Monster Hunter Generations review: The next colossal footprint

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“Hunter Arts” are fun and flashy, without breaking the spirit of the game.

Pick up your charge blades, insect glaives, and cheese fondue—there’s monsters what need hunting. The aptly named Monster Hunter series has returned, this time without a number following the name. This time, it’s just Monster Hunter Generations, and the name refers to more than the time it takes to learn these games (assuming you’re in what seems like the majority of Western players that are rightly intimidated by Capcom’s Japanese moneymaker).

As with every Monster Hunter since the first, what you’re learning is how to strike down massive, and not-so-massive, creatures of the wild. Think of each major monster as a boss fight—one that can take nearly an hour to complete as you track and hack away at prey over wide, repeatedly visited zones.

Doing so successfully means chopping them up for parts and turning the material into better equipment. Break it all up with some grinding, gathering, and fetch quests and you’ve got the thousand-hour-plus loop the series has been known for over multiple “generations” of hardware.

It’s a legacy this latest entry is particularly aware of. “Generations” refers to the fact that this Monster Hunter is pulling from past entries. It’s like a greatest-hits album for the franchise, if you will. Familiar hunting grounds return from Monster Hunter Freedom 2, the Japan exclusive Portable 3rd, and even the debut game in the franchise. Each locale has been ever-so-gently modified to make available elements from Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate. That means there are more ledges on beasts’ backs for you to grab on to as you ride them down to the ground.

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