Content of the article: "Monster Hunter Rise is not looking too good (Massive Critique)"
WARNING: This is a wall of text because it's a full critique of the good/bad with the demo. You've been warned, so please no "oh, my god it's a wall of text" posts.
I don't want this to come off as a massive rant (even though it probably will be) nor ungodly hatred… just complete and utter disappointment. When I saw the trailers I thought it looked like they were improving things, but dear god I'm not sure that there is ANY improvement here. Mostly some things just taken away and a few, mostly limited, things added. But before I go all guns ablazing with it, I will start with some of the positive stuff. Cuz I DO think there is some positive to be had here.
On the one hand, SOME hitboxes seem better than they were. There were times when Great Izuchi did his tail moves and they would go over my head instead of hitting my with parts that made no sense. Sadly it's not ALL of the attacks fixed, but a couple of those were better than most tail attacks. And I actually DO like the wirebug stuff, well the mobility aspect of it at least, better than the clutch claw. And the doggo (palamute) is a massive improvement for traversal between zones. I'm not one of the people who thought traversal in World was that bad (especially since they got the vertical environments thing mostly right with those hook bugs everywhere). But being able to traverse areas faster is only a good thing. Sadly though, that's kind of the end of the good stuff.
As for the bad and the ugly? Oh boy… where do I even start. I guess… let's start macro level and go down to micro level. So first of all, performance. I was perfectly aware that this game wasn't gonna be a 60FPS experience, hell World wasn't even that unless you had an Xbox One X (and not even perfect at it either) or a PC. But the insane amount of OBVIOUS concessions they've made with the map design and decreased environmental detail is ESPECIALLY noticable but understandable given it's on the switch.
My main problem is that this doesn't feel like it was an actual Switch-exclusive. This feels like a down-port from something else. I'm not speaking on the leaks that were found last year about a PC version down the road. I just mean, performance-wise and detail wise, it looks like they took this game and made it one way… then just took things out (there are lots of very EMPTY gaps in fields) to increase performance, hopefully. The colors also are HORRIBLY washed out in this game as well. Gone are vibrant blues and reds (I have an OLED and it looks like my old cheap ass LCD on screen).
And as for the performance itself. It's just awful. Even with a hacked switch where I can do a FULL overclock of all major system components, this game CANNOT maintain 30 FPS. And even when it hits 30FPS there is a LOT of stuttering and other glitchy looking movement, particularly when things get fast. Some monster moves make them look like they are teleporting at times. Part of this is probably due to a lack of good smoothing on the 30FPS and frame consistency not being there. But I'm tempted to think, based on the hacked together look and bad performance, that Nintendo must've approached them with this deal somewhere in the middle or even possibly as they got closer to the end of development. Because it just isn't well optimized, even for the MASSIVE amount of concessions they made graphically AND the fact they are using a more efficient (RE Engine) game engine.
And that performance problem possibly feeds into other more specific issues which I'll get into now. Some monsters attacks are STILL horrible with the hitboxes. I got hit by the invisible cut off part of Rathians tail a couple of times while she was spinning/flipping. The other attacks seemed mostly good. But I DID get fire blight magically while standing next to her neck during a triple fire ball. Like I didn't get hit with a fire ball, but got fire blight somehow. And it WASN'T consistent. I never had it happen again despite using the same positioning multiple times with multiple weapons. Seems like a bug.
Now onto more specific game design issues. The tracking is god fucking awful on Great Izuchi's tail slam and Mizutsune… I have a whole paragraph for that cunt coming up so moving on. Also, why the fuck did we go BACKWARDS in time to where now Rathian's cut off tail can poison the player again? Who the fuck thought that was a good idea? The WHOLE POINT is that the spikes aren't there so you can't get injected with poison. Hell, it doesn't even have a shorter duration poison… it's literally just the SAME FUCKING POISON as if she didn't lose the tail. Not only was that a really good, realistic thing to have in World, but it also added some extra incentive to go after the tail. It added something more meaningful to the fight. But now it's just back to BS, illogical status problems coming from outer space apparently, just conveniently timed with the tail flip or something, idk.
Also WHY DO MONSTERS MOVE LIKE THE FUCKING FLASH BETWEEN ZONES??? If the zones were too fucking wide and stretched out… make the fucking smaller??? Because the chasing thing is so fucking annoying. GG speedrunners who want to halt a monster in it's tracks. People thought Iceborne's change where small staggers don't stop them from leaving was stupid… but at least you could clutch claw and damage or clutch claw and wall bang if they weren't mad. This game? Hell no… you're just FORCED to zone transition with them and they move STUPIDLY far away sometimes. Even the palamute takes awhile sometimes to catch up, and he can't outrun them. It reminds me of how stupidly fast Plesioth could move in water back in MH3U, but now it's on land and EVERY monster can do it.
