Monster Hunter Rise Review | Sound The Hunting Horn
Whether you’re a new fan or a veteran hunter Monster Hunter Rise provides exciting improvements in the series that help bolster it to stand amongst giants. The most notable is the addition of the Wirebug, which gives players a versatile tool that complements any play styles.
The Wirebug can be used to reach great heights, be combined with weapons for special Silkbind attacks, or even just traverse the environment in a flashy manner. It’s the clear next evolution of the Clutch Claw from Monster Hunter World’s expansion Iceborne.
While streamlined, Rise isn’t exactly newcomer-friendly. It’s still bogged down by a ton of menus and no real tutorial for the weapons outside of the training area, which for some reason, is tucked away in a hidden corner of the map.
This isn’t a huge mark against the game but just be warned that the best way to learn weapons or systems in the game still is guides and outside material. This can be daunting and overwhelming for many players, so just be cautious if you are going to hop in solo.
The game can be played entirely solo or up to four hunters, and Rise does an excellent job splitting the two up into different quests. Village quests are more story-focused and provide challenging solo hunts for players to partake in. Gathering Hub quests are the multiplayer-centric quests; they are harder fights, and rank up separately from your village quests.
After you roll credits in Monster Hunter Rise you’ll gain access to new Village quests but if you want to fight the actual final monster of the game you’ll have to level up your Gathering Hub quests.
This can be done on your own if you want the challenge or can easily join randoms/friends using the quest board. This system is much improved over World’s combined quest system that locked players out of hunts until they watched a cutscene. The whole system in Rise is quick and snappy.
My biggest concern going into Monster Hunter Rise was the Nintendo Switch’s online system holding up. We’ve seen many games struggle with the online infrastructure, and I’m happy to report that Monster Hunter Rise runs incredibly well during multiplayer sessions.
After hours of play with friends and random players, I only encounter a handful of hitching or lag spikes. Almost all of my hunts ran without a single problem or noticeable hit to the framerate when four hunters and Palamutes were beating up on one of the hulking beasts.
The real stars of the show in Monster Hunter Rise, though, are the Monsters. You know, the enormous and creepy-looking creatures you spend your time hitting with a giant object shaped like a Saxophone.
Rise has an eclectic selection of monsters ranging from originals to brand new Monsters like the ice blade-wielding Goss Harag. Whether you’re avoiding the electric attacks of the gross-looking Khezu or hopping over a stomach sliding Lagombi, each fight feels distinct, and being prepared is the key to turning the tides in your favor.
Each Monster has its own personality that shines more so than some of the main characters in the game’s story.
Of course, what’s hunting a monster without a myriad of different weapons to do that with? The weapons in Monster Hunter Rise have received some much-needed upgrades to help keep up with the almost breakneck speed of the game.
Weapons like the Hunting Horn have been simplified to a degree to help them not only thrive in a solo environment but also be just slightly more newcomer-friendly. This is all while retaining a high skill ceiling and boasting a powerful moveset.
Weapons and Monsters are great, but what about dogs, people like dogs, right? Well, Monster Hunter Rise has introduced a new companion alongside the Palicoes. THe Palamutes are dogs that accompany you on both solo and group hunts.
Not only do they fight alongside you, with their own customizable equipment and skills, but you can ride them and even… drift!
The Palamutes in Rise complement the game’s pace by allowing the player to travel across the map much faster than on foot and without having to waste stamina. While riding a Palamute you can also prepare for the next fight by sharpening your weapon, drinking or eating, or even looking at the map without having to stop moving.
Capcom has provided players with a bevy of tools to keep up the speed. A big barrier for many players in the franchise, especially in the west was the pacing and monotony of the series. Of course, many fans loved this about the game, but Monster Hunter Rise finds a way to split the difference.
The main Kamura Village hub feels warm and inviting. The village streets are filled with merchants, Palicoes cooking food, and people just living their lives. It’s a wonderful and peaceful place to relax in-between hunts and feels like home every time you return after a long journey.
You’re always treated to a cute cutscene of a Palicoe or Palamute riding a submarine, being blown away on a wind kite, or some other shenanigans.
Monster Hunter Rise is the clear next-step in the entry and is right at home on the Nintendo Switch. A great online system and a beautiful-looking game thanks to the RE Engine provides an excellent experience for Monster Hunter fans new and old. Grab your weapon, eat a meal, restock your items, and head out because it’s time to hunt.
- An expansive roster of Monsters & Weapons
- Switch Online Runs Great
- Strong increase in pacing and speed of fights
- Wirebugs & Palamutes are an excellent addition
- A lot of menus and little explanation to systems
- No real tutorial for newcomers