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Forums - Gaming Discussion - Monster Hunter Rise Demo Impressions and World comparison

So the Monster Hunter Rise demo has been out for a couple of weeks now, and I wanted to give my impressions on it, as well as allow others to give their own thoughts on it. I've been playing Monster Hunter since 4 Ultimate in late 2015, which gives me the unique position of not really being a "veteran" to the series, but also being into the franchise for a lot longer than a majority of the western fanbase. I say this not to gatekeep, but to give context behind what might be fairly different perspective from what others might have.

When Monster Hunter: World was announced, there was a lot of concern from fans over whether the new entry would be a "casualization" or "westernization" of the series, something that would simplify and water down the experience so much so that what made Monster Hunter special would no longer be present. I never gave credence to this idea, especially because so much of it seemed to come from a segment of the Monster Hunter community which was not-at-all-lowkey salty that the newest mainline entry would grace Playstation. And lo and behold, once the game came out, all concerns were virtually wiped out, with naysayers mostly being excited for the title. 

Except, then I actually played the game. And while World was a great game, and a much better title than Generations to be sure, I didn't find much sticking power with it and a lot of the elements I liked in the prior entry were gone. Hunts no longer felt like "hunts" because you could easily just resupply anything you needed in the middle of a hunt, there wasn't a sense of preparation before a hunt when you could just pick up some herbs and instantly get a potion mix out of it. In prior games not only did it actually take time to gather items, but items weren't automatically combined and even basic things like potions required a more complex mixture (blue mushroom + herb = potion instead of just herbs creating potions). This could easily be seen as Monster Hunter focusing on what it's central focus is and should be: the monster hunting. But taking out repetitive elements in games is not inherently good, and the zen cycle of doing 2-3 major monster hunts and then preparing for the next mission through an expedition or gathering quest was effectively killed. Here's the thing: Even with the streamlining, World didn't add enough complexity to it's pure action gameplay (which without the preparation was now a larger focus) or even failed to streamline in other ways to compensate for the loss of such elements. Online was more complicated than ever basically killing multiplayer for me, and the investigating you had to do to track down a monster was just downright tedious. The way World evolved on games like 4 Ultimate in large part reminds me of my feelings on the evolution from Dark Souls to Bloodborne; it's not that a more streamlined game is a bad idea, it's that when so much of the identity of the game is built upon elements other than the pure action, you kind of have to make that pure action more satisfying and complex. Otherwise, the balance of the game is just fucked. 

Now onto Rise ... 

Rise is like a full on realization of the new direction Monster Hunter is going, with some of the elements of the classic games returning. It still has a lot of the streamlining that World brought, but it also adds complexity and new movement options onto that foundation to create something that is genuinely a very compelling action title, even with those streamlined elements. Bringing back the more purely wide open spaces (World certainly had the largest areas in the series, but with a lot of clutter in them) with monsters being very aggressive even in the base game makes the battles more like a 1:1 fight like the classic games. And the monsters and especially armor are more colorful than they were in World, which to my eyes makes this a game that's more pleasing to the eyes overall, even if the more detailed graphics of World really helped bring the game to life (something I can still commend the game for and overall think was a good direction to take the franchise in). The armor sets are already more interesting and intriguing design-wise, which is kind of ... you know ... important in a Monster Hunter game. If World 2 was to take one thing from Rise, having attractive armor sets and just putting more color into designs would be a major candidate for the prize. 

I think one of the smartest additions is the beast riding, though it's a little unfortunate how awkward the controls can feel. Since getting into the series, mounting has been an ever-present factor in decision making, basically a big part of 4 Ultimate's meta was trying as hard as possible to get to high ground just to plunge attack a monster. It wasn't as bad in World, but in general it was probably took a bit too much of the mindshare of the player at any given time. Even knowing that there was no chance of getting consistent mountings, I and many players still tried as many times as possible to get onto high ground and jump below just to get a chance at a mounting attack. Considering how infrequent mountings were, this was inefficient and I think it's a scenario where the way mountings influenced the player both outside of the actual scripted sequence and largely interrupted game flow. The addition of silkbinding not only adds a new exclusive feature that iterates on mounting, but also just creates better players in general since wirebug mounting is a lot more situational. From what I've played and what the tutorial says, the way in which the scenario is made available is just a lot more natural, with the various ways you can activate it being setting specific traps that are map-oriented, consistently doing wirebug attacks, etc. Again, it's a bit unfortunate that the controls for the monster riding are a bit awkward, and the activation of monster riding can be weird in a multiplayer setting (It always says that you can just keep attacking to activate it, but this is obviously not conducive in a multiplayer setting where multiple people will attack it at once, so I'm not sure how they calculate who gets to ride). But the mechanic overall is a welcome change. 

