Mon­ster Hunter Gen­er­a­tions

3DS

EDGE - - GAMES -

We can’t quite credit that any­one in Ja­pan hasn’t yet en­coun­tered Mon­ster Hunter, but ev­i­dently Cap­com still be­lieves it can cast its net a lit­tle wider. Ad­mit­tedly, this may be with an eye to win­ning over the western play­ers that, de­spite the best ef­forts of Mon­ster Hunter 4 Ul­ti­mate, still find the se­ries to be ab­struse or es­o­teric. Cap­com’s so­lu­tion is some­thing of a charm of­fen­sive, this time of­fer­ing the ir­re­sistible op­por­tu­nity not only to be joined on a hunt by Fe­lyne al­lies, but also to play as one. An early dif­fer­ence you’ll no­tice is that their health bar can be de­pleted three times be­fore they faint, mean­ing that, yes, only when new weapon types, sea­soned hun­ters might well won­der what’s in it for them. Hap­pily, four new Hunter styles in­vite the de­voted to get ex­per­i­men­tal with their favourites, or per­haps try some­thing new. Guild style plays most sim­i­larly to Mon­ster Hunter 4 Ul­ti­mate, while Striker is a sim­pler ap­proach, more akin to Free­dom Unite. Adept is geared to­wards those with the keen­est eyes for read­ing en­emy tells, re­ward­ing suc­cess­ful evades with a bonus de­pen­dent upon the weapon type. And where be­fore only the In­sect Glaive al­lowed hun­ters to mount en­e­mies with­out leap­ing from a ledge, the Aerial style lets you launch a jump at­tack from a dodge roll. There’s an ad­di­tional gauge to keep an eye on, too. Hunter Arts add fur­ther strate­gic wrinkles to com­bat: lucky Strik­ers can equip three at once, while Guild play­ers get two, and Adept and Aerial hun­ters are given one apiece. Th­ese range from gen­eral skills to weapon­spe­cific abil­i­ties: Metal Body, for ex­am­ple, pre­vents you from run­ning, but en­sures mon­ster at­tacks won’t cause you to flinch. Ham­mer wield­ers might pre­fer a Typhoon Trig­ger to send them into a deadly spin, while Or­ches­tra Soul al­lows horn users to con­vey a range of buffs by play­ing all their songs si­mul­ta­ne­ously. The Gun­blade’s Blast Dash might be the most thrilling of the lot: you’ll fire away from your tar­get to launch your­self to­wards it, slam­ming the busi­ness end of your weapon down in a grat­i­fy­ing fi­nal flour­ish.

Oth­er­wise it’s a mat­ter of mi­nor vari­a­tions on ex­ist­ing themes. You’ll now fly be­tween ar­eas via hot-air bal­loon (the pres­ence of a Flight Cat­ten­dant who “apurreci­ates” our cus­tom proves the pun­ning re­mains strong) while the vil­lage bistro now has a fon­due foun­tain to dip your pre-quest meal into.

A sum­mer launch gives us a few months to brush up on our Charge Blade and Longsword tech­niques, but Gen­er­a­tions’ num­ber of re­fine­ments should en­sure its pre­de­ces­sor no longer de­serves its su­perla­tive suf­fix.

Asta­los vista

Gen­er­a­tions has no fewer than four sig­na­ture mon­sters. No prizes for guess­ing which pre­his­toric crea­ture Gam­moth most re­sem­bles, though as the largest Fanged Beast to date, its size at least is note­wor­thy. Glavenus, mean­while, wields its huge tail like a Greatsword, while the other two are more phys­i­cally dis­tinc­tive. Asta­los is a wyvern that is al­most in­sec­toid in ap­pear­ance, with a set of jagged tail pin­cers and but­ter­fly wings. And then there’s the el­e­gant Mizut­sune: part ser­pent, part fox, it has fur and beau­ti­ful, fin-like ap­pendages, and at­tacks by spit­ting pow­er­ful jets of wa­ter. It’s also ca­pa­ble of pro­duc­ing sapona­ceous bub­bles that can slow a hunter’s move­ment while al­low­ing the beast to move quicker across land; it ar­rests its mo­men­tum by dig­ging its claws into the ground.

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