Monster Hunter Generations
If we were inclined to celebrate big multinational companies, we'd have to give some sort of award to Capcom this year. With the Ace Attorney series giving us a review, two podcasts and a weekly series of smaller reviews, and Monster Hunter being the springboard for a whole series of podcasts about its monsters, no other game company has provided us with so much #content. There's a reason for that, mind: Monster Hunter Generations is really bloody good. Let us tell you why,
Monster Hunter Generations was the game where I finally "got" Monster Hunter. I'd dabbled before, mostly bouncing of Monster Hunter Tri and Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate, having a little more luck with Monster Hunter 4 but ultimately missing the boat on multiplayer. It was frustrating, because I could see, from the outside staring in, that Monster Hunter was something I'd love. Finally, this time, it all clicked. I was right.
There are many facets to Monster Hunter. The combat is responsive, endlessly deep, and full of subtle variation. The writing and world-building is humorous, a masterclass in translation. The loop, hunting and carving and crafting, always chasing the next suit of armour or ridiculous oversized sword, is addictive as anything. The integration of single and multiplayer content is unparalleled.
Ultimately, though, what makes Monster Hunter is the monsters. Every single one feels so alive. Creating so much character and emotion purely through animation is a touch that only the best games manage; Dark Souls' Sif, the slide and weight of Mario, the cast of Street Fighter. In Monster Hunter, the design and behaviour and look and sound of every monster is so finely tuned, they could deservedly be in an Attenborough documentary. One could even create a weekly podcast just discussing them.
Overall, Monster Hunter Generations probably isn't the best single Monster Hunter Game. 4 did a better job of creating a journey and story with the single player campaign, as well as of introducing the disparate elements to newcomers. There's a reason Generations isn't called Monster Hunter 5. This is a compilation, a greatest hits album. This is Monster Hunter trimmed down to the core, with the upgrades and gathering streamlined to allow players to spend more time than ever doing what they came here to do: hunt monsters.
Monster Hunter is very good, you can hunt monsters such as Rathian and Rathalos in monster hunter generation, you can also play as Cat.
Monster Hunter Generations is the most mechanically polished Monster Hunter game yet, introducing the new hunting styles and hunter arts systems that positively expand on the tried and tested gameplay that fans love, while also bringing along several welcome quality of life improvements. As a celebration of the entire history of the series, Generations delivers a nostalgia fuelled package stuffed full of content and with plenty of returning faces, places and monsters for long-time fans to get excited over. With robust multiplayer options, both local and online, and hundreds of hours of content, Generations is definitely one of the best games to come out of 2016!
I discussed Monster Hunter Generations in my individual piece, but I think it deserves a few additional words. I don't think my growing fondness for online multiplayer would have been possible without MHG, or perhaps more appropriately, without the Monster Mash lads. I've whiled away countless hours bashing in wyverns and bears with the boys, and I can easily see myself bashing in countless more. MHG is a great jumping on point for the series as well, as the additional Hunting Styles mean you're not as hamstrung for choice as in previous games - not that you were particularly spoilt for choice in playstyles, mind.
With the announcement of the Switch, my number one dream game for that system is a proper numbered Monster Hunter game. Just please Capcom, let us still play as cat on Switch.