Kamura village was subject to a violent rampage 50 years ago where enraged monsters attacked everything and everyone within. The survivors managed to fight off the beasts and ever since then, they’ve been training their descendants to prepare for the next monstrous “Calamity”.
This is where you come in. The village’s resident Wyverian twins Hinoa and Minoto promote you to the rank of Hunter and take you to see Elder Fugen who begins dishing out quests. These quests are primarily for you to prepare for the next “Calamity” and the quests increase in difficulty throughout the game.
The story of Monster Hunter Rise isn’t exactly Shakespearean stuff but does the job in propelling the game forward. New Monsters are introduced to the player throughout the game with cutscenes that are filled with some rather sombre poetry. These poems describe a monster’s abilities or most notable features and if you play with the English voice-acting enabled, can come across as quite dark.
Players will take on tasks for Fugen and slolwy, but surely work their way up the ranks of the Guild. This is standard Monster Hunter fare but where Rise excels is that the entire game is far more streamlined. Monster Hunter World was already moving towards this with numerous quality of life improvements and changes made to set it apart from older generation Monster Hunter games. Rise further improves upon this by trimming off even more fat while retaining the best bits of the core Monster Hunter meal.
Starting a new character, players will have access to the rather powerful character creation kit. Everything from your facial structure to your hairstyle and default outfit is customisable and there’s plenty of options to choose from. New to Rise is the ability to create a Palamute, a brand new canine companion which plays an invaluable role in the game as your trusty mount. Players can easily spend up to an hour or more in the character creator since it’s so enjoyable to use.
Do note, however, that once you pick a voice type, you won’t be able to change this in-game so maybe experiment with different voice types first before finally settling on one. This time around, it does make quite a big difference since your player character is a lot more vocal in-game. You can save character presets and this helps with re-designing characters later on.
Once your character is up and running, you’ll be questing and introduced to the new gameplay mechanics right off the bat. Faster, more fluid movement and Wirebugs are the key changes that Rise brings to the table. Players have far more freedom to go wherever they want to on the map and the sense of scale on the actual maps feels great. Being able to zip around using wirebugs, as well as being able to mount your Palamute, makes traversing different regions a lot faster.
Movement looks and feels great in Monster Hunter Rise and Capcom have definitely done a great job here. For example, being able to run after a monster, launch yourself with a wirebug into a wall, wall-run a short distance, launch off and then smash your weapon into a target is an incredibly satisfying gameplay mechanic. It also looks great in action and Monster Hunter Rise is going to result in gamers recording some amazing video clips using the Switch’s built-in recording option.
Thanks to the introduction of the Wirebug, there are numerous changes to weapons in the game. Each weapon has its own set of wirebug mechanics and players will have to learn how to use these in stringing together combo attacks. The learning curve, while quite steep, is not too bad. The in-game tutorials teach you everything you need to know and thanks to the newcomer friendly streamlined upgrade mechanics, Monster Hunter Rise is a great way to get someone into the Monster Hunter franchise.
Given that playing the game co-operatively and taking on hunts is a big part of the game, players will have to make use of Nintendo Online to team up for hunts. However, the entire game can be played solo and can be completed solo too. Playing with others does add to the game’s overall fun factor though.
Additionally, there are also new “Rampage” quests which players can take on. These involve defending the gates of Kamura village from an incoming horde of monsters. Players will be able to build defences and places NPC characters around the stronghold gates to assist them.
Defeating the waves of monsters and then the main target of the Rampage hunt rewards players with plenty of monster materials and items which can be used to further upgrade their weapons and armour. It’s a great way to grind for new gear and one that’s really quite enjoyable. It’s also a welcome break from the standard hunt quests since defending the gates can be quite intense with so many monsters around.
Players in Monster Hunter Rise can also use the wirebug to mount Wyvern monsters and use them against other monsters. This is a fairly simple gameplay mechanic to pull off but is extremely enjoyable in action. It also dishes out a tonne of damage when you land “Punisher” attacks and can be quite nifty in the heat of battle.
The soundtrack of Monster Hunter Rise is as excellent as ever too with the Kamura village main theme being particularly catchy even though it’s sung in the Monster Hunter language. Graphically, the Nintendo Switch delivers some great visuals.
Capcom’s RE Engine runs extremely smoothly on Switch and even when things get heated in battles, the game doesn’t have framerate struggles surprisingly. It’s no Monster Hunter World in terms of visuals and Capcom have had to cut down on numerous extra visual touches but given that this is a Nintendo Switch title, what they’ve managed to pull off here is incredibly remarkable.
Overall, Monster Hunter Rise is an excellent entry into the Monster Hunter franchise. The new mechanics introduced to the game such as riding your Palamute and using wirebugs across the game’s entire weapon selection bring a breath of fresh air to a tried and trusted formula that seasoned veterans can enjoy.
Newcomers can also enjoy the game thanks to the in-game tutorials and slightly easier difficulty overall. Monster Hunter Rise comes highly recommended from us and really does shine on Nintendo Switch.
Monster Hunter Rise
Monster Hunter Rise is overall, a great new entry into the Monster Hunter Franchise. The new gameplay mechanics are a breath of fresh air and the game itself has been streamlined significantly while retaining the best parts of the core Monster Hunter formula.