Monster Hunter is truly not an unknown brand in the Nintendo universe. Again and again titles appear for the consoles of the Japanese company, especially the 3DS was given a lot of implementations and exclusive games. With the last part, Monster Hunter World (here you read the test), as well as its expansion Iceborne, Switch players were left out, while newcomers and old fans of the series on PC, PS4 and Xbox One enjoyed themselves through and through deepened by a revamped and completely overhauled rebirth of the long-established monster hunting RPG.
The dry spell has now come to an end, because Monster Hunter Rise will appear exclusively for the Switch in March 2021 and offers a combination of fresh elements that have found their way into the series in World and proven concepts that series fans have appreciated since the early 2000s. We had the opportunity to marvel at a lot of gameplay as part of the Tokyo Game Show and to interview the game director Yasunori Ichinose and the producer Ryozo Tsujimoto – because of the still current pandemic situation via video conference. Here is all information about Monster Hunter Rise for Switch!
Welcome to Kamura, the place where your life as a monster hunter in Rise starts. While the so-called new world in World and polar cold in the expansion Iceborne were waiting for adventurers, this time a Japanese-inspired setting is in the foreground. This is not only reflected in the surroundings where you walk through bamboo groves or admire pagodas, but also in the design of the monsters.
"Since Monster Hunter Freedom there have been creatures in the game that have Asian or Japanese origins. In Rise, however, the Japanese look and the inspiration of the Yokai ghosts are in the foreground for the first time," Tsujimoto reveals to us when asked where one comes from in designing the new being the ideas took. Yokai are Japanese mythical figures, which in our latitudes have reached the minds of gamers primarily through video games – think, for example, of Yo-kai Watch, Nioh or Ghostwire: Tokyo.
Two new representatives of these mythical-inspired monsters in Rise are Bombadgy and Aknosom. The first creature is small, furry, and does not look particularly dangerous at first glance. They didn't want to tell us more in the interview about the animal that was seen for the first time in the gameplay scenes of the Tokyo Game Show. It's just that it's a kind of Tanuki – the Japanese raccoon dogs should be a household name, especially Nintendo fans, Mario, for example, can glide with the Tanuki disguise and in Animal Crossing we have always paid off our loan to raccoon dog Tom Nook! We are excited to see what role the bombadgy will play in the game and will turn to a second mythical creature: the acnosome.
The beast from the bird wyvern class is based on the Yokai Kasa-Okabe, a kind of umbrella spirit. The parallels become apparent as soon as you see acnosome in action: When the monster stands on one leg, spreads its wings and presents its eye-shaped head shield, it is really strikingly reminiscent of the ghost umbrella! As usual in the series, the battles against monsters are probably the most important part of the gaming experience. Virtually every hunting mission is a boss fight that can easily drag on for more than 15 minutes. We are of course interested in how the portability of the switch works. In Monster Hunter World, the story took up a lot of space, before battles there were sometimes sprawling cutscenes with a story focus.
The developers are well aware that Switch players don't necessarily have as much time on the go as they do in stationary operation. "I realize that there are a lot of players for whom a gripping story is very important. But there are also the fans who don't care much about the background and are primarily interested in the action," reveals Tusjimoto. When designing a Monster Hunter game, however, you approach each part freshly and decide on the basis of the platform which features and focal points would make sense.
Monster Hunter World on stationary platforms was therefore ideal for more and longer cutscenes, after all you usually spend more than an hour in front of the TV, with Rise things are different: "With a portable console like the Switch, we have to change the approach. If so If someone wants to play in bed 30 minutes before going to sleep or on public transport, that person naturally has certain priorities for what they want to experience during this time, "explains Tsujimoto. So the story definitely has a place in Monster Hunter Rise, but it's not presented in the same way as it is in Monster Hunter World. The focal point of the plot is the so-called rampage, but what types of quests this event includes and how it is presented within the story remains unclear for the time being.
