Have you ever wanted to head out into the wild to fight dinosaurs, with no one other than your pet cats to help you? Sounds strange, but if you’re a fan of the Monster Hunter series, you’re bound to be familiar with this idea.
Monster Hunter Generations is a spin-off from the main Monster Hunter series. It is available on the Nintendo 3DS and the Nintendo Switch, and shares many common themes with its predecessors.
You begin as a fighter in a small village, tasked by the nearby Wycademy to help them and their researchers by hunting monsters and collecting items in multiple locations, from mountains to volcanoes, forests to the snow-covered tundra. Although the Wycademy is the organization that hired you, you don’t actually learn much about them in this game. Your job is to just get your hands dirty fighting monsters so that their researchers can remain safe.
A nice feature is that from the start, you are given your choice from about a dozen basic weapons (various bows, guns, and swords), and you can switch at any time. These weapons will stay in your inventory until you sell or discard them. You are encouraged to try each one and pick whichever one works best for you. Personally, I found most of the weapons hard to learn, and somewhat unwieldy. I did find that a few worked for me, such as the ‘dual blades’ and ‘sword and shield’.
Over time, you will also earn money and find materials to either upgrade or purchase new weapons, armor, and shields. This will improve your stats, allowing you to better fight the more difficult monsters. If you don’t have the materials, some weapons can be purchased, but these can be expensive.
Within the world of Monster Hunter, humans and palicoes (basically evolved cats that walk on two legs) live together in harmony. Your chambermaid, mailman, and cook are all palicoes. Additionally, you can hire a large number of them to aid you in your battles, or to send on battles/scavenging missions of their own. You can also purchase and upgrade equipment, weapons, and armor made specially for your little sidekicks.
Your palicoes will learn to fight alongside you, leveling up and growing as you grow. You can keep the same two palicoes as your sidekicks, or cycle through several as they get tired. I mostly kept the same two, and whenever they got tired, I would send them for a ‘catnap’. They would rest for the length of an expedition, and then they’ll be as good as new, and more vigorous while fighting. I only changed palicoes in these circumstances, which allowed my two main fighters to become strong and reliable.
Personally, I found all of this to be new, refreshing, and a lot of fun! There are many types of palico fighters. Some throw bombs, others target large monsters, and others target the small ones. They come in many different colors, and I recommend hiring several to see who works best with your fighting style.
There is plenty to do in this game, with the main story, side quests, palico quests (where you control your palicoes instead of your human character), item collecting, and much more. Once you have set out, your task is to either collect items, or to either kill or capture a ‘monster’. The monsters are all either dinosaurs, dragons, or just colorful monsters.
The battle system is easy to learn. All you need to do is find a monster and start slashing away at it until one of you runs away from exhaustion, only to later return to finish the job. Simple mechanics for a straightforward game. Unfortunately, most of the quests have nothing to do with the main story, although there hardly is one. What little story there is gets bogged down by the hours you spend completing the required quests to proceed to the next level.
In addition to the many features of the game, there is also StreetPass. Whenever you receive a StreetPass tag for this game, the mailman will deliver the guild card of the passerby. This will contain many details, including the chosen weapons of the visitor and the number of quests they have completed.
These visitors will then appear in your Hub, and you can pay them to head out on missions of their own. They will return with items for you, much like when you send your palicoes out on a quest without you to guide them. The results of their expedition will vary, as well as the number and rarity of the items.
From your Hub (which can be either online multiplayer or offline single-player), you will find many additional quests to choose from. The multiplayer option was a lot of fun, as it allows you to play with up to three other people from around the world, as you set out to fight together. These groups will decide whether to go item collecting, or to take on a monster. I loved these battles because it helped me to clear out my queue of quests to complete, and fighting with three other real players made the battles more exciting (and somewhat easier).
Monster Hunter Generations is a fun game, and I highly recommend it to anyone, especially those who love RPG games. The bosses are tough, the 3D is beautiful, the graphics are amazing, and although the story is somewhat slow and lacking, the game makes up for it with the sheer number of quests you are given to complete. This game will provide hundreds of hours of fun and it will always be a challenge, no matter how advanced and strong your character becomes.
So if you’re into fighting dinosaurs and dragons, this is the game for you. This game has earned its place in my top ten list, just as it has earned a spot on your backlog list and your shelf. Now pick up those swords and slay some monsters!
Copyright 2018 Ammon Hansen
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