Game Reviews

Monster Hunter Rise Review: A Dance of Dragons and Dango

Story Highlights
  • “Post-game updates will ultimately decide whether this is a sure-fire classic or simply a solid stepping stone to something greater, but even at launch, Monster Hunter has never felt better.”
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  • Optimized, honest fight
  • Gorgeous visuals
  • Full of appeal and element
  • Deep, however, streamlined RPG techniques

CONS

  • Too depending on post-game updates
  • Frame price spikes

With every new Monster, Hunter title comes streamlined expertise designed to shred the notion that Capcom’s greatest sequence is a punishing grind that’s out to make you weep. On the floor, Monster Hunter Rise may simply be mistaken for a figurative Monster Hunter World Lite–a much less visually hanging Action RPG that simplifies Capcom’s most profitable sport but to run on the compact and comparatively weak Nintendo Switch console. But that couldn’t be farther from the reality.

Monster Hunter Rise is an excellent standalone entry that builds upon what the earlier sport did each proper and incorrect. It takes the franchise one other daring step ahead in the correct path whereas retaining simply sufficient of the old-school appeal to not additional alienate veterans left wanting after the final. Whether it outshines what got here earlier than, although, will depend on what the longer term has in retailer.

Web-slinging wins once more

As in earlier video games, Monster Hunter Rise pits you in opposition to terrifying beasts on the high of their respective meal chains. The titular monster hunts are prolonged battles of mind and brawn the place even a poorly timed chug of a potion can open you as much as a world of damage. Unforgivingly lengthy animations and steep studying curves have despatched many hunters packing through the years. It’s that stigma that latest titles have tried to shake without foregoing what made it nice.

Built so as to add a brand new stage of verticality and velocity to the historically sluggish fight system, the crowning achievement of Monster Hunter Rise is the Wirebug system. This new swiftly-recharging useful resource permits gamers to web-sling their method by means of any given half of the hunt, turning the largely grounded expertise of previous video games into a much more fluid and reactionary affair.

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Whether you’re lugging around a hefty hammer or packing light-weight twin blades, you may shut in on fast-moving targets, zip out of hurt’s method, or shortly execute a bunch of flashy weapon-specific assaults on the push of a button. It’s each an offensive and defensive toolkit that builds upon the situational Wedge Beetle and arguably unbalanced Clutch Claw from the earlier title, with a minimum of a half-dozen, causes to make use of it arising each second.

Everything in regards to the core system has been optimized to the tee.

There’s a stage of experience wanted to correctly time a Wirebug talent, although. Committing to the assault is like watching a game-deciding shot unfold in your favorite sport. It’s a tense second of judgment with a lot of threat, and you’ll doubt your determination till the second you contact down. From massive enemy assaults you may vault over to sling-shotting yourself from the hunt hub and straight right into a seat on the restaurant for a pre-hunt meal, it’s clear the sport was designed across the Wirebug from the get-go.

As the chances current themselves, it’ll be laborious to return to a time earlier than. Everything in regards to the core system has been optimized to the tee. From seamless battlefields suffering from provides to a stage of participant mobility far and away from the franchise norm, there’s just about zero downtime between battles. Once you resolve the hunt is on, it’s on.

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Another half of what permits the break-neck tempo of Monster Hunter Rise is the return of open-world gameplay. Though noticeably much less dense and detailed in comparison with the final main launch, Rise options sprawling zones that, at a look, typically dwarf that of its predecessor. The discount in floor litter ends in areas that really feel much less nestled in farfetched fantasy and higher suited to the frantic motion of the hunt, with instruments like Great Wirebugs, further spawn camps, and your rideable Palamute doggy pal serving to make traversing the grandiose locales a journey in and of itself.

To preserve fast travel from shrinking the scope of the world, creatures in a position to increase your fight prowess are strategically scattered around, creating simply sufficient cause to take the long path to your goal. There are even a bunch of secret messages masterfully hidden around every map for the lore-hungry few to scout out when not on the clock that ought to take a superb whereas to completely uncover.

Hope you want Dango

As a possible casualty of the hassle to streamline the core expertise, Kamura Village is slightly smaller than your typical in-game quest hub. But with a smaller village comes a better focus of the franchise’s charming forged of throwaway characters. The individuals of Kamura Village vary from quaint and elegant, to tough, boisterous, and theatrical–although some signature janky facial animations could cause the English localization to lead to some cringy and uncomfortable cutscenes.

