Monster Hunter Rise - A sharp and brutal review

Raise your horns and take out your blades, the king of the hunt is back on Nintendo Switch

Monster Hunter is a saga that we can now consider historical for the videogame sector. Landed for the first time on PlayStation 2, The series Capcom has allowed us to hunt hundreds and hundreds of monsters over the course of several years and many titles published on the most varied platforms.

After the stratospheric success of Monster Hunter World, a title that marked the generational shift as well as the biggest turning point for the series since Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate, Capcom is ready to come back up Nintendo Switch with a sparkling new chapter, full of content and monsters to hunt, renewed in style and improved in spirit.

If you've never faced a Monster Hunter but want to experience the thrill of crashing a Rathalos against a Magnamalo, this is the perfect game for you. Get ready hunters, because your mission will be brutal and full of adventures and will lead you to discover some of the most iconic creatures in the series as well as some new prestige additions.

Between hunting and design

Being able to talk about the feelings returned by Monster hunter rise it's not as easy as it may seem. By definition, the Capcom series has always been dedicated to a particular type of players who appreciate the repetitiveness of some aspects of the game (especially hunting, obtaining materials, and the crafting of weapons and armor) and Rise is not less, keeping intact the original spirit of the game.

Yet, in this Rise there is something different, something that makes you breathe even more fresh air after the already great revolution brought about with World. And this something is not just a feeling, but it translates into a whole series of improvements from all points of view that allow even novice players to approach the series without fear, taking them by the hand and leading them to learn the rules of hunting step by step.

In short, Monster Hunter Rise is a game that makesinclusiveness his strong point, his most important ace in the hole. But, at the same time, there will be a certain degree of challenge that will satisfy the strongest and most veteran players in the series, who are certainly not satisfied with being accompanied by the hand and rather can't wait to take the field to face all the challenges that will be placed in front of them.

But that's not all, either. Another great virtue of this title is that it brings the great back with it community spirit that permeated past productions, especially those born on portable consoles like PSP e Nintendo 3DS. Forget the single connection via the internet or the fact of having to carry the console and a monitor with you every time, with Rise the possibility to meet with your friends and play locally is finally back thanks to the portability factor of Nintendo Switch.

This factor plays an extremely important role in the economy of the game, as well as in the possibility of appreciation of the title. All Monster Hunters are fun when played alone or with friends online, but being able to be in the same place to organize hunting trips creates a different dimension where fun is guaranteed and in which even the beginner player can learn while having fun.

If there's anything that immediately catches your eye as soon as you start the game, though, it is style adopted by Capcom for this new Rise. The Kamura village it is simply extraordinary, immersed in its typically oriental nature and the buildings inspired by Japan that manage to catch the eye of anyone who stops even for a moment to observe the landscape.

You will find yourself wandering, as if absorbed in a kind of surreal dream, on the streets of Kamura. You will observe the architectural beauty of what surrounds you, you will feel on your skin the wind that moves the trees enclosed in theirs rose petals frames. And you will talk to its inhabitants, even listening to the sweet melodies of one colonna sonora which is just perfect.

Everything is in its place, each element is designed with the utmost respect for Japanese feudal style and, even in terms of construction and ease of access to services, everything has been placed in the best possible place.

You remember Astera, the main village of Monster Hunter World? In that case the visual beauty of the village was hampered by the fact that the various necessary services were spread all over the map of the village itself. The blacksmith was on one side, far away was the market, in yet another area there was the canteen and the celestial hunt was just an area unto itself.

All this in Rise it does not happen. The center of the village is also the area from which to access all services, with the blacksmith and merchant located a few meters away and the canteen a little further on, always reachable within sight. Just beyond the canteen is the hunting base, which returns overbearing as a clear division between the missions dedicated to the single player and those dedicated to the multiplayer sector.

And if the arrangement is not enough for you, you can travel throughout the village using yours insect thread, the great addition of Monster Hunter Rise, is jumping on the back of your trusty four-legged friend.

