This review is a little late to the game as most sites have already posted a review when the game released. Unfortunately, Nintendo Playroom isn’t privy to review copies just yet so ever since the day of release I have been working hard to play through the game so I could post a good, honest review for you guys.
Monster Hunter has fairly kept the same mechanics over the past several years where you create your hunter, tackle a quest (whether they be gathering quests or taking on a monster), gain items, make item combinations to form other items, forge/upgrade equipment, rinse, wash, and repeat. Seems fairly bland when looking at it from that perspective but I can assure you, the game is much deeper than that. So let’s dive in!
Upon creating your character you arrive at Bherna, a quaint little village at the base of the Wycademy. Here you can go to the palico camp to the right of the village and acquire the help of up to 2 felyne palicos for your questing. Palicos are actually quite useful in gathering material and on one particular occasion when I was fighting a monster and was about to “faint” (due to lack of health for those who haven’t played a Monster Hunter) when one of my palicos swooped in a delivered the final blow, taking out the monster before he could send me back to camp!
You are tasked with various quests, some are villager requests, where they either require you to go out into various areas (such as the Jurassic Frontier or the Dunes at the start of the game) and acquire items or take on monsters or packs of monsters (like a pack of Jaggi). When acquiring items, you have a limited amount of items you can physically carry without having to store additional, non-quest essential items in the item box. If your items reaches it max you either have to swap it out with an item or discard it entirely. Alternatively you will be able to go back to camp at the start of the area and enlist the help of a palico who can take your items back to the village for you but you can only utilize this once per quest. The difficulties of the quests are organized into categories “Training”, “Low”, “High”, and “Hunt of the Day”. They are pretty much self explanatory but you cannot access the “High” quests without progressing through the game; taking on the quests in the “Low” category. Additionally, they are broken down into “levels” where you will have stars that indicate the level of quests you are currently in for “Low” and “High”. Obviously, the more stars you have on that set of quests, the more difficult they will be.
Unlike previous titles in the series, you can switch to “prowler” mode where you can become one of your palicos. This is mostly useful if you are wanting to go out and gather more materials as they do not use up nets for catching bugs or pick axes. You technically can use them to hunt monsters but often I found them not as strong as your typical hunter so really I would advise against that. You can also upgrade your palicos armor using left over material that is created from hunter armor forges.
Monsters vary in size and difficulty. Often, you will have to study their attack patterns and movements in order to find the best solution in taking them out but for the first couple of monsters you will face, like the Maccao or the Gendrome, it will be fairly straight forward without any real strategy to take them down. The game does a great job of “getting your feet wet” before you actually take on the tougher beasts. While you can certainly play through the game on your own, it is highly advisable that you tackle the latter half of the game with some help in the form of online play. You can play with your friends locally (each person having their own Switch) or connect online and enlist the help of up to three other hunters.
Taking down the monsters will allow you three “carves” to gain material which you can use to create new armor sets and weapons. Usually, having enough material will require you to take on that particular monster several times in order to forge a complete armor set or weapon. This is the part of the game I really enjoyed as it really creates that “replay-ability” factor with a rewarding outcome. Who doesn’t want an AWESOME armor set/weapon?
Unfortunately playing online is lacking in communication. In order to send messages to your team, you have to select a preset message from a list which will display to your team. It would be really nice to see a feature added later (perhaps when Nintendo releases Switch Online?) that will add voice chat to the game. You could very well use a third party voice chat application but that really wouldn’t be very intuitive in the long run.
The controls in the game, if you have never played a Monster Hunter, will take some getting use to. I remember when I first played Monster Hunter waaaaay back when that the controls felt very clunky. This is a comment I read quite regularly when people are talking about Monster Hunter. There is very slight delay from actual button press to action in the game but once you get use to it, it almost feels second nature. Trust me, stick with it and you will get adjusted. With that in mind, I’m often paying attention to the monster’s movement, coordinating my next move while making my present move. If you are using a slower weapon like a great sword, this is pretty much a necessary tactic. As for me, I’m more into the dual blades due to the attacks being quick. It allows for me to get in, strike, and get out fairly quickly.
The sound/music in Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate doesn’t really introduce anything new. Matter of fact, the sounds are pretty much the same if you have been playing these games in the past but hey, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it right? The music and sound are responsible for helping create the atmosphere of Monster Hunter and has been doing a really great job of that since it’s inception. The music really does add that “feel” that we have all come to love about the series and helps bolster the title in conjunction with the aesthetics (which seem to have gotten a slight upgrade from the 3DS “vanilla” Generations).
If I were to describe Monster Hunter Generation Ultimate, I would say that it is a series of boss battles with in-depth strategy that really requires one to think about their fighting strategy that is unique to each monster you encounter while utilizing tools that you have created through item combination such as traps and bombs all the while building out new armor sets and weapons to make your hunter stronger. Man…that was a really long sentence! I can certainly see why anyone new to the franchise would be hesitant about jumping in but trust me, it is a rewarding experience and once you get the hang of things you are sure to invest many hours into it. I have known others to sink well over 300 hours into a single Monster Hunter title and once you dive in, it is easy to see why.
If you are looking for a great game to either play alone or online that you can play in little chunks at a time this is certainly a great title that will give you “bang” for your buck!
While I haven’t covered EVERY aspect of this game, I have hit the highlights and welcome you to jump in and discover other minutia for yourself. Have you played Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate? Let us know what you think in the comments below and come join us over in the Community forums for more discussion!
SourceCode, aka Lucas Hughes, is the creator/owner of Nintendo Playroom. He spends his days primarily as a husband/father/programmer/gamer. He loves all things Nintendo and is very passionate about the Nintendo community.