The rumors are true: Monster Hunter Rise has finally come to Xboxes and PlayStation 4 and 5! When it was first released on Nintendo Switch, it proved to be one of the best entries in the entire franchise.
It used the basis of the streamlined and more fluid gameplay established in Monster Hunter World and further fleshes out the experience. New weapon techniques, vast and vertical biomes that are crawling with endemic life, and primeval monsters that range from poodle-size to earth-trembling kaiju.
Going on the hunt in these settings and stalking these fiends was a game of cat and also cat. Lie in wait, with sweat running down your face style stalking for the big ones always makes for thrilling encounters.
The rush that washes over you like an awesome wave when it’s over from battling and sneaking for up to an hour, borders on a mystical zen-like ascension to a higher plane of existence.
This is a review coupled with a supplemental video review. You can watch the video review or read the full review of the below:
Monster Hunter Rise
Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PC, Xbox, PlayStation
Release Date: March 26, 2021 (NIntendo Switch), January 12, 2022 (PC), January 20th, 2023 (Xbox and PlayStation)
Price: $59.99 USD
Skulking in a dense bamboo thicket and pouncing on a dinosaur-like behemoth, only to flay its hide and wear it like a socially accepted Buffalo Bill is the core cycle of Monster Hunter Rise‘s gameplay. To do this, hunters would have a dense selection of ways to skin a fiend.
Every weapon has a unique play style- so much so that it is like playing a different game! Some weapons would be geared towards virginal, fresh-faced scrubs, but there are also a ton of options for those who desire complexity or technical mastery too!
Monster Hunter Rise was set in Kamura; a region heavily inspired by old-timey Japan and its folklore. The airy atmosphere of the wafting sakura petals in the village always feels comforting.
This reprieve from the hostile deserts, frozen swamps, and the ball-sweat-inducing misty bamboo forests is the only place to feel safe- thankfully the music there is also very soothing.
On PlayStation 5, Monster Hunter Rise looks as good as it possibly can. When set to prioritize graphics, Rise still reaches and stays at the 60 frames per second target. Distant characters/monsters animate at the full frame rate and even load times are so quick, that if you blink, you’ll miss them.
This was one of the only RE Engine games Capocom made for Nintendo Switch specs, and the lean into an appealing art style over realism has paid off.
Thanks to the hard graphics budget from the low-power handheld console- artists designed assets to have painterly qualities and are exaggerated.
Image quality is razor sharp and is an eye-searing 4K when the settings are prioritizing graphics. The shadows and lighting quality is also smooth and properly diffused in ways that looked kind of chunky on Switch.
Particle and atmospheric effects are rendered very cleanly. With the enhanced sharpness, it’s easy to pick out individual sparks from clashing the broad side of a switch-axe to an oncoming charging and frenzied Barroth.
The added fluidity to Monster Hunter Rise is easily its greatest addition to this PlayStation 5 conversion. There is great care put into the character and monster animations, and while it was stable and looked fine on Nintendo Switch, it will be very hard for anyone to go back after experiencing it at its absolute zenith.
When battling these titans, there is a more palpable and tangible sense of their weight. Their presence has an impactful gravitas and their expressions and personalities become more apparent. This also extends to the player character and their exaggerated anime-like posing and boisterous body language.
Not only does it look better in motion, but it feels better too. Monster Hunter Rise on PlayStation 5 benefits from the higher frame rate by being more responsive. Monster Hunter games tend to be more deliberately paced action RPGs with drawn-out animations where players must commit to every action.
Rise on PlayStation 5 feels slightly more twitchy and snappy than it ever did when it was 30 frames per second. The controls are the same as they ever were, but now the added smoothness makes general movement and combats more satisfying.
Monster Hunter Rise on PlayStation 5 is an excellent port of one of the best games made on the Nintendo Switch. It was awesome before and now it is even better thanks to the increased overhead afforded due to the insanely powerful boost of the beefy hardware.
Almost every update and extra content is here and accounted for except for the Sunbreak DLC expansion. Regretfully, Sunbreak won’t be available till sometime in spring 2023- which is too bad because it further improves the Rise experience in every way imaginable.
Hunters may have to wait a bit before vanquishing a horrible Malzeno from the terrible night, on the spires of the Elgado region. Thankfully, Monster Hunter Rise does have more than enough content that has been added since, and hopefully, when Sunbreak does come, it could signal the coming of a physical PlayStation 5 disc release too.
Monster Hunter Rise was reviewed on PlayStation 5 using a review code provided by Capcom. You can find additional information about Niche Gamer’s review/ethics policy here. Monster Hunter Rise is now available for Windows PC (via Steam), PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5 Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and Nintendo Switch.