Monday, 03 September 2018 11:22

REVIEW: Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate (Nintendo Switch)

Written by RiotArms
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This is a long review; TLDR points below but if you want to know the true experience read on!

Customisable characters? CHECK! In-depth RPG Elements? CHECK! Hunting huge ass creatures and harvest their carcasses as their peer’s lament over their demise? Double check! Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate promises and delivers on the above with then some more. It’s safe to say that Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate is one of the foundations of Capcom.

You know what’s so ace about the switch? This amazing versatile console has the power to punch out the heavyweights. I’m talking about amazing tiles such as Resident Evil 7, Mega man and Okami just to name a few. Yeah I know; these are all Capcom titles but there is a reason why I’m highlighting this. Born from the land of the rising sun Japan way back in 1979, this development and publishing powerhouse sets the standards in gaming. With over 2500 plus employees around; you can be sure that the titles that these professionals produce will hit the mark every time.

Enough about that lets touch on what this amazing title it about. If you’ve already played Monster Hunter Titles, skip to the next bit. If not read on and hold on! Picture being thrown into a fantasy world where you have the flexibility to craft your future. Take up quests, craft your equipment and slay monolithic beasts for the glory by yourself or with other compatriots.

2018 09 03 00022

QUIT STALLING! WHEN DO I HUNT DINOSAURS!?

Ok so after witnessing an amazing opening video which kind of doesn’t make sense (doesn’t matter; looks great!) You get thrown into character creation. Now what I LOVE above RPGs and games that actually include this is the ability to create your own character. Not only does it allow the player to have a sense of ownership and game immersion, but also allows the player to create multiple characters with different play styles, creating a new gaming experience each play though.

Customisation was pretty simple: gender, skin colour, face type and voice. For a heavy game I expected a bit more freedom in design, but in saying that I have been ruined by my recent play through of Black Desert Online. After choosing my warrior princess (remember Riot always plays Females) you have a choice of play style; a mix of 6 styles that govern how you play and your abilities. Finally, you then choose your hunter arts; a super move for arguments sake, used to either evade or carve enemies. With the selections committed, I was ready to slay some monsters. Or so I thought...

Tutorials? BAH! I don’t need them!

Are you the type of gamer that just dives into it and pray for the best, only to realise an hour in that there was a multitude of things you could have gained or unlocked much before? Remember that Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate (Lets just call it MHGU) is a 3DS port. Back in the day before you crazy kids had downloads and everything was electronic, video games were sold as physical copies and had manuals within them, allowing the player to read up on lore, key bindings and any other pertinent information to your journey. This is conveniently located in the main menu. DON’T SKIP IT! It contains the basics of being a Monster Hunter.

Now if you were like me and totally forgot that this existed don’t fret! When you start a new game, create your character and get punted into your new village there is a Lass that provides you with quests. There are also Training Quests which will guide through the ins and outs of MHGU and also reward you with materials and other goodies. Now I’m not going to bore with you the entirety of this part of the game, but I will say 2 things: One, I was in AWE at the expansiveness of this game and Two, it will cover 90% of what you need to know. The other 10% is all about the GitGud factor.


2018 09 03 00023

Gotta Slay Em’ All!

Armed with the knowledge of the tutorials (takes around an hour to fully appreciate everything) I was well on my way to start hunting and harvesting (sounds so macabre) creatures of the land. Whilst on the way to the quest provider you noticed a few things; these cute sentient feline critters called The Palico, who inhabit human settlements which roles which range from Cooking, hunting and gathering. Multiple Palicos can be recruited to assist in hunting and gathering; a must have when smashing those tougher hunts and extra gathers are needed. I NEEDED ONE SO BADLY! THEY WERE SO CUTE! With a bit of research in my head I made my way to the Palico Ranch to speak to the Meowstress, who will assist in searching for your furry feline companion(s). I won’t bang on them for too much longer but there are 7 classes of Palico, their appearances are all customizable and, they all have the ability to don armour and carry weapons. This onto itself is amazing for me; a deeper level of play style by alternative NPCs that assist you in a multitude of ways. Sky’s the limit here! After I recruited a Palico I affectionately called Mr. Meow Meow; who was a party buffer, I was off.

Ok the basics were tied down; I travel to the quest master and I decided to snap up the first one-star mission. In MHGU you are ranked by a star system. The more quests you and the harder, the more you rank up and also the more missions you can simultaneously take. This gives the player a sense of urgency to gitgud and climb the ranks. See games can have challenging mission elements to make you play or have achievements that you can attempt to attain. This game has an inbuilt rank system that makes you want to work for the good stuff. You might be asking me now: “Riot bro? Do we just kill for the sake of killing things for the mission?”. Good question. Read on and it will all clear!