Capcom's RE Engine brings Monster Hunter Rise to the Switch in a whole new way. With wonderful animations (all the scenes shown so far indicate that the virtual implementation of the creatures is once again successful), a much more lively world than in the 3DS games, rich colors and many details on the character models, the development team uses the strengths of the console obviously very good looking.
Yes, when compared directly to World, Rise is inferior, but that doesn't have to be a bad thing. On PS4 and Co. it was difficult in some areas to see paths through the terrain (despite beetles) because the vegetation was so lush and distracted complex shadow and particle effects. In this regard, Rise seems to be holding back in favor of clarity, but certainly also because of technical limitations. The basic mechanics of the hunting grounds will work in a similar way to World: You choose where you want to go stalking (from ruins to the rugged mountain landscape), these areas are divided into several areas, but hunters can switch between them without loading time.
There are also important innovations compared to the last big title in the series, for example the cable beetles. Every hunter has one with them, much like the crawler that is stuck in the insect glaucoma from its predecessors. At the push of a button you shoot the six-legged and are then catapulted in the direction of the shot. In this way, the range of motion expands considerably, both vertically and horizontally – of course, the cable beetles also play an important role in arguments. This also applies to the next innovation, the Palamutes.
On the back of the wolf-like four-legged friend you can cover distances quickly without tapping your valuable stamina. In principle, it works in a similar way to the riding sections in Iceborne, only that you take control of the four-legged friends yourself. In battles, Palamutes know how to defend themselves effectively, they are an offensive support for you and your fellow players. Unlike the Palico cat creatures, mascots of the series, who return in their role of support companion in Rise – these creatures provide you with extra portions of healing. If you go hunting solo, you can take a duo of computer-controlled companions with you, either two Palamutes, two Palicos or one of each species. In multiplayer mode you have to limit yourself to one teammate.
How exactly the multiplayer functions will look is not yet known, but it should be as good as certain that missions can be started both alone and with other participants via an Internet connection. There is no doubt about the core of the game either: Hunt bigger and more dangerous monsters and use their booty to make stronger armor and weapons so that you can handle the next bigger chunk. The different beings sometimes appear in new forms or in different areas and have different strengths and weaknesses that you have to take into account when preparing for missions.
In Monster Hunter Rise, too, a particularly impressive monster has the honor of being the game's flagship monster. This time the name of the beast is Magnamalo. It is vaguely reminiscent of a purple tiger with martial-looking bony appendages on its forearms and a sting on its tail. If the muscular appearance of Magnamalo doesn't make enough impression, then the information that the monster can not only spit flames but also make itself completely invisible may help. You really don't want to be surprised by this monster at the inopportune moment!
The monster gallery in Monster Hunter Rise will certainly not lack old acquaintances either, for example the electric beast Tobi-Kadachi from Monster Hunter World is waiting for brave challengers. Kirin, which is based on East Asian mythology, should not be far in line with the game theme, but the existence of the unicorn-like four-legged friend has not yet been confirmed. Last but not least, the new monsters Izuchi and Great Izuchi (reptiles with claws on the tail end that resemble raptors), the toad-like and voracious Tetranodon and the extraordinary creature Yatsukadaki belong to the Rise monster gallery – this animal belongs to the rare group of wyvers that remind of gigantic spiders and of which there is only one representative in the series so far. Presumably the names of some of the newcomers for the English-speaking area will be changed for a better understanding, at the moment the Japanese names are fixed.
What is there to clarify? An important point that burned many players on the soul after the announcement: Will Monster Hunter Rise support the practical cloud storage? We ask and receive the short and clear answer "yes". So good news for fans of the series and Switch players everywhere! The next year promises monster fun. Given the quality of the games and a team that is very knowledgeable about Nintendo consoles, there's little to worry about when it comes to Monster Hunter. We prefer to spread a cloak of silence only over the trailer for the movie.
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The impressive Magnamalo is the flagship monster of Monster Hunter Rise. Only strong-nerved, powerful hunters will defeat him. (Source: Capcom)
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