Monster Hunter Rise

Monster Hunter is coming home to a handheld device with its next release called Monster Hunter Rise. The Monster Hunter franchise is becoming one of Capcom’s most successful franchises, and in March it’s coming to Nintendo Switch with some cool new abilities, features and new Monsters to battle.

Monster Hunter World was the first outing on modern consoles and was wildly successful on PS4 and PC. The Monsters and the world were realised in incredible detail and the whole game was one of the best looking on last-gen machines. It was a serious upgrade to the game that has previously been a mainstay on portable consoles like the PSP and Nintendo handheld consoles of the past.

The Nintendo Switch never got Monster Hunter World, but now it’s got something even better than that – the next mainline entry into the Monster Hunter franchise with Monster Hunter Rise. Even better than this news is that there’s a demo available right now to download for free on Nintendo Switch, so you can check it out before it’s the end of March release date.

There are some new features with Monster Hunter Rise including the Wirebug, which is a grappling hook you can use whenever you want. Given it’s a ‘bug’ it can spawn in mid-air, meaning you can use it on demand which is great as it gives a boost to the movement speed and capabilities. There are canine mounts too in the game which makes it nice and easy to speed across the environments. Overall the movement in the game feels fantastic and feels like an upgrade over the recent Monster Hunter World and Iceborne games.

As always with Monster Hunter games there’s an array of weaponry to use and master as well as returning and new monsters to battle. If you’re a new coming to the series, like I was with Monster Hunter World, you may be surprised with the in-depth nature of the game. There’s a lot to it and it can feel overwhelming at times with the weapons, armour, and various levelling up and abilities. However, get past that initial learning curve and within lies a very satisfying gameplay loop filled with exciting moments as you battle monsters and craft weapons and armour from their remains.

The graphics and performance have been a question since the reveal trailer. Given the hardware limitations of the Nintendo Switch compared to something like the PS4 or a PC, then it was never going to look as crisp as World. However, it’s a massive improvement on Monster Hunter Generations – a former 3DS version of Monster Hunter that was upgraded for Nintendo Switch. This game feels like a brand new Monster Hunter crafted for Nintendo Switch by Capcom with all the bells and whistles you’d expect from the franchise, plus the new features too.

The visuals are impressive for the hybrid handheld console and the performance feels smooth. The big improvement in this version is the lack of loading screens between zones, which has been a mainstay of the previous handheld versions. The monsters and your playable character has great detail, but you can spy some of the backgrounds and environments have had they detail cut back a little for the Nintendo Switch capabilities. I don’t mind this so much, as long as the monsters look good and I look good in the battle against them then I’m a happy man. There had to be compromises somewhere, and this feels like a good balance.

The demo has a couple of quests and some training areas. It’s not huge and you don’t get a full handle on the progression the full game provides, but it does give you a taste of the action – plus it’s free to try, so if you have a Nintendo Switch then I think it’s well worth trying out. I imagine long term fans of the series will be snapping up their copies and preordering right away, but if you’re on the fence I’d say try out the demo and see what you think.

The full game is set for release on 26th March 2020. This is going to be a great addition to Nintendo Switch libraries and will be the perfect game to take out on the move when we can all do that again. Check out the demo on the Nintendo e-shop today.