So I enter the mission area; you get spat out into your base camp. Here you have a bed for saving and restoring health, a supply box with some goodies within and your quest box where you need to drop off mission critical items. After obtaining what in needed from base camp I set off to experience the greater game. In the first area I was amazed in the quality of graphics, the way the water and flora melded together; tied in with a light harmonizing musical score and SFX. Knowing the basics, I proceeded to mine, gather and capture a few insects which are deceptively plentiful. Why deceptive? Because you have a finite amount of bag space and further more you only want to keep the good stuff. Items are all ranked in rarity and numbers which is a massive help in sorting out the travel sack. 

2018 09 03 00024
Then suddenly I saw my first mark; a herbivorous dinosaur which had my name on it! Now in MHGU you encounter minor creatures that you can kill and harvest their goodies however you can’t target them which was a shame. What I mean by target is have the camera fixate on them Assassins Creed style so you have full focus on the objective. Same as the tutorial I proceeded to dispatch the gentle giant and harvest hides, bones and meat for my own sustenance. This was repeated a few times with much glee and excitement as I trounce along the countryside until a vicious (and I assume hungry) Allosaur looking MF rears up and just munches my face off. Fainting in the field will get you picked up by 2 plucky Palicos on a wagon where they dump your (my) sorry ass back to base camp for a small fee. I wanted revenge; I had a taste for blood, and the whole valley paid. Once I annihilated all the mobs with gusto I proceeded to hand in my objectives and was booted back to town.

Remember that question: “Why do we do what we do?” Besides honour and glory, you also harvest materials and monster parts to improve or forge new gear. The character itself doesn’t have any intrinsic influence on the game play however your abilities and equipment play a massive part in your MHGU quests and the difference between snagging the kill or being someone’s dinner.

Back at base camp, the player can purchase tools of the trade that can assist in the hunt. Tools such as explosive traps for AOE (Area of Effect) damage, traps to immobilise pray or paintballs to mark the kill, ensuring they can be tracked if they escape. There is also a slew of items that the player can create using the creation menu to make either at base or in the field. The creation aspect of this game is so tasty that this feature in itself is a massive reason to play the game.

Fast forwarding a bit I was tier 2 and chasing down mats for a new shiny long sword. Besides being better in stats the thing looked freaking sick from what I read in the wiki. There is a satisfaction from hunting the mark unseen, mounting it Skyrim style, dispatching it and then harvesting its goodness to better your hunting career. After playing through a few more quests I was content with my new blade, shiny new armour set and ultra-excited to articulate my love for this game.

2018 09 03 00021

Back at Base camp lets debrief...

Graphics are stunning. Fluid, no FPS drop and visually appealing. There is ALWAYS something with JRPGs that drawn people in. They are just aesthetically pleasing on the eyes. I’m a bit biased coming from the days of Final Fantasy 7 to 13 and other A+ JPRG titles but I was amazed that again on the switch; a portable console, it has the ability to punch out this level of detail and fluidity. Rich colour palate that just screams immersion. Some models however seem a bit blockish but again that may be due to the attempted port.

Let’s chat about the music and SFX; cute and whoa. Typical JRPG; from playing a homely welcoming soundtrack as you walk through the busy camp going about your business to sounding victory when you hand in your quests; there one thing that JRPGs get right and it is soundtracks. Throw in on point SFX such as footsteps, weapon clings even down the Palico meows as they scurry to fight or find items. I was quite pleased with how it all tied in together, yet I expected nothing less.

Gameplay; where the hell do I start? I will start off with the negatives; it is hard. It is not impossible but it is challenging. This is not a hack and slash; it is a rich, flexible JRPG. The player needs to understand and respect the game, the fact that there are so many combinations that it would be folly to count the game out before spending a solid few hours just to discover what it has to offer and exploring some of its other avenues of combat. Camera angles and target locking was clunky however being a JRPG I’m sure there was method to the madness. Controls sometimes were unresponsive but again I was playing it as a hack and slash instead of a tactical action game.

The extras are amazing; besides having 3DS save file transfer to play from your previous MH saves from different version the player has the ability to play with other monster hunters around the world; taking down harder and meaner creatures for the sweet loot. This review doesn’t go into online or local co-op as that’s another kettle of fish however the options are there for that.

Riot’s Remarks

I’m sure I’ve missed so much but I’m writing a review, not a novel. Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate; hunt huge monsters, craft equipment, create items, achieve greatness and have a posse of felines kicking ass on your behalf? Sounds great on paper but let’s get serious; immersive and rich gameplay, challenging learning curve that; once mastered, allows you to sculpt how you play the game, and finally mixed in with stunning graphics and sounds to delight the senses makes this heavy weight title. Even at 2000 words this review just touches on this epic ported title. Do yourself a favour and give it a go and see for yourself. This is a game that you will come back to over and over again.

Pros

* Clean Graphics and immersive sound
* Multitude of activities to do in game
* Reward system coerces the player to achieve higher for higher rewards
* Solo or multiplayer
* Feline posse!

Cons

* Steep learning curve
* Remember it’s a port so expect same same but slightly different

 

Additional Info

  • Review Score: 4.5 / 5.0
  • Release Date: Out Now
  • Platform: 3DS, Nintendo Switch
  • Developer: Capcom
  • Genre: Role-Playing, Action