With the meteoric return of Capcom in part thanks to Monster Hunter World, they then look towards the Nintendo Switch. Now, because of the Switch’s popularity, it makes sense that Capcom would go for a Monster Hunter Switch game, and that’s where Monster Hunter Rise comes in.
What Is Monster Hunter Rise?
Rise is an action RPG from Capcom for the Nintendo Switch console. This new Monster Hunter Switch game was released on March 26, 2021. A PC version is currently being made and is stated to be released in early 2022.
Monster Hunter Rise Review
Before we begin, we need to point out that this Monster Hunter Switch game has more or less the same gameplay as previous entries in the series. We won’t go over most of the gameplay since there were only a couple of tweaks made, but we will do an overview of the various weapons that players can use for the benefit of newer players. Other than that, let’s begin.
Like previous titles in the series, the new Monster Hunter Switch game lets the player take control of a Hunter. They’re given the mission of killing or capturing large monsters with a large variety of weapons. However, they can also use traps, tools, and the environmental features of the hunting ground to hurt and weaken said monsters while avoiding and surviving their attacks.
Successfully finishing various quests gives players a lot of loot. Usually, these come in the form of a few monster parts that came from the beast they were tasked to kill or capture. These monster parts are then used to create new weapons and gear.
Rise makes use of the same seamless map that was introduced in Monster Hunter: World. This was unlike the previous zoned area approach that was used by earlier games of the series. However, the game’s maps are focused more on a player’s vertical movement. Thus, several new gadgets are given to the players to help them quickly scaling through vertical areas, which we’ll talk about more later.
As per usual with previous entries, Single and Online Multiplayer modes are available. Multiplayer can host up to four hunters in one hunting group, and they can bring their Palico and Palamute companions with them.
Lastly, in addition to the usual hunts, Rise has a game mode called Rampage. In this mode, players need to defend the base village from attacking monsters.
Weapons and Playstyles
This Monster Hunter Switch title has a wide array of weapons that players can use. For a player that just started, it can be a bit overwhelming to choose which weapon type to start with if they’re just getting started.
In total, players have 14 weapons to try their hands on. However, it’s important to point out that all of the weapons in the game are pretty balanced and viable. With each weapon having the capability of keeping up with the others in the early, mid, and late game.
Also, players can pick and choose what weapon they want most of the time. This is because, in Rise, weapons need fewer materials to upgrade compared to previous entries. Heck, it’s also easier for players to switch their weapons and playstyle if they want some variety.
Here are the weapons that players can sink their teeth into in the game:
Sword and Shield
This is honestly the simplest, and most uncomplicated weapon in the entire Monster Hunter Series. There’s nothing that you need to do. Attack with a sword, defend with the shield. Make sure that you have stamina when defending or else you get staggered. It’s incredibly simple and great for beginners. If you’re a new player who is getting into the game for the first time, you should probably start with the S&S. You can’t go wrong with it; it’s incredibly viable and has a healthy balance of attack and defense.
However, don’t let its simplicity fool you. For those that prefer this weapon, you also have some pretty mechanical stuff hidden under the hood as well. From Deflects that lead to Perfect Rushes, to Backsteps then Leaping slash. Sword and shield users have a metric ton of follow-up moves that they can use to take advantage of monsters that overextend themselves.
Make sure you keep a close eye on the Monster, take note of its movements, and you’re eventually going to kick its ass into the curb. Nothing is more satisfying to an S&S main than to deflect an attack perfectly before following with a Perfect Rush that you can then loop over and over again.
If you’re one of those players that want to go all offense on monsters, never fret. You can still do that as Dual Blades make a return for Monster Hunter Rise. It helps that the weapon has more attacks than ever before, and combos can be looped over and over again. In addition to that, they have a Demon Mode, a Super Mode that allows them to attack faster, dodge quicker, be tougher, and hit harder. It also helps that using Demon Mode changes your attack patterns, adding more variety for the price of constantly leaking stamina like a sieve.
Hitting attacks while on Demon Mode fills up the Dual Blades Archdemon Gauge. When it’s filled, they go to Archdemon Mode. This is Demon Mode, but with access to more attacks. If you’re on Archdemon Mode, the Archdemon gauge depletes, but the buffs will persist even if you cancel Demon Mode. You can, however, fill up the Archdemon Gauge even when Archdemon Mode is active. Simply attack while you also have Demon Mode active at that point to deal more damage.
In short, Dual Blades are incredibly powerful but require great stamina management to be effective. Ensuring that you have enough stamina to dodge Monster attacks is important after all. And with Demon Mode draining it, players need to get better at reading a Monster’s patterns to manage stamina effectively. Don’t go to a fight half-cocked, never get caught off guard, and always have a way out when attacking. If you do that, you’re good to go.
