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I'm even more hopeful for Monster Hunter Rise after playing it

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The demo is out this week

Very recently I talked about how Monster Hunter Rise was probably going to rip.

Well, having spent some time with it via a hands-on press demo, it looks like I was right.

From the first moment on the title screen, we're immediately transported to the Japan-inspired region of Rise, coupled with a lovely intro song. The first thing I noticed: the RE Engine running in real-time on the Switch. It isn't going to wow people on principle, but it's very satisfying when you're actually playing it, and best of all, it's smooth.

So, some quick housekeeping for the demo before we dig in. It has a limit of 30 quest completions, and after the "trial period," online play will be disabled. The initial four quests it offers are: Slay a Great Izuchi, Slay a Mizutsune, and two training [tutorial] quests. The demo seems to have basically every weapon available: great sword, long sword, sword and shield, dual blades, hammer, hunting horn, lance, gunlance, switch axe, charge blade, insect glaive, light bowgun, heavy bowgun, and bow. Each weapon, in the demo, is tied to a specific character.

The demo also has options for English, Japanese, and “Monster Hunter Language" (glorious!), and has gyro functionality built in. So, the game! It plays a lot like a classic MonHun in that it puts you into sprawling sandboxes with critical tasks (usually kill things), but ultimately asks you to "have at it." It can still get very clunky, as Rise shares more in common with older Monster Hunter games than anything. The "sheathed" and "unsheathed" states are not very fluid, nor is inventory management. Monsters can still also run away an annoyingly frequent amount.

But like a lot of classic Monster Hunters, you start to acclimate: the new features really help. The wirebug (a grappling hook with lore flair) is one of the big mechanics. You can aim and zip to specific areas, or vertically dash/dash forward. It can also be used as an extra dodge, gap closer, or escape, and hitting a wall will queue up a wall run. Some of it is quasi-scripted, like the "great wirebugs," which pull you up to new heights when you interact with them, but you can freely assail over most walls like you were an Attack on Titan cast member.

Riding a Palamute (the new dog companion) also rules. You can organically go mount it as it follows you or call it from an action bar. It gives you plenty of company when you're playing solo, but the combination of the Palamute and the wirebug really gives the game its own voice. They cut down on tedium mechanically, but are also fun to play around with.

I dig the tone and the general absurdity of Rise too. When skinning an animal for the first time, a voiceover came on that said: "Daddy needs a new pair of shoes!" This was after my cute dog and cat pals helped me murder that pack. It's still very self-aware, which is a great thing as I'd hate to see the series get too serious (man that new Monster Hunter movie looks like a bummer).

Monster Hunter Rise has a lot of character. The setting is arguably its biggest selling point, but there's a ton of depth under the hood too, which is sure to please long-term fans. It might not be as accessible as World, but it's definitely on my list come March.

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Chris Carter
Chris CarterReviews Director, Co-EIC   gamer profile

Chris has been enjoying Destructoid avidly since 2008. He finally decided to take the next step, make an account, and start blogging in January of 2009. Now, he's staff! ------------------- T... more + disclosures


 


 


Also on Destructoid: Monster Hunter Rise   (16)   From our database:

  • Monster Hunter Rise is no longer a Switch exclusive: it's also coming to PC eventually - Chris Carter
  • We talked to the Monster Hunter Rise producer about the Switch, new player tips, amiibo, and the best weapons - Chris Carter
  • Monster Hunter Rise director: 'I was happy to see the response to the Palamutes was extremely positive, not just in Japan' - Chris Carter
  • Monster Hunter Rise is looking real good in this new Nintendo Direct showing - Chris Carter
  • It took players an average of 22 minutes to finish the tougher Monster Hunter Rise demo quest - Chris Carter
  • Monster Hunter Rise demo players favored the long sword, and it wasn't even close - Chris Carter
  • This Monster Hunter Rise Frost Islands concept art is beautiful - Chris Carter
  • You have until tonight to download the Monster Hunter Rise Switch demo - Chris Carter
  • More than anything else in Monster Hunter Rise, I just want to dress up my Palamute - Jordan Devore
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    Filed under... #Capcom #monster hunter #Nintendo Switch #Previews

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