Xbox Game Pass is the best thing to happen to Monster Hunter

It is quite possible to play Rise of the Monster Hunter solo. You can skip the entire main storyline without entering the online lobby. Kill this one, grab it, go outside and cut the other one. It’s a fairly simple line, even for a complete beginner (you might get hit with a few horns and claws along the way).

But Monster Hunter doesn’t have the best experience. Less Monster Hunter Rise – The latest game in Capcom’s long-running series. Launched first on Nintendo Switch, then on PC, and now on all other consoles, Monster Hunter Rise is an exciting entry in the venerable action-RPG series. It is the first game after Monster Hunter World; the game that took the franchise into the mainstream. Rise isn’t like World: easier, more playable, more arcade-y.

Magnamalo is one of the best new Monster Hunter fights in ages – you should play at least until you fight one.

Hunt for Rise is fast, fun and crazy. With the help of Palico and Palamtue (that’s cat and dog in Monster Hunter parlance), you can jump into battle, locate your quarry, and set out to demolish it. Hack off body parts, cut off all the parts it needs to attack you, and weaken its defenses, and you’ll eventually kill it – or capture it. Congratulations; you and your pets have entered the pocket of a monster. Now cut it out and see what you can do with it.

This core gameplay loop is what Monster Hunter lives and dies on. If the rhythmic way the game forces you to interact with its monsters doesn’t win you over, you’re probably better off looking elsewhere for kicks. But once it gets its teeth or claws into you, there’s no other game like Monster Hunter. It’s the kind of game you can play for five hours without really realizing it, or just 20 minutes so you can “catch another Rathalos” because you want the attack bonus by wearing a full set of dragon armor.

I was lucky enough to be introduced to Monster Hunter early in my career by a dear friend. Ever the facilitator, he managed to wrestle me with a copy of Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate on the 3DS. After a greasy meal, a can of beer, and a sleepless night, I was hooked. My Sherpa concluded that a set of Tetsucabra armor would easily get me through the early game, so we killed 20 rock-loving frogs near the start of the game while I fiddled with the Insect Sword’s scrolling controls. . I practiced my moves, figured out how to compliment his hammer style, and bought myself some good gear.

Magnamalo is one of the best new Monster Hunter fights in ages – you should play at least until you fight one.

“It’s a Monster Hunter,” he grinned at me as I crossed the threshold from low rank to high rank, “and you haven’t even scratched the surface. “He was right. I put at least 200 hours into the game on the 3DS before my thumb got swollen and stuck from rubbing against the crappy rubber of the New 3DS model. I’ve hunted Elder Dragons, gunpowder tiger/dragon hybrids, proud lion beasts with magma claws and flaming manes. .I was obsessed.

I’ve played every Monster Hunter game and expansion since then. But I don’t think I would have if it wasn’t for an enthusiastic friend who showed me the (admittedly messy) tricks of the trade. I wouldn’t be on my third playthrough of Monster Hunter Rise until now if my long-suffering friend hadn’t sidelined me – again – to learn just how aggressive a Demon really is at High Rank. I wouldn’t be going through the history of Kamura Village if I didn’t show you how armor set bonuses work or why it’s important to have the right gems in your gear if you see those critical blue flashes appear regularly.

Imagine taking down this beast and then wearing its pieces. This is Monster Hunter in a nutshell.

That’s why Monster Hunter Rise’s arrival on Xbox Game Pass is the best thing to happen to the series. Capcom launched the series before – Monster Hunter World was a big selling point a few years ago – but the game was old by then. It’s had its day in the sun and people hunting for shiny new games have already moved on to Outriders or the latest Destiny 2 expansion or something similar.

Monster Hunter Rise was added to Game Pass last week, the same day the game arrived on consoles other than the Nintendo Switch. I’ve already seen internet forums and social media posts touting how good it is – and I couldn’t be happier. This is perhaps the best entry point in the series; it has amazing tutorials, numerous quality-of-life improvements, improved mobility and transition options, and some of the best new monster battles the series has seen in ages (the Magnamalo battle in particular stands out).

With Xbox Game Pass, the barrier to entry has been virtually removed: Capcom won’t charge you more than £40 for a game you’re not eligible for. All you need is a free party and some storage space on your console, and you might just find your next gaming obsession — and for nothing more than your monthly Game Pass subscription.

Even better, the game’s arrival on the service finally gives bored people like me the card space to reveal to my friends the secret that is the best action-RPG series in gaming. I don’t have to convince a stubborn person to invest money in it. , and I don’t have to convince them to join a service like a complicated MMO (sorry, Monster Hunter World, but you ended up being pretty unapproachable and heavy). “Come to Kamura Village,” I might say, “the weather is mild and we’ve got some great tutorials to teach you how to use that Switch Ax you’ve always loved the look of. »

Make sure you eat a lot of dango before you go hunting – this will increase your stats and even more loot.

With wirebug techniques, automatic map marking, a polished marking system and more, Monster Hunter Rise makes boarding a breeze. The first hunts you’ll do may be some of the easiest in the entire series, and the game’s overall difficulty has been toned down a bit to appeal to a wider audience. There are simple combos you can put into your controller to make you feel skilled: just dodging, blocking, or knowledge of iframes will easily take you to Rise’s endgame. Any Elden Ring or Dark Souls player will feel right at home here, and the doors are open.

We’ve yet to see the impact of Monster Hunter Rise’s arrival on the service, but I’m excited: Monster Hunter was already huge, but after two years of being kept away from Xbox and PlayStation players, it’s finally the world’s time. Great to see why I love Rise as much as I do.

There’s never been a better time to get into Monster Hunter, I promise.

Monster Hunter Rise is available now on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PC and Nintendo Switch. It is available on Xbox consoles and PC via Xbox Game Pass. You can check out our best Monster Hunter Rise starter tips here.

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