I’ll only be focusing on two games in this post, with one honourable mention before I get to the main event. Funnily enough, both games involve quite a bit of farming. One is far more relaxed about it than the other, though.
The only honourable mentions this month:
Story of Seasons: Pioneers of Olive Town – The long-running farming simulation once known as Harvest Moon in the west returns with a new entry for the Nintendo Switch. Your character moves to Olive Town and takes over their grandfather’s farm, whilst getting to know the locals. You know, the typical Story of Seasons experience; a good game to pick up if you want something relatively laid-back.
The main game I want to feature here, though, is far heavier on the action.Monster Hunter Rise is the sixth mainline entry in Capcom’s Monster Hunter series. This entry in the series brings many of the new conventions from Monster Hunter World with it, as well as introducing new features such the new Palamute companions and the Wirebugs.
This entry of the series offers fourteen different weapon types. Way back when I got into Monster Hunter with Monster Hunter Tri on the Wii, the Long Sword was my first main weapon type. In Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate, I picked up the Dual Blades and learned the Bow on the side. Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate (technically only Monster Hunter 4, but that was a Japan only release) introduced the Insect Glaive, which was my main choice.
Monster Hunter Generations and Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate were where the Bow became my main weapon, and that has not changed for Monster Hunter Rise.
Honestly, the changes to the Bow combat makes it feel even more fun than it was before.
Of course, you can’t have a Monster Hunter game without monsters to hunt, and those are available in abundance. The flagship monster is the Magnamalo, which you can see on the box art. Classics such as the Rathian and Rathalos are ever present, and you even have the likes of the Anjanath from Monster Hunter World show up, too.
Hunting can be a solo experience if you want it to be, but the game does offer you buddies that can accompany you on quests. The feline Palico has been around for a while now, but we also get the addition of the Palamutes. These canines will fight alongside you, and also let you ride on their backs to travel without using up stamina.
Should you prefer to fight alongside other hunters, there is the option to go online.
Another companion you have that makes hunting just that bit easier is an owl-type creature called a Cahoot. The Cahoots allow you to see the positions of monsters on your map – no more paintballs required.
A new addition to the hunters’ arsenals is the Wirebug. It can allow you to fling yourself through the air, scale terrain, dodge attacks and use Silkbind attacks.
Impressively, the Wirebug can also allow you to temporarily take control of monsters, and use them to fight other monsters. Having to face down two monsters at once became a whole lot more fun in this game thanks to the wyvern riding mechanic.
Monster Hunter Rise is an excellent entry in an excellent series. Some are inclined to call it one of the best games available for the Nintendo Switch, and I’d have to agree. Well worth picking up.