The Monster Hunter Rise SunBreak expansion is finally here for Nintendo Switch and PC, and it adds a substantial amount of extra content, such as more monsters old and new, a brand new storage, new areas to explore Switch skills, and G Rank. But is that enough to warrant revisiting this world? Does it live up to previous Monster Hunter expansions, and is it worth being a new expansion or better? So, let us hunt for the answer and find out in Gaming Raja’s in depth review of Monster Hunter Rise SunBreak.
As a continuation of the base game story, you can only access this after playing through mot of Rise.This time, monsters from the kingdom are starting to invade other regions, disrupting their ecosystems and also compromising the safety of many people, including Kimura Village. As a result, we head to our new headquarters, Elgado, to aid in the research effort of why monsters are behaving this way and take care of that which threatens our new family. In Elgado SunBreak presents a much more narrative driven experience than Monster Hunter Rise.
This can especially be seen with the game structure, where, just like the base game progression is locked behind a series of key quests that you have to complete before being presented with an urgent quest that will further the story. The major difference this time is that SunBreak only requires the player to perform two or three key quests at a time before prompting you with an urgent quest.
Each Hunter Rank does this two times before allowing the player to move on to the next Hunter Rank. I really enjoy the way this structure houses the game’s story, as it allows the player more time to hunt between the story as well as the freedom to hunt what they want. At the same time, this provides the story more room to breathe and grow, giving the narrative more opportunities to present itself without forcing the player into a set path, hunting specific monsters until the story is complete. I enjoyed the story quite a bit. It executes a simple premise well, but for those looking for a deep story entangled with various plot devices, you’re not going to find it here.
Thankfully, where the story might not deliver, the characters in world building certainly do. The new hub, Elgado, sports a medieval theme built around the remains of a castle. It’s compact, making it easy to access all of the upkeep features you’ll need while changing slightly each time you return, especially since there are a ton of characters here. They each have a unique personality and viewpoint about what’s going on throughout the story. On top of performing various tasks, I really loved returning to this hub after every quest and seeing what everyone was up to.
I enjoyed getting to see Cheech play around with the Palico, the Kimura twins showing up for a visit, and it really took my heartstrings to see the delivery shipments changed as well, showing trade with Yukumo’s Palico Daruma Dolls and Plushies, it really brings the world together for those familiar with regions from the older games. I also enjoy the music that plays here as well, really creating a comfortable and relaxing Hub area that works well. To contrast the action filled combat.
Quest & Mission
Cheech is the person you’ll likely talk to most, and she’s the one who provides your quests, of which there are two types regular missions and follower co – op quests. Regular missions are the main missions presented through the game. These are the ones that progress the story as well as acting as your multiplayer Hub missions.
And on the other hand, follower co – op quests are the single player only missions where you’re allowed to hunt monsters with various NPCs in the game. Thankfully, the NPCs aren’t a detriment, in fact, they’re quite the opposite. They help hunt monsters and support in what ways they can healing you and Wyvern Riding when the opportunity presents itself. Although that won’t stop them since they’ll go to another area and grab a different monster to ride into battle. I’m quite impressed that they didn’t cart very easily.
When they do, they also don’t take your retries, so there’s no worry the AI is going to failure mission for you. I also really like the small mechanics they added, where even if an NPC hunter faints, they’ll slowly revive themselves, but if you’re able to interact with them before then you can heal them sooner and they’ll also reward you with an item. These missions are broken into two types as well support surveys and follow requests. Support surveys let you select the quest and which NPC to take with you as well as their weapons, whereas follow requests are initiated by NPCs that asked to go on a hunt with you as you progress through the game. I was initially worried about how these would work, acting as the single player option for SunBreak.
I’m not a big fan of these missions are locked behind the Hub progression, but I understand that some events need to happen first before providing the player with some of these quests. Although I really like these quests, instead of having their own story, they provide a ton of personality and more engaging interactions with various NPCs. The follow requests also grant each one that much more screen time, letting me really invest myself more in these characters.
New Switch Skills
The new switch skills and switch skill swapping might be one of the most important features the expansion has to offer as it introduces more switch skills for all 14 weapons that can really shake up your game plan. On top of delivering Flashy Finishers, these new switch skills are really fun to use, but they really start to shine when you look at their new switch skill swap feature, which allows you to make two custom switch skills layouts, one in a Red scroll and a Blue scroll.
They allowed the player to swap mid fight and deploy them when needed. I found this feature to be really fun as being able to swap switch scale layouts allows me to plan my scrolls around certain scenarios, playing to my strengths within my position at any given time. I got the most use out of this when using the Lance and Heavy Bow Gun, as many of the skills could complement one another. For instance, when using the Lance, I could plan my scrolls between a more aggressive attacking style and a more defensive shield counter play style. With the Heavy Bow Gun, I could choose to plan each build around how mobile I needed to be, choosing to siege up when the monster was exhausted and keep my dash in charge attacks when I had to stay on the move.
