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Seventeen years ago, Capcom released the first Monster Hunter title for the PlayStation 2. Since then, the developer has constantly improved on the formula with each new game in the series. By this point, the gameplay shines with a fine gleam and is matched by only a few other action RPGs. Monster Hunter Rise not only continues this trend but also adds more speed and verticality to the mix. The game introduces the wirebug, which functions somewhat like a grappling hook. This mechanic not only aids in fighting and mounting monsters but also helps hunters to explore hard-to-reach areas. Thanks to the RE Engine, the game looks absolutely stunning on Nintendo Switch, running smoothly no matter how many monsters and hunters crowd the screen.
With dozens of monsters to tackle, fourteen weapons, five vast areas to explore, and a new tower-defense mode, Monster Hunter Rise offers plenty to RPGamers. Yet, Capcom continues to add content to the base game, including several new monsters and dozens of events that keep players engaged even as they look forward to the upcoming expansion, Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak. Whether hunters run solo, hunt with a random group, or gather up a group of friends, they will have a thrilling time with Monster Hunter Rise.
Who would’ve thought that Persona and Musuo would be a match made in heaven? Though some skepticism greeted early videos that came out for Persona 5 Strikers, those concerns were swiftly squashed when the game itself arrived. Persona 5 Strikers’ combat is both slick and stylish as players plow through large groups of Shadows as one expects in a Musou, but it also seamlessly blends it with the traditional Persona elements of summoning Personas, exploiting elemental weaknesses, and putting on a show! Every character plays differently and battles have the right amount of challenge. Persona 5 Strikers is a successful marriage of two different styles of game, coming together to create a unique combat experience, while also taking Persona fans on an unforgettable summer roadtrip.
Many RPGamers fell a bit out of touch with the Tales series after its almost annual western releases, culminating with Tales of Zestiria and Tales of Berseria. However, after a four-year break, Tales of Arise has rekindled love for the series for many players. Instead of trying to reinvent the wheel with an overly complicated battle system, Arise’s combat invokes the timeless hack-and-slash action that made Tales famous. Its excellent story tugs at players’ heartstrings but still has lighthearted moments to ease some of the tension. With its gorgeous character models, dazzling spell animations, and massive areas to explore, this is the best that Tales has ever looked. This is a great game for newcomers as well as lapsed fans who needed a reason to reconnect with the series.
by Phil Willis, Sam Wachter, and Kelley Ryan