Earlier this week, Capcom had finally released their Nintendo Switch updated port of Monster Hunter Generations, entitled Ultimate (Double Cross in Japan) in the US. The game so far has received generally positive reception upon most that have been with the series since its time over in the United States. However there has been one big elephant in the room that major game critics have come to do with most reviews of the game, and that’s compare it to its most recent console cousin, Monster Hunter: World.
Released back in January of this year on PS4 and Xbox One, and early August for those on PC, Monster Hunter World has seen Capcom bring about one of its most successful games sold with it being one of its highest selling games in quite a while. The game succeeded in bringing in old fans as well as a bevy of newcomers into Capcom’s fully realized version of what they wanted Monster Hunter to be in a long time. A truly open-world Monster Hunter game with players being able to rise their hunter ranks take on different monsters through the campaign, side missions, and monsters later available to fight through free DLC and seasonal updates.
With the release of Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate on Switch however, those same newcomers and even game critics alike have been comparing it to Monster Hunter World, thinking of the game being a bait and switch. In actuality, its not a bait and switch but what Monster Hunter was originally for the longest time before World came along (some caveats and all). Monster Hunter as a series was one that getting into took some serious work at first,especially for those on the originals. Hell, even amongst those that never knew about Monster Hunter until World, blindly jumped into MHW being unaware of the series that existed for it, and the actual type of game it represents. By and large, Monster Hunter still retains as an action RPG with a focus on grinding up your character to new and better digs by fighting some of the same monsters over and over with the hope of getting those specific materials needed to upgrade your character’s armor. Many that ended up buying Monster Hunter World were those that didn’t see the series’ true nature of challenge and gradual bigger monster-fighting gratification through grinding for periods of time. To those that did decide to stick with it, they were rewarded with a challenging yet satisfying gameplay loop of gathering missions, hunting monsters, and crafting better gear from your previous hunts to take down bigger and deadlier monsters.
While Monster Hunter World made for the series’ true return to console in its prime, throughout previous iterations, it was eventually seen by Capcom that the handheld market is where Monster Hunter as a series truly thrived. Titles like Freedom Unite for the PSP (Portable 2nd G in Japan) and later Four Ultimate for the 3DS, were mainstays fro the series both selling close to 4 million units across their respective consoles worldwide. The handheld Monster Hunter games were certainly ambitious to the degree of being something of a home console rivaled counterpart. Things like menu navigation, the doling out of missions, and loading between numbered sections of the maps were some of the things that the handheld Monster Hunter games had to deal with to keep its design of hunting giant monsters possible on a handheld scale. Now while the Nintendo Switch has certainly proved that it can stand as a proper home console/handheld hybrid, as it stands right now would be certainly ambitious to have the experience of Monster Hunter World on the go. However, with Generations originally being a 3DS game in both Japan and the US, its expansion of course had to still follow suit with its predecessor, leaning more towards its handheld counterpart and not so much of its console cousin.
Immediately making comparisons of MHGU to MHW is a rather big line to cross, especially for those who came into Monster Hunter through just World without having too much knowledge of how the originals played. That being said, it’s certainly not anything to detract from getting Generations Ultimate due to its much stronger variety of Monsters and continuation of the Hunter Arts system introduced in the original Generations. Just be aware that Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate, while from the same series, comes from a much more divergent walk of life.