Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate comes out for the Nintendo Switch on August 28.
Personally I am beyond excited about it!
I’ve been a bit of a Monster Hunter junkie since my first experience playing Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate on the 3DS, with interest lingering into Monster Hunter Generations. The game series scratches every conceivable itch that I have related to collectibles, crafting, sweet monsters and all of that fun stuff.
Unfortunately I have not put any significant time into World. Don’t have the proper hardware to play it, despite a great interest in the more open world experience.
Ironically, a lot of my friends who had never played Monster Hunter before got into the series because of World where I technically lagged behind. But that’s another story.
Generations Ultimate promises to be an even more hype version of the 3DS game that I put hundreds of hours into, for three primary reasons:
- More monsters — There are supposed to be 93 large monsters to hunt in the game, with over 30 small ones to round out each area. That’s so many armor and weapon sets to collect that I just. Can’t.
- Continued mobile fun — One of the great things about Monster Hunter on the 3DS is how easy it is to segment hunts on the go. The Nintendo Switch has the same capabilities, but also…
- Better graphics — The Switch has far better graphical capabilities than the 3DS. Like insanely better. Not quite Monster Hunter World levels, but still insanely crisp for someone like me who has been on the 3DS market for forever.
With those details in mind, I’ve been hyped up going into this new Monster Hunter game for some time.
But after playing the demo that launched for the game, I’m even more hyped. Being able to try the game essentially confirmation biased my impressions coming in. Yet, it also did much more.
In my point of view, Capcom created a near-perfect demo for their game that showcases basically everything veteran hunters and fledgling players need to know to understand what’s new and better about Gen Ultimate.
There are three main reasons why I’d make that argument. So, here they are in detail (featuring images from the demo that I finally pulled off the Switch).
Diverse Play Options
If there’s one thing the Monster Hunter series is known for, outside of its wildly creative monster designs, a large variety of ways people can play through a number of weapons arguably tops the list.
It would have been silly for Capcom to only feature, say, five of the 14 weapons (15 with Palicos included) available through their demo. So they didn’t. They let players try out any weapon they want.
That seems like an obvious thing in hindsight, but it really does mean a lot to let veterans — particularly those coming back from World — try out how each weapon works on a new system. Plus, more importantly, brand new players get early access to the diverse range of weapons so they can decide what they want to main once buying the full game.
On top of all that, each weapon features an armor/weapon set from a different monster in the game, slyly giving players the chance to see how much customization the overall experience will offer outside of the demo.
Sure there are some slight problems, such as the Malfestio Hunting Horn not inflicting sleep status… But only losers like me will notice that.
Plus, it’s a demo. So they don’t want to make you too overpowered. But I’ll get to that point in a bit.
If presenting a wide range of weapon and armor possibilities wasn’t enough to convince players that Monster Hunter Gen Ultimate has a lot to offer for fun, the demo also has this:
Yeah, Capcom could have just made a simple single player demo so people could try out the gameplay.
But they went so much further in the right direction by adding multiplayer so everyone can try out playing with their friends — arguably one of the biggest draws of the Monster Hunter series. It’s way more fun to hunt giant beasts as a team.
Showcasing the Maps and Monsters
The biggest draw of Monster Hunter Generations was the fact that it was an anniversary game. The four hub worlds in that game were four maps from previous MH games updated to 3DS graphics. On top of that, there were a range of monsters both new, classic and long-before unseen filling the game’s roster.
Like I mentioned before, Gen Ultimate is taking that same concept to the extreme with nearly 100 bosses to conquer.
The demo for the game is honestly genius in how it subtly displays what the new game is going to offer through only three missions.
I’ll get more into how the difficulty tiers themselves are a huge plus for the demo, but for now I just want to discuss what is involved in the three difficulties, and how those additions display the complete range of what players can expect in Gen Ultimate.
The first mission involves fighting a Great Maccao.
Great Maccao is a variant of the velociraptor-esque monsters that frequently appear in Monster Hunter games. He, along with the Jurassic Frontier stage you fight him on, were both new additions to the original Monster Hunter Generations. Thus, fighting him is a showcase of how the developers updated even recently added parts of the experience.
The second mission involves fighting a Barioth.
Both the Barioth and the map you find him on, the snowy mountain, are things that had been in Monster Hunter games prior to Generations. In fact, the Barioth didn’t even appear in that 3DS title, making it a perfect example of bringing back older monsters into the newest adventure.
Plus, the snowy mountain is just so dang pretty.
The third mission involves fighting a Valstrax.
The Valstrax is the box art monster for Gen Ultimate, and by god is it an absolutely perfect selling point for the game as a whole.
It’s literally a gryphon fused with fighter jet parts that has a signature move where it flies into space and then comes down like a comet. There’s almost nothing cooler than that.
While Valstrax is a new monster, you also fight it on a brand new map.
Thus, through just three missions, the Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate demo shows off old monsters and maps updated, modern monsters and maps updated as well as totally brand new content.
All of which will be featured in the main game.
If that’s not simple and inherently genius, I don’t know what is.
Obviously there are three different difficulty levels in the Gen Ultimate demo: Great Maccao, Barioth and Valstrax.
The monsters Capcom chose honestly represent the range of possible difficulties in the final game quite well because of the restrictions put on player’s armor and weapons.
You only get one kind of armor/weapon based on the weapon you choose, and those set-ups don’t improve based on the difficulty of the monster you are fighting.
As a result, Great Maccao is a total pushover. Barioth is a challenge that’s easy enough to surmount with some friends as support.
That boy is bending fools over left-and-right, let me tell you.
I’ve attempted the fight twice. Once with a group of three other random strangers and once with two of my friends. Both times the fighter jet gryphon took so long to whittle down that the 25-minute time limit ran out as it only just started limping away, close to death.
It deals an insane amount of damage, enough to occasionally one-shot players even with a Hunting Horn’s defense buff.
Valstrax truly is a difficult challenge, as one would expect when taking on the cover art elder dragon of Gen Ultimate using intermediate gear at best.
Some may find this difficulty spike a frustrating turn-off. But in my opinion it draws on the same kind of motivation as Mega Man X did.
If you haven’t seen Egoraptor’s Sequelitis video on Mega Man X… Well first of all, what are you doing with your life? Even seven years later I’m still not over the ‘fucking genius’ joke.
But more importantly, watch it for his discussion on the relationship between X, Zero and Vile that’s established in the introduction stage of Mega Man X. He essentially says that Zero is so well-versed at defeating an enemy you couldn’t touch, that it becomes your motivation as a player to go through the game and become strong enough to defeat Vile.
For Gen Ultimate, the Valstrax is so tough with the armor and weapons you’re given, that it feels like the ultimate motivation to buy the game, craft your own gear and use it to take down this monstrous beast in a more even playing field.
Because that’s one of the best parts of Monster Hunter as a series. Building new gear to take on challenges that at one point seemed impossible, only to inevitably hit a point where those super intimidating bosses are quick to dispatch for spare parts if necessary.
Those are my thoughts on why the Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate demo is so successful in portraying why the Monster Hunter series is so popular in the first place.
What do you think? Are you a Monster Hunter fan? Or are you brand new to the series, with things like this demo making you interested now that it’s hitting a major Nintendo console?
Also, what are some of your favorite video game demos? Obviously I think this one in particular is great at embodying a game’s core strengths, but some may just be great because of how effectively eye-catching they are in some regard.
Let me know in the comments down below! Because I’m off to go spend some time with my friends, where we’ll be bashing our heads against the wall trying to finally beat this damn Valstrax.