Feature Article

Monster Hunter Rise Fine-Tunes Many Of The Series' Familiar Elements

Rise's hub, Kamura Village, sports some helpful refinements over previous Monster Hunter hub areas.

For all of the innovative features it introduces to the series, Monster Hunter Rise is still very much a traditional Monster Hunter game at its core. Your overarching goal is to embark on quests, then use the various materials you've gathered from those missions to forge better pieces of equipment for your hunter. It's a familiar and compelling gameplay loop, but Rise also fine-tunes the experience in some helpful ways, which Capcom recently demonstrated to us in a video presentation.

Our look at the game took us on a guided tour of Kamura Village, Monster Hunter Rise's primary hub area. Like many other aspects of the game, Kamura has a distinctly Japanese flair. The village is lined with cherry blossom trees, merchant stalls, and thatched buildings, while cat-like Felynes scurry about carrying oversized bundles on their backs.

You'll spend much of your downtime between hunts in Kamura, making use of the village's various vendors and other amenities to prepare for quests, purchase supplies, craft new gear, manage your items, and advance the story. Monster Hunter veterans will be immediately familiar with this routine, but Rise makes things a bit more manageable by introducing some welcome refinements.

For one, navigating the hub is much smoother than in earlier games. As in Monster Hunter World, you can fast-travel to specific points of interest around Kamura simply by selecting them from the map. You can also use Rise's game-changing new features, the Wirebug and the Palamute, while in the village, allowing you to travel around the area much more quickly than you could on foot.

Kamura serves not only as the hub for solo missions, but for multiplayer sessions as well. By speaking to Senri, the Felyne courier, you can switch the village to "online" and have other players join you for cooperative hunts. Much like Generations Ultimate, Rise allows up to four players to team up either locally or online, with each hunter bringing along one companion. Senri also distributes add-on content, so you'll need to speak to the mailcat to receive any DLC items.

The quality-of-life tweaks extend out in the field as well. Items that you find for side jobs like special deliveries will be delivered automatically, completing those side quests for you while you're in the middle of a hunt. Rise also allows you to join another player's quest even if it's already in progress, and you can enter the tent in the base camp after you've embarked on a mission to do some last-minute preparations, including swapping out your current buddy.

As in previous games, one of the most important stops before setting off on a quest is the canteen. Tying into Rise's Japanese aesthetic, Kamura's canteen takes the form of a tea shop, and it serves up a new type of dish: dango. These come in various flavors, each of which has a chance of activating a particular skill that grants a buff for your next quest, such as increased health or stamina. You can order up to three different varieties of dango on one skewer to potentially combine their effects, with even more flavors unlocking as you progress through the game. Rise helpfully also gives you the option to save your favorite dango combination, making it easier to order that same set again before you embark on future hunts.

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Another vital resource you'll find in Kamura is the Buddy Plaza. Here, you'll be able to recruit new Palamutes and Palicoes, as well as manage your companions' equipment, appearances, and behavior settings. You'll also be able to leave companions at the Buddy Dojo for training or send any buddies you have on standby off on missions to gather materials, putting them to work in the background while you take on your own quests.

Like Monster Hunter World's hub, Astera, Kamura Village features a training area as well where you can test new weapons and equipment, and this likewise boasts some notable refinements. At the heart of the area is a mechanical training dummy known as the Toadversary. You can adjust its settings and attack patterns as you see fit to better simulate battling an actual monster, making this a helpful resource for experimenting with new weapons and practicing Silkbind attacks.

With these numerous refinements complementing its big new features, Monster Hunter Rise is shaping up to be an exciting addition to the franchise. Rise launches for Nintendo Switch on March 26. Releasing alongside the game are three new Amiibo figures as well as a limited-edition Monster Hunter-themed Nintendo Switch bundle and Pro Controller. The Amiibo figures unlock special layered armor sets for your hunter, Palamute, and Palico based on Rise's flagship monster, the Magnamalo. You can learn more in our Monster Hunter Rise preorder guide.

Rise is the first of two new Monster Hunter games coming to Switch this year, with Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin set to follow later this summer. Little has been revealed about the game thus far, other than it's a follow-up to 3DS's Monster Hunter spin-off and will have some connectivity with Rise, but we'll get another look at both titles when Capcom hosts its trio of Monster Hunter streams in early March.

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Kevin Knezevic

Kevin Knezevic is an associate news editor who has been writing for GameSpot since 2017. Star Fox Adventures is good and he will die on that hill.

Monster Hunter Rise

Monster Hunter Rise

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