Monster Hunter Rise is the next entry into the much beloved Monster Hunter franchise. This is a Nintendo Switch exclusive that is set to launch on the 26th of March this year. In the run up a demo has been released, giving Switch owners a chance to play. The demo is free and currently available on the Nintendo eShop but only for a limited time. I believe the demo will expire at the end of January, on the 31st.
Speaking of the Nintendo eShop, shortly after the demo was released it crashed. Like fully crashed, was down for some hours, seemingly due to demand. I knew people liked Monster Hunter but that’s madness!
Quick disclaimer for myself, I’m not a big Monster Hunter fan or player. The most experience with the series is a Monster Hunter adjacent game on the PS2. Where you hunt exclusively dinosaurs, I think it was Monster Hunter adjacent because I don’t remember the name.
The Monster Hunter Rise demo allows you to get a small taste of how the game plays. It does this by providing 2 tutorials and 2 hunts, with a total cap of 30 attempts for both hunts. This doesn’t seem like a lot, and it’s not, but I think it’s enough without too many spoilers. Monster Hunter is all about, well, hunting different monsters, can’t pop your cherry before the full release.
The tutorials are pretty helpful too, the first is a basic mechanic and controls tutorial. You learn things like how to ride your bestest doggo and using the new wirebug mechanic. I love the doggo riding, it has a drifting mechanic because why not. The wirebug though is a really cool new mechanic. Basically it’s a grappling hook, if you’ve read any of my stuff, you know I love me a grappling hook.
The second tutorial actually focuses on the wirebugs but a different use of them. Wirebugs can also be used to ride certain monsters as well as for traversal. I didn’t find this to be overly helpful in my play time but it’s certainly cool looking. Being able to get on the bag of a monster and have it charge into your prey is pretty dope. It just felt like the damage output was significantly reduced because there are less attacks being made.
The 2 hunts on offer are a beginner one for a great Izuchi and an intermediate one for a Mizutsune. I definitely did the Izuchi hunt the most as I am a literal beginner! The great Izuchi is a kind of raptor thing and the Mizutsune is a bubble-blowing water dragon. Both of the designs for these are pretty cool, so that’s a good start.
A nice touch for the Monster Hunter Rise demo is that you get to try out each weapon class. From a greatsword to the lance and shield, and the heavy bowgun. I tried out a bunch of the different classes and was able to just hunt the same great Izuchi. So I got a reasonable feel for the weapons that I used and I have a favourite and least favourite.
I personally loved the charge blade, being able to go between a sword and shield to an awesome great axe. It had a good spread of damage and mobility, even in the larger axe form. My least favourite was the lance by far. It was crazy slow and laborious, whilst also not seeming to do all that much damage. As I said above, I’m not a Monster Hunter veteran so I could just be bad at the game. Those are just my opinions though, based on what I have played of the Monster Hunter Rise demo.
How was it?
This is a hard one to judge because unlike other demos recently there is no story and little gameplay available. With only 2 monsters to hunt , no story related segments, and no hub areas there’s not a lot here. There’s also a cap on the total amount of hunts that you can take as well. The rewards that you get from each hunt, from the monster, seemingly are not being carried over to the main game.
That being said, the hunts are quick but enjoyable and you get the chance to use each weapon type. Both of the monsters are vastly different in the behaviors and abilities and the extra obstacles around. You are able to grapple hook around and drift on a doggo and pet a cat. So there is still enough of a taster there for anyone to get a minor grasp on the game.
So with that, I really enjoyed the demo, I wish there was more but I’m happy with what we got. I am actually quite looking forward to the release of Monster Hunter Rise, more so than before the demo. I was going to be the one picking it up for review on SAG anyway but there’s more excitement now.
So if you like the Monster Hunter series, or have a Switch and are curious, I highly recommend the demo. If you do get it, let us know your thoughts in the comments!!
Monster Hunter Rise Demo Impressions.
Written by Kyle Munn.