I was finally able to play a full game of “Monster Hunter Rise” after its release last Friday. We’ve had access to the demo since early February, and it gave players an early look into the game’s mechanics and some of the monsters that you’ll encounter.

That’s only a taste of what we got in the final game, and I’m blown away already.

For starters, “Monster Hunter Rise” is the latest game in the “Monster Hunter” series that focuses on you, the Hunter of Kamura village, as you prepare for a Rampage of monsters that’ll be attacking the village in due time. 

There are two separate missions you will be responsible for.

The first are village quests. They are purely solo and act as the main story quests. The other are hub quests, and they’re a bit more difficult like traditional “Monster Hunter” missions.

They encourage multiple players to tackle each of the hub quests, but since “Rise” is a Nintendo Switch exclusive for now, the Switch has a terrible online service. It is barely possible to play “Super Smash Brothers” online without an ethernet cable.

Not only that, but there are few good ways to communicate with people via the console friends list. I had to primarily use Discord to speak with my fellow hunters, but the overall online experience impressed me.

I saw that Nintendo’s online servers were older than the PlayStation 2, and I wasn’t as surprised as I was humored.

However, I also heard they were updating said servers and were specifically putting them into effect for “Rise,” so I thought that was a good move from Nintendo’s part. However, it could’ve been a better move if they implemented improved servers long before that.  

I had a pretty good experience playing with friends from a technical standpoint. I didn’t use an ethernet connection; I went through wi-fi. We had four total people including our Palamutes and then we had the monster itself to fight.

Even though it was admittedly hectic with all that was going on between people who all use different weapons, I didn’t experience any lag at all. Also, the Switch hardware held up amazingly; I didn’t notice any framerate drops during all the combat.

As far as gameplay goes, combat is much more fun and interactive than it has ever been.

The basic move-sets of each weapon carry over from “Monster Hunter World” with some small updates added to each of them. You can also use Wirebug attacks and Switch Skills to spice up combat even more.

Speaking of the Wirebug, it is faster and more fun to traverse each area now. You can swing around the map with two Wirebugs (or a third if you find one during your exploration) and even catch yourself when you get thrown by a monster.

It adds much more speed to combat and to the gameplay itself, and I prefer Wirebugs over World’s Slinger and Clutch Claw.  

If you’re a longtime fan of “Monster Hunter,” or just got into the series through “World” like I did, you’ll love “Rise.”

If you’re a newcomer to the series, you’ll be happy to know that I believe “Rise” is extremely beginner friendly. The game’s story is separated by solo village quests and hub quests that are meant to be done with multiple people.

The village quests are pretty easy, especially if you’ve been on top of getting better gear and weapons, and they act as the main narrative to “Rise.”

The traditional difficulty can be found in the hub quests where you’ll fight the monsters you’ve encountered in the story at varying difficulties.

Soon enough, you’ll become the greatest Hunter Kamura has ever seen, and will have bonded with your friends as well.

So far, I’ve had a fantastic time with “Rise” and I’m only just getting started. I spent 200 hours in “World” and I expect I’ll spend another 200 in “Rise,” so I’m excited to see where my hunts take me.

If you’re looking for a seriously in-depth cooperative combat looter with amazing aesthetics, unique weapons, and intimidating monsters, “Monster Hunter Rise” is a perfect choice for you and your friends.

“Rise” is out now on Nintendo Switch, and will be out sometime next year on PC.