The Monster Hunter situation has certainly gotten quite interesting over the past year. With the release and success of Monster Hunter World, the series has now reached new heights. In terms of it’s polish and new quality of life features, it’s not only brought new life into the series, but has drawn in many new people to the series.
Despite the success of this new interation of Monster Hunter, Capcom has gone ahead and will soon be releasing their original style of the series to the Switch very soon in North America. I’m talking about none other than Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate. What a mouthful of a title!
For me personally, choosing between the two is a pretty tough choice. So I want to summarize all the pros and cons I’ve out together based on reviews and general information online. Keep in mind, I am approaching this as someone who has played neither version outside of demos, but have had some experience with the older versions in the series.
The first big question this really comes down to is portability. Having a game of this magnitude portable is quite appealing and still feels remarkable. Majority of the time, I also would go with the portable, “lesser” version of the game with downgraded graphics and all, as long as the game runs smooth and still feels like the game should. Doom is one of the most notable examples of this.
What complicates this is it’s not a straight cut one to one comparison. Yes these games are both Monster Hunter, but they are different versions of the franchise. In fact, Monster Hunter World brings so much more new elements to the series, that makes this version of the game so appealing. Even if we compare the games to each other, each still have their pros and cons.
On it’s surface, Monster Hunter World brings modern high fidelity graphics to the franchise. The game simply looks stunning. Generations Ultimate uses the more primitive graphics unfortunately, more akin to a PS2 looking game, or in some cases, it’s 3DS counterpart. If you can look past the graphics, Generations Ultimate features a similar art style all with menacing monsters and awesome over the top looking armor.
Content wise, it seems Generations Ultimate has the upper hand. It features a larger roster of monsters and different ranks of challenges to test the most ambitious hunters out there. World may feature less monsters, but has been running events and adding monsters to the roster since it’s release. So in theory, in future updates or even it’s sequel, World could catch up.
Now even though Generations Ultimate boasts the higher monster count, it is worth noting that many monsters are repeated. Not all monsters feature a unique design and are basically stronger versions of previous ones. That’s not to say the monsters designs aren’t varied, but looking at the monster count at face value may be slightly padded, but by a small amount it seems.
One of the more talked about differences between the two are the quality of life additions in World. Monster Hunter has never been more accessible than it is in World. It’s much more welcoming to New comers to the series and does a much better job of easing you in. Older games came off as pretty daunting with the amount of things you had to learn that we’re not explained. In addition to this, doing things like drinking potions don’t make your character stand still open to attack. That can be done while running, making the overall gameplay and combat feel so much more fluid.
Even though World is more approachable, it somehow managed to also satisfy the hardcore veteran Monster Hunter fans still. It’s full of many monsters to take on, gear to collect and challenges to overcome. How it does this is quite impressive, and makes it more appealing since it looks to be something that isn’t as grind heavy as the older games, but still deep.
The final element of the games, that really ends up being the deciding factor for me, is the world itself. No pun intended, but Monster Hunter World’s, world looks brilliant. For the first time ever, you can now seamlessly roam the areas without loading screens. Generations Ultimate unfortunately has this key draw back for me. It’s been an element of all the games up until now, but I’ve always hated having a monster knock me back a few feet in the middle of the fight, only to lead to a loading screen. I’d then have to run back, load again and start attacking the monster again. This to me is a game changer and just makes the entire experience so much more seamless.
I’ve heard the hunts themselves are also more exhilarating in these big open spaces. You really don’t know where the monster is, and have to use clues in the world to find them. In addition, the areas are now full of multiple large monsters, which appear to have their own hierarchy. They can cross paths, which from footage I’ve seen, leads to some pretty epic matches between them. In essence, the world in Monster Hunter Worlds, is more alive than ever.
This last point really makes my decision easier for me. I started this article out actually not sure which would the better version to get. But for the first time ever as a Switch owner, the game itself has won over the portability factor, and I have queued up and ordered myself Monster Hunter World already. Again, when comparing apples to apples, portability will win out for me 99% of the time, unless the game runs horribly. But in this case, Monster Hunter World seems to bring enough new things to the table for my to overlook this for once.
It goes without saying however, despite my decision, I don’t look at it as comparison of what game is better. In the end, these are both huge Monster Hunter games that appeal to different audiences, but are quite different in many areas. What it just comes down to, is the features World has look like they’ll appeal more to me right now. Given I’ve had decent exposure to Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate, I wanted something quite different from that experience that World’s looks to fill.
What will be very interesting to see is how well Generations Ultimate may sell on the Switch. Given the newer shinier version out on consoles already, can Generations Ultimate still make a dent on the Monster Hunter scene? Another question I have, even though Capcom said out front that Worlds was not designed with the Switch in mind, would they consider something like Monster Hunter World 2 on the Switch? I’d certainly hope they do, because it would definitely save me the time from having the write articles like this one.
Do you have a preference between Monter Hunter Worlds and Generations Ultimate? Did you get one over the other, or both even? I’d love to hear your reasons in the comments.