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Three Little Changes that Make a Big Difference in Monster Hunter Generations

With the core Monster Hunter experience remaining the same, it's the small stuff that matters.

Article by Bob Mackey, .

The remaining half of 2016 has quite a few RPGs in store for the 3DS, but one of the more notable ones is just around the corner: Monster Hunter Generations.

By this point in the series' history, Monster Hunter feels more like a sports game than an RPG: The core experience doesn't change, narrative doesn't really matter, and each installment brings a host of new additions presumably engineered to make the titular hunting more enjoyable. (Except the underwater battles. We don't talk about those anymore.)

Even though Generations features some pretty big improvements—like the various hunting Styles, which borrow a bit from Devil May Cry's handbook—in playing the game for next week's review, the small changes have stuck out the most. While they only amount to minor refinements, the "Why the hell haven't they been doing this the whole time?" factor makes them important—especially since a lot of us have been asking that question for years now.

Easier Gathering

Monster Hunter features a lot of crafting. And while you generally make the flashier, more rewarding items with parts gained by felling monsters, the items needed to take said monsters down in the first place are just as important. Crafting traps, healing potions, status buffs, and other helpful goods always entailed hitting the wilderness and nabbing their necessary parts from various resource points littered around the map. While this is still true—and still not the most exciting activity in the world—Generations streamlines gathering by allowing you to hold the button in until the resource point is depleted, rather than having to wait for an entire animation to play out before you're allowed to gather from that point once again. This, combined with the fact that resource points now hold far more items than they used to, means gathering in Generations is less frequent and more efficient. That's a great idea for a game where you end up doing a lot of it.

Felyne Deliveries

This is another gathering-related change, which shows just how much room Capcom had to improve on this particular element of Monster Hunter. Now, in past installments of the series, you were free to gather to your heart's content until your inventory hit its limit—and with the sheer amount of items available in the field, it didn't take long for this to happen. So, at a certain point, you'd always have to trek back to town to drop off your goods, or be confronted with an annoying menu asking what you wanted to toss or keep every time you touched a new item. Players still have an item limit, but maps now feature a friendly Felyne (a member of Monster Hunter's cat race) that will take back one inventory's worth of goods per mission. This addition comes as a huge convenience, seeing as it cuts in half the amount of times you'll have to return to HQ if you're trying to fill your stock with craftable goods.

The New 3DS' Analog Nub Works by Default

There's a reason the New 3DS launched alongside Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate in the States last year; with the handy analog nub and extra shoulder button, this new hardware was practically designed around the complex controls of Capcom's RPG. So it always struck me as odd that, in order to activate the analog nub, you'd need to dive into a few menus every time you started up a new game—MH4U wouldn't remember this option once you turned it off. I don't have to tell you I was overjoyed when, upon starting Monster Hunter Generations, it immediately recognized the fact that I was using the New 3DS, and switched the nub on as a result. Again, it's a small improvement, but not having to dive through menus needlessly every time I start up Monster Hunter means dealing with one fewer annoyance every time I want to play.

Look for USgamer's full review of Monster Hunter Generations on Tuesday, July 12 at 6:00am PT!

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  • Avatar for moochan #1 moochan 2 years ago
    I personally view the New 3DS was made just for Monster Hunter and no other real reason. Capcom went to Nintendo and told them they wanted a 3DS that had a built in CPP and they did because of how big Monster Hunter is. I'm excited about MHG. While I would love to see a Wii U port like 3U (Underwater actually wasn't THAT bad with proper console controls) I'm happy to play it none the less.
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  • Avatar for shurn #2 shurn 2 years ago
    I've read on various comments sections
    Relating to this game that the new skill/style additions are capcom just aping koei, are those accusations correct? Even if so im still excited to have the gameplay evolve a little, just like the mount ability from 4. in any case i cant wait for release.Edited July 2016 by shurn
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  • Avatar for Azilis #3 Azilis 2 years ago
    MH4U always detected the analog nub by default for me. Right after the initial loading screen and before the Capcom logo appears, I always get the message "The Circle Pad Pro has been activated".

    I never had to go into the options menu to turn it on.
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  • Avatar for CipherStone #4 CipherStone 2 years ago
    @Azilis Yeah me too. This was never an issue for me on my New 3DS.
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  • Avatar for CipherStone #5 CipherStone 2 years ago
    Question about Generations: I noticed playing the demo that your target is on the map from the start. Is that just the demo or did they do away with paintballs and just tell you where the monster is right away now?
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  • Avatar for bobservo #6 bobservo 2 years ago
    @Azilis The Circle Pad Pro is a completely different thing and may not need to be turned on manually with MH4U. (I don't have one, so I wouldn't know.) The New 3DS analog nub, on the other hand, does. I tested it again just to make sure while writing this article. Unless I somehow got a copy of MH4U: Let's Inconvenience Bob Mackey Edition.
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  • Avatar for bobservo #7 bobservo 2 years ago
    @CipherStone Paintballs are still a thing. I'm guessing they're making it more straightforward in the demo so new players don't get bored looking for the monster.
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  • Avatar for yonicozac45 #8 yonicozac45 2 years ago
    @bobservo the game sees the N3ds nub as a "circle pad pro", and like the others, my nub worked without special settings. Could it be an update you didn't perform or something?
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  • Avatar for Azilis #9 Azilis 2 years ago
    @bobservo I'm not using the circle pad pro. I'm using a New 3DS XL with the analog nub. The game sees them both as the circle pad pro and refers to them the same way (I assume for simplicity's sake).

    I can assure you that I never once had to turn on the analog nub (I didn't even know it could be turned off before this article), though I can't imagine why your 3DS is reacting differently.
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  • Avatar for bobservo #10 bobservo 2 years ago
    @Azilis Not sure what to tell you other than "That's just how my New 3DS acts and always has." I assure you it's up to date and everything. Only slightly related, but I remember with the Wii U version of Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate, you'd have to enable a lot of the same options every time you played since the game wouldn't remember them.
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  • Avatar for Azilis #11 Azilis 2 years ago
    @bobservo Well, glad to hear it's fixed in Generations for people who had the same issue. I'm looking forward to the game, and the improvements to gathering that you wrote about are encouraging. The inventory limitations have been my biggest gripe with the series since I started playing with MH3U.
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  • Avatar for link6616 #12 link6616 2 years ago
    @shurn as in trying to become more musou like? Not really. The new system changes a lot, but it's still very monster hunter.
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  • Avatar for KaiserWarrior #13 KaiserWarrior 2 years ago
    Yeah, my copies (Physical and Digital) of MH4U auto-detect the N3DSXL's nub as a CPP and activate it at startup, no options-fiddling required. Maybe an artifact of having a review copy or something?

    Really nice to see they added the Transporter function in from Portable 3rd. One of the handiest features MonHun's ever had, and until now it was locked into a Japanese-only release. Fortunately, it's a game you really don't need to read to play, so language was never really a barrier for me.

    And finally, at long last, no more spamming A next to mining nodes. Just hold the button and get all the stuff in one shot. This will surely extend the life of my buttons dramatically!
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  • One less annoyance.
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