Our readers may have felt a bit left out after the Monster Hunter series skipped Nintendo platforms with Monster Hunter World back in 2018, but all of that is about to change as the latest entry in the series, Monster Hunter Rise is hitting Nintendo Switch on March 26th.
To find out a little more, we sat down for a video chat with producer Ryozo Tsujimoto and director Yasunori Ichinose to talk about the Wirebug, the focus of the Rampage, and more importantly, alien Wyverns.
Nintendo Life: Monster Hunter is extremely popular and has quite a dedicated fanbase. There’s also a lot of deep mechanics to learn, but will this be a good starting point for anyone new to the series?
Yasunori Ichinose: We have a number of tutorial quests for beginning players so they can get used to the basics. There is also a village questline that is aimed at single players which is relatively easy, so if you’re a newcomer to the series you’ll be smoothed into the gameplay.
So far this is one of the most graphically impressive games we’ve seen on Switch so far. Did you work closely with Nintendo to learn any tricks, or can you shed any light on how it runs so well?
Yasunori Ichinose: This is the first time that we're using the RE engine for a Monster Hunter title which is also the first time we are making a Switch game. We just set out to optimize the engine for the platform and to make the graphics look as impressive as we could.
We feel a lot of fans must be excited to have Monster Hunter back on the go, which is where the series found a lot of its fan base.
Yasunori Ichinose: Yea obviously the great thing with the Switch is that you can get together with friends and play in Handheld mode or you can play in Docked mode on your big screen TV and play online like in Monster Hunter World. It has the best of both worlds!
Can you talk to us more about the Rampage that was mentioned at the end of the trailer, what it is and how it will affect the story?
Yasunori Ichinose: The Rampage is one of the biggest new elements of this game, it’s both a new gameplay element as well as an important story element as the entire story is focused on the Rampage. Gameplay-wise, you have to protect Kamura village from hordes of monsters that are trying to break through the barriers. Rampage quests play a little bit differently from regular quests as normally you’d go out, hunt a monster and then go back to the village but these quests feel more like a tower defence game. They’re two very distinct playstyles so we hope you enjoy that!
Monster Hunter has always been cooperative in its multiplayer, have you ever considered the possibility of two hunters competing against one another in some fashion?
Ryozo Tsujimoto: Actually yes, Monster Hunter 2 on the PlayStation 2 had some elements like this but it turned out the series was more suited for cooperative gameplay.
The recent demo was the first game to use the new NPLN servers for online multiplayer. Have you had any feedback regarding this new system?
Ryozo Tsujimoto: That’s not really our hardware so we don’t really have any statements to make on that now. Nintendo has been very helpful in figuring everything out, they’ve helped us out a lot with getting this game to run as smoothly as possible in a multiplayer environment.
Riding Wyverns is a big highlight, but are there any restrictions to this? Could we even be riding other monsters like Elder Dragons?
Yasunori Ichinose: You can’t ride the small monsters like the Kelbi, Jaggi, etc... but you can ride pretty much all of the big monsters.
Is there a particular feature you’re excited about most for new or returning players to experience?
Yasunori Ichinose: The major new features we have in this game are the Wirebug and the Palamute, being your new canine companion which you can also ride! The Wirebug is a completely new feature that also gives you a lot more mobility. So one of the things we’d love players to experience is the complete freedom of movement. It’s very smooth and fast and allows for more interesting exploration elements. You’re not just using them while fighting monsters but you can also use them to explore the environment and find lots of interesting secrets as well.
Speaking of the Wirebug, what sort of secrets will we be able to discover while swinging and exploring?
Yasunori Ichinose: There are a lot of materials you can pick up in the field, you’re not just gathering monster materials, you’re also gathering plants, ore, and all kinds of things. There’s also this feature called endemic life, which revolves around these little creatures that give a boost to your stats if you pick them up. So if you go around and explore for hidden locations with the Wirebug then you’re more likely to find some rarer items and creatures.
Can you explain any of the cross-over bonuses that will be available to players who play both Monster Hunter Rise and Monster Hunter Stories 2?
Ryozo Tsujimoto: The way it works is if you’ve played and have saved data for either game on your system, you can get some nice unlockables. As to what those unlockables are exactly, we’ll have more to share next month!
Do you have any plans for any DLC crossover campaigns for Monster Hunter Rise? We personally are big fans of Astral Chain and the Beast Legion dog would make for a perfect Palamute skin!
Ryozo Tsujimoto: No, but this is something that is pretty much decided on the fly and doesn’t require that much of an advanced notice, so it could happen, but we have nothing to share at this time.
According to the Monster Hunter canon, do Wyverns exist in outer space? Will we ever see alien Wyverns?
Yasunori Ichinose: Who knows what's out there!
We'd like to thank Ryozo Tsujimoto, Yasunori Ichinose and the rest of the team at Capcom for taking the time to chat! Monster Hunter Rise releases on Nintendo Switch on March 26th.
Be sure to let us know if you'll be picking up Monster Hunter Rise and if you're a returning player or if this will be your first time venturing out into the lands of monster hunting!