Monster Hunter Rise serves two obvious purposes in its premiere on Nintendo Switch: to expose the rest of the games and ports of the console and become the installment of the most agile franchise in history. Almost nothing.
It is what surprises the most and, unfortunately, what you end up getting used to the fastest. The use that Monster Hunter Rise makes of the Nintendo Switch is so impressive that I don’t even know where to start. We are used, in recent years, to receive ports of doubtful quality in the Japanese hybrid, which almost always takes the worst part of multiplatform games. Even exclusive titles like the latest Pokémon Sword / Shield seem to work with difficulty. If all titles were made with the impressive RE Engine we would not think that we need that supposed Switch Pro.
Monster Hunter Rise not only shows great visual power (although obviously below its older brother Monster Hunter World) but it knows how to squeeze the Nintendo Switch to the last consequences. It is impossible not to be impressed the first time you are able to finish a hunt and be starting another in less than 15 seconds. Those fast loads that seem typical of the new generation of PS5 and Xbox Series X / S have taken over a 2017 console in one of its most powerful games on a visual level. This agilityAs I mentioned at the beginning, it ends up being the hallmark of this new installment.
The most agile game in franchise history
If you have hundreds of hours behind your back in games like Monster Hunter World, you will know the amount of time to invest in the base of operations before and after each hunt, as a general rule. Take a walk to talk to different characters, do mission deliveries, take a look at the new ones, go up to the forge to create a new weapon or piece of equipment, go to the canteen, have food, change equipment, be confident that we have everything we need with us … and wait for the mission to be ready to start.
That process exists in Monster Hunter Rise but it is insultingly evident that Capcom has wanted to reduce it as much as possible to create an agile video game, that does not lose the player and that goes much more directly to the point. The village that serves as the game’s base of operations is much smaller and everything is very close at hand, avoiding so many unnecessary walks and elements such as elevators or stairs that only slow down the player’s steps. Here we can choose the next mission, take a look at the news from the blacksmith, check our equipment, eat and start the mission in a very small space that will only take us a few seconds. And, as if that were not enough, most fighters that involve facing monsters that, for example, are going to inflict some specific state damage, will give us in the famous initial chest with the objects that we will need during the fight to recover. Everything in Monster Hunter Rise seems designed to chain hunts, one after another, without worrying too much about the rest.
The monster hunts at the individual level, in addition, also last less than in other installments of the saga and, going into the matter, everything is much more agile and faster. Monster Hunter Rise insists on orbiting around that idea in which it takes new elements incorporated in Monster Hunter World without forgetting the roots of classic games but enhancing speed in its missions. How do you get it?
The most important novelties of Monster Hunter Rise serve to fulfill this purpose, such as the chordoptera (which allow us to advance several meters of distance through the air or run up the walls to climb a mountain, for example) and our comrade Canyne, the dog that will accompany our Felyne and that it will not only be active in combat, but we can also use it as a mount so that the tour of the map is much faster. In addition, while we are on top of the dog we can continue to carry out actions such as sharpening the weapon, taking potions, rations … again, trying to speed up the actions that in other games require pausing the action.
As in Monster Hunter World, the different Monster Hunter Rise mappings do not have load times or are divided by zones, although they are smaller. The movement of our character seems a clear evolution of the last game in the saga, with more agile animations (the core word of experience) and an obvious evolution. Nevertheless, Obvious some features of this version such as the possibility to fix the camera on the monsters and the on-screen arrangement of the tutorials of the movements and combos of the weapons.
The new, the old and the agile, the Monster Hunter Rise formula
This is how it fuses Monster Hunter World’s ease of attracting new players but without neglecting the veterans of the saga. In fact, Monster Hunter Rise seems designed for the player to take on many of its characteristics. There are many tutorials and everything is explained, but in a somewhat confusing and overwhelming way. If you are new to the saga, it is likely that it will take you quite a bit to get used to all the options and possibilities of a game that, here too, lives up to what we expect from the saga.
