After a long wait and various conjurations, he arrives in the West Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate, Capcom title that proposes to expand what we saw with Monster Hunter Generations. Many were quite disappointed by what Generations offered, given the absence of the G-rank and more that certainly extends the already vast Monster Hunter endgame.
Following the model always adopted in the East, Capcom has decided to bring us Generations in the form of two separate titles, Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate improves and adds a lot over the predecessor.
The player is also given the option to transfer his game data from Generations to this new title, via an app.
Initially for players of Monster Hunter: World It will not be easy to get used to the controls of this title, which maintains the classic arcade setting. However, we invite everyone to try it, and we will guide you step by step to the details of this magnificent pearl that fortunately has also come to us!
What changes compared to Monster Hunter Generations?
As mentioned above, Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate is nothing more than an expansion and improvement of the predecessor, which allows you to renew the formula of styles and much more!
To be precise, the title landed in the East much earlier under the name of Monster Hunter Double Cross, but it does not present substantial differences. Unfortunately, the two titles can't interact with each other, but no wonder: it's always been a recurring policy for Capcom.
Among the most obvious changes we remember the addition of two new styles, renamed with the names of Valorous and Alchemical, which are added to the four styles that we already know well. To be honest, even the styles already present have undergone some tweaks, in order to make everything more optimal and balanced for the purposes of gameplay.
The forbidden dream of the G-rank comes true as well, greatly increasing the already exaggerated longevity of Generations. Not to mention the presence of new weapons, armor, talismans and monsters introduced for the occasion, one thing not from all games.
We also point out the important addition of the "Transmog”Which allows you to change the appearance of your armor, allowing even the so-called fashion hunters the opportunity to play with more competitive but aesthetically worse sets!
For us Westerners, another interesting change is the fact that the game will not land on Nintendo 3DS, but only on Nintendo Switch. We will therefore see a satisfactory upgrade to 720p on laptop, certainly better than the 240p we were used to.
The Valiant style
One of the biggest new features of this title is the two new styles added, including the valiant, which many will know instead as "Brave". Although the original name is more popular, its strength remains undisputed, being a great choice for many weapons.
Put simply, this style pushes the player not to sheathe the weapon, but on the contrary to keep it unsheathed, to load a special bar. Once loaded, we will enter a particular mode, characterized according to the weapon by new moves or options, in some cases devastating, such as on Greatsword and especially on Heavy Crossbow!
Impossible to forget how it is possible to avoid frontal attacks by pressing Y, which allows us to charge our bar while defending ourselves at the same time. Of course, we will also be able to combine normal Y attacks to quickly charge the bar, as the aim is to enter Valor mode as soon as possible.
Don't be fooled though, on many weapons it will present itself as a suboptimal choice, sometimes sacrificing DPS (i.e. damage). Instead, on weapons like the Heavy Crossbow, you will have much more mobility and a greater ability to inflict damage, while also having the guarantee of a good defense from dangerous frontal attacks.
You can only equip one Hunting Art with this style. In many cases you will lose a few attacks before entering Valor mode, but it does not concern you if you use it on the right weapons.
The Alchemical style
The second style introduced is Alchemical, characterized by a unique and quite bizarre system. We can equip 3 hunting limbs, just like the offensive one, but it has significant differences.
Here too we have a bar, which fills up over time or by attacking, and which we can use to synthesize objects. To be precise, we will have access to a barrel which if shaken a certain number of times will produce several special items.
Another unique feature is the ability to use SP Mode on all 3 hunting arts, which is not possible with the other styles!
As in any new Monster Hunter, the presence of new monsters is the bare minimum to be defined as such. Generations Ultimate amazes and introduces the new flagship monster Valstrax and others that you will discover later!
Faces already known as the Malfestio, the Mizutsune, the Diablos, Astalos, Ceanataur and the Gammoth will reappear in new guises to give us a hard time, enjoying different movesets to test our hunting skills.
Changes to weapons and styles
To fix something deranged on Generations, Capcom has well thought of revising the old styles to improve their mechanics. Honestly, the changes made have turned out to be quite spot on to give balance to the gameplay.
For example, the Shadow style on Greatsword was not the best before, not very versatile compared to Gilda, due to the difficult aim after dodging. However, on Generations Ultimate it will be perfectly viable and fluid, a definitely better experience than before!
The news does not end, some more technical details have been changed, such as the strength of our fellow Felyne or some attacks of types of weapons. All this to adapt to the new weapons introduced with the G-rank!
A look at the gameplay
The gameplay is significantly improved compared to its predecessors, being the evolution of a combat system that goes on from the first title. However, the most hesitant will be the players of World, who will be forced to deal with the normal arcade system that has characterized the series.
The presence of the styles gives a lot of variety to the gameplay, just like in Generations, although not everyone might like this setting. Despite this, the Guild style can be chosen for an experience that is as faithful as possible to the old titles; however, this is not recommended for some weapons, given the enormous advantages that some styles offer.
