Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate Review: The World Wasn't Enough
The answer is yes, and Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate is something that fans of the series cannot miss on the Switch, especially during this precious launch period as servers are teeming with fresh blood and veteran hunters itching to show newbies the ropes.
Let's get a few things out of the way. Most newer Monster Hunter fans are wondering how Generations Ultimate stacks up against World, as the latter was the first MonHun experience for millions. To be perfectly frank, there are many quality-of-life perks in World that you will sorely miss in Generations Ultimate, but on the flip side, there are some things about old-school Monster Hunter that you'll find extremely compelling. And for those of you who just want to hunt monsters, well, it's not even a close: Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate has way more large monsters to learn and to hunt, and World will very likely never catch up in that regard.
In World, you have a little over 30 large monsters to hunt. Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate offers you over 90. When it really comes down to it, the thing we love about Monster Hunter is, well, the actual monster-hunting. Finding a big beast, wearing it down, slaying or capturing it, and carving it up for parts to make cool gear; that's what Monster Hunter is all about, and Generations Ultimate has an overwhelming amount of content to work through.
Navigation and the map system will be a point of contention for fans. Unlike Monster Hunter World, when you go on a mission in Generations Ultimate, the map is divided up into multiple, non-seamless sections. As you hunt for your prey, you'll encounter short loading screens as you transition from one area to the next.
For some of you, this may seem disappointing at first, as it is somewhat less immersive than the seamless fantasy-scapes you're used to exploring in World. I think you'll find, however, that this design speeds things up considerably. In Monster Hunter World you end up doing much more running as you literally sprint from one area to the next. In Generations Ultimate, the conduits and pathways that connect the various bespoke areas and biomes are traversed instantly over a few seconds of loading. This keeps the running to a minimum and keeps you collecting, mining, gathering, hunting, and carving.
Preparation is a bit more tedious in Generations Ultimate, though. In World, you don't have to worry about bringing along a pickaxe, or fishing pole, or bug net. The old-school Monster Hunter approach is, "If you don't craft it, you don't have it." You have to go collect things and craft things in order to have the tools you need to craft things and collect things. It adds a few unnecessary steps before going out on a quest, and after playing World, it feels like time-wasting clutter.
Generations Ultimate also kind of sucks at explaining things. The world is a fantastic experience for beginners, and Generations Ultimate by comparison yanks you in and expects you to either know what you're doing or figure it out for yourself. There are tutorials for its various systems, but you have to go find them. If you want to figure out the best way to raise and acquire skills for your Palicoes or figure out which style or hunter arts are best for a particular weapon, you're probably better off going to YouTube.
Finding the style and arts that suit you, especially for late-game content and G-Rank monster hunts, is really satisfying. It also gives you more incentive to experiment, and you may find yourself trying more weapons than you might have otherwise.
Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate still stands as an exemplary entry in this newly-invigorated and long-running series, even in a post Monster Hunter World world. It's beautiful and worthy remaster, and the staggering amount of content ensures that, for many of you, Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate will be the first game on your Nintendo Switch to blow past the 1,000-hours-played milestone before long.
If you're new to the series, open up a few YouTube tutorials and jump in. If you're already a devoted monster hunter, you're likely already playing, and I can't wait to hunt with all of you.
ComicBook's Score: 4 / 5