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Review: In ‘Monster Hunter Rise,’ appreciation comes with achieving hard-won mastery

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Published in Science & Technology News

When it comes to the environment, the developers expanded the importance of endemic life in the maps. In “Monster Hunter Rise,” knowing the flora and fauna becomes doubly important as players look for Spiribirds that boost health, stamina, attack and defense. One of the most important lessons novices can learn is to boost their stats as much as possible by eating meals before a hunt. When battling monsters, it’s best to get every edge possible.

Further on, as players hunt more powerful prey, they’ll earn stronger material. Those resources can be used for more powerful armor and weapons. That cycle of improvement is at the core of “Monster Hunter’ gameplay, but it’s only half the battle: Attaining hunting proficiency involves countless encounters.

Play enough and you develop a sixth sense for the hunt. You’ve seen so many creatures and been through so many battles, you develop a rhythm for the game. You can predict when a beast will attack and dodge it. You can time attacks so they hit right when a monster turns its head. You look for openings to attack instead of attacking blindly.

The satisfaction in “Monster Hunter Rise” comes from that feeling of mastery, and the incredible depth that consistently gives players more reasons to play. If they learn how to use one weapon, “Monster Hunter Rise” has 13 others to choose from. They’re almost like characters in a fighting game, with their own style of play.

Advanced hunters will experiment with different loadouts and find the best combination of perks and ramp-up skills to complement how they attack. Thrown on top of this is the introduction of the Switch skills concept, which lets players change moves that further augment the weapon they use. It’s a nice touch to give veteran players more options to experiment with.

“Monster Hunter Rise” is a lot to take in for newcomers, but while the learning curve is still steep, the opportunity to jump in and have fun is easier than ever. Players should understand that expertise won’t come overnight. Novices will have to rely on internet guides and YouTube videos to learn the finer points. Thankfully, the “Monster Hunter” community offers advice and tips that are a better than anything the developers have to offer.

The success of the franchise beyond Japanese shores relies on those new fans. In “Monster Hunter” games, the online help you find during co-op hunts and in tutorials on the web are just as important as any built-in walkthroughs. It’s part of the experience and those who want to get better should seek out those resources.

 

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‘Monster Hunter Rise’

4 stars pout of 4

Platform: Nintendo Switch

Rating: Teen

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