Fans of Capcom’s beloved action RPG franchise are counting down the days to Monster Hunter Rise’s March 26 release. This Nintendo Switch sensation in the making is going to pose a few issues even for series veterans, though.
Experienced players probably thought they knew exactly what they were getting into when Rise was announced. It’s a Monster Hunter game, which means hundreds of hours of grinding, crafting, practicing with weapons and hilarious meal-eating animations.
All these elements are present and correct, but here’s the rub: new entries in popular series often come hand in hand with a new mechanic for the sake of a new mechanic. The new Wirebug has proven quite controversial with some players.
The recent eShop demo (in which the Long Sword has proven to be the most popular weapon, because of course it has) featured a tutorial stage that demonstrated how to ‘swing’ around using the feature, but it was a very brief segment that only really detailed the controls. There are so many movement connotations to this, from functioning like a grapple to enabling wall runs, evasive options and weapon-specific attacks, that the Wirebug has been a tough cookie to grasp.
Speaking to Capcom-Unity, Monster Hunter Rise producer Ryozo Tsujimoto acknowledged that this new functionality may not come naturally to players. Nor will it have to!
“It’s a completely new feature, so it’ll take some time to get used to,” he said. “…you don’t need to whisk around the map right from the start, and we made sure the game is fun enough without using the Wirebug.”
While the Wirebug will have a myriad of offensive and defensive uses, too, this only means that “you’ll just have even more choice on top of the already rich amount of strategy you normally have.”
Now, the Monster Hunter series’ Western popularity has soared in recent years. The much acclaimed Monster Hunter World played an enormous role in this (the game’s director Daisuke Ichihara is sorely missed since leaving Capcom last December). World didn’t pander to newcomers, but it was more open to them.
The major stumbling block the games have encountered on their way to mainstream success is their ‘hardcore’ reputation. There’s no handholding in Monster Hunter; new players’ hands are more liable to be bitten off by a furious Lagiacrus. Tutorials are thin on the ground and gloss over the finer points of combat. Speaking of which, almost every attack leveled at those draconic, Mega Charizard-esque foes is slow, deliberate and inherently risky.
Between the Wirebug and the friendly Canyne, then, Rise aims to offer the best of both worlds: options to make movement and combat feel more fluid, while ensuring they remain optional. It’s tough for any franchise to please both newcomers and seasoned purists, but the intent is clearly there.
NEXT: New Monster Hunter Rise Trailer Shows Off A Complete Somnacanth Battle
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Chris is a freelance video game journalist and entertainment writer from a small town in England. While he’s an ardent fan of video games, regardless of platform, he specializes in retro games. His heart will always belong to the Sega Genesis. When he isn’t gaming, Chris will usually be found catching up on the latest and greatest movies, whether at the theater or at home. He has sat through the Harry Potter movies more times than you have, and he doesn’t care if you disagree.
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