Monster Hunter Rise follows the exact same formula as the previous games, plus some visual upgrades and new mechanics. In essence, it's a game about hunting down and—if you're good enough—beating powerful monsters, so you could take it as a series of exciting boss battles. Every monster you kill or capture provides you new materials to craft better equipment and, hopefully, make the next hunt easier, so it's a never-ending circle of frustration and satisfaction. If this sounds exciting to you, then you definitely need to play Monster Hunter Rise. Beware, though, as it could be very overwhelming for newcomers.
What to Expect
Your goal is always the same, to seek and defeat monsters... and most of them are as majestic as vile. All of them have unique strengths and weaknesses, and sometimes these are tied to their habitat and the terrain you fight them in, so strategy and creativity are a big part of every encounter. You, as a hunter, can wield a significant number of weapons that completely change your playstyle, from bows to keep your distance to a massive hammer or the fast-attacking dual blades. Besides, Rise also features some cool new techniques that will give all Monster Hunter veterans a new reason to live.
It would be unrealistic to expect MH Rise to have graphics of the same quality or even better than its predecessor (Monster Hunter World). We all know the Nintendo Switch has its limitations and can't be compared to a PC or PS4. However, this game looks far better than past installments on Nintendo consoles, and it handles things very smoothly regardless of its massive stages—even as you speed around with the Wirebug and a monster takes the opportunity to throw a show of lights and effects.
We also love the Japanese-inspired designs, both in the buildings and decorations you can find around Kamura and the monsters like Magnamalo (a combination of the onibi and a samurai) or Tetranadon (mixing a kappa with a sumo wrestler), to name a couple.
Monster Hunter Rise's OST seamlessly combines Eastern and Western instruments to create yet another praiseworthy soundtrack, not only adding fantastic new music but also tweaking monster themes from past generations to suit this new region. You HAVE to listen to the new remix of Khezu's theme!
Besides all the elements that deserve praise in the section, like the sound effects or the voice acting, there's something else we want to praise. When a new zone or monster is presented, the narrator recites a haiku poem adapted to what you are watching as the scene unfolds. It's just a detail, but it definitely adds a lot of value to these introductions.
Monster Hunter Rise places us in Kamura village, an ostensibly peaceful place clearly inspired by classic Japan. Recently, a new inhabitant has been recognized as a full-fledged hunter... and it couldn't have occurred at a more opportune time as signs of an upcoming Rampage have been detected. The first Rampage took place in Kamura 50 years ago, with an abnormal amount of monsters attacking the village and almost managing to completely destroy it. A new Rampage is around the corner, and closely following this new stampede is Magnamalo, a mysterious creature that feeds on the energy of the others.
But before jumping to the adventure, you have to create your character and customize your companion creatures. Monster Hunter has always used the Felyne or Shakalakas as companions, but now the Palamute joins the cast of helpers. This faithful ninja canine will carry you on his back and will fight by your side, although with a weaker supporting aspect than the popular Felyne. Speaking of friendly animals, the Poogie has also been replaced by a new companion called Kahoot, a little owl that always awaits you in Kamura and whom you can pamper and dress to your liking.
The Wirebug, by leaps and bounds the best new feature, allows the player to move through the air with great ease, combining swinging movements with the new wall-riding ability—yes, you can wall-ride vertically and horizontally now!—achieving mobility levels never seen before in Monster Hunter. It may take a few hours for you to adjust to this new mechanic, but it is certainly worth learning how to use it as soon as possible. Monster Hunter Rise also adds the spectacular new Silkbind moves, which allow hunters to perform several new and reworked skills. Every weapon comes with 3 unique Silkbind attacks, so that's another thing to consider before starting a mission against a specific beast.
Maybe you're new to the franchise, but there was some controversy with Monster Hunter World as many weapons had been reduced to simple bone or metal pieces with monster fragments attached, as opposed to the wacky-looking armament from previous installments. Monster Hunter Rise shows that Capcom cares about the players and respects our feedback, giving the vast majority of weapons a revamped look.
Although Monster Hunter World improved the concept of Endemic Life, Monster Hunter Rise has managed to polish it up even more. The world is still full of wonderful and friendly creatures whose peculiarities can be applied by a hunter for different purposes (buffs, antidote, blinding bombs, etc.). In this game, they rarely react to the hunter's presence but, contrary to what you might think—and what happens in Monster Hunter World, with animals running away as soon as they acknowledge you—this is preferable and greatly improves your gameplay experience.
As for the battles themselves, there are a lot of positive things we could say, but nothing we say could compare to how exciting they feel. You'll have to experience them first-hand!
Honey's Gameplay Consensus:
Monster Hunter Rise has everything you need from a Monster Hunter game, as well as new mechanics that completely improve the gameplay and several revisions to unpopular features from previous entries. Truth be told, it's not a perfect game and some things still need some work, but it's a step in the right direction!
Everything about the Wirebug.
14 weapons for you to choose from, all of them fitting a particular role or playstyle (and we love the new designs!)
It could be overwhelming and scare away new players.
It ends too soon!
Honey's Final Verdict:
Long-time fans will love Monster Hunter Rise, and newcomers will find themselves playing a game that finally got rid of some incredibly irritating mechanics. Go get yourself a copy and join other hunters online for a wild adventure!
While Monster Hunter Rise is currently available as a Nintendo Switch exclusive, and we already know what's coming next with the upcoming DLC, there's also a PC version in the works.
Author: Rod Locksley
Hey! I'm Rod, and when I'm not watching anime or playing video games I'm probably writing about them, but I'm also a graphic and web designer, and I even published a comic book and worked like 4 years for a well-known MMORPG. Curiously, my favorite series are quite different from each other, so I'm still trying to understand what I really like in an anime...