-folk of the Monster Hunter: World. Following the series tradition, the “ultimate” in the title indicates the addition of ultra-hard G rank quests. There are a whopping 93 large monsters, which knocks Monster Hunter: World out of the park in terms of sheer variety. Long time series fans will surely be as thrilled as I was to see the colorful locations and monsters from throughout the series up on the big screen.
However, if you’ve played Monster Hunter: World, Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate looks and feels slightly clunky to go back to. Gone are the seamless maps with no load times between areas, or handy improvements such as fast travel to different camp locations on the map. The ever-handy scoutflies are nowhere to be found, so it’s up to you to track down monsters and make sure they’re paintballed so you don’t lose track of them when they move to a different area. Oh, and no more unlimited whetstones, and bug and stone collecting are back to requiring specific, limited-use items. Some of these more tedious conventions definitely feel like a chore after the much-needed streamlining in Monster Hunter: World.
For players that were first introduced to Monster Hunter with Monster Hunter: World, these more archaic systems may prove too frustrating. But as someone who loves a varied monster roster and colourful, quirky characters and environments that felt dulled down for Monster Hunter: World, I was thrilled to return to a more classic version of Monster Hunter that I can play both on my TV and on the go. Now, if they could combine the gameplay of Monster Hunter: World with the aesthetics of Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate, we’d have the perfect Monster Hunter game!
Yes if you’re looking for more Monster Hunter goodness and don’t mind some of the odder quirks of the older games; Probably Not if you don’t know where you’d be without MHW’s scoutflies.
Main takeaway: An expansive yet somewhat clunky Monster Hunter game with nearly 100 monsters and you get to play as a cat.