“Monster Hunter Rise” is an upcoming game from the “Monster Hunter” series. Its most recent game was “Monster Hunter World,” which released back in 2018.

“World” is what introduced many people, including myself, to the series. After spending 200 hours in “World” I’m ready for the next installment.

“World” was actually a spin-off of the “Monster Hunter series,” and “Rise” is a mainline sequel, so it will reintroduce many aspects from the earlier games.

Rise centers on a hunting village called Kamura, where the aesthetics of the hunters and their gear are inspired by feudal Japan. Likewise, many new monsters are based on Yokai, which are creatures that stem from Japanese mythology.  

After playing the demo for “Rise,” I can confidently say they separate themselves from “World” by taking what made “World” good and improving on it. It also either removes or modifies the less satisfactory aspects.

For example, “World” introduced Raider Riders, which were companions you could call upon that you could ride to set destinations. In “Rise,” they added a totally new companion called the Palamute that you can ride and control.  

Speaking of Palamutes, you can have up to two different companions with you during hunts if you’re solo and one if you’re hunting with other people.

I should mention that Palamutes are dogs, and Palicoes are cats. I preferred one of each during hunts in the demo, although I didn’t notice the Palico doing much.

In “World,” my Palico was a very valued companion of mine because his A.I. was smart enough to know where to put healing items on the map and when to carry a vigorwasp to me when I was low on health.

I only noticed a small bit of that companionship in the demo. Although it’s only a basic level of Palico healing,  my “World” Palico had his healing level maxed out.

For Palamutes, they’re more damage dealers than support units like the Palicoes. I’ll see them get in the monster’s faces doing quite a bit of damage, acting as good distractions if you need to heal or sharpen your weapon.

Not only do they attack and distract the monsters, but you can use them as mounts to chase the monsters, which makes chasing running monsters a lot easier than in the older games.  

Riding is fun and all, but it’s a secondary traversal method for me.

In “Rise,” they do away with “World’s” Slinger and Clutch Claw and introduce the Wirebug. It’s one of my favorite mechanics in “Rise” and I absolutely prefer it over the Slinger, but I admit I’ll miss the Clutch Claw.

The Wirebug allows you to swing around the map with ease, even though it has a cooldown. Beyond traversal, it helps with recovery if you’re knocked back by a monster. You can instantly catch yourself out of the air and be back on your feet by the time you hit the ground.

One of my favorite parts about the Wirebug is that it adds more variations to your weapons as well. You have up to two Wirebug skills for each weapon.

For example, Greatsword has an attack where you launch yourself into the air, arching yourself towards the enemy as an attack maneuver and as a support maneuver, brace yourself, and increase your charging attack speed and damage output.

Each Wirebug attack is unique for every weapon, and I recommend trying out new combinations of weapons even if you have a set main sidearm (like me with the Switchaxe).  

Aside from combat, there’s a new mode coming in “Rise” called Rampage, which seems like it’ll push the Nintendo Switch to its limits.

The concept is that there are a lot of monsters that decide to attack Kamura village, and it’s like a tower defense mode because there’s different upgrades you can install throughout the mode across the map, such as extra weaponry and defenses.

The monsters even have different settings to where they either focus on destroying defenses, attacking hunters, or attacking both from afar.

From a new setting, new abilities, and new monsters, “Rise” is shaping up to be a fantastic inclusion to the “Monster Hunter” franchise.

“Monster Hunter Rise” releases March 26 for Nintendo Switch, and will be coming to PC sometime next year.