PLOT Slay those dragons.
RATED T for Teen
DETAILS Nintendo 3DS; $39.99
BOTTOM LINE It’s hot stuff.
After issuing new Monster Hunter iterations across multiple platforms for years, Capcom gives us Monster Hunter Generations, a best-of album (think Michael Jackson’s “Number Ones” or “Legend” from Bob Marley and the Wailers) with exciting innovations stirred into the mix.
Players start Generations as novice hunters in Bherna, the village next door to the Wycademy (a corporation that studies monsters). After they master simple gathering quests, the difficulty level ramps up, and they must eliminate pesky velociraptor-like Jaggis. Then they’ll engage in combat with earthshaking dragons.
The learning curve and levels of difficulty are the persistent hurdles in Monster Hunter. Players will put in hours of practice before they’re ready to anticipate and dodge sudden monster attacks. To ease newbies into the combat, Capcom has introduced two novel concepts — Hunter Styles and Hunter Arts.
The Hunter Styles include four options for attacking a monster. The standard mode is called Guild Style. The new Strike Style, with its simple combo moves, is just right for novices. Aerial Style involves climbing atop a beast to attack at close range. And the Adept Style demands lightning-fast reflexes to dodge deadly blows and mount counterattacks.
Hunter Arts are game-changing moves that accrue as players do battle. These often involve a weapon that can deliver death blows to intimidating Gammoths. Some Hunter Arts can be used for evasion; for instance, an Absolute Evasion enables a player to escape a monster long enough to drink a restorative potion.
The game also introduces four new flagship beasts, as well as Deviant versions of the behemoths. The new elements give this game more depth and refinement, though fewer places to explore than its predecessors.
With its well-designed gateway to the series — plus combat, mode and monster enhancements — Generations will keep newcomers and experience players happy.