Monster Hunter Rise is its own game in its own right, but its similarities to Monster Hunter World that we reviewed long ago are still quite present.
That’s what happens when you develop a game for a long-running franchise you then start to get comfortable not wanting to take risks changing the formula for something you know already works.
Simply put, Capcom plays it safe in game development as they want to run the risk of upsetting their fans. Whereas gaming companies such as Square-Enix, Nintendo, and even Sonic Team take risks with their games; when developing them.
Monster Hunters developer Capcom refuses to budge from their set-in-stone games with little to no innovation, and that is where Monster Hunter Rise begins to suffer. When I reviewed Monster Hunter World, I mentioned that it was not a game that was not very welcoming to new players. Monster Hunter Rise is no exception, with an hour-and-a-half unskippable tutorial, minus the tutorial missions; those you can skip. That was a disappointing step back from what I was hoping for in this iteration of Monster Hunter.
Where I wanted to jump right into the action, I had to sit through an hour and a half of mind-numbing tutorials that killed any excitement I held towards hunting monsters. However, it doesn’t stop there either; Monster Hunter Rise continues to give me even more tutorials even after twenty hours of gameplay!
It continues to throw so much information at you as you play that you can joke that the tutorial is never really gone; it will pop up again at some point. There is just so much information it wants you to learn to play Monster Hunter. Now getting right down to the core of the game and what the game is all about; Hunting Monsters.
That remains pretty much the same nothing has changed in that aspect of the game. You go out into the field on ranked missions to slay a monster or trap it, gut it for its material and then build better and stronger armor from its corpse.
They have also included a Rampage mode just; like Monster Hunter World!
Here you have to protect a gate in a mini-tower defense setup similar to games like Sanctum.
All while fighting hordes of the same monster(s) from the ranked missions. Here you will build automated towers for villagers to use and place weapons you can also use, just like Monster Hunter World. It’s an integral part of the story they are telling you in Monster Hunter Rise so, you better get used to playing this game mode.
Now, story-wise it’s, strikingly similar to Monster Hunter World; monsters are getting empowered and angry, and now they’re rampaging.
It happens every few years, and you have been; entrusted with figuring out what is causing it and also; protecting your town from the rampages of these monsters.
Capcom sticks to very non-linear storytelling principles regarding Monster Hunter and doesn’t change much if not anything at all.
The same can be said; about their game design.
Monster Hunter Rise takes place in a secluded coastal village wherein; Monster Hunter World is, situated in a tropical jungle. However, I cannot help but feel that Capcom is trying to play everyone for fools in terms of the development of Monster Hunter Rise. Some of which I’ve noticed can be substantiated! Monster Hunter World you’re handling the rampages in caves; volcanoes areas that would make sense for being in the middle of a jungle with lots of mountains.
But, the surrounding areas in Monster Hunter Rise where you handle the rampages are all done in cave systems. The problem here is that you cannot have that type of cave system near a coastal area. This only works if it’s in a Mountain, however, the Mountains in Monster Hunter Rise are small.
So small the fact is that it’s either Capcom wanting to recycle gaming assets to add more content or a developmental oversight.
This same thing I noticed is present even in the area design for Monster Hunter Rise when; compared to Monster Hunter World.
Take the starting area layout from both games and the maps. Remain the same, and only small; adjustments have been made, either adding or removing water or changing the elevation of areas.
The starting layout remains similar in both games. Like they’re trying to save time during development and want to cut corners. Not saying that all the areas are copies from previous games. I’m, just stating that there are similarities between the areas that have could have been retooled to be reused in Monster Hunter Rise.
Comparing Monster Hunter World; to Monster Hunter Rise. Monster Hunter World would be the better choice though the game only received one big DLC from Capcom. But in terms of design, content, and visuals. It was a far better game.
Monster Hunter Rise feels watered down. It sticks to the core Monster Hunter principles; while finding an excuse to be less of a game than what Monster Hunter World was.
The game just feels like not a cheap cash grab but a cash grab nonetheless.
