Monster Hunter Rise review: small but mighty

More than a decade ago, in a life before The edge, Monster hunter on the PSP it was my favorite scrolling game. I would spend a couple of hours a day tackling solo missions as my train raced through the Japanese countryside, then comparing loot with friends late at night as we teamed up to face monsters we couldn’t defeat alone.

From 2018 Monster hunter world He couldn’t hope to replicate that experience. World sought to reimagine the series as a primarily online adventure that took advantage of powerful hardware, and was a huge success, bringing Monster hunter to a much larger Western audience than it had ever reached before. World it was a great game, and Capcom clearly moved Monster hunter in the right direction. But for me, something was missing.

That’s where Monster hunter rise enters. It is a Nintendo Switch exclusive game that is based on Worldadvances, but now you can take it on the go.

Monster hunter rise it is not entirely a new idea. The last time a big news Monster hunter The game first made its way to a home console, in 2009. Monster Hunter 3 for the Wii, it came from the huge success of an earlier version of the PSP. Monster Hunter 3 brought many advancements to the series, but a less powerful direct port to the PSP would have been impractical for technical reasons, so Capcom adapted many of its elements and content into a new PSP game called Monster Hunter Portable 3rd. It ended up being the best-selling game in the series, at least until World It came, and it was the version that consumed me the most time on those train trips.

That’s basically what Capcom has done with Monster hunter rise. It is not a switch port of World – is better. Almost everything he did World a big step forward for the series is here, and Go up evolves the formula even further while operating within a scope that makes the most sense for the Switch. The result is an entirely new game that feels right at home on your portable hardware rather than having been compromised to fit.

Monster hunter rise It might be the most technically impressive Switch game I’ve seen to date; without a doubt it is the most impressive that It is not Made by Nintendo. With Capcom’s RE engine, the character and monster models closely resemble those of World – especially on the small Switch screen. Capcom has done an excellent job preserving WorldEssence and style in less powerful hardware.

The biggest concessions are the environment. The scenarios feel more like old school Monster hunter games of what they did in World, with less elaborate designs and fewer graphic flourishes like dense foliage. However, unlike older games, the subsections are not divided by loading screens, which helps Go up play similar to WorldIt is a more fluid style.

In fact, Go up it goes even further in that regard. Traversing environments is faster than ever thanks to two new elements: a pet dog named Palamute that joins you in battle and lets you ride on its back, and a tool called Wirebug that can be used to close walls and jump. monsters, occasionally even controlling them in full-scale confrontations with other beasts. That Go upThe stages lack complexity and add verticality, and while your goals are marked on the map from the beginning this time around, you’ll often find yourself figuring out how to find them on your level.

Go up feels even better for handheld gaming than previous games, as you’ll never find yourself wandering aimlessly in search of a monster. Other alterations save seconds that will add up over hundreds of hours: it now depletes the resource supply of a mining outcrop or pile of bones with a single touch of a button, for example.

On the contrary, Go up it is a typical Monster hunter play. It’s a fairly complex action RPG in which you choose one of several weapon classes with which to hunt increasingly dangerous beasts, collecting materials that you can use to create new weapons and armor to take on even more dangerous beasts. The game is certainly an acquired taste, and I’m not sure the constant barrage of tutorial pop-ups explaining obscure mechanics is as helpful to newcomers as Capcom seems to think they will be.

What will help, however, is that Monster hunter rise just not very difficult compared to other games in the series, even World. I found the “village” missions that move the story forward and take you to the end of the game unusually easy, it’s like they are the actual tutorial. I have experience with the series, but by no means an amazing player, however I dispatched most of the new monsters much faster than usual on my first try. Village missions are never the real thing Monster hunter game, so I think it’s okay that they serve as a fun campaign that anyone can run.

There are also a number of more challenging “core” missions available from the start, and those should dispel the notion that Go up it does not focus on existing fans. But it’s hard to review any Monster hunter I play before its release because I’ve had very little time to test it online, let alone see how the player base takes on its most challenging content. Go upLongevity will largely depend on your final design and how Capcom handles future updates, neither of which can be known at this time.

For now, Go up seems like a more solid package in terms of content than World was at the launch before its main Iceborne expansion. It’s certainly not lacking for monsters, and the variety is wider than World featured, with several old favorites and some new and imaginative designs.

Monster hunter rise it’s the most accessible game in the series to date, and it might as well turn out to be the best. I’m not about to call that out just yet, because a lot will depend on how your post-launch support turns out. But Capcom already has the bones of a classic here. Almost everything good about World it is also true of Go up, unless you want to run it at 4K / 60fps. If it does (and so do I), there will be a PC version next year.

It feels like Monster hunter is closing the circle with Go up. The series started on the PS2, sure, but it only became a cult phenomenon when it moved to notebooks, and that’s where it now comes back later. World brought it to an even larger global audience. It is not necessary to have a long journey to appreciate how Monster hunter benefits from a portable format.

One of the joys of the Switch is that it allows you to pinpoint game time when you might not otherwise be able to, even if it’s as basic a situation as your living room being occupied. Monster hunter has always had that drive of one more search for fans of the series, and with its new design and portable form factor, Go up you should see a lot more converted to the cause.

Monster hunter rise is available for Nintendo Switch today.

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