Next up on this Weapons list are Long Swords, which are for players that want even more range but still think of bladed weapon supremacy. Long Swords are Great Swords with more grace and nimbleness to them. We’ll talk more about the differences between the two in the Great Sword section of this article.
However, the main takeaway that Long Swords have is their Spirit Gauge, which fills up every time you hit basic attacks. Pressing ZR will make the player do Spirit Slashes. Spirit Slashes drains the Spirit Gauge, but will eventually deal more damage when the fourth attack, the Spirit Roundslash, hits its target. Doing this will turn the outside of the Spirit Gauge to white, then yellow, then red, indicating the buff is active, and the hunter is dealing increased damage.
In addition to all this, Long Swords now have an additional set of moves that involve a sheath. Pressing ZR+B will sheathe your Long Sword, which can then be followed up by pressing either X or ZR again. Pressing X will do the Iai Slash, which fills up your Spirit Gauge over time. Meanwhile, pressing ZR again will do the Iai Spirit Slash, which you should perform when the monster is about to hit you. Successfully landing this will deal more damage.
Last but not the least, if you’re attacking and the monster is about to attack, press ZR+A to execute a Foresight Slash. Using this at that point will allow you to dodge said attack while counter-attacking in turn. Use the Foresight Slash when two things are happening: You’re almost out of Spirit Gauge, and the enemy is attacking. Doing this will refill your Spirit Gauge, allowing the player to string more Spirit Slashes.
Now that we’ve talked about the Long Sword, it’s time to talk about its big brother, the Great Sword.
Great Swords are pretty much what it says on the tin, they’re big swords that players can use to cut Monster body parts in twain. Optimal usage of this weapon has players charge up the weapon’s attacks before letting it rip. However, you also have several other moves to mix it up. Shoulder bashes, sweeping attacks, and more. Do note though, that it is sometimes recommended to not charge your Great Sword to the maximum since monsters can use that to shank you to death. Make sure to pick your charge times wisely and don’t get overconfident.
Next, we need to talk about the Light Bowgun. It is pretty much a weapon that takes a specific mindset to use.
For one, you need to stay at a specific distance from a Monster. Too far, and you deal less damage; too close, and you’re screwed by monster attacks. That sweet spot, however, allows you to deal extra damage to monsters. Combined that with traps to play keep-away, some aerial maneuvers that help in keeping you safe. And special ammunition? Players will have all they need to ensure that Monsters would be nothing more than impaled mannequins when they’re done.
However, do make sure that you have your dodges and reloads in order. You don’t want to get caught in between reloads when a Monster attacks after all.
Hammers, one of the big boy weapons, and the weapon that players use if they want to bonk some heads in. Being a Hammer main is a simple life, and you pretty much only have one way to damage monsters. What’s that way you ask? Well, BONK. Using a Hammer is pretty much the optimal method to send monsters to unconsciousness. And like the Great Sword, you can charge Hammers to deal massive damage.
The one thing that makes Hammers different from the Great Sword, though, is an alternate mode called the Strength Mode. This is indicated when the Hammer on the HUD turns to blue. Changing to Strength Mode changes the follow-ups of your charged attacks, which also deals more damage overall. In terms of gameplay, you pretty much play Hammers like a Great Sword, but only against monsters with tough armor. After all, a bonk is the only thing you need when the enemy is covered in scales.
Gunlances are pretty much Lances with a gun barrel stuck to the end, and its playstyle shows this. You can thrust the lance or fire the gun stuck in the end. You have a limited amount of bullets in the Gunlance before you need to reload, which you can do by using ZR+A. Other than those things, enough thrusts and bullet fire can turn any monster into minced meat, which is something players should go for.
Other than those things, a Gunlance user’s best friend is dodging. You don’t use that much stamina, so make use of dodges to avoid attacks, get a better position, or get some space for heals. That’s all you need to know about being a Gunlance main.
We now go to the Lance, which is basically a Gunlance tthat doesn’t have a gun. This should be pretty obvious at this point. The Lance has a similar move set compared to a Gunlance sans the gun. However, there’s an additional emphasis on the shield that players have. Counters are a good way of damage mitigation on a Lance user. You probably will have your shield up all the time because turtling is king. Also, you can thrust upwards and forwards as well as dash attack with the Lance pointed forward.
Do make sure that you don’t block beam attacks though, you can’t block that with your shield.
Switch Axes are one of the more complicated weapons to master, though it’s not nosebleed-inducing. You have two modes: the main Axe Mode and the Sword Mode. You use normal attacks on Axe Mode to charge up your weapon gauge, and by doing Maximum Potency which increases how much charge you get and your damage. Players can switch to Sword Mode by using ZR and vice versa. You can also switch to Sword Mode and back while in the middle of a combo.