Like they’re developing it to meet a sales quota and not; taking into consideration the enjoyment of the players.
Where Monster Hunter World has stunning visuals when cooking food for example, with a unique cut-scene for everything you’re having cooked.
Monster Hunter Rise turns that one wondrous scene into a repetitive scene with Japanese Dango. Cooking the same thing, over again, and again but just recolored for the singular purpose of making it feel different.
Even the locations when compared to Monster Hunter World; despite being strikingly similar, are also much smaller by comparison. Being given a Palemute in Monster Hunter Rise becomes a moot point. as navigation has been simplified; by removing most of the hunting area.
Wherein Monster Hunter World; could have benefited from a quick mode of transportation. The inclusion of a Palemute in Monster Hunter Rise feels like it’s meant to subvert the potential discovery that the maps are intentionally smaller by design now.
Gone are the times when we could climb massive trees and do battle with a Rathian protecting its nest from high up in the sky.
Now, it’s strictly on a small hill or a mountain, with a Japanese Haiku explaining why it’s on a small hill or a mountain. Also, the Haiku thing is now a thing when battling any monster or moving to a new area, so better get used to it. Monster Hunter Rise feels cheap and it feels like Capcom took a step back from development and said let’s focus on money first, and players second.
They didn’t want a massive game in comparison to Monster Hunter World, and all the added visual assets, stages, and overall design. Monster Hunter World ended up being almost sixty-three gigs of data in comparison; Monster Hunter Rise takes up a total of twenty-three gigs of storage.
Conclusion time; how do I feel about Monster Hunter Rise, and what does it mean for you the end game user and player. As a Monster Hunter title, it’s far from what it could be; compared to the only other Monster Hunter game I’ve played.
The tutorials are a pain and a massive headache, and Capcom refuses to innovate and come up with a better solution that teaches players as they go along, and it even includes the same confusing controller layout; albeit you can change the bindings to fit what you would prefer.
Stage layouts are watered down and simplified honestly despite my desire to have large open areas or smaller intricate areas.
I can understand why Capcom made that decision to make them smaller. So, it’s easier for players to navigate and get where they need to go, which in Monster Hunter World was an issue I did encounter more than once.
The gameplay remains practically unchanged except when visiting the smith.
Now you need extra materials they don’t tell you about when upgrading a weapon to the next tier of weapon. But, the animation is subpar in comparison to what the previous Monster Hunter titles were. This could be due to Capcoms desire to stick to a strong Japanese-inspired theme as in most western cultures, people tend to flail around a lot more.
Whereas the Japanese like to present themselves as subtle and refined So, truthfully; that could boil down to simple cultural differences. The things I hate the most are still prevalent, I still feel the game’s entire controls could be entirely revamped from the ground up to a simplified system, and I feel that inculcation of an hour-and-a-half-long tutorial is a bit overkill.
They have done some improvements to the game. Like the above-mentioned; Palemute instead of having a cat follow you around in multiplayer, you can now bring along your dog.
Which by coincidence also doubles as your faithful steed you can ride into battle; why you would ride a dog as a full-grown man is beyond me. Then if you’re solo playing, you can take both your Palico and your Palemute into battle so you get more DPS (Damage per Second).
Do I think as a player, Monster Hunter Rise is worth playing? Well, I’m still grinding while not streaming so, yeah! I’m enjoying myself quite a bit, and you probably will be too. The Matchmaking system has even been updated since Monster Hunter World, which was a problem, the game struggled with. So, I’m having a lot of fun with random parties and they even included an emote speech system much to what players developed way back in Phantasy Star Online for the Sega Dreamcast.
My biggest grievance is that I; truly feel as if Capcom developed this game as a cash grab due in part to the lack of content and the simplified areas. Still, I feel that; Capcom should take more risks in developing their titles and work towards improving their IPs. But playing it safe has gotten them this far, and honestly. I’m having fun. If you think you can handle Capcoms over-the-top tutorial and want to hunt Monsters go pick up Monster Hunter Rise!
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