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‘Monster Hunter Rise’: release date, gameplay, news and more

Featuring new monsters, new moves, new mounts, and an updated buddy system, Monster Hunter Rise is yet another upcoming game to put on your wish list.

Monster Hunter is a franchise that has hit a niche for many fans of the role-playing genre, it’s a title for those whom hunger for epic boss battles without grinding levels. Monster Hunter Rise is the sixth instalment in the main series and it’s coming to you exclusively on the Nintendo Switch.

If Monster Hunter:World and the Iceborne DLC were a callback to the nostalgic PS2 era of console gaming, then this is a nod to its hand-held console legacy. This will be a game for the squad to play IRL or online; players can now team up for a hunt anytime, anywhere.

monster hunter rise

Monster Hunter Rise release date

Thankfully, Monster Hunter Rise isn’t far away at all. A release date has been formalised and the game is coming to Nintendo Switch on March 26, 2021. However, there’s one chance you have to play it before the release date.

A demo is available on the Nintendo Switch eShop from 8am UTC on Friday January 8th to 8am UTC on Monday January 11th. For our friends in Australia, that’s 6pm AEST on Friday January 8th to 6pm AEST on Monday January 11th. Find out more about the demo, and how you can access it yourself, here.

Reactions to the Monster Hunter Rise demo

Straight off the bat, the Monster Hunter Rise demo has been a resounding success for Capcom. In fact, the Nintendo Switch eShop crashed on Friday January 8th, the first day the demo became available to the public. While Nintendo hasn’t confirmed whether this was due to demand for the demo, it’s highly likely that’s exactly what overloaded their poor servers.

In the demo players were to fight two monsters, the Great Izuchi and a Mitzusune, respectively one new to the franchise and one returning. But it also gave players their first hands-on impressions of the new mechanics such as the wire bug, monster riding, and more.

Publishers and Youtubers such as Digital Trends, gaijin hunter, Metro, and more have reacted positively to the demo, pretty much unanimously. Word on the street is that the wire bug is an absolute blast but takes some getting used to, and the monster riding is fun, albeit a little powerful.

Players have expressed concerns that, while an amazing new mechanic, riding a monster and using it to tackle other powerful monsters can trivialise some enemies. It makes sense – surely riding a wyvern into battle would give you an advantage! But Monster Hunter is all about those long, tough, and rewarding boss fights, and it seems this particular addition might compromise that feeling.

Of course, this isn’t the final state of the game, and everything in the Monster Hunter Rise demo is subject to change until it’s release date on March 26.

What’s new?

So you’ve watched the demo, but how about a proper list of the new features? Initially Capcom confirmed four new monsters for more intense (yet satisfying) boss battles. The main one was the Magnamalo, dubbed as a “fearsome Fanged Wyvern that hunts its prey with relentless malice.” Aknosom and the Great Izuchi were the second and third wyverns added to the line-up of boss monsters, with Tetranadon being the only one that can’t take flight.

You’re probably thinking how you’re going to hit these agile and flying beasts – it time to start learning how to use a bow? Well, the new wire bug feature is one way Monster Hunter Rise is letting melee weapon users keep up. These bugs will serve as vector points for you to grapple around the air and fight these flying foes.

A recent gameplay trailer as well as a few video features which have landed since the announcement revealed a host of other new monsters such as the Goss Harag, Lagombi, and the Great Baggi. Of course, we’re assuming even more await in the full game.

monster hunter rise

As for the new buddy system, Palicos are here to stay as the iconic feline buddy, but now you’ll be able to swiftly cover distances without losing stamina with a new canine pal. The Palamute will be a rival companion to the Palicos, with its own line of merchandise wow-ing the Monster Hunter community.

Keep in mind that you only get to pick one buddy for co-op battles, but both for single player.

Additional new features will include a reworked in-game base and locale, where Monster Hunter Rise will step away from the steampunk style and head into a more traditional Japanese-themed environment. The game will also be getting three new amiibos and free post-launch updates.

Another massive new feature is the ability to tame and ride monsters, even those as powerful as a wyvern. You can use these monsters to attack other monsters, ram them into walls for big damage spikes, and more.

For more information, check out the Nintendo Direct below as well as a more recent video feature below.

Weapons

Prior to the demo, we were treated to Monster Hunter Rise gameplay trailers featuring the Longsword, Great Sword, and Dual Blades weapon variants – also giving players an extra peek at the wire bug and Palamutes in the process.

Of the fourteen weapon classes, three of the relative standards have been shown. One gameplay showcases a Great Sword in action against a fearsome, agile Aknosom foe, a “peculiar bird wyvern” found in the game’s Shrine Ruins area.

Moving towards the quicker end of the weapon spectrum, in September IGN revealed gameplay features for both the Dual Blades and Longsword. Each video comes in at over 20 minutes long, meaning they’re the most extensive looks you’ll get at Monster Hunter Rise until we draw closer to the March release date.

Keep in mind that all gameplay shown right now represents a game in development, so be sure to take what you see with a grain of salt.

Check out both videos below, showcasing Monster Hunter: Rise as it currently stands.

Since then we’ve seen further footage of the Charge Blade and Hunting Horn, two fan favourites. Check out both weapons in action below.

Find out more about Monster Hunter Rise on the official website.