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It’s a slight disgrace to see the Meowster Chef get axed after making his silver-screen debut in the final 12 months’ live-action film, however, Yomogi the Chef and her cute little rice-pounding kitties inject a stage of cuteness that was sorely missed within the gruff and goofy Monster Hunter World. Skip the lovable music and dance that comes free together with your meal of doubtful dietary worth and you’ll show you’re the actual monster. Like a lot of the sport’s soundtrack, you’ll wrestle to withstand whistling alongside as she skewers the little pudding pops just like the culinary ninja she truly is.

Skip the lovable music and dance that comes free together with your meal of doubtful dietary worth and you’ll show you’re the actual monster.

And the enjoyment goes past the characters, too. When you’re in want of provides, it’s your awkward canine that has to tug its weight by heading off on a submarine voyage to barter for the products whereas your feline good friend waves goodbye from the security of the shore. The extra useful animals you undertake, the extra arduous labor you’re in a position to have them passively full when you’re on the market risking life and limb. Just preserve telling yourself they’re pleased to do it.

Tower protection makes the whole lot higher

Not content material with relying solely on the Wirebug to hold the sport ahead, the brand new Rampage quest kind of shakes up the system even additional. It’s not fairly the stampede the occasional loading display artwork depicts, but it surely’s effectively value getting excited for. Rampage builds upon the Siege missions of previous titles, solely swapping out monsters of world-shattering measurement for dozens of the breeds you deal with in your common quests.

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It’s a glorified tower protection mode in all however identify. Waves of beasts cost over the fences and you’re tasked with establishing the cannons, ballistae, and even machine weapons wanted to fend them off. Your technique isn’t pressured on you thru an arbitrary construct restrict, both. You can arrange as a lot artillery as you need. You’re solely restricted by how shortly you may fling yourself to at least one gun or the opposite to maintain the beasties from bashing down the partitions and smashing the village.

Monster Hunter has at all times been about tense altercations, and if what Rise has to supply proper now’s any indication, issues will actually warmth up over the course of its life.

Things begin off relatively tamely, however as Rampage missions typically bar you from the following stage of quests, it’s right here the place you’ll endure some of the sport’s most gripping moments–particularly in co-op. Having a crew of 4 juggle numerous varieties of heavy artillery, stoking the fires to restore broken turrets, or attempting to line up an explosive blast as a final resort is as exhilarating as it’s mentally exhausting. Monster Hunter has at all times been about tense altercations, and if what Rise has to supply proper now’s any indication, issues will actually warmth up over the course of its life.

Which will get us onto some of the extra unsure elements of the title. For sequence veterans, Monster Hunter World was a case of high quality over amount: A comparatively quick sport with little problem. Even by the tip of its run, its monster roster lagged behind that of Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate.

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Like it or not, there’s an identical story unfolding right here. Monster Hunter Rise lands with round 31 previous, new, and returning favorite beasties to hunt. It’s not a small quantity by any stretch of creativeness, but it surely suggests the historical past is repeating itself. Even greater problem content material–typically thought-about the “true” expertise–is locked behind pending free updates. There’s nonetheless a lot on providing between the single-player marketing campaign, multiplayer quests, and environment battles, however, if you happen to have been hoping for an entire, it’s time to simmer these expectations. It may not have fairly sufficient content material to fulfill franchise veterans banking on the crew to proper the few wrongs of Monster Hunter World, however, there are nonetheless dozens of hours of gripping gameplay to sink your sword into.

Our thoughts

A signal of stellar sport design, Capcom has but once more managed to inject a brand new lease on life into the franchise without watering down what made it so particular nearly 20 years in the past. Rampages are a riot and Wirebugs are a triumph, opening the door to heart-stopping fight rolls and first-pumping combos and can have even newcomers feeling like grasp hunters on the push of a button.

Post-game updates will in the end resolve whether or not this can be a sure-fire traditional or just a strong stepping stone to one thing better, however even at launch, Monster Hunter has by no means felt higher. It’s an absolute must-play and one more reason to by no means doubt Nintendo’s little pill that might.

Is there a greater variety on the market?

Yes and no. Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate is the higher-worth sport proper now. The Hunter Style system is a precursor to Monster Hunter immediately. It’s nonetheless a blast to experiment with, however, the greater problem curve could be off-putting to these simply in search of a bit of enjoyment. If you don’t have a lot of expertise with the franchise’s previous, Rise is the place to be proper now.

How lengthy will it final?

You can burn by means of the core expertise right here in around 100 hours. Far much less if you happen to solely in it for the story. Free post-launch updates will preserve it going for a minimum of 12 months, but it surely’s removed from the richest sport within the sequence.

Should you Buy it?

If you’re a fan of intense motion RPGs, there’s little or no prefer it on the Nintendo Switch proper now. It’s essential. Once you become familiar with the fight, squeezing in a hunt in a rush is a rewarding expertise.

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