In today’s Monster Hunter March Digital Event, Monster Hunter Rise director Yasunori Ichinose showed up for a (pre-recorded) questions and answers session. Fans all over the world shared ideas on what to ask him through the official Monster Hunter Twitter account. Personally, I found most of the questions featured in the event to be somewhat boring. However, there are interesting tidbits hidden in the interview. Here are key takeaways from the director Yasunori Ichinose Q&A segments:
- The main story seems to be concluded via a title update. Does this mean the base game Village Quest will have a cliffhanger ending? Or will the update be more of a “continuation” like Iceborne?
- Apex monsters will give additional types of equipment.
- And Rampage can be ended by simply finishing some of the Sub-Assignments. Unfortunately, monsters just disappeared when beaten. No carving spree in Rampage.
Watch the full 16 minutes of the Q&A segment with Yasunori Ichinose below. You might find something interesting yourself. And in case you need a transcript of the video, just keep on reading.
Q&A Segment with Monster Hunter Rise Director Yasunori Ichinose
Question 1: Will there be DLC and Title Updates with new monsters, gameplay features, balance updates, etc.?
Monster Hunter Rise Director Yasunori Ichinose: “We just announced some of our Title Update plans in the latest Digital Event. At the end of April, we’re adding a quest that will remove the cap on your Hunter Rank.
Once the HR cap is removed, you can gain and accumulate Hunter Rank points by clearing Village and Hub Quests. Your Hunter Rank will increase based on how many Hunter Rank points you have. By raising your Hunter Rank, you can take on newly added monsters. Also, we haven’t confirmed a release timing yet, but the second update will add more monsters and the conclusion to the story.
Question 2: What were the design challenges with creating the Rampage quest type?
The themes in this game were inspired on Japanese and Asian folklore, so we’ve created monsters inspired by Japanese Yokai. There’s this Japanese picture scroll called Hyakki Yako, which depicts a scene of lots of Yokai, so we thought of a new quest type Rampage (in Japanese “Hyakuryu Yako“) using that as a motif.
We wanted to think of a quest type that would be worthy of the name Hyakuryu Yako, “Parade of a Hundred Dragons”, by having you face more monsters than you would see in a normal quest, repelling one after another with flashy and satisfying gameplay.
The challenge was exactly that: how to show that many monsters on screen at once and make it fun for the player. From the beginning, we tested many different amounts and iterated a number of times, and finally settled on the Rampage we have now. When you play it, we hope you don’t just use the Installations to repel monsters, but also draw your weapons and attack with them as well. The key to success is to understand the flow and cycle of fighting with both Installations and weapons. We can’t wait to see you all trying it out.”
Question 3: How will Rampage be balanced for Single Player?
We have balanced the game so that Rampage Quests can be played solo as well. To be more specific, the difficulty scales based on how many players are in the Rampage Quest, just like any other Quest. We’ve also set up Sub-Assignments, in addition to the main quest objectives, to provide you with smaller goals within the Rampage Quest.
If you clear any of the Sub-Assignments, you can end the Rampage part-way through. But if you want to have the full experience, you can complete every Sub-Assignment and clear the main Rampage objective. The game will keep track of your completions so you can tell how good a player is at Rampage by how much they’ve done it. Please try it out solo, or in multiplayer to try and clear different objectives.”
Question 4: Will Apex monsters have unique weapons and armor?
Yes, by completing Rampage Quests, you’ll get special rewards that you can take to the Smithy and either forge or upgrade special items. Again, hope you check out Rampage.”
Question 5: What were the challenges in creating new monsters or implementing returning monsters in relation to the new mobility options that Hunters have now?
Player tactics are taken into account, but the most important part is to design the gameplay of the monster to be fun and unique, so we try to think of ideas for that. Then we think about its movements and how they interact with player movement, and come up details on how that would pan out. The next step is to see how it would work in the game, so then we add animations and effects.
Our goal is to add monster features that have depth and strategy, rather than try to adapt to players’ options.”
Question 6: What is the process of creating new game mechanics?
In Monster Hunter Rise, we incorporated the new Wirebug feature. I wanted to add something new to the traditional Monster Hunter gameplay by giving the action gameplay a different spin.
I was talking with other game designers about adding wire-based actions, which eventually became the Wirebug. When it comes to wires, you need walls and solid surfaces or else you can’t really do anything, so to translate that wire design to the Monster Hunter universe, we attached a bug at the end, allowing you to use it anytime, anywhere.
This made the action feel quite new and refreshing. Up until now, most of the combat had been grounded, but we’ve managed to add new aerial options.”
Question 7: What is your favorite new monster?
Magnamalo, the flagship monster of Monster Hunter Rise. We’ve spent a lot of time creating this one, even from the early stages of game production.”
Question 8: What is your favorite returning monster?
Question 9: What is your weapon type in Monster Hunter Rise?
Hunting Horn and Heavy Bowgun. There are many weapon types and one designer can’t be in charge of them all, so we share the load among all the game designers. The ones I was in charge of were Hunting Horn and Heavy Bowgun, so they became my favorites in Monster Hunter Rise.”
Question 10: What is your favorite weapon design in Monster Hunter Rise?
I really like the Tetranadon weapon designs. The armor design has a military vibe, but the weapons have a water-based motif. The weapon names are also a bit different from the norm so I like that, as a whole package.”
Question 11: What is your favorite music track in Monster Hunter Rise?
Kamura’s Song of Purification, the track that plays in the Village, sung by Hinoa the Quest Maiden. During development, I listened to this one a lot. Proof of a Hero and some other tracks are featured in the mini album we released, so if you haven’t yet, please go have a listen while you wait for the game’s release.”
Question 12: If you could live in any village, town, or city in the Monster Hunter series, where would you live?
That’s a good question. Kamura Village definitely comes to mind since we’ve been working on it recently, and I’d actually like to live there. Rampage is coming so I’m not sure what would happen, but we’ve got friends there, and those Bunny Dangos look really tasty, so why not?”
Question 13: Do you or any of the MH dev team members play Monster Hunter on your spare time, just for fun?
The game hasn’t released yet, so we’ve only been playing it for work so far. In the past, dev team members would play on launch day and after. Some people would get together at lunch in places like meeting rooms to play. Some would go on to play for hundred of hours even after having worked on the game. That makes me think we were able to create something with a good amount of challenge and replayability. Hopefully Rise will get to become one of those games.
One of the key features of this game is the seamless maps and Wirebugs that let you get to just about anywhere. So please run around the map (with your Palamute) to figure out the shortest or best routes. There’s not just one, but many paths containing various Endemic Life and hidden things whether you’re enjoying the Quests or just exploring the map.”
We’re less than a month away from launch, so please enjoy the demo as you look forward to the game’s release. Thank you for your time.”
And that’s all from Monster Hunter Rise director Yasunori Ichinose. The game will be released for Switch on March 26. The PC version will follow in early 2022. Do you think his decision to rework Hunting Horn was a good idea? (PS. It was) Do you agree with his pick for favorite new and returning monsters? Share your thoughts as well by dropping by in the comments below!