Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate has the distinct honour of being the first Monster Hunter title to grace Nintendo’s popular home console/hybrid Switch. This is a console that the fantastic Monster Hunter absolutely belongs on, and is a must-buy for any Switch owner who didn’t play Generations on the 3DS.
The problem is – and it pains me to say that there’s a problem – is that while we could (or should) have had an original game that made the most of the Switch’s unique strengths, what we instead have a HD port of an old 3DS game that lacks many of the bells, whistles, and quality of life improvements that made Monster Hunter World such a… well, monster success.
Don’t get me wrong – Generations Ultimate is still a brilliant Monster Hunter game, and it’s packed with all the ridiculous weapons, gear, and fearsome beasts you’d expect from such a title – plus plenty of added content, which we’ll get to a little bit later – in my opinion, Monster Hunter is often at its best on the go, and being able to play a HD version on the train is a delight.
Generations definitely looks, sounds, and plays better on the Switch than it did on the 3DS too, which is as much as you could hope for to be fair – but again, it’s too hard to ignore the fact that it can’t really hold a candle to World in the visual department.
Yes, it’s a Switch game, so obviously it won’t look as good as an Xbox One or PS4 title, and I’m a huge supporter of trading off graphical oomph in favour of being able to take a game on the go – I loved DOOM and Wolfenstein II on Switch, for example.
But in the case of Monster Hunter, there’s no escaping that this isn’t an impressive port of a game that lived on a more powerful console – this is essentially an upscaled 3DS game, and while I can overlook that in the long run and still have a blast with the game, there’s no escaping the fact that it could have looked much better. Still, it’s certainly serviceable, if not stunning.
So, having now established that this game is essentially a step backwards from World, is it honestly worth your time and hard-earned cash – especially if you’ve already played Generations on the 3DS? I would say yes, for the most part.
Those who already enjoyed Generations on 3DS will know what to expect from the game, and Capcom have certainly thrown in enough new content to sweeten the pot. For a start, there are 20 new monsters to hunt and fight this time around, bringing the total up to 93 from the original version’s 73. The mix of new and returning creatures is a huge selling point for any seasoned hunters thinking about double dipping, and for newcomers, this is obviously a no-brainer – that’s a ton of beasties to best, so you’ll not find yourself short of content.
There’s also been a huge boost to the endgame thanks to the new “G-Rank” tier of quests, which offers up insanely difficult monsters with new attacks and frankly ridiculous health bars – all of which encourages you to play around with some of the shiny new armour sets designed specifically to be utilised at this late point in the game.
There are also two new Hunter styles (Valor and Alchemy), and a new hunter art for each weapon class. The sheer amount of new content is certainly admirable, and should be enough to tempt anyone back to the game even if they have played it before – but be aware that the base game is still the same as it was in 2015, which isn’t a bad thing, since the base game was and is brilliant.
With that said, this really isn’t a new game, even for all the shiny new additions, but it is undoubtedly the best Monster Hunter game currently available on any Nintendo console, and a must-buy for any Switch owners who are hungry for more after checking out World. You can even import your old 3DS save and head straight to the endgame if you want, but that would effectively make the game glorified DLC, and potentially not the worth the full fat price tag.
All I would say at this final juncture is that Generations Ultimate is not as streamlined or accessible as its “next-gen” sibling, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t still a deeply rewarding and addictive experience in its own right, regardless of whether you’re playing alone or with friends. Milage may vary, but a good time will be had by all in some capacity.