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Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak Review (Nintendo Switch) – Shining Star

Monster Hunter Rise on Nintendo Switch has been out for a little over a year now and has been receiving small updates over time such as new monsters and some minor gameplay changes. A major DLC expansion titled Sunbreak was revealed a while back and fans, including ourselves, were quite hyped.

So does Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak ultimately live up to the hype?

Set sail for Elgado

Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak starts off right where Monster Hunter Rise ended.

Players will encounter a royal knight named Fiorayne and after a little while you’ll be whisked off to a new region. You’ll dock at Elgado Port and this is where the real fun begins.

If you’re a newcomer to Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak, you’ll have to first play through the entirety of the base Monster Hunter Rise game before you get to the Sunbreak content. This is because of the fact that Sunbreak is late game content.

“Master Rank” is the flavour of the day here and you’ll have to have significantly powerful gear as well as cleared the base game’s story to have any sort of success in Sunbreak. The learning curve might put off gamers who lack patience but for those are willing to learn, they will have a blast with this title.

Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak starts off at a rather slow pace with players first having to face off against some very familiar monsters. This is standard Monster Hunter fare with the game slowly introducing new characters and monsters to you while letting you pick your own hunts to go out on.

The main story quest hunts will require you to have better armour and weaponry and grinding this out is necessary in other to progress. As with the base game, monsters in Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak all have their own strengths and weaknesses.

You as the player will have to figure these out and apply the right strategy to defeat them.

Being late game content, the difficulty of Sunbreak might catch you off guard. Especially if you’ve been away from the game for a long period of time.

Thankfully though, the glacial pace at which you’re introduced to the brand-new monsters assists with getting you back up to speed.

With that said though, even seasoned veterans who have been playing the base game often will have to get used to the new changes to the game that Sunbreak brings to the table.

Switch Skills

The most important one being the new Switch Skill loadouts. Players can now swap between two sets of Switch Skills on the fly once they’ve been edited back at camp. This means that you can effectively change up your attack strategy against monsters super fast based on the situation at hand.

This might seem like a small change on paper but in reality, in game, it’s a massive change. Hardcore players will love this feature since they’ll be able to have a lot more customisation and can try to combo numerous different techniques in battle.

Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak is quite a hefty game with the main story of the expansion taking you anything from 25 to 40 hours to get through.

This largely depends on your skill as a player as well what gear you have and what quests you take on and whether or not you’re playing the game solo or with others. You can attempt to make a beeline for the main story quests, but chances are, you will be destroyed by the tougher foes.

The “Three Lords” shown off in the game’s promotional trailers are very satisfying to fight but they sure do put up a challenge.

That challenge is not easily overcome and Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak makes you work for it. This isn’t a bad thing though because the game feels incredibly rewarding. There’s a lot of new weapons and items to craft as well as new endemic life in the game’s new regions.

The Wirebugs have also got a bit of an upgrade and using the Marionette Spider during a hunt is great. Being able to pull a monster with the Marionette Spider and crash it into a wall or rock is extremely enjoyable and makes you feel super powerful.

The animations attached to this are also great and look fantastic in action.

Capcom have really outdone themselves with the new locations on offer here too. The Jungle is flat out gorgeous and the Citadel region looks beautiful too. Elgado Port serves as a great hub area and while the musical theme that plays here isn’t as memorable as Kamura Village’s, it serves its purpose.

Graphically, Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak looks as great as the base game did on Nintendo Switch. If you’ve played the PC version of the game, you’ll know that the Nintendo Switch version is quite watered down in some aspects.

Apart from the graphics, the fluidity of movement and the speed at which you’re able to change your Switch Skills to chain attacks is vastly different between platforms.

The Nintendo Switch version however doesn’t require you to have a gaming PC or notebook and can be played on the go. The portability trade off might be worth it to some players and they can rest assured that the game runs at a very stable frame rate most of the time.

This is still quite an amazing feat given how intense some of the battles can be.

Final Verdict

Overall, Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak is a welcome addition to Monster Hunter Rise.

It changes the gameplay formula up a bit and refreshes the entire game in the process while adding brand new monsters and content for players to enjoy. The glacial pace at which you get through the story might be a bit too slow for some players who go it solo.

The addition of NPCs such as Fiorayne which can join you on hunts makes single player a lot more enjoyable though and Capcom should definitely consider keeping this for future Monster Hunter games.

Lastly, Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak isn’t over yet either. There’s a full year of planned content coming so if you pick up this expansion, you’re definitely going to get your money’s worth.

We highly recommend it if you’re a fan of the franchise.


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