It could be easy to come to Monster Hunter Generations, look at its new Hunting Styles and declare them a gimmick. Because you wouldn’t be wrong in doing so. They are absolutely a gimmick, but one with deeper meaning. It’s a rather practical way of addressing what would probably happen in real life, were there real monsters and monster hunters, and showing how people would adapt and grow when practicing such styles.
For those who haven’t played Monster Hunter Generations yet, let me explain Hunting Styles for a moment. There are four in the game: Adept Style, Aerial Style, Guild Style and Striker Style. Each one has its own nuances connected to them. You aren’t restricted to specific weapons or armors when you choose one. In terms of typical RPG classes, let’s say Adept Style means you’re like a ninja or rogue, Aerial Style is for dragoons and aerial assaults, a Guild Style user would be a freelancer who can adapt to anything, and a Striker Style hunter is a warrior.
This means you’re focusing in on a specific mindset in Monster Hunter Generations. I didn’t just use Final Fantasy-style job classes there because it sounded cool. You could almost consider these four styles to be placing yourself in a specific role. Which makes sense. This is a game where, ideally, you’ll be working in a group. You’d naturally assign certain people specific tasks. Picking a Hunting Style ahead of time is giving you time to train for the position you’ll be taking alone or with other professionals.
An even clearer show of how the Hunting Styles are meant to mimic the things someone goes through as they learn an actual trade are the Hunter Arts. As the name suggests, these are special skills that are sometimes tied to weapons. You start with a handful and the ability to equip between two and three, depending on the part you’ll play. As you grow and become a better man or woman, you’ll learn more.
Since Monster Hunter Generations isn’t the sort of game to award experience, these additional Hunter Arts come from completing particular missions. Again, this makes sense. While these events can be repeated, you could consider the first one making such an impression that you’d come away with new knowledge gained from the encounter.
The Frenzy Fever Hunter Art is a good example. This is a general ability anyone can learn or use, regardless of Hunting Style or weapon. The Watch Your Steppe Hunter’s Hub Quest sends you after a Gore Magala. This is the creature responsible for Monster Hunter’s Frenzy Virus, which is known to make creatures stronger. After completing the quest, you can use Frenzy Fever, which sees you willingly infecting yourself with a Frenzy Virus serum for improved effects in the field.
Monster Hunter Generations’ Hunting Styles and ensuing Hunter Arts are far more practical than one might realize at the outset. These typings and abilities are a realistic depiction of the sorts of behaviors and skills someone might pick up if they were an actual hunter. As such, they serve to make this installment in the series more engaging and interesting. It improves the sense of immersion in an appealing way.