The wirebug is something that can be talked about for days and what I believe is really neat about it is how it can retroactively get rid of a lot of the purposeful jank of Monster Hunter while keeping the consequences of improper action alive. Monster Hunter is a lot like games such as Castlevania in that the movement can be weighted and slow, but as a result there's a lot of sense of purpose and intent behind every action performed by the player. That obviously means that, with each triumph and victory comes a greater euphoria, but also a harder fall. The wirebug facilitates easier comebacks, with some of the most painful parts of Monster Hunter now being circumventable (like getting hit so hard as to fall back in a stunned animation, which can not be gotten out of with ZL + B) but also has long cooldowns and a limited amount of uses available. Once more, they encourage searching the environment between fights in an integral and instinctive way. There's rarely been something as fun in games to me as using the wirebug to zip around in the air, with so much weight and pull behind your aerial assault. It just feels so right. 

Despite being largely iterative, Monster Hunter, like a lot of long running series, has certain nuances between entries that can effectively make or break a title. I've never played a bad Monster Hunter game, but between Generations being mostly mediocre and a downgrade in various ways from 4 Ultimate, and vanilla World leaving me wanting a lot more, I was almost worried that Monster Hunter was a game series that would only really capture my attention once. Like a love that never really existed, but you want to believe it did at one point. Thankfully with the Rise demo, I can safely say I am fully hyped for Rise. Maybe that's for the worst, given that demos are just small portions of a final product and multiple things can change or affect my enjoyment when the final game actually releases. But at the very least if the final game is as good as the demo is, not only will it be one of my biggest time sinks in quite a while, but it will probably be one of my favorite games ever. 



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Also I'm sorry if this came out clunky, I was going to make it a lot neater and tighter but it's 11pm and I'm sleepy. Been a while since I made a thread because I always start writing one and then spend too much time refining it and then don't post it. So what the hell.



I'm glad to hear the wirebug feels good to use, it definitely looks that way in gameplay I've watched and it's one of the new elements I'm most looking forward to. It does seem like they've found a good balance between the weight and commitment that been a major part of the series combat since the beginning, and the thrill and increased options that come from the extra mobility.

I know it's hard to tell from a demo, but how is it difficulty wise compared to MH4?



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curl-6 said:

I'm glad to hear the wirebug feels good to use, it definitely looks that way in gameplay I've watched and it's one of the new elements I'm most looking forward to. It does seem like they've found a good balance between the weight and commitment that been a major part of the series combat since the beginning, and the thrill and increased options that come from the extra mobility.

I know it's hard to tell from a demo, but how is it difficulty wise compared to MH4?

Just based on the demo, I think it will be "easier" than Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate just because it has the wirebug, but I think it will be harder than Generations and especially World for sure. 

If I had to guess, the endgame will probably have a lot of monsters that account for the wirebug by being extra hard (I kind of wonder if the "final boss" of the game will have a lot of flying mechanics to counter the wirebug) so it will probably be at a similar level of difficulty at that point. 



AngryLittleAlchemist said:
curl-6 said:

I'm glad to hear the wirebug feels good to use, it definitely looks that way in gameplay I've watched and it's one of the new elements I'm most looking forward to. It does seem like they've found a good balance between the weight and commitment that been a major part of the series combat since the beginning, and the thrill and increased options that come from the extra mobility.

I know it's hard to tell from a demo, but how is it difficulty wise compared to MH4?

Just based on the demo, I think it will be "easier" than Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate just because it has the wirebug, but I think it will be harder than Generations and especially World for sure. 

If I had to guess, the endgame will probably have a lot of monsters that account for the wirebug by being extra hard (I kind of wonder if the "final boss" of the game will have a lot of flying mechanics to counter the wirebug) so it will probably be at a similar level of difficulty at that point. 

Alrighty, well I was able to beat MH3 and 4 so I shouldn't be stumped by Rise then, unless my gaming skills have degraded since 2010-2015.



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I like the aspect of preparing for a hunt very much. Alone that I can go out into the wild just to gather materials for potions and traps to be prepared for mynext quest is something cool. It makes me feel like a real hunter, not some action hero. I am not convinced by the demo, that this aspect is back. But that is normal, the demos were always just some quests, all the surroundings are not visible.