In general, Sword Mode deals more damage but will drain your Gauge, even when you miss your attacks. Luckily though, the gauge recharges over time if it gets depleted, or you can press ZR again while on Axe Mode to Reload. Next up is the Amped State, which you can get by whacking monsters while on Sword Mode. On Amped State, your attacks deal more damage, and they release explosions that also deal damage. In short, switch between both modes to charge up Sword Mode and Amped State respectively. Always make sure that your attacks hit and you have the Maximum Potency Buff active.
Hunting Horn mains are the support class of Monster Hunter, but don’t let that fool you. They are pretty much Combat bards that carry around huge hammers that also serve as musical instruments. And yes, they use said hammers to bonk monsters to nonexistence.
But you’re probably wondering: If they’re using instruments to bash heads, how do they play music? Well, through bonking heads of course! Well, if we’re being exact here, you don’t need to hit a monster to play melodies and get buffs. You simply need to press the corresponding buttons to play melodies. In the case of Monster Hunter Rise, you don’t have any complicated button presses anymore like it is on previous entries.
Take the basic Hunting Horn for example. You have an Attack Up by pressing A-A. Defense Up is activated by pressing X-X. After that is a small health recovery by pressing X+A-X+A. And finally, if you’re desperate, you can press ZR+X to get all three buffs at the same time. This makes the Hunting Horn simple enough to play that will let you provide easy buffs for you and your team.
After that, you pretty much have carte blanche. Thanks to the simplicity of the buffs, Hunting Horn mains can play songs even in the heat of battle. Just tap the buttons in concert to get buffs for the entire team. You’re not gonna mess up buffs anymore, you have full control in the fight.
Being an Insect Glaive user on MH Rise is pretty great right now, thanks to the Wirebugs that players can use to zip from place to place. Combined with the already ludicrous aerial acrobatics that Insect Glaive mains go through, and you’ll see them zip in mid-air to hit monsters all over their bodies. In addition to this, you can pretty much have infinite air time if you use the Insect Glaive well. After all, there’s a reason why some people call it the “Pogo Stick of Death”. Also, make sure you use your Kinsects on monsters to get various buffs and improve your damage.
Stay in the air, keep using your Kinsects, get infinite airtime due to Wirebugs, and just stay mobile. Do all that and you’ll be an untouchable Insect Glaive wielder.
Using Bows in any Monster Hunter Game is pretty similar in terms of playstyle in other games: you shoot arrows, and that’s it. However, depending on what arrows you use, you get different effects. Bow users need a whole lot of preparation to be effective, and you need to have a surplus of arrow types to succeed. They are, however, incredibly powerful when used correctly, so make sure you fully study the monster you’re about to take down.
Nothing needs to be said about the Heavy Bowgun that wasn’t said on the Light Bowgun section. All you need to know other than that is the fact that you have Super Ammunition which you can use by pressing A and ZR. Super Ammunition refills over time so you don’t need to do anything but wait.
Another weapon that players can use is the Charge Blade. You need to do a few things when using a Charge Blade to maximize its effectiveness. First, you need to fill up the Phials on the UI with normal attacks using Sword Mode. After charging, you need to store said charges on Phials. A yellow indicator charges three Phials, a red indicator charges all five. Do make sure that you don’t overcharge, though, as you’ll waste your time.
Pressing ZR+X will change the Charge Blade into its axe mode. Normal axe attacks don’t use the Phials that you have in store. However, pressing XA will unleash an axe attack boosted by Phials. Pressing ZR in the middle of XA will instead charge your Shield, giving extra damage on Axe mode, as well as making said shield better at defense. While that’s active, and you’re on Sword Mode, Press ZR+A, and then holding X will charge your sword, which increases Sword Mode damage.
Do note that this is the basic stuff and there’s still more in this, but we’ll leave it to the players to know more.
The Training Area, Switch Skills, Silkbind Attacks, and Wirebugs
Players start the game out with basic versions of all the game’s weapon types as well as the Training Area available to use in Kamura Village. It’s a good idea for new players to go to the Training Area. They need to have a feel for all the weapons before going to a real hunt, so spending time in there will help them get familiarized with their weapon of choice.
The Training Area lists all the command inputs that your weapon and playstyle will have. There’s also a mechanical monster that allows players to test their chosen weapon attacks and skills. And if you’re working on something, you can even edit the way the mechanical monster behaves. For example, you can make it attack you to let you practice your parries.
This is a good thing because you might want to try out the game’s new Switch Skills mechanic, which unlocks when players progress the game’s story. You can also get them from later hunts available in the game. It should be stated that the more you use a weapon type in the game, the more switch skills for said weapon type you get.