There is a Magnamalo who wants to eat me

The real highlight of the series, however, has always been the gameplay, with a very aggressive style of play that forces the player to conquer his prey within a well-established amount of time and cannot be circumvented in any case.

La speed e precision in the movements, the attacks the right parts of the monster and the ability to understand when to exploit objects and the environment around us are all part of what is the most complete hunting experience on the market. An experience that greatly benefits the innovations introduced in World and that embellishes them with some small additions of great value.

If you are a veteran player and have undergone the change that occurred from Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate to World you will not find it difficult to appreciate this combat system. It remains fluid as it was in the previous chapter, fast and precise and able to give great satisfaction.

Precisely by virtue of the continuous evolution of the saga, the title has been further improved with the addition of theinsect thread and mounts related to it, as well as the presence of ben two companions animals in single player (one in multiplayer, choosing between Felyne and Canyne).

In particular the wire insect constitutes a mechanic that gives a unprecedented fluidity to the action, allowing the player to never remain stationary in the same spot or stuck in a wall, halfway between salvation and certain death. Learning to exploit the thread insect therefore becomes fundamental if you want to appreciate Rise to its fullest, as well as be able to develop attack combinations very interesting in the hunting phase.

La verticality of the new chapter is exploited even more than in the past. Using the wire insect it is in fact possible to "launch" against a wall and then climb on it to take advantage of the heights in our favor, travel quickly from one part of the map to the other to find the salvation or to chase a monster on the run. However, the same verticality is also exploited with one's own weapon.

In fact, by pressing the right one combination of keys (generally ZL and X and ZL and A) you can combine the wire bug with your weapon for a new attack, which varies according to the weapon equipped. With the Insect Falchion for example, you can make a very long leap to jump to the monster's neck and hit it with an attack. Such a move can also be exploited for run away, or in combination with the aerial movements typical of the falconer.

Likewise, the Wire Insect comes in extremely useful for escape from complicated situations. In fact, by pressing ZL + B after having suffered a blow we can quickly escape from the monster and recover the position as quickly as possible.

This small addition, considering all the things described above, manages to make the game action even more fluid e hectic than it already was in the past. As soon as you learn to better manage the wire insect you will find yourself constantly splashing around the map, always being careful not to abuse the mechanics as there is a recharge time before you can use the wire again, but you will be able to build different hunting strategies.

The wire insect is joined by a further novelty, the presence of a companion Canyne for the first time in the history of the brand. In fact, we will not only take the classic with us into battle Felyne, but also the Canyne, thus fighting in three against the monster in mode single player. In multiplayer, however, we will have to decide whether to bring the Canyne or the Felyne with us.

The Canyne is not a simple support animal like the Felyne, but it does a lot of action active within the gameplay. By jumping on his back, in fact, we can travel throughout the map without consuming the stamina bar and going up along the mountain walls at great speed. In battle it is then possible to hit the monster with the Canyne, even if the damage is significantly lower to those we could do with our equipment.

Particularly useful then is also the possibility of calling the Canyne also from afar, as it will allow us to quickly escape in case of danger or to run after the fleeing monster. Also on the back of the Canyne we can also play some fundamental actions how to sharpen the weapon and collect the objects and materials found on the map, all while maintaining good speed and freedom of movement.

Da Low a High rank

Unlike Monster Hunter World, in Rise the clear division between the village missions (related to the history and learning of the game mechanics) and those of the hunting base (relating to the multiplayer sector).

And here, at least for now, comes the first "disappointment" of the game. The village missions, in fact, are limited to the simplest Low Rank and do not come close to the coveted High rank. This results in one considerable rush of difficulty as we move from the Low Rank missions of the village to the High Rank ones of the hunting base.

La perceived difficulty village missions, of course, vary from person to person. For experienced players who have amassed hundreds or thousands of hours of gameplay as who is writing this review, village missions will represent little more than a hobby to collect certain items and drop as quickly as possible.

