Monster Hunter Rise | Impressions from a Novice | Switch - Japan-based Nintendo Podcasts, Videos & Reviews!


Friday, January 8, 2021

Monster Hunter Rise | Impressions from a Novice | Switch

by Danny Bivens

Brand new Switch exclusive MonHun!
While covering games and being based in Japan for the past ten years, there is one franchise that has been unavoidable. Of course, I’m talking about Capcom’s huge hit series Monster Hunter. I’ve dabbled in the series since its Nintendo 3DS debut, and while I’m a pretty terrible hunter myself, I can’t help but respect the series and what Capcom has accomplished with it on a global scale. For 2021, the company is looking to expand to the Nintendo Switch with the exclusive Monster Hunter Rise. As it stands right now, there is a free demo available on the eShop in all regions (until February 1 at least), but is it a good stepping stone for gamers who have been put off by the series for years?

Let me start things off by saying this: If you’re looking for a hardcore look at the weapons, an in depth look at gameplay mechanics, or just looking to see how Rise compares to other games in the series, this is not the article for you. However, if you’re looking to get some thoughts on the demo from a guy who’s trying to get into the series, you’re in the right place. With that out of the way, let’s get into some specifics about the demo itself. 
There are a couple of different options here - Play Solo, Multiplayer, Options, Nintendo eShop (where you can pre-order the game), Manual and a look at the licensing agreement. For me, being terrible at these games, I just went ahead and went into the Play Solo because I didn’t feel like getting yelled at…or I mean, slowing down more skilled players. There are a total of four quests, two of which are tutorials on offer. The “Beginner” level quest has players hunting down an Izuchi, and the “Intermediate” level quest has players track down a Mizutsune. Before hopping into either of those, I went ahead and started with the Basic Training Quest. Some of the things explained here aren’t overly difficult with explanations of the overall controls, supply box, basic attacks, picking up items and a few other things. 

One new thing that was added to Rise is the Wirebug. This allows player to reach high areas as well as use these while in combat to pull off more devastating moves. More can be collected throughout the stages as well, giving you the ability to do more with this feature. It does have a cool down, which is fair and makes it so you can’t simply spam it. Another cool ability with Wirebugs is something called Silkbind. As long as your weapon is drawn, you can use this ability by pressing ZL (or R) and then X or A. This can be used to make monsters mountable (more on that later). It’s cool to see verticality becoming more of a thing in Monster Hunter and even as a guy from the outside looking in, I think this can really make the combat feel fresh for veterans and novices alike. 
Mounts called Palamutes are also available in the demo. For me, part of the tedious nature of the Monster Hunter series has been the slow movement of the characters when tracking down monsters on quests. With the Palamute, things change pretty drastically. After hopping on the furry critter, you’ll be flying toward your destinations in no time. Not only that, but you can even use them to attack while mounted. You’ll do more damage to creatures while on foot yourself, but still, it’s cool to see this here. 

The second tutorial is the Wyvern Riding Training Quest. Once you get a monster into a mountable state through damage or through some special attacks (such as Silkbind) or items, you’ll be able to hop on and even use them to attack other monsters or even send it plunging into the environment to inflict further damage. This tutorial is pretty short, but the feature itself seems pretty cool. 

I braved the first quest on the hunt for the Izuchi and even with my lackluster skills, I was able to track down and kill the beast. Obviously, there are probably better and/or more efficient ways to take down these creatures than what I came up with, but I was actually having quite a bit of fun doing it. The Palamute was also super helpful when running down the creature while it was on the run. 
The Rise demo gives a good look at what the final version of the game will look like in terms of visuals, and things here are actually pretty impressive. Capcom is using the RE engine for this game, and it shows. Environments are rich and detailed, character models are life-like and the monsters look fantastic. It’s quite a step up from what we’ve seen on the 3DS or in the HD uprezed titles brought to both the Wii U and the Switch. This is a game made specifically for the Switch, and it shows that while the Switch is never going to be as powerful as the competition, the hunt can still look great on a Nintendo platform. 

One thing to keep in mind about this demo - you’ll only be able to play it for up to 30 times. Not only that, but the demo itself is only available for a limited time - until February 1. So download it now and get playing! If you still have the demo is taken off of the eShop, you will still be able to play the single player and local multiplayer. Happy hunting!

Has this demo for Monster Hunter Rise on the Switch changed my mind about the series? A little bit. Things seem to be a little bit easier to get into and I like the new additions of the Wirebug, Palamutes and the ability to mount monsters. With online and local co-op included here, this demo can actually provide quite a bit to get through. If any of this sounds even remotely interesting to you, at least try out the demo while you still can. It’s an evolution of the already solid foundation that the series has set up for years and shouldn’t be shrugged off. That turns things over to you. Are you excited about Rise? Are you picking it up? What did you think of the demo? Be sure to sound off in the comments below, we’d love to hear from you!

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