Next up would be the Wirebugs, which are insects that allow players to grapple and wiredash in thin air. These little bugs are the cause of all the maneuverability and verticality in the game. Also, you can do some pretty gnarly aerial attacks using these, which are usually pretty limited from previous games. In addition to that, you can also use Wirebugs for Silkbind Attacks unique for all weapon types, which can be done by unsheathing your weapon of choice and pressing either ZL+X or ZL+A. In the case of ranged weapons, this is R+X or R+A.
Super Adorable Palicos
Palicos in the new Monster Hunter Switch game have their unique classes as well. These range from the Fight Class, Healer Class, Bombardier Class, Assist Class, and Gathering Class. Each of these Classes has unique gameplay mechanics of its own and can immensely help the Hunter take down their mark.
Your Palico on a Fight Class is a full-on Fighter that helps the Hunter in dealing damage to monsters. Expect said Palico to be in the middle of battle, hitting monsters with attacks alongside you. They’re good for distracting monsters and a godsend for Ranged Weapon users like Bows and the Light and Heavy Bowguns.
Healer Palicos are more concerned with keeping your HP up than bashing monster heads. For them, they’re happy if you’re healthy. They bring a lot of cool abilities to the table, and most of these abilities are Healing Over Time as well as buffs. They’re great for in-your-face weapon users like Great Swords, Hammer, and Dual Blades.
They’re pretty much exactly what it says on the tin. A little cat suicide bomber that chucks itself with a bomb towards a monster. No, it doesn’t deplete its HP; it just throws itself in. Also, make sure that you take advantage of it when it staggers the monster in question with a flurry of attacks.
These Palicos help Hunters with good buffs. Nothing else needs to be said about them. They also do a cute cheerleading dance to provide said buffs. They’re great for any weapon user due to the diversity of buffs they give, but getting Attack Ups would be the dream.
A weird hybrid class that chucks a chakram to get materials from live monsters. They also give out buffs every once in a while. These Palicos are great if you’re looking for a particular material that just won’t drop during your runs.
Palamutes and Mounting
Another new feature that the new Monster Hunter Switch game adds is the Palamutes. These look like sleek dogs that Hunters can mount and ride on. The advantages of Palamutes are immediately obvious: you don’t waste Stamina running around, you’re faster, and they also help in killing monsters. There’s no disadvantage in not bringing one of these cute buggers. Also, due to their addition to the game, players can now bring two animal companions with them every hunt. You can go with two Palicos, two Palamutes, or one of each. This can definitely change up how you play the game
After that, you can ride Monsters found all around the hunting area if you’re good at using Wirebugs. And if you’re really good, you can then proceed to ram said monster into a wall, dealing damage and stunning them for a duration.
Graphics and Sound
Graphics-wise, there’s not that much of a difference between the new Monster Hunter Switch game and MH World. The only difference between the two is the quality of said graphics due to console limitations. After all, MH Rise is on the Nintendo Switch, while MH World is on PC. Other than those quibbles, there’s not that much of an issue.
In terms of the game’s OST and sound, it still follows a Monster Hunter theme, which is what a lot of fans look for. Like the graphics, there’s not much to talk about there.
Story and World
The new Monster Hunter Switch takes place in Kamura Village, where the player is called due to being promoted into a Hunter by the Wyverian twins Hinoa and Minoto. They proceed to escort the new Hunter to Fugen, the leader of Kamura Village. Along the way, the Hunter sees an unknown monster flying far into the distance. Fugen commends the Hunter on their promotion, but also delivers a warning. The village has been alerted about pending signs of a mysterious calamity called The Rampage, an event that happened fifty years before the game where a horde of monsters began to attack the village in a frenzied rage.
The hunter’s job is to hunt monsters from other areas as well as to help shore up the village to repel the Rampage, which is where you come in.
The game’s world meanwhile, is incredibly detailed with a lot of cool references to Japanese mythos and lifestyle. There are some new monsters added in as well, among which are the Thunder and Wind Serpents Narwa and Ibushi, both of which have some huge Japanese influence. Other than those monsters, we have the Magnamalo, the Rakna-Kadaki, and Bishaten, as well as the Izuchi and Great Izuchi Monsters.
Is the New Monster Hunter Switch Game A Good Title?
Rise is a stand-out title for the Nintendo Switch. There’s a lot of new mechanics available for players that they can sink their teeth into, and the clear Japanese influence is great to see.
How Does Monster Hunter Rise Compare to Past Monster Hunter Titles?
How does Monster Hunter Rise compares to previous entries of the series? Well, here’s what’s clear.
Monster Hunter Rise is a great addition to the series and is good enough to contend with its big brother, Monster Hunter World. From its new Wirebug mechanics that allows for some pretty nasty combos to the new monsters, there’s a whole lot of cool stuff players can do in Kamura Village. All in all, Monster Hunter Rise is a worthy addition and one that fans should pick up if they have a Nintendo Switch.