Just like in the predecessor, it will be possible to play as the Felyne (Hunt me) to alternate the hunter, gaining access to a different and fun style of play. Of course, there are also additions to our friends Felyne, which come out improved compared to Generations.
The presence of the two new styles and other changes in the mechanics is felt, also thanks to the new SP mode that gives new value to cooperative play. This latest addition allows you to award bonuses to the entire team based on the style used by the recipient of the bonus, and to activate it we will first have to equip this mode to an art of our choice.
To avoid unbalanced situations, the art in this mode will load more slowly, which is why an actual abuse of the SP mode can be more easily done with the Alchemical style, which can equip it to all 3 arts!
We conclude by saying that there are 4 levels of SP mode, accessible only with Alchemical style, each with its benefits and advantages.
The technical side
We have been very satisfied with this title so far, but we also have to take other factors into account. From a purely technical point of view, there are several considerations to make.
Primarily, the textures are of low quality, we expected a better job, but on Nintendo Switch they are quite old and out of place. Secondly, the optimization is not exactly the best, but the game is still enjoyable and we have not encountered any serious problems.
For who was wondering, the game runs at a stable and fixed 30 fps, just like its 3DS counterpart. While having 60 fps is undoubtedly better, the stable 30 is better for taking advantage of some more advanced mechanics in the game, such as the MOI (Moment of Invincibility), which would be composed of the invincibility frames we have at certain times.
As for the resolution we are not complaining, 720p in portable mode is quite good, and in dock mode the increase in resolution has satisfied us. For those curious, both Generations Ultimate and World use the same graphics engine, that is MT Framework, which is the owner of Capcom.
The choice of this graphic engine is to be found in the fact that Capcom itself has preferred to rely on internal resources rather than third parties, guaranteeing us two excellent products.
Battery consumption, as always, is critical, but no wonder, the most demanding games employ heavier processes.
Collaborations and much more!
Monster Hunter can boast as always a wide range of collaborations with other series. To be announced first, we remember the one with The Legend of Zelda, which was also made available in Japan.
Unfortunately, we will not have access to all the collborations present in the Rising Sun, but we may have new ones. That said, the sheer volume of free DLCs greatly affects the longevity of the title, which is already frightening.
A review of the history of Monster Hunter
Let's briefly review the evolution of this series, starting with the first chapters.
The first title is Monster Hunter (PS2) that many will know as the emblem of the series, starting with its iconic cover with the Rathalos. Later, we witnessed a remake on PSP, under the name of Freedom, which was followed by 2 other exponents with the same wording, including the historian Freedom Unite.
With Monster Hunter Tri we are witnessing a rebirth of the series on Nintendo Wii, with its novelties but also many defects. Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate perfects what is proposed by its predecessor and succeeds quite well, landing on both 3DS and Wii U.
To close the cycle of games on Nintendo 3DS we think the 4 Ultimate and finally Generations, which introduces hunting styles. These two latest titles have provided excellent ideas for the series and therefore also for Generations Ultimate, which treasures them.
On the opposite side is Monster Hunter: World, which abandons many of the old mechanics to add new and more "comfortable" ones. Without a doubt the Quality of Life has been greatly improved thanks to wise choices of game design and programming, leaving behind some more arcade mechanics.
Do not be fooled by this different style, which could mistakenly remind you of other titles, since it is nothing more than the continuous evolution of an arcade style, increasingly tending to realism.
On Generations Ultimate you will not have the same interaction with the environment, but certainly a longer and much more technical and complex experience, also thanks to hunting styles and arts.
A look at the past, but with the head in the present
Although many Monster Hunter: World players have complained about the excessive nostalgia that this title emanates, we counter by saying that it is actually both modern and "nostalgic".
At the base of the best known title. that is World, there are many mechanics of the weapons of Generations Ultimate, then integrated and implemented in new movesets. The presence of the styles has certainly helped to redefine the moves of some weapons, which certainly needed a good refresh.
Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate does have old elements, but at the same time it contains innovations that make everything more fun and varied.
Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate: the complete experience we were looking for?
We come to the end of this review with the final verdict, which fortunately we can expose since the game was localized after an exhausting wait.
The changes and numerous additions to the base of the title, namely Generations, have done justice to this spin-off digression of Monster Hunter, snubbed for the absence of Rango G. The two new styles and the SP mode add a new degree of challenge and a new way to play, which are always a welcome thing in this series.
The transition from Nintendo 3DS to Nintendo Switch didn't go in the best way, but it is certainly necessary to mark the beginning of a new era. We justify the poor HUD and disappointing textures as flaws of a normal 3DS to Switch port, as Monster Hunter Double Cross came out over a year ago.
If we consider it the definitive title of the series? Every Monster Hunter has something to say, but Generations Ultimate perfectly combines arcade / retro charm with more modern charm, creating a perfect match within the series.
On the other hand, with the greatest variety of monsters, new styles and the ability to visit the historical places of the series in both portable and fixed mode, what more could we ask for?
I thank the Hunter's Tavern for the support given and also the community of Monster Hunter Italian League, always involved and ready to lend a hand.