Developer: Capcom

Publisher: Capcom

Co-Op Multiplayer
  • Price: $59.99
  • Release Date: Mar 26, 2021
  • Number of Players: 1 - 4
  • Last on Sale: Mar 26, 2024 [$15.99]
  • Lowest Historic Price: $15.99
  • ESRB Rating: T [Teen]
  • It’s best to open with honesty, and in this case I’ll admit that to this point the Monster Hunter series has always intimidated me. I’ve dabbled in trying it out a few times in the past, but the sheer volume of what people would tell me about it mixed with what you’d read about the various aspects to manage on the way to being a successful hunter always tended to leave me feeling overwhelmed. Now having devoted quite a few hours to Monster Hunter Rise I definitely have some thoughts. First, though I understand that this has been characterized by people more familiar with the series as the most accessible Monster Hunter to date, I’ll still tell you that it’s a bit of a hill to climb. Watching a few YouTube videos to get yourself as ready as you can be definitely seems to be the best plan for success. Though there is in-game instruction I wouldn’t consider much of it helpful in a practical way, videos breaking things down is a tremendous improvement. That said, give it some time and as elements start to come together it isn’t hard to see why so many people really dig this franchise. Finding the weapon that best suits you, and then understanding some nuance around how best to make use of it, is what I’d consider the foremost predictor of enjoyment. Weapons that don’t fit your play style can tend to be painful, but when you get a handle on one and start taking down formidable beasts (even if slowly as you’re trying to get over the pretty substantial learning curve) there’s absolutely a thrill to be had that I haven’t felt in many other games, especially ones on the Switch. Now, tackling these beasts solo does work, but there’s also not much doubt that working as a team, even if only one other person, is where the game really shines. You’ll certainly need to be on the same page, being sure to stay out of each other’s way, but especially if you each have a distinctive weapon and you’re both using them effectively each hunt can be a pretty unique thrill. This is a big, brash, and unapologetic game that is obviously not terribly interested in dumbing itself down for you (well, perhaps some of the simplifications Rise has implemented). The expectation is that you’ll know its pedigree and will invest the time and effort to “git gud” and meet the reasonably high bar it has set for you. As someone who has finally muscled up to the bar and invested that critical time I must say that it’s hard not to walk away impressed, and would encourage people who’ve been like me on the fence to this point to seriously consider taking the plunge… the water’s fine once you get over the initial shock.

    Justin Nation, Score:
    Hall-Of-Fame [9.6]

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