The weapons are mostly okay… but there are some pretty bad ommissions/other problems with them, imo. One, I main GS, so seeing that beefy GS was fucking awesome. What WASN'T awesome is how they made the LV3 Draw Charge feel weak as shit again. It has the same goddamn animation speed all the way throughout the swing. Who the fuck is the person at Capcom who keeps doing this fucking shit. I loved it when MH4U added the velocity on the swing if you triple charged and made a crash into the ground. I HATED IT when they took it out in MHGU and made it just go the constant slow speed of a LV1 charge when swinging. Then I loved it again when World fixed it back to having that "OOMPH" to it. Now here we fucking go again, Rise takes it back to the shitty MHGU animation speed again. Fucking christ…
So anyways, I also don't like that the GS hasn't really changed at all. Nothing was really added except the spinning jump swing but that's on a limit b/c of wirebugs. And the rest of the moves are identical. You CAN get into True Charge from the Strong Charge Side Swing now, but literally no one is gonna do that when you can just NOT do the extra move and get True Charge faster from Strong Charge Slash. And they also didn't seem to do much to make GS not wanna spam for True Charge other than ruin it's spacing on the arc back. You USED to be able to use the spacing when you got really good at it, on certain short moves to evade and punish. But the spacing is god awful now for no good reason… which brings me to my other two favorite weapons.
Charge Blade feels fucking borked in this game. It doesn't feel like you can properly reposition like you could in Iceborne. And some of the gap closers have been shortened to the point where they don't even feel like fucking gap closers. Yet the damage doesn't seem to have been buffed to compensate or anything. What gives? Also just turning around sometimes was a fucking chore because it felt like moves didn't have the turning ability they do in World for… unknown reasons. I'll play more tomorrow to figure it out, I guess.
Switch Axe, just what the hell… The one weapon, imo, that needed buffs the most (especially since we don't have the slinger burst stuff anymore) got ABSOLUTELY NO CHANGES to it's core moveset. Unless I'm missing something, it has the sames moves, the same shitty distance on all the dodges, the same horrible I-Frames, and the damage is roughly the same. One or two of those things needed to change. Because it was a fucking nightmare trying to play Switch Axe against the increased mobility on some of these monsters in this demo. A lot of these monsters have MASSIVE gap closers and fairly good to GOD-LIKE tracking on some attacks. But Switch Axe is still content, for the most part with having no fucking defensive options whatsoever. You do have the wirebug move, but if your wirebugs are still charging, tough shit, you get to eat shit.
Hammer seemed mostly the same, so I'm not gonna rant about it, though it would've been nice to see more changes there as well.
Long Sword… I mean I know that Long Sword was really strong in Iceborne… but it was perfect. It was exactly where it needed to be. Other weapons needed to catch up to Long Sword, not have Long Sword nerfed into the ground. It seems like Iai Slash and the two piece combo from sheathing both don't seem to have I-Frames anymore. Maybe the framerate was just fucking with me so bad that I couldn't pull it though. And as far as I can tell… there is no Helm Splitter anymore. Why though? It was the ONE move that helped LS keep it's damage up with the big hitter weapons… and now it's just gone. Maybe when we get more MV data it will have seen damage buffs, but it didn't feel any stronger than it was in Iceborne MV-wise to me. The only up-side is that Iai Slash no longer eats a guage meter color. But it's also slower feeling (possibly just performance) and seems to not have I-Frames in my experience.
That's it for weapons I care about… now the last part, fucking Mizutsune. I loved this monster in MHGU because of the spicy openings and the (mostly) well-designed moveset that gave proper tells and openings. THIS version of Mizutsune feels like dog shit though. Maybe it's the absolute tanking framerate because of massive amounts of particle effects, but I could hardly tell one attack from another. And some of it's moves had just as bad, if not worse, hitboxes. The rearing up arm slam that was introduced in G Rank of MHGU has possibly the worst, most illogical hitbox I've ever seen. It hits pretty much from ANYWHERE on Mizutsune's body, EVEN THE FUCKING TAIL… despite this attack being PRIMARILY about using it's paw to slam you. Also it's water moves have become more obnoxious.
It now has this sliding water beam that copies, basically, Daimyo Hermitaur's version of the same attack. But where that attack was slower, and more logical because his legs were moving, Mizutsune's version looks completely goofy and comes out after another combo attack for no good fucking reason. Like, you have to dodge the initial water beam, then it picks a direction and starts sliding faster than you can get up with some weapons. And to top it off, I'm aware it's supposed to be on bubbles sliding, but 90% of it's body doesn't even look like it's animating. It literally looks like he's laying on a train and just being propelled in one direction perfectly. Which is hilarious, because when the player gets bubbled, even THEIR slide looks more logical and realistic. So what in the fuck is happening with this move? And one last piss off, is how he can literally teleport slide, full with tracking, to get up to you and use one of three different attacks. Who the fuck thought THAT was a good idea? Gah… I beat him but I will probably put more plays in tomorrow. But, dear god I was not left with a good impression of Mizutsune as compared to the original fight.
And that's pretty much it for my critiques and other shit. I'm not impressed, if you couldn't tell. I was hoping they'd fix problems with Iceborne… it just looks like they've gotten worse. Especially with monsters like Mizutsune doing teleport slides and other monsters getting insane gap closers, I kind of see why they gave potions an instant half heal followed by the normal slow heal. It seems like they want MORE free damage in these games… yaaaaaay! Just whatever, I guess. At least I got to try it. I'm probably gonna sit this MH out. Might just stick with modding Iceborne for now, cuz at least I can fix most of that game's problems. Can't fix a switch game though.
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- Thoughts on the Rise demo
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