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Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate Review: The World Wasn't Enough

Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate brings one of the most comprehensive Monster Hunter experiences to the big screen while offering a completely revamped handheld experience as well. It's not the most beginner-friendly Monster Hunter experience to-date, but it does offer the most bang for your buck. How does it stack up against Monster Hunter World, and does the old-school Monster Hunter formula hold up on the Nintendo Switch?

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.

(Photo: Capcom)
Of course, the large monsters do present somewhat less of a spectacle than their PC, PS4, and Xbox One counterparts. We are dealing with what began as a 3DS game, after all so you can expect some significant compromises in the presentation. For what it is, though, Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate does look beautiful on the Nintendo Switch. Textures have been overhauled, colors pop, there's very little aliasing, and performance is steady for the most part. Its 3DS roots show a little more plainly while playing in TV mode, but thankfully Capcom's world-class monster animations still make every hunt and fight a white-knuckle delight.

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.

(Photo: Capcom)
World veterans should enjoy the way styles and arts open up combat, though. If you're a hardcore hammer user, then you've exhausted every stroke, combo, and trick the hammer has to offer. If you gained a bow in World, then you know everything the bow can do. In Generations Ultimate, styles and hunter arts open things up considerably. Take to the skies as an aerial style hammer user, or channel your inner dark soul with the adept style, which challenges you to dodge at the last second and unleash a devastating counter-attack.

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

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