Preview: Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate isn't World, in some ways it's better
Earlier this year, Monster Hunter: World brought in an abundance of changes to simplify the Monster Hunter experience. Zones were taken away and material finding was streamlined. It was the right direction.
Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate (MHGU) on the Nintendo Switch is coming out later this month and appropriately feels like going back in time. Back before levels were open with no loading barriers, where both multiplayer and single player were separated, and when foraging for items was more painful. MHGU did technically come out before World, so none of this is a surprise.
With MHGU, Capcom have reminded us what the pre-World Monster Hunter experience is like to give the classic structure one last hurrah.
Ready for the grind
In MHGU, you are tasked with defending the four villages across the world from some of the biggest monsters. You must use your skills as a hunter to defeat smaller monsters and use their materials to make better armor and weapons so you can fight more powerful creatures.
You won't just need monster parts. You'll need to stock up on the basic materials around each distinct area, such as mining spots, bugs, and bones that when combined will further strengthen your arsenal.
In World, you simply had to find these spots and press a button to take the resources. But this isn't World anymore. You must buy pickaxes, nets, and other items from stores and take them with you into each area to gather resources. If you forget these items, then you won't be able to grab the materials and will be forced to look for them all over again.
The whole game revolves around grinding. Grinding resources scattered across the map. Fighting the same monster over and over again until you get a rare part from it. Continuously stocking up on resources like Whetstones, etc, that you need at all times. World is a timesink, but more infamously from grand battles with giant beasts.
The grinding aspect is as bad as it sounds. It's just that World simplified a lot of these elements by spacing out the resources so you could get exactly what you were after, giving you better chances to find rare materials, and giving players infinite whetstones, pickaxes, and everything they need to farm more effectively.
MHGU has a bunch of features that World players crave
For all of World's improvements, there are a bunch of extra features that the game failed to bring over from previous series. MHGU has them in bulk.
For all its improvements, World has around half the monsters available to challenge compared to MHGU. In fact, MHGU has one of the largest rosters of monsters in Monster Hunter history.
MHGU also has one feature that is sorely missing from World, something that Monster Hunter fans would crave to have in the recently released title— G Rank.
G Rank was introduced in this game to test experienced hunters' battle tactics against more formidable versions of previous creatures. The mode also adds different moves and abilities to shake up each fight. It is the ultimate end game and changes a lot of things that players grow accustom to.
World also discarded the Styles and Arts systems that were introduced in the Generations series. Both Arts and Styles gave you special abilities and moves to use in battle after charging a gauge. They could then be activated by a single button press.
Did we also mention that you can play as a Palico, your adorable little Cat companion, in MHGU? Because you can. It is awesome.
World is still the definitive Monster Hunter, even if it is missing a few neat features that MHGU can provide. Let's just hope that Capcom decide to finally port World to Switch in the future so we can have double the hunt.
MHGU is set to release on Aug. 28 exclusively for the Nintendo Switch.
Disclosure: Our Switch copy of Monster Hunter Ultimate Generations was provided courtesy of Capcom.