Unfortunately, I didn’t find myself doing this with every weapon. I found that with the Sword and Shield and the SwitchX, I tended to stay on one scroll or the other for extended periods of time. The switch skills for the Sword and Shield specifically work better based on the weapon I was using and less so on what was happening within the Hunt having a scroll that hits more often for status and elemental weapons, and one with stronger hits for weapons without such bonuses. Thankfully, this wasn’t the case for most weapons. I could still make regular use out of swapping my skills for other options like with the hunting horn and the charge acts.
Overall, switch skill swaps are a great inclusion into the game and allow a significant increase to player preferences and their skill expression. And at no point did I feel handicapped when not switching on the aforementioned weapons, meaning that if someone dislikes the system and decides not to make use of it, they won’t really place themselves at a disadvantage. Because Monster Hunter SunBreak is a continuation of Monster Hunter rise.
Combat and Monsters
The new G – Rank is meant to further the game’s difficulty. I played through Monster Hunter Rise, SunBreak and Single Player, so my experiences may differ from those looking to play the game with others.
That being said, I found this expansion increased the difficulty a lot when going into the entry Hunt to G – Rank. I quickly learned that I had to play to the Monsters beat. When the first monster punished me for not paying attention to its moves and tells, it was nice to see that I really had to change my mind-set for the G Rank difficulty spike, and this difficulty continued through the game. Monsters got faster, more relentless and targeted me in a way that I couldn’t just recover and heal right away without taking a cart for it. I think the application of their new special status blood blight furthers the idea of being more aware and rewarding mindful aggression.
With the status, players start to slowly lose HP and the effect of their healing items are reduced, but it also grants the player the ability to heal off of their attacks relative to the damage they do. This is an excellent way to reward the more aggressive playstyle Monster Hunter Rises established, while forcing players to be more mindful due to their low health, creating a solid risk versus reward while in the heat of battle.
Monster Hunter Rise SunBreak might have possibly the healthiest of difficulty curves in the series for a solo player. The game got progressively harder to a point where I found myself carding to monsters more consistently and punished harder for my mistakes, which resulted in me having to pay more attention and I loved it. But as a result of this healthy curve, I found the game missing a distinct wall or extremely hard obstacle to overcome and therefore my need to personally grow and improve met the scaling challenge.
This is generally a good thing is everyone should be able to rise to the challenge and improve without any superficial difficulty barriers blocking their way and creating unneeded frustration. As an older fan of the series, I have found that I now look back on those near impossible fights fondly. Thankfully, Capcom has confirmed more difficult fights will be on their way after the release of Monster Hunter SunBreak, starting with the Lucent Nargacuga, so there’s still room for more difficulty to climb. Let’s move on to the real point of Monster Hunter the new monsters. And they’re great with excellent theming.
While monster hunter rises. Monsters have a very eastern Yokai theme. With Garangolm resembling that of Frankenstein building its arms up to unleash devastating attacks, the Lunagaron resembling a werewolf in the moonlight, and the flagship Malzeno possessing obvious vampiric inspirations. From the regal appearance to the bats, all of the monsters look stunning and execute on their motifs while in battle. SunBreak also adds the usual series staple of monster variants into Monster Hunter rise.
These take what a monster is known for and put a spin on it, acting as a foil to what the base monster does, showing other ways monsters can fight and exist outside of their natural habitats. And I find that almost all of the variants added in Monster Hunter SunBreak do just that, accentuating parts of monsters that went underutilized in their base forms.
This creates some very memorable fights that are distinct from its counterpart. It was also a pleasure to see some older monsters return, like the Dynamo, Hermitaur, Garangolm and Espinas, in ways that doesn’t feel like the monster dropped a beat in their transition. From older titles to this installment, even the music that plays for each monster, Not You is strong and memorable, acting as a good complement to each monster added into SunBreak. The original Monster Hunter Rise was found to be a bit lacking in content when it came to the mission. This was only slightly remedied by DLC drops that added more quests.
I’m happy to say that’s not really a concern for those looking to get the most they can out of Monster Hunter SunBreak. Between the many follower collab missions and the regular missions, there’s already a ton to do, and this doesn’t even account for the various weapons and armours you might find yourself wanting. And even if you find yourself thinking this still isn’t enough, more quests and challenges work their way in even after the completion of the game story, and we’re still not accounting for the quests that are to come later. Following its release,
I found the new Switch skill systems to be a solid extension to that of Monster Hunter Rise. While I’m unsure why some of the quality of life improvements are advertised as features, they greatly reduce the overall clunkier aspects of the original game, creating an overall better experience than what was offered in Rise and with Monster Hunter Sunbreaks, cool monsters, beautiful new landscapes and music that complement both. I love monster. Hunter, rise, SunBreak.
It’s been an extremely fun experience with the increased difficulty and enjoying the satisfaction of improving and overcoming the challenges presented. If you find yourself loving Monster Hunter Rise, you’ll be sure to have a good time with Monster Hunter Rise SunBreak. If you hadn’t before, now is a great time to join in, as the game provides several ways to help players get through the earlier content faster and join everyone else in their expeditions at Elgado. Thank you so much for reading my article. How do you feel about Monster Hunter Rise SunBreak? Are you ready to start hunting on day one still on the fence. Feel free to comment below and let us know.