Monster Hunter Generations
With Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate, the West finally started catching on to the franchise's appeal in the East. The 2015 game sold better than any previous entry in the franchise in North America and Europe, as 3DS players reported finding the latest installment more welcoming to new players.
Following the breakout success, Capcom is readying a new title that makes substantial customization improvements to the franchise. I had the opportunity to test out the new Hunter Styles and Hunter Arts systems, which drastically enhanced my enjoyment.
In previous Monster Hunter games, customization was largely relegated to choice of weapon (of which there are 14 in Generations). All of the armaments play differently, but still players were forced to use each in specific ways.
The four Hunter Styles allow players to tweak the game to their play style. The striker style fills your finishing move-style Hunter Arts gauges quickly. Aerial style allows players to jump and catapult off comrades and monsters instead of rolling to dodge. Adept style emphasizes learning patterns and counter-attacking, by boosting the damage for a parry. There's also the Guild style, that mirrors the traditional Monster Hunter combat.
Each of these offers different Hunter Arts finishing moves. There are different versions of these depending on which weapon you use. Triggering them is handled through a press of the lower touchscreen, which is also where you'll see their meters filling.
As a dual blade fighter, I was able to activate an emergency evade, a leaping aerial move, and a brutal spinning attack. The Hunter Arts add another strategic dynamic to Monster Hunter, giving players a way to further capitalize on enemy knockdowns and the terrain.
The presence of finishing moves might further make the game accessible, as it mitigates some of the steep learning curve. They aren't overpowered or unbalancing. Monsters still fight tooth and nail until their dying breath, but being able to create some breathing room means you might not find yourself pinned against a wall until battered into oblivion.
Monster Hunter Generations will be out this summer for 3DS. Those with a New 3DS will be able to use the C-stick again to control the camera.