Monster Hunter has a repute for its huge weapons; the comically outsized nice sword is definitely the sequence’ most well-known monster-killing software. The sequence additionally has complicated weapons, just like the cost blade or the insect glaive.
However Monster Hunter’s weirdest weapon is the looking horn and, after going by some main modifications from earlier video games, it’s now my favourite of Rise’s 14 weapons.
What’s the looking horn?
The looking horn is precisely what it seems like: an enormous horn used to beat monsters mindless. However the horn additionally has a special performance: As I wail on monsters with my typical combos, I add notes to what’s primarily sheet music on the prime of my display screen.
In Rise, every be aware correlates with a particular buff distinctive to every horn, like elevated assault energy or earplugs that stop the monster from startling you with its roar. Right here’s an instance of the way it works: Tapping the A button launches an assault that hits the monster and logs a purple be aware in my sheet music bar. If I hit A twice in a row, I’ll log two purple notes again to again and activate a buff. Completely different buttons are mapped to totally different assaults, every of which has their very own buff if performed again to again. I may repeat this identical course of utilizing X or X+A to carry out totally different assaults and activate totally different buffs.
A brand new tune
Earlier than Rise, the looking horn was recognized for being a distinct segment and comparatively unpopular weapon outdoors of a completely devoted group of gamers, and it’s usually been regarded as a “assist solely” weapon.
There’s no scientific record of weapon rankings, however previous Straw Polls and information gathering makes an attempt concerning in style weapons in Monster Hunter: World and its growth, Iceborne, didn’t supply favorable rankings for the looking horn. Many gamers positioned the looking horn very low on their weapon rating record in World, with a minimum of one ballot exhibiting just one% of voters had chosen the horn as their favourite weapon. Even Arekkz, one of many largest and finest YouTubers protecting the sequence, known as the looking horn “among the best weapons that you simply’re not utilizing” in his Monster Hunter: World tutorial for the weapon.
However in quite a few polls I’ve seen asking gamers what they plan to play in Rise — together with one with over 2,500 votes from the Monster Hunter subreddit — the looking horn is primary. Why?
There have all the time been diehard followers of the looking horn, however it was all the time a bit clunky, a bit difficult, and sidelined by being a “assist weapon.” With Rise, Capcom took among the complexity out — gamers used to have to mix totally different notes into a particular “track” combo earlier than they might activate any buffs — and distilled the looking horn all the way down to its core identification: a musical instrument that additionally works as a bludgeon, buffing gamers whereas damaging monsters. And now it excels in that job even with out a full occasion of hunters.
A noisier bludgeon
I made a decision to place down my trusty hammer to check out the brand new hotness after listening to all of the looking horn buzz from the Monster Hunter Rise demo — and I not often ever put it again down. I’ve hunted every of Monster Hunter Rise’s monsters a number of instances, all fully solo, and I’ve used the looking horn for nearly all of them, together with the ultimate boss. I by no means fought a monster I couldn’t defeat utilizing the looking horn, and I’ve not often had as a lot enjoyable with my lengthy sword, hammer, or swap axe.
In Rise, Capcom added a brand new triple buff combo known as the Magnificent Trio that may solely be used after inserting a purple, blue, and inexperienced be aware on the sheet music menu directly — by hitting A, A, X, X+A in a row, for instance. By utilizing a normal combo just like the one above, you not solely allow your self to make use of this tremendous highly effective transfer, you additionally re-up your A be aware buff with out a lot danger. When you’ve activated the Magnificent Trio, you may retailer it without end, even after you’ve moved on to different combos or began combating a special monster.
Activating this Magnificent Trio evokes my hunter to carry out a bunch of flips and gyrations, enjoying music and dealing a ton of harm throughout the monster. And when the transfer finishes, it performs all of my buffs directly. If that wasn’t cool sufficient, dealing sufficient harm with the looking horn lets me improve Magnificent Trio with an assault the place I spin my horn on the bottom, dealing main harm to monsters with my candy tunes, rising all of my harm for a number of seconds, and searching cool as hell doing it.
Rise’s sport director, Yasunori Ichinose, informed Polygon in an e mail interview that he needed to “make a drastic change to make sure the [hunting horn’s] musical performances throughout fight had been extra rapid and impactful.” Ichinose succeeded, and with the suite of latest combos listed above, the looking horn is deadlier than ever.
The buffs are useful, however they aren’t every little thing I like about my looking horn. I additionally adore the bizarre manner my hunter strikes with the combos, the vary the horn affords over the hammer, and the distinctive positioning I would like for the horn. If I’m actively making an attempt to place notes on the bar, I’ll keep to the facet of the monster for a fast escape. But when I’m making an attempt to arrange my Magnificent Trio, I’ll transfer underneath the monster to maximise my harm. My combos aren’t lengthy or onerous to recollect, however I all the time keep engaged whereas wielding the looking horn.
If different gamers are in my hunt to get my buffs, that’s nice, however whereas they’re standing there jamming to my tunes, I’ll be single-handedly wrangling the monster with my favourite weapon.