South Wagner ‘23 / Emertainment Monthly Treasurer
Monster Hunter Rise takes everything that Monster Hunter World did and builds further upon it, creating one of the most accessible titles in the series while still providing plenty for returning fans.
The game’s art direction is masterful, based around ancient Japanese art styles and aesthetics, with the village of Kamura and its hunters being heavily influenced by ninjas. Plenty of artistic liberties have been taken and the common tropes of ninja media and anime have been used to up the camp factor the series is known for, but care has also been taken to accurately represent other elements of Japanese folklore and culture. The animations are whimsical and charming, and the music is a delight. Each hunt is opened with a cutscene and poem rather than a loading screen, which are cheesy but fun.
The series’ trademark Palicoes return, accompanied by Palamutes, who are incredibly useful and comprise multiple quality of life improvements, allowing players to move quickly between combat scenarios without being punished by systems meant to balance combat. Players may gather useful materials and use items while traveling this way, streamlining the process of hunting in places that felt tedious in previous entries. Navigation as a whole has been greatly improved by Wirebugs, a grappling hook that allows aerial movement and long jumps. Monster Hunter: World’s mounting system has been enhanced by Wyvern Riding, where you gain control of the beast and use it to fight other beasts.
The core gameplay is the same satisfying loop with the same visceral combat. The tutorial is much shorter than in previous entries, which is a blessing, allowing the player to dive right into its deep, interconnected web of systems. When you come back from a hunt, other systems will shower you with rewards. The Argosy from Monster Hunter 3 has made its return, with additional functions similar to the farms of other titles, though with a lower frequency of both systems. Your Palicoes, anthropomorphic cats who make relentless puns, can go on adventures of their own to bring resources, a favorite feature of Monster Hunter 4.
Altogether, despite its iow opening monster roster, this game is thoroughly worth the 60 dollar price tag. The graphics and gameplay are highly polished, the new systems are satisfying, and despite the game being released less than a week ago, new monsters have already been added via the Rampage, a series of limited-time solo events. Good luck, and good hunting.