Monster Hunter Week continues! I can’t stop playing this game, and as a result, I can’t stop talking (and writing) about this game.
There are a myriad of improvements to the classic formula in Monster Hunter Rise, but if you ask anyone what their favorite is, you’re bound to get one of two answers: either Wirebugs or Palamutes.
Palamutes are a bit simpler, so let’s tackle those first. In the previous games, you’d generally get a little cat buddy called a Palico to help you out on your hunts. Palicos return in Monster Hunter Rise, but they’re not alone: this time you also get a dog friend called a Palamute!
On the surface, Palamutes and Palicos aren’t terribly different. Both follow you around on the map and help you out in combat. However, the Palamute offers one crucial ability that the Palico lacks. You can hop on your Palamute’s back and ride it around!
This is a hugely helpful ability that makes navigating the various hunting zones a heck of a lot easier. The Palamute moves fast–even faster if you’re dashing or coming off of a sick drift (yes, you can drift with your dog; if you’re not out of control, etc.). Even better: riding your dog at full speed doesn’t consume your precious stamina!
Your Palamute can also run up ivy-covered walls while being ridden, and you can gather ingredients from it’s back, too. You can even drink potions or sharpen your weapon while riding! Basically, you never need to leave your pup’s saddle until it’s time to actually fight a monster.
While the Palamute is a huge boon to a hunter’s mobility, there’s another new buddy that’s an even bigger help: the Wirebug.
Wirebugs sort of take the place of the previous game’s slinger… sort of? It’s a little bug buddy that chills out on your arm, and it can launch you skyward or help you dash quickly along the ground. It can help you quickly recover from being knocked down by a monster, too.
While the Wirebug’s main use is simplifying traversal (you can use it to quickly scale walls or reach otherwise-unreachable areas), that’s not all it’s good for. The Wirebug also gives you access to powerful Silkbind moves, which combine your Wirebug with your weapon to devastating effect.
Each weapon type has two different Silkbind moves, with more unlockable as Switch Skills. I’m a huge fan of the Hammer’s Silkbinds, which can dish out devastating damage if aimed well; I love the Long Sword’s, too, a few of which have a cool, anime-esque delayed damage effect.
I knew the Wirebug was going to revolutionize how players got around maps, but I wasn’t expecting their impact on combat to be so monumental. Pulling off stylish Silkbind moves, recovering quickly from big hits, repositioning at crucial moments–Wirebugs facilitate all of this. They give you a lot more options in combat, but that also makes them an important resource to manage; you only get two Wirebug charges, and while they do replenish automatically, keeping track of their cooldowns has become an important part of combat.
I love a lot of things about Monster Hunter Rise, but it’s undeniable that Wirebugs and Palamutes are the biggest, best additions to the game. Fast movement, stylish attacks, and adorable dogs–what more could you ask for?