Monster Hunter Rise is huge and follows the well-known guidelines. Monsters of different ranks will appear that will have to be hunted so that stronger ones appear and so on. Along the way, we will use the parts we have obtained from their corpses to make better quality weapons and armor. It is here where the purest of the saga can find the first most debatable aspect of this installment, since it is evident that the game does not place as much importance on the creation and farming side of parts during the first big handful of dozens of hours. Personally, I got through the main story and the “minor” fighters just by crafting a couple of weapons and building some good armor that would do a bit of everything. In almost no instant did I have the need to look for a specific weapon or armor of certain characteristics that would help me defeat a monster that was putting me on the ropes, that came later.
It is still necessary to farm monsters and the grace in the end ends up being in making different weapons that serve different purposes, but promoting agility in Monster Hunter Rise has a full influence in this field. Veteran players will not have much difficulty in the first tens of hours and will miss meeting an impossible monster to defeat until they study a tactic and work on obtaining the necessary materials to make the desired equipment. And it’s a shame since in the long run being able to carry out so many hunts so quickly ends up damaging an experience that is already very repetitive.
Monster Hunter Rise is a fantastic game that seeks speed and agility. Take advantage of the hybrid format of the Nintendo Switch to offer faster games and eliminate pre and post worries of what it is to beat monsters to death, and that’s great. But once completely within the proposal and fully focused on progress, it hurts a bit to see that sometimes this prior preparation can be completely ignored and it is not so necessary to have specific weapons or protections. Although sooner or later we will face some monster that makes things difficult for us, of course.
The game also clearly differentiates the experience designed for a single player, which is the fastest and easiest, with the one designed to share the game with other friends. Here we will find more powerful monsters that will require more efforts, in addition to somewhat longer confrontations that are much more reminiscent of other previous installments of the saga. It is greatly appreciated that this aspect has been thought about and we can face these more complicated monsters also alone, so if you want to avoid those easier confrontations there is a possibility.
The amount of monsters that we can face is huge, from the rest of the installments of the franchise and again, all of them spectacular and with a visual appearance parallel to the beautiful feudal Japan to which the work refers in all its architecture, settings, weapons, pieces of equipment and other elements. All of them offer specific difficulties and, although many of them are more similar, it is fascinating to enjoy so many different battles. The first hours are an overwhelming carousel of new creatures, each one more spectacular than the last.
There are more novelties such as the so-called Frenzy, games where we have to defend our base from the onslaught of various monsters. To do this we can fight in the old way but also build various weapons such as cannons, crossbows, invocations and other types of advantages that are available throughout the stage, as a defense. It is here where we will have to deal with several monsters simultaneously that will want to destroy the door of our lair or kill us directly. The variety is appreciated and is an interesting addition to the game, although they do not work as well as the classic fighters that are still their strong point. About, You may wonder how the Nintendo Switch handles when there are several monsters and players on the screen, to which it is easy to answer: like a rock. Personally, I have only witnessed the occasional very occasional jerk as the game is always fluid both in portable mode (where it loses resolution) and in tele mode, where it is wonderful.
Monster Hunter Rise is a fantastic foundation for what’s to come on Nintendo Switch, a console that knows how to get the most out of it like no other game has achieved to date. In addition, it remains faithful to the slogan of offering a classic experience, taking advantage of the most interesting novel elements of Monster Hunter World but with the maxim of making games as fast as possible.
Its intent may cause many veteran players to miss depth in some respects that are lost in the continual need to seek agility and speed, but Monster Hunter Rise is clearly a beast. It is the game that gets the most out of Nintendo Switch to date and an impressive opportunity to enjoy the franchise with news and another way of understanding its classic proposal. Good hunting, fellows.
Monster Hunter Rise highlights the rest of the games and ports of Nintendo Switch, for the maximum use of the hardware in a game that replicates the classic and the new of the saga, but always looking for agility in all its aspects. Another way of understanding classic fighters.