The debut installments of the Monster Hunter franchise, released on ye-olde consoles such as PS2 and PSP, have traditionally been considered the province of hardcore fans. Try to get through Freedom Unite with all of its lures, equipment, and hunting intricacies without an extensive dozens of pages of guidebook. Time passed, casual audiences grew, and the success of the Wii, 3DS, and Switch motivated Capcom to switch their exclusives from Sony to Nintendo. Meet Monster Hunter Rise, a temporary hybrid console exclusive that will visit the PC in 2022. As for now, PC players can play online casino games at as a waiting method and hunt for some jackpots before the release of MH Rise on PCs.

Brief Introduction to MH Rise

Released three years earlier, MH: World was the first attempt to attract a diverse audience to a serious RPG-hunting simulator where you had to recycle loot, sew yourself an outfit, forge armor, spend plenty of time tracking your prey using bait, etc. It would seem that all the key aspects remained, but became easier to master. The presence of hours of sequential tutorials is perceived as the norm in Japanese RPGs. However, the tutorial aspects are cleverly thought out, do not require machine-learning and are tossed to the player consistently in easy-to-use chunks of info. So, in new games in the Monster Hunter Series became more friendly to the new audience. Now it’s more like playing craps game online – it is complicated at first glance, but after one-two hours of the game you will master it like a pro.

The game starts with a flexible customization of the protagonist (bearded women, men with blond curls and painted lips – room for creativity is on its maximum), his Palamut (sled dog) and Paliko (cleverest cat, cooking and remaining the main mascot of the series). After mocking in the character editor, we find ourselves in a village that is regularly attacked by a variety of monsters. The local garrison needs young blood. If you compare it to Monster Hunter: World, you can notice a smaller scale of events, which is due to the characteristics of the Nintendo Switch. Plus, the local world seems artificial, there are almost no background events, and game mostly relies on battles than on surrounding world. The global story? It only motivates the action. The characters around are exceptionally formulaic and boring: a quest-giving girl (and her twin sister), a wise old warrior, and other archetypes.

The world and gameplay of the MH Rise

Spaces are vast, and almost every quest point can be reached by different paths. Root gameplay consists of destroying monsters to get quality equipment and going after even more vicious creatures. In co-op, the maximum number of players in the squad is four. Some will be disappointed by the lack of a complete story and an ultimate goal, but Capcom is going to develop the project for years. A characteristic feature of Japanese RPGs has always been dozens and hundreds of DLCs adding new enemies, “Monomakh hats”, pink swords with fur hilt and the like.

Progression in the campaign is as follows: there is a village (aka a hub) where we take quests. There is no full-fledged open world, and after taking a mission, the hero along with his pets moves to a separate game area. Many missions have time limits (30-50 minutes, which is enough for a leisurely cleanup), the only thing that is constant is the need to repeatedly return to the same map made in the spirit of Dynasty Warriors and broken into sectors. Goals? Kill 7 lizards or 10 rhinos, collect 5 units of medicinal grass or 10 units of something else.

What interesting things will we meet in the mission locations? First, there are colorful bugs flying around, which you can grab and eat to get a temporary buff. For example, protection from certain types of damage is strengthened. Secondly, there are useful plants to collect and recycle between quests. Your Palamut’s riding skill proves invaluable for covering long distances. Often the target is in a remote sector that is long and boring to get to on foot.

The mini-map does not show elevation differences. Sometimes, the beast you’re looking for has climbed up somewhere. In this case, the hook-cat, called Wirebug in Monster Hunter Rise, helps. This thing works ambiguously. There are places where it simply doesn’t work: there is a fixation and pulling of the player, but then the cable breaks. Also, the character can climb a hill, get stuck somewhere in the middle of the path, and then automatically do a backflip. Right into the abyss, it’s so annoying. And sometimes it’s impossible to know where in the landscape there are dead zones, and where the player is guaranteed to climb.

Bestiary, crafting and hunting

The main thing you can’t take away in Monster Hunter there’s an extensive bestiary of 64 creatures at your service: 11 are exclusive, while the rest have migrated from previous installments and are recognizable to fans of the series. All monsters are classified according to species, so combat tactics and behavior vary. The artificial intelligence really resembles the habits of an aggressive wild beast that must be lured, trapped, exhausted and destroyed. For example, the process of hunting the giant Goss Harag, protected by thick fur, was memorable. It took about 40 minutes to kill him using traps and a bow. Yes, and flickering around the pets do damage, albeit small, distracting the creature from the protagonist.

A large part of the game is spent crafting items, swapping out swag, and recycling collected loot. At the time of writing the review, add-ons have begun to come out, adding new monsters and endgame content. To reach the seventh rank, you will need to collect collectibles and spend a total of more than 100 hours on the game. Plus, you can have fun in Rampage mode, where the protagonist helps the villagers put up defensive structures to hold back the advancing waves of monsters. Almost Tower Defense, but in 3D and with continuous action. The process is fun and adds variety to the gameplay. The end result is one of the best video games in the series, which is the perfect start for beginners to the MH series.

In terms of graphics, the game looks great on the Nintendo Switch, at least in handheld format. Dynamic scenes with crowds of small monsters on the screen show little FPS slippage. The exception is the levels with plenty of water, because the water really lowers the frame rate. Judging by the reviews of people on the forums, in the TV dock, the picture is much worse and less detailed.


Almost perfect for Nintendo Switch owners. Optimal balance between difficulty, engaging gameplay, and story inserts. Vividly drawn and able to drag on for hundreds of hours.