Review: Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate

After enjoying lots of success on the 3DS with Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate and then Generations which were both designed from the ground up for the 3DS family of systems, Capcom pulled out all the stops for Monster Hunter: World to bring the franchise to the largest audience possible. This meant the franchise would finally hit home consoles and PC and it worked out well. World happens to be Capcom’s best selling game ever but Nintendo Switch owners have had to wait for an entry to show up in English. A year after the Japanese release, Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate is finally available exclusively on the Switch and while it is a fantastic game packed with tons of content, there are some things to keep in mind going into it if you got into the franchise through Monster Hunter: World.

If you aren’t sure what this game is, Generations Ultimate is a Switch port of the enhanced version of Monster Hunter Generations which released only in Japan as Double Cross. That saw a Switch port last year in Japan and we finally have it in English as of today in the form of Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate. It is by far the most content packed and feature complete traditional Monster Hunter game ever. With the amount of free DLC coming and the content at launch, this maybe one of the most content packed releases ever.

Monster Hunter Generations on the 3DS brought loads of new features to the traditional Monster Hunter experience like Hunting Styles and the mode that lets you play as a Palico but it still is an old school Monster Hunter experience. This carries into the user interface, the zone split for the map and various other areas. There’s a lot working against this game when you come into it from World but the area it excels in is the sheer volume of quality content. Comparing it to what you get in World, Generations Ultimate offers nearly three times as much content across the board. If you played the original Generations on 3DS, you can even import your save here.

While you do get everything Generations had, the new G Rank content and other additions from Double Cross on 3DS make this well worth revisiting even for fans who put in hundreds of hours into Generations. The ergonomics of the Switch and the massive boost in image quality are worth the upgrade already and the added content is icing on the cake. Capcom even made decent use of HD Rumble here.

Multiplayer has always been a big draw for the franchise and in addition to much better organised multiplayer for online here, you get the ability to play on local wireless with anyone nearby on a Switch. The multiplayer here isn’t seamless like World where you can do quests with others or solo but it is a whole other set of quests. Regardless of whether you’re hunting solo or with friends or other people online or locally, the gameplay loop is as addictive as ever. In my testing both locally and online, the experience is lag free and pretty fantastic.

This is a 3DS game that was ported to the Switch so while it does look really nice in many areas, the roots are pretty evident with small zones and loading screens in between them. A lot of the textures are also pretty bad in some areas. Thankfully the monsters and animations are great. In fact when it comes to performance, Generations Ultimate is rock solid which is something not even the PS4 Pro or Xbox One X managed to do with World. I know those are different games but it is disappointing that there’s still no rock solid performance mode on consoles for that game.

The lack of a proper story will be a turn off for many people here. Sure, veterans will feel right at home but newcomers or fans of the franchise coming in from World will not be happy with this aspect. The other big issue stems from the fact that going back to Generations Ultimate after World is difficult thanks to a lot of the UI and quality of life enhancements not being present here. If you’ve played and enjoyed the 3DS entries, this will feel like a big upgrade and it is in almost all aspects but there is a lot that feels archaic after the modern conveniences in World.

Overall, the lack of quality of life improvements seen in World is probably the only thing holding this back from something I can recommend to all fans of the franchise. If you skipped Monster Hunter: World for a portable experience, this is beyond worth your time and money. It has the potential to be your most played game on the system alongside the likes of Xenoblade Chronicles 2 and Octopath Traveler. There’s definitely room for both a traditional and a modern Monster Hunter experience today but the release timing is definitely not doing this game any favours thanks to a more modern franchise entry being available on other platforms.

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