Monster Hunter: Rise (Nintendo Switch) Preview

By Sandy Kirchner-Wilson 07.01.2021 3

Review for Monster Hunter: Rise on Nintendo Switch

Monster Hunter is a prolific series that began on the Playstation 2 as a fairly humble action RPG, before striking gold on the PSP and exploding into a massive multimedia franchise. Monster Hunter: Rise looks to keep the Monster Hunter train powering forward on the Nintendo Switch. Capcom, the developer and publisher of the series, has had an amazing run of things the last few years seeing huge success in their franchises with this series being a cornerstone to their success. It's ace to see the series making the jump onto a new engine as the previous Nintendo Switch entry felt a bit like a relic of the past visually, even though it was an excellent game.

Seeing that RE Engine logo pop up was an interesting prospect. Finally there is a game that can demonstrate the scalability of the engine on Nintendo's platform and Monster Hunter: Rise showcases some fantastic visual fidelity and an interesting new setting. When the western Monster Hunter fans mourned the passing of the more Japanese themed Freedom 3 on the PSP it seemed like that was it for the more eastern flavoured environments in the series. When the menu screen for this game loads it slaps cherry blossom, red wood structures and bamboo right at the forefront, while also highlighting some wonderful graphics. Everything is crisp and clear on the Nintendo Switch's tiny screen. Colours pop, textures are crisp and the character on the screen singing is at least on par with Monster Hunter: World. To top it off she's singing the Monster Hunter theme which hits right in the nostalgia nodules.

Screenshot for Monster Hunter: Rise on Nintendo Switch

That's enough gushing about the past vs the present. Diving into the demo experience, there are two missions available. An easy hunt chasing down a Great Wroggi and a harder hunt featuring another monster. To take them down there is a pre-equipped set of hunters to pick from. These are chosen by the weapon class which they have donned. Each weapon and wielder has a unique look, showing off the variety of armours in the game as well as the new companion characters. While the Palico is a returning friend from previous entries in the series there is also now a dog sidekick, the Palamute, allowing for the loving of both cat and dog owners. This is quite a limited selection but it captures the general aesthetic and appeal of the weapon types that will be available in the full game. They all seem to be returning weapon types so anyone with Monster Hunter history can pick their favourite and hop straight into a familiar gameplay style in this new game world.

Screenshot for Monster Hunter: Rise on Nintendo Switch

Map designs feel like they are straight out of the older games. Each area is zoned out with a number and boundary but as with World these areas are all interlinked and don't feature loading zones, making the monster hunting much more freeform than, say, the PSP entries, or even Monster Hunter 3 on Nintendo Wii. There are some cool new traversal tools like the new grappling abilities that allow the character to whip back into the action quickly if a monster pushes them back or even to climb onto the monsters. It feels like the gameplay is more focussed on getting the action going as fast as possible. Both hunts offered in the demo highlight different abilities and showcase areas that highlight the more vertical level design that will possibly feature in Rise. The locations are beautiful with plenty of vibrant colours, fancy lighting effects with bodies of water even featuring reflections. It's impressive stuff and the Nintendo Switch manages to keep up with all the action smoothly at what seems to be 30 frames a second but could be adaptive.

Screenshot for Monster Hunter: Rise on Nintendo Switch

The new grappling using wirebugs also holds the secret of the biggest and most interesting new feature! Trapping and riding monsters. This, unlike the traditional climbing on a monster to attack weak points, allows the player to directly control a monster via the wirebugs. There is a tutorial level for this that teaches how to bind and ride monsters very clearly. It adds a really cool tactical element to the gameplay to elevate this new game over its predecessors. The promise shown in the main grit of the gameplay is the same old fantastic adventure that the series has always provided but with some new bells and whistles and a rock solid technical foundation. It will be magical to see the hub for the new world as well as the main plot driven questline, though neither are hinted at in this short demo.

Unfortunately it's impossible to comment on the multiplayer as of yet as the servers are not yet online so instead it's time for some music. The music in this demo is sublime. From the aforementioned lady singing surrounded by cherry blossom to the classic monster hunter theme tune there is quite a nostalgia hit. Each tune is gorgeously orchestrated, too, with little eastern twists in there, giving the Japan-inspired setting an appropriate atmosphere.

Screenshot for Monster Hunter: Rise on Nintendo Switch

Final Thoughts

There isn't a lot of content in the demo but what's there truly showcases the excellent work Capcom and the team have poured into this latest entry. The harking back to the original designs and themes shown here really make this release brim with excitement. With the existing trailers and the demo, Monster Hunter: Rise has its sights on hitting the big leagues and has proven that it has the tech and design to get there. This is looking like a big release for Capcom and the Nintendo Switch in March and until there is further news or the final version releases this demo comes highly recommended.

Developer

Capcom

Publisher

Capcom

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date None   North America release date None   Japan release date None   Australian release date None   

Comments

I really couldn't get into MH World, so I'm keeping a close eye on this. Can't wait to try the new demo! Smilie

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

UNITE714: Weekly Prayers | Bible Verses

I am super hyped for this!! Great preview and you've got me more excited for it!

I used to love MH but world was a hard sell for some reason! This is so so fun, can't wait for the final release Smilie

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