Obviously, if Monster Hunter Rise represents the first approach to the brand, it is highly recommended to play all the village missions first, in order to learn the best rules of the game and collect materials with which to craft weapons and armor worthy of the hunting base.

Before moving on to tell you about base missionsHowever, one detail should be emphasized. Monster Hunter Rise story mode it does not end with village quests, however, essential to better understand it and experience the origins of the fearsome threat represented by Furia. To continue in the story you will still have to approach the missions in the base, where you will face Furies and totally new monsters.

The hunting base, on the other hand, represents everything that is "multiplayer”Within the game. From here we will be able to accept or take on missions to play with our friends, as well as have access to different shops that will allow us not to leave the area every time to buy a potion. The missions are divided between Low Rank, therefore easier and more accessible, e High rank, dedicated to the most experienced players.

For now, unfortunately, there seems to be no traces relating to the G-Rank (o Master Rank), but hopefully Capcom has foreseen its arrival in the future, perhaps through an update or the release of some DLC not yet announced.

The fury

If you thought that the video game offer of Monster Hunter Rise was over like this, well you were very wrong. Capcom's creature still has a lot to say, and it wouldn't be possible not to mention the Furia, a new series of missions introduced within the game.

The Fury is a particular event, which originates from some monsters that try to attack and destroy human settlements and culminates with the descent into the field of a fearsome monster Apex, the new monster variants being introduced in Rise for the first time.

The most interesting peculiarity of the Fury is that its missions are structured like gods Tower Defense. While we can continue to move freely around the map, the monsters will have to zigzag between corridors e traps, defense weapons placed by us in key points and much more.

In this mode it will be particularly important to learn how to better manage the resources at our disposal. In fact, along the path of the monster we will find boxes in which to place certain weapons, automatic o manuals, to be used to repel the horde of monsters that will constantly arrive, just like in the Tower Defense titles.

By repelling monsters and surviving the various rounds, as well as completing some objectives shown on the edge of the screen, we will have the opportunity to level up the entire fortress, thus unlocking even better weapons and traps as well support unit which will prove to be absolutely indispensable in certain contexts, such as rejecting the aforementioned Apex monsters. These will constitute an extremely dangerous threat and able to annoy even the most experienced players a lot.

Succeeding in winning one FuriaHowever, it will allow you to access special and unique rewards, which will allow you to forge equipment much more powerful than normal ones. The mode makes it even better in multiplayer, since with the coordination of four players it is possible to study much deeper strategies to fend off monsters, all for the sake of the fun that, we can ensure, will never fail.

Last but not least, it concerns the possibility of upgrading further their equipment through items obtained during Fury missions. Going to the blacksmith, in fact, we will have access to the process of "Superfuria”With which to obtain even more interesting upgrades for our weapons.

Quality of Life that changes everything

But what really makes Monster Hunter Rise "the perfect game to start”Is the excellent work done by Capcom to improve practically every single aspect of the game that involves the interaction between the gamer and the video game itself.

The improvements of the quality of life, that set of "facilities”That allow a player not to waste hours and hours trying to solve a certain problem (such as the search for materials or a key mission) are many and are definitely welcome.

The most popular of all is certainly linked to missions. Farewell to the times when it was necessary to go on a website in order to find out which key missions had to be completed in order to progress in the ranking. Now it's the same game that shows us what the key missions and how many we have to complete in order to move to the next level.

also the cards related to monsters are now much more complete, and not only show us a short infographic on the weak parts of the monsters we have already hunted, but also give us complete details objects that we can extract from them, the percentages of drop rates and even the method by which those pieces can be dropped by monsters.

Let's take the Magnamalo as an example. In case we want to drop a plate, among its rarest drops, we will have a 7% of possibility of normal drop, 19% in case we catch it and a 80% as a reward parts per monster awarded.

With regard to weaponry then, the management already seen in the past on World remains, with the possibility of disassemble the weapons that we do not need to recover parts and scraps and the graphics that quickly show us the series to which it belongs and its direct evolutions, divided into branches.

