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Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Monster Hunter Digital Event May 2021 Thoughts

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - I wonder if the Rite of Channeling is ethical.

Just last month, CAPCOM held the Monster Hunter Digital Event - April 2021. Now today, there's the Monster Hunter Digital Event - May 2021. Like before, this talked about both Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin and Monster Hunter Rise, and in that order. Like before, I mostly just care about Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin, releasing worldwide July 9 2021:

The event starts with showcasing a scary pit that emits “rage-rays” of light that pisses off monsters that see it. Just another strange thing that's threatening the safety of the world. They showed returning characters from the first game (Avinia the Rider and her Frostfang) and new ones (Orgo the big Felyne and the mysterious Ol' Dede who probably isn't King Dedede's dad or grandpa or something...though that's not confirmed).

But this event today wasn't just story discussion, but they also talked about actual game features and showed gameplay. Note that some of what I'm about to mention is from the website, not necessarily from the event.

Like the first game, there are Riding Actions, which are overworld skills that depend on the Monstie you're riding, like the ability to swim or dowse for items. The core gameplay loop of infiltrating deep monster dens to get monster eggs also returns, with the intent of players hatching those eggs for new Monsties. An important feature, called the Rite of Channeling, involves gene therapy (actual gene transferring from one Monstie to another, as opposed to, say, mRNA vaccines) that can give Monsties abilities they wouldn't ever naturally have, which will make up a big part of the game's metagame, similar to Pokémon breeding. There appears to be a quality-of-life update in the sequel compared to the original in terms of how flexible your gene movement can go.

Monster Hunter Stories 2 Wings of Ruin believe in Ratha head-pat
I found head-patting Ratha with a giant... Q-tip? To be endearing.

Tying the story bit and gameplay, rage-rayed monsters are fightable and appear to be more aggressive. Maybe they're boss fights? There are lots of dragon-y wyvern monsters that will be around, and very different environments to explore, including volcanos and really cold places.

The second half of the digital event was used to discuss the now-available-for-download Monster Hunter Rise version 3.0—when it said available May 27, they really meant May 26 at night. This is the wrong website for you if you want to understand the implications of the new update, but it seems like there's new monsters (like Crimson Glow Valstrax from Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate, but it has new attacks compared to back then. Seems cooler than Ridley) and story content, resulting in a new ending.

Besides that free update, there's new paid DLC in the form of character customisation options and music, including a creepy Canyne face mask for hunters.

There will be another update in mid-June (sounds suspiciously like what CAPCOM will talk about at E3 2021) called CAPCOM Collab 1, and there will be further CAPCOM Collab content later on. These will involve other CAPCOM franchises having some kind of content, which isn't too unfamiliar when I remember writing about a weird Mega Man costume in Monster Hunter: World, which was the previous Monster Hunter installment. Monster Hunter: World wasn't on Nintendo platforms while Monster Hunter Rise is currently exclusive to that, so I wonder if these collaborations will be focused on franchises that have historical Nintendo significance. That'd still include Mega Man, but perhaps now there is an opportunity for Ace Attorney too?

Do you think that it's typical Ludwig writing to try to force an Ace Attorney reference at the end of a given article? ...Or is it not forced and it's actually justified? Right now on the Nintendo Switch eShop, CAPCOM has Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen, ŌKAMI HD, Onimusha: Warlords, and Shinsekai Into the Depths on sale. Ludwig doesn't think any of those will get a CAPCOM Collab, although many of those would thematically qualify for one. He really wants to know when/if CAPCOM will provide a demo of Stories 2.

The demo was provided on June 25 and it's really good!


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