The Monster Hunter Rise limited-time demo launched on January 7 (8 in the Philippines) and despite the small number of missions you could do, it gives you a good rundown of what to expect when the game releases on March 26. It’s the classic Monster Hunter we’ve come to know and love, this time going back to its portable old self, and its been a blast to say the least.
As the disclaimer reads before you begin the demo, after 30 runs, you won’t be able to keep the data of said game. So it’s best to treat the demo as a way to get a taste of what’s to come and not get too attached to it.
You’re limited to 30 missions, which are divided into four parts: Beginner, Intermediate, and two training missions. The hunts are straightforward: you follow your compass, locate the monster, give it a thrashing, sharpen your weapon when it loses its integrity, harvest plants for healing, and then carve up your trophy once you defeat it. If you know your Monster Hunter by now, you’ll know that this is the general flow of things in the game, as you repeatedly hunt monsters to gather materials so that you can craft better gear that equips you to take the fight against tougher monsters.
For newcomers, this demo is perfect for putting you through the paces of the game. Monster Hunter is a tough game to appreciate unless you try it out, so if you’re extra curious about whether it could be something that will catch your attention, take this for a spin, its free!
In Monster Hunter Rise, one of the bigger changes to the game is the addition of a Palamute companion alongside your Palico, who you could mount and could also aid you with extra damage. Getting from point to point now is so much faster with the help of the Palamute, which is a very good thing for veterans of the series. You can employ the help of both companions during your single player journey, but for multiplayer sessions, you’ll need to choose.
Another great addition is the Wirebug, which adds a great deal of verticality into the game, something that wasn’t present as much in previous installments. Mobility is an obvious strong point of the game, and the Wirebug is a major component to pulling of some flashy finishes. It was rather easy to get used to incorporating the Wirebug into our current playstyle, and it’ll feel like second nature after a few missions.
Speaking of mobility, Monster Hunter Rise allows you to mount other monsters through the Wyvern riding mechanic, not to be mistaken with the normal “mount”. In this mode, you’ll get to actually use and control the monster to attack other monsters in the vicinity. This is actually one of the better features in the game, as it totally changes how monsters can be approached and used throughout the battle. Apart from using it to clear out small mobs, you can use this for better positioning as well.
As you play through the demo, you’ll immediately notice that the game looks really good, even for Switch standards. Additionally, the game plays well, and offers a smooth experience whether docked or undocked, locked at 30fps even through busy sections. Of course you can expect a lower resolution when going portable, but overall the experience with the Switch is something fans of the game will appreciate despite the inferior graphics compared to Monster Hunter World.
My first playthrough during the beginner mission saw me use my favorite loadout– The Dual Blades. I fainted a few times, but as I mentioned before, the playthrough is straightforward and encourages testing out other weapons. All of your favorite weapons from Monster Hunter World are here, and you could use your remaining sorties to try out other weapon combinations and even the other training missions. We’re tempted to try out the Hunting Horn and the Hammer next, how about you?
You have until February 1st to take advantage of this demo before you could finally own it on its release.
Overall, this is looking to be another definite hit for Capcom. Monster Hunter World was nothing short of a triumph for the company, and Rise will be bringing the portable hunting revolution back. Too bad we can’t have those meet-up sessions now due to the pandemic, but there’s always online!
Monster Hunter: Rise is out on March 26, 2021 for the Nintendo Switch.