Almost as good as last year's game (which was really good), this adventure succeeds at delivering what made the franchise so popular to begin with. It features a ton of exploration, intense battles, and compelling RPG upgrades and quests, but the developers have also added a lot more content to keep things fresh. Some of this content gets repetitive, mind you, but overall Monster Hunter Generations is an A-grade game for the Nintendo 3DS. Come for the exploration, stay for the monsters. The combat system hasn't been changed much over the years, and that's just fine. There are a few new attack moves and combos, but the battles against these mostly giant monster are inherently rewarding. There isn't a lot of help this time around, so players will have to take their time, upgrade weapons and armor (by looting from the dead or buying from the store), combine items wherever possible, and play with people to learn from their strategies. Speaking of multiplayer, keep in mind that the main game is a single-player offline experience only, but there's a multiplayer hub to join a few others locally or online.
As with the games that came before, players will enjoy the richly detailed worlds, with impressive graphics (especially for a Nintendo 3DS title), an excellent soundtrack, and a ton of story-based quests. Some might be difficult to follow and others may feel repetitive, but it's easy to fall for this game's wonderfully crafted atmosphere, multiple locations, and characters. It's not all about hacking and slashing, then moving on to do it again a few minutes later. As previously mentioned, there are some new features this year, including Hunter Arts and Hunting Styles, both of which help to customize the experience. Fighting enemies builds up the few Hunter Arts meters, which give cool combos when the meter is filled, such as a stamina boost or special attack combo. The new Hunting Styles feature includes Guild Style, Aerial Style (attack from above), Striker Style, and Adept Style (which helps with nimble strikes and new counterattacks). Plus, feline companions called Prowlers have been in these games for years, but now they're playable. Monster Hunter Generations is a blast. Despite some repetitive monsters and quests and a steep learning curve -- especially for beginners -- this game is one of the year's best for the Nintendo 3DS platform.