Monster Hunter World

MH Rise: The Good, The Neutral, and the Bad

With Rise having been out for almost a full month, I feel confident in giving my complete thoughts on the stuff I like about the game, the stuff I feel middling about, and the stuff I just don't care for. As this is before the first title update drops, some of the negatives I list here may be retconed out later, and some of the positives may be diluted later.

The Good:

~ Weapon Designs: Oh thank the fucking gods we're back to having unique designs for almost all the old returning monsters *Glares at Barioth Hammer*. Not just that, but we're back to having plenty of joke and creative weapon designs as well, something that was sorely lacking in World and most of Iceborne.

~Sound Design: This is a HUGE problem I had in World and Iceborne: The monster sound design in those games was atrocious. Lavasioth used Plesioth and Akantor's roars, Diablos had the Velocidrome noise when paralyzed, the stock noises for monsters like Brachy and Glavenus was distracting as hell, and Safi used THE stock tiger roar during his pin. The only excuse I can think of was that the sound design team had no time for both World and Iceborne's base releases. Rise, in comparison, goes back to giving the monsters much more unique and diverse sounds, even if Diablos still has the Velocidrome cry of pain and I can hear Gore in Magnamalo's cry of pain. Goss Harag's bear noises fit like a T, Almudron and Bishaten sound great, Zinogre sound like his old perfect self, it's all mostly good here.

~Map Design: A starting map that isn't a complete labyrinthian maze intended to confuse and infuriate me? Thank goodness. Ancient Forest was a mistake of a first map, and all the other maps in World aside from Wildspire Waste and Elder's Recess were a pain to traverse until you memorized them. The only map in Rise like that is the Sandy Plains, where I legit got lost trying to track down a Volvidon. Otherwise, the maps are straight forward yet still invite exploration and are just so filled with details and hidden secrets, though Lava Caverns might have been better off split into two maps…

~All the small details: building off the prior point, you can really tell the development team poured their heart out in making these maps come alive. They're not giant expansive sprawls like World had, but they're a perfect hybrid of the World style maps and the prior generation zones with plenty of areas to explore and uncover secrets and endemic life, a concept I'm glad was expanded upon from World and Iceborne. The choice to use many of these endemic lifeforms to help out in a hunt is also just that: A CHOICE. It's not shoved down your face like the Clutch Claw was in Iceborne or made borderline mandatory, as every hunt can still be done in a reasonable time even without buffs or helpers, but if you want to make the hunt easier, the choice is yours.

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~Palicoes: THANK FUCKING GOD the palicoes this game are leaps and miles better than they were in World and Iceborne! They have actually AI now! They actually break you out of stuns and paralysis and HELP YOU! THANK YOU! Having multiple cats to choose from was one of my favorite things about gen 4, and having that option back here is also a godsend. The only downside to them is that if you have Flinch Free, they just won't help you, which unforunately puts them below the Gen U cats, and far below the gods of assistance that were Cha-Cha and Kayamba.

The Mixed:

~Incomplete Game: Yes, this has been beaten to death, but the game as it stands is fundamentally incomplete (Weapon trees that continue into the grey beyond, no event quests or transmog, the story just is stuck in limbo as we wait for the next episode…), but given how beating Narwa does have a sense of finality in and of itself, I'm not too upset over this, plus given the circumstances, I'm surprised the game wasn't rushed out even EARLIER to maximize profits for the end of the japanese fiscal year.

~Arena Quests: On the one hand, I like how you can actuallly solo them now, which is a massive boon… but on the other hand, the higher level ones require a level of precision and skill that is infuriating to replicate, especially with drifting joycons, with the Rajang arena quest being the worst offender. Not particularly skilled in using a fucking Lance on the pin monkey? HAVE FUUUUN getting that S rank, sucker!

~Rampages: The concept of these tower defenses is a fun one, but it's bogged down by a few problems: Trying to do them solo is a nightmare in micromanaging and stressful as hell while doing them in multiplayer becomes a reverse slaughter in your favor, the AI for the defender stuff is laughably bad which only makes solo defenses that much worse, and certain monsters can only be fought behind Rampages, and getting to HR requires you to do one. Don't know you only have to time out edgy Winnie the Pooh? You're in for a hell of a stressful time.

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~Palamutes: At first glance these new canine companions seem like a godsend alongside the palicoes: You move fast across the map with them, you can sharpen while moving, and they are all offensive! Unfortunately, that's where the good ends, because unlike the cats, that's all they are good at: Being a secondary offensive DPS. You can kinda customize them to do other stuff, but that's better left to the cats, and when everyone brings dogs, the screen becomes a clusterfuck of effects and visual noise that makes it far too easy to loose track of what is going on. For that, I only bring the dogs if I am doing a mining run, as otherwise, it's double cats all the way.

The Bad:

~Aerial Hitboxes: Crap aerial hitboxes is nothing new to MH. Lagiacros in Generations had a lunging bite that had a hitbox that extended to well above his spines. Shara Ishvalda likewise had a giant hitbox above him, and Tigrex is… TIGREX. That being said, the aerial hitboxes in Rise are complete and utter dogshit, and make me paranoid as an IG main. I've already shared a clip of Ranka's butt slam 2HKOing me when I am all the way past her FRONT LEG because lol aerial hitbox, and Tigrex's spin to win has one that extends to miles above him.

~Lack of quest variety: Need to grind up Anjanath for his gems? Hope you like fighting him in the same damn volcano fifteen times, because that's the only solo HR Anjanath hunt. Need Almudron gems? Time to go to the Flooded Forest. Khezu? Off to the Frost Islands alongside other baby bitch monsters. This is where the lack of Investigations to allow for quest variety really hurts, as eventually the hunts just become monotonous and the same, as trying to do expeditions means even more grinding because far less rewards.

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~Almudron: Alongside Khezu, this is THE worst fight in the entire game, and I hate fighting this asshole. He's way too big, the camera flips its shit when he does anything, the tail has more reach than half the gunning options and depending on what you are doing, you just cannot avoid taking half your health from his mid swipes, the tail keep changing sides and is nigh impossible to cut, the mud ball slam's tell is incredibly hard to discern from the normal swipe, he's always on the move when in the mud, chip damage galore… There is no strategy for fighting this mud dragon aside from "unga bunga" and hope to god you kill it before it kills you. There is no fight to "learn", because strategy is meaningless against this asshole.

~Charm Tables: HEY KIDS! YOU REMEMBER CHARM TABLES AND HOW MUCH THEY SUCKED ASS IN 3U? WELL GUESS WHAT'S BACK?! CHARM TABLES! Now granted, you can KINDA bypass the bullshit with the final melding option, but the fact charm tables even exists, and that you have no way of knowing which table you are on and thus if you are robbed of the coveted god charms you may desire until you beat the final boss, and thus have to REDO YOUR ENTIRE SAVE FILE if you are on the wrong table, is just plain dogshit.


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