The Monster Hunter series has been growing in popularity with each new game over the past few years. Monster Hunter 3 and 4 saw some of the biggest gains, with the addition of online multiplayer really helping build a massive community of fans. It’s with this in mind that Capcom is developing the latest entry in the franchise: Monster Hunter Generations.
The game, as the name seemingly implies, is a culmination of the series’ past. At PAX East 2016 I got to play some of the upcoming action-RPG, which is actually already available in Japan. What I found was a great entry point for newcomers to the series, with extra tutorials and other things to help with the larger learning curve that Monster Hunter requires, but also something great for fans.
Monster Hunter Generations is a great entry point for newcomers, but also has wonderful stuff for longtime fans
Speaking with Capcom’s associate PR manager Stephanie Palermo, she said what felt like the overall thesis statement for the game. “Monster Hunter Generations is a celebration of the last 10 years of the series.” What this means is that you will find a lot of returning elements, with classic levels and monsters from previous games, but it also wants to push forward.
New mechanics are introduced right out of the gate, with special abilities that you charge up and activate on the 3DS touch screen. The one new piece that seemed to excite most fans was that you can actually jump onto the back of monsters now, attacking them violently while trying desperately to hold on. This requires a lot of setup, and a lot of teamwork, so no one was really able to pull it off in the 15 minute demo, but you could tell that each and every one of those fans had already set a personal goal to do it.
The core game is still very much the same Monster Hunter fun that you might remember. You and a group of fellow adventurers team up to take on a single massive beast. You start out in a random field and need to track your foe, fighting some smaller enemies along the way, if you are unable to just avoid them.
Once the monster is located the real battle can begin. That battle can last quite a long time, as the whole point of the game is to sort of condense down the feeling of running a dungeon and taking out the boss at the end. With proper teamwork these fights can be shortened, but usually only down to 15 minutes or so. Really, you are in it for the long haul, and if you want to survive you’ll need to utilize every ability you have.
Combat is slow, but deliberate, with each strike from your weapon taking multiple frames of animation, and usually some time to recover and reposition at the end. You have to wait, and watch, looking for the right time to strike. Each monster is different though, you’re not just looking for the bright flashing light that say “strike now!” Instead you should really take some time to study the beast, learn its patterns, then formulate a plan.
That plan might have to shift though, as the monster will get tired, angry, or even just run off and try to heal itself. It’s then up to you and your teammates to figure out how to adapt in order to come out victorious.
Monster Hunter Generations was being shown at both Nintendo and Capcom’s booths, and it drew huge crowds at each. You could always tell when a team had successfully taken out the monster, as the entire area would erupt with cheers, both from those playing and others who were watching, waiting patiently for their time with the game. Most of these players were likely longtime fans of the series, but some were surely newbies, like myself. Luckily, it seems that Monster Hunter Generations has both groups in mind.
Monster Hunter Generations hits Nintendo 3DS in Summer 2016.