La canteen, easily accessible not only from Kamura village but also from tent once you leave for a hunt, it allows you to cook the Dango and to immediately see the effects and the probability percentages for activation. We will also be able to create our personal Dango, so as to have the effects we need most during the hunt, as well as save our Favorite Dango to be able to recover them quickly if they come in handy.

Same graphic interface it has been cleaned and refined to the right point. The information on the screen is complete and full of instructions on what is happening in the battle, but it no longer takes up a substantial part of the screen. In addition, all information is perfectly legible at any time, such as the sharpness of the weapon or the amount of stamina or remaining health.

Here too the excellent remains rotate objects view in World, perfect for speeding up the use of items in battle or aboard the Canyne. And, as if all this were not enough, they make their return there territorial disputes, now even more useful since they will make it easier for us to ride a certain monster, in order to exploit it to inflict huge damage on our opponent.

The hunt is open, everywhere and with anyone

The most interesting aspect of Monster hunter rise, as well as what has always amazed those who have watched the various presentation videos, is linked to a single question: but that game really runs on Nintendo Switch?

And the answer is: yes, it really runs on Nintendo Switch. And it's unbelievable. Let's clarify a couple of details right away. The framerate it is stuck at 30 frames per second, a wise choice that helps the game to keep the influx of fps constant, which is fundamental in a game like this. At the same time, it happens from time to time to witness some slowdown in particularly agitated situations (for example 3 monsters that fight together) or in areas full of details.

Fortunately, most maps and battles don't jeopardize the game's framerate, ensuring a smooth and enjoyable gameplay experience in both portable and docked modes.

What really amazes, however, is there amount of detail than the fantastic RE Engine Capcom manages to bring to light on such a small and underpowered console compared to the competition. In fact, the engine manages to give life to gorgeous monsters and with fluid and sensual movements, magnificent reproductions of savage brutality on-screen that fill our hunts with thrilling combat, in a graphically spectacular world.

The game maps are in fact full of details, although the difference with World is evident and clear, and are magnificent both experienced in portable mode and in TV mode. The previous chapter was certainly richer, but it often happened to get bored quickly and to find too full the screen of these details that could be even superfluous.

The maps are vast and open, just like in World, and they bring with them all the creative ability of the Capcom team in developing ramifications e shortcuts, useful for moving easily around the map and never cloying.

And also a graphic level we are faced with an absolutely first-rate show. And we are not just talking about the resolution, but precisely the style chosen for this title that stands out great both on the small and on the big screen. There choice of colors, which tend to be duller and darker than World, creates a wonderful contrast especially in night hunts, with very accentuated shades of green on the monsters and various effects on the screen that make the visual experience even more magnificent.

As mentioned several paragraphs above, another great plus of being able to play Monster Hunter on Nintendo Switch it is represented by the “community” factor. Playing online is always a pleasure, but being able to take your console with you and play all together in the same room in local communication is a factor absolutely unique and positive that has always enriched the gaming experience.

And, despite the visual beauty of the RE Engine, the Nintendo Switch battery (at least in the 2019 review) will allow us to play for several hours below without the need to connect the console to the charger. Perfect, therefore, for whom he travels a lot and does not always have a charger or a power bank available.

In conclusion

Monster Hunter Rise is all that a cacciatore could ever wish. Lots of content, improvements from all points of view, new monsters added and many others coming in the near future, one new mode that promises hours of fun with friends and much more.

The first approach of the series on Nintendo Switch after World (as Generations Ultimate still belongs to the bygone era) starts off great, with a title solid e ricco, perfect to play both in single player and with friends, accessible to both newbies as for the veterans of the series.

Too bad for the lack ofHigh rank in the village and del Master Rank at the hunting base, but we are looking forward to Capcom's support for the next few years confident of seeing it coming with an update or expansion of the game along the lines of Monster Hunter World: Iceborne.

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