My MonHun I like the most is Tri (for Wii) or it's HD variant on WiiU. The reason is, that Tri had a mode without time limit. I could just go out and gather materials or try out new weapons without much pressure. After I defeated big monsters in quests they could appear in this mode, which gave a nice chance ot get some more of the rare materials. That mode was nice, I doubt it or something similar will come back, but I still hope.

As you I liked the new mobility very much. Not only with the wirebug, also the palamute helps here very much. Fast traversing a level is extremely helpful and the movement feels so great and enjoyable, I probably roam each new area for some time at first, just for the fun of it.



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Mnementh said:

I like the aspect of preparing for a hunt very much. Alone that I can go out into the wild just to gather materials for potions and traps to be prepared for mynext quest is something cool. It makes me feel like a real hunter, not some action hero. I am not convinced by the demo, that this aspect is back. But that is normal, the demos were always just some quests, all the surroundings are not visible.

My MonHun I like the most is Tri (for Wii) or it's HD variant on WiiU. The reason is, that Tri had a mode without time limit. I could just go out and gather materials or try out new weapons without much pressure. After I defeated big monsters in quests they could appear in this mode, which gave a nice chance ot get some more of the rare materials. That mode was nice, I doubt it or something similar will come back, but I still hope.

As you I liked the new mobility very much. Not only with the wirebug, also the palamute helps here very much. Fast traversing a level is extremely helpful and the movement feels so great and enjoyable, I probably roam each new area for some time at first, just for the fun of it.

I'm not really convinced that the aspect of having to prepare for a hunt is back, either, and it's for more reasons than it just being a demo. Having bugs everywhere that give you health, as well as being able to gather materials pretty quickly, I think are two key indicators. In fairness though, the monsters are also much more aggressive than in World and there seems to be less of those healing bugs in general (might just be they are more spread out?). Also a lot of the really good materials are more out of the way this time, at least in this map, so maybe that will create subtle enough changes to bring back the zen cycle of collecting some materials for a good chunk of game time before going on a hunt. 

What I kind of tried to get across in the OP is though, that I don't particularly care if they push the series far enough to the point where it becomes a great action game. I don't really mind series having nuanced shifts in direction, so much as when they do it without considering that they need to put more depth into that newfound direction, where prior games might have just dabbled in those elements. That was my biggest problem with World, it didn't add enough to the action part, so the decreased value placed on traditional Monster Hunter aspects for an increased action take felt a bit off to me. 

It's interesting you say that, I've been thinking back on my time with 4 Ultimate and World and I'm actually kind of confused as to which entries have the free roam mechanic. From what I remember in 4 Ultimate, expeditions were free roam but had their own maps, so I guess by your criteria it didn't really count as the same thing since you were exploring unique maps rather than the same areas. In World there actually IS free roam i'm pretty sure. I don't remember if there's a catch, though.



Mnementh said:

As you I liked the new mobility very much. Not only with the wirebug, also the palamute helps here very much. Fast traversing a level is extremely helpful and the movement feels so great and enjoyable, I probably roam each new area for some time at first, just for the fun of it.

Yeah being able to ride the Palamute across the map while eating/sharpening/etc looks like a great way to cut down on idle time, and I can see myself really forming a bond with my dog the way it fights alongside you as well.



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Great demo review, i'm 100% more hype now, thanks :)



34 years playing games.

 

Wirebug is a great addition, it helps to speed things up without breaking the movement commitment and combat flow of Monster Hunter, also like the set up in the area, where creative use of it and taking advantage of its verticality leads you to health, stamina bonuses and the like, and some of the more rare materials.

I don't particularly like the gathering speed, or the auto combine of items, even if MH were to lean completely on the character action combat, less gathering quests and the like, I would like the whole mixing process to remain and not make gathering completely painless, cause I feel that something like that would still be fine to have even if MH was full action, think it would have a cool balance to have the instant status boosts of the bugs and the slower material gathering.

Didn't played World, but from all the footage I saw, I didn't fully got into its aesthetic, love how Rise's world pops with the right amount of color, and the new armors from the demo look awesome, I also think that is important because, I feel is also a good gameplay motivator, seeing the preview of an armor set and being like, man I want that, makes the grinding feel more worth the effort.

Was a bit worried from an interview that every music track would feature chorus, but in practice I like that the chorus is not just the more usual one you would hear in an orchestra, the battle theme of the area we got in the demo has a really cool chanting, kind of reminds me of Ring Fit Adventure.

It will be a fun time most likely, hopefully, maybe.