Monster Hunter Rise has released for Nintendo Switch. The most recent entry into the Monster Hunter series. Based in a world full of powerful monsters and lush environments, that you can face to earn yourself a massive variety of gear. The Monster Hunter series is very highly rated and has a great reputation for challenging encounters, great performance and enjoyable moments. But does Monster Hunter Rise for the Nintendo Switch live up to expectations?
Considering that this has released on Nintendo Switch, the performance is actually quite strong. Which is a phenomenal achievement. The game works extremely well, with issues being very rarely encountered. Experiencing a very strong and stable performance, no matter what mode your Switch is in. Whether you are using handheld or docked, you will get a constant 30 fps. Which is very good.
The performance may be very strong for Switch, but what about the content? Well, it is good to see that the content within the game lives up to a very high standard. Let’s start with the story. Instantly, it is known that most people do not play the game for the story, but rather for its gameplay. So straight away, expectations for the story are not very high. To put it simple, the story does not pull out any surprises. The story isn’t awful, but it isn’t brilliant either. The story is based around trying to figure out why the monsters are now attacking the village you live in. It isn’t very complex, just a bit simple. But this is not much of a concern, as the focus of the game is more on gameplay.
And now on that gameplay, it is very good. Within the time you spend in this game you will be given lots of strong encounters and gameplay to experience. The new controls can take a little getting used to, which is fine. The controls offer a unique and fun way to engage in fights, with experienced players being able to effectively use the controls to dominate in boss fights. One of the key parts to these new controls is the new wire bug feature. This feature/ability has a massive number of uses throughout the game, being able to use it whenever you need to. You can use it to traverse large distances in short time, or get straight back up after being knocked down by a boss.
Wire bug plays a lot into the mass exploration of the game. Which is very nice. The Monster Hunter Rise world is one big area, that is very well made. The detail included with this world is amazing, details within characters and areas, along with lighting and plants and so much more makes the environment phenomenal. Exploring the environment is a very pleasant experience, but also has some very great uses other than simple exploration. Within this world you can find different birds that give you buffs for whenever you need them. Making your boss fights and encounters easier, giving you more of an edge against your opponents.
And on those boss fights, they are phenomenal. As the key part of this game, you would expect that these fights are very good. It is great to know that they really live up to the expectation. The bosses within this game are very unique. With each boss having their own individual abilities and traits that you have to overcome. This really offers a fun experience, facing bosses that are different almost every time. And if you like a specific boss or monster, once you have knocked it down and subdued it, you can take control of the monster and use it to travel and fight over bosses.
Once you have defeated that troublesome monster, it is time to earn your loot and new gear. Upon defeating a boss, you will earn materials that you can use to purchase new gear from the village. The village acts as a hub for players, allowing you to purchase gear, or obtain quests and contracts that you will need to go into the world. Everything you need can be found here, using the village to change your build or access different activities. With the great variety of weapons and gear you can collect, there are countless numbers of ways to approach a fight with your teammates.
Within Monster Hunter Rise, you can play online or offline. Meaning you have the option to face a fight alone, or with the help of teammates. Of course, you can still fight bosses solo while online, but having teammates by your side makes it that much fun and easier. You can hop into an activity with teammates very easily, simply going to the village and choosing which mission you want to do will match you instantly with others who are playing. Both online and offline options are very good, but you may experience many different things on both.
It is very nice to have teammates when playing in the new rampage hunts. A new mode where you have to set up defences to prevent hordes of bosses from invading. The game mode is a bit like tower defence, and can be very enjoyable off the bat. Bringing the monsters to you in a big battle, where you and your teammates will have to work together, or you face them all on your own. As said, this mode can be very fun from the beginning. But overtime, it does become a bit repetitive. With very similar approaches and defences being used to fight. Despite this, the rewards you obtain are quite good. Offering a very unique and powerful set of gear that you can use wherever you need it.
There are many monsters and activities for you to face within the world of Monster Hunter Rise. Which is great. But once you have done it all, it feels like there is not much left to do. As this review is based upon the base game, it is very likely that we will see an influx of new, and more challenging, content to do after you’ve taken everything on.
There are a few extra points that should be made. The audio is a big plus in Monster Hunter Rise, with a decent soundtrack, accurate and rich world audio and intense noise when engaging boss fights. With character dialogue and callouts, along with creature noises, the world feels that more alive.
And on those characters. The character customisation is very deep, being able to change almost everything on your character. Whether you want to change facial features like eyebrows or eyes, or you want to change the way your character sounds, you can. But that is not all you can customise, being able to customise your own creatures: the Palamute and Palico. Two creatures that will assist you throughout your journey.
Then back to the question at the beginning. Does this game live up to expectation? In its base game form, there are a lot of key and amazing parts of Monster Hunter Rise that make it exceptional. From the start you will have so much to do and enjoy. But as you go further on, you begin to run out and often find yourself repeating activities. Though this problem can easily be solved with future content releases. So, yes. The game does live up to that expectation, offering an enjoyable game. But just don’t blaze through it, take your time to enjoy the experience.