Capcom has been working on the Monster Hunter franchise since 2004, and they’ve released multiple installments since then. The series has been quite huge in Japan for years now, but it failed to generate a ton of buzz in other parts of the world. That all changed with the release of Monster Hunter World, which finally connected with audiences worldwide. Monster Hunter World was an insane hit for Capcom, selling 16.4 million units in total. That makes it not only the most successful Monster Hunter title, but also Capcom’s best-selling title ever!
With more Monster Hunter fans than ever before, the pressure is on for the series’ next installment. That’s why Capcom has turned to the Switch for their best chance at success. The Switch has sold over 70 million units so far, and it’s still firing on all cylinders. The Switch is also the only hybrid console/portable on the market, and the portable aspect of previous Monster Hunter games on 3DS, PSP, and PS Vita have been crucial to the franchise’s success in Japan. This combination of elements has led Capcom to create Monster Hunter Rise, a Switch-exclusive entry that is set for launch on March 26th, 2021.
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While March is still a ways off, eager hunters don’t have to wait to get their first taste of what Monster Hunter Rise has to offer. Capcom has launched a limited-time demo for Monster Hunter Rise, and it’s available on the Switch eShop right now. Don’t wait too long to try it out, as the demo will be yanked from distribution after January 31st, 2021. That doesn’t leave much time to dig into the copious amount of content the demo includes.
The Monster Hunter Rise demo does its best to give you a thorough glimpse at what the full game packs in. Hunters will have a chance to try their hands at all 14 weapon types found in the final release. Learn how to handle these weapons along with the basics of hunting in the Training mode, which is a great refresher for returning fans, and a must-play for those who are trying the series for the first time.
Training will also allow players to go hands-on with new elements in Monster Hunter Rise. One of those fresh additions is the Wirebug, which is a grappling hook-like tool that lets you zip from spot to spot on the map. The Wirebug allows you to explore the verticality that maps provide. You can also use a Wirebug to leap into the air during a monster battle, which will give you new ways to use your weapon of choice.
While in Training, you can also try your hand at Palamute riding. Palamutes are dog-like creatures that will be your companions on missions, and they’re going to be absolutely invaluable. Anyone who’s played a Monster Hunter game knows how important it is to conserve stamina for fights. Instead of running on foot to your destination, you can hop on the back of your Palamute and let them handle the legwork. You can even heal up and use other items while riding your Palamute, letting you prepare for battles in ways not possible in previous installments.
Once you’re done with Training, head out into the arena area to see if you’re ready for the big time. There’s both a beginner and intermediate quest to take on, and the demo allows for 30 quest attempts between the two. If you go the beginner route, you’ll be facing off against the Great Izuchi, which is a Bird Wyvern that can quickly strike with its scythe-like tail. The intermediate quest puts you up against Mizutsune, one of the Leviathans in the game. Mizutsune will fire out bubbles to slow you down and blast a water cannon that packs a wallop.
When you’re out in the arena and not battling for your life, you can try your hand at Wyvern riding. This is a new feature that will let you wrangle a Wyvern to ride on. It’s not going to be a smooth ride, as the Wyvern will try to throw you off by whipping around. That said, you can still guide it around for a limited time, and even use it to attack. Grab a Wyvern, ride off into battle, and use its incredible strength to aid you on your hunts.
While Wyvern riding is only available in solo mode, everything else mentioned above can be enjoyed with friends at your side. The Monster Hunter Rise demo includes multiplayer for both local and online friends. A total of four hunters can get together and explore the demo, take on hunts, and discover the many secrets of the monster arenas. Playing the demo on your own will no doubt be a blast, but you can’t beat joining up with your pals for a fearsome monster hunt!
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Kevin Cassidy has been covering all things Nintendo for over 15 years now and has been leading the weekly GoNintendo Podcast for just as long. Kevin is also quite passionate about pro wrestling, anime, comic books, and more! Follow Kevin on Twitter via @GoNintendoTweet.