Tag Archives: Hunter

Review: Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin – A Franchise Riding High

Monster Hunter is a series with a longstanding tradition of being impenetrable to casual first-time players, with systems layered upon systems and tricky combat. In the mainline series Monster Hunter: World provided a multi-platform mainstream breakthrough, while on Switch the recent Monster Hunter Rise followed that lead in applying copious quality of life improvements, and at times aggressive streamlining, to make the experience more palatable for a wide audience. That said, the IP’s broad universe and the intricacies of its monsters are still vitally important factors, and no genre is better suited to making sense of a complex world than a traditional RPG.

Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin may be a sequel, but it’s worth saying right away that you don’t need to have played this spin-off’s debut to jump into the new release — this reviewer hadn’t, despite a borderline obsession with the main games. There are some returning characters along with some assorted nods and winks that no doubt raise a smile for those that fought through the 3DS epic, but nevertheless Capcom takes a generational approach to storytelling and it is certainly a standalone game.

Playing Wings of Ruin with a lot of background knowledge of the main games isn’t necessary either, but it helped us recognise that this could be another welcome gateway for newcomers. Though some settings, monsters and general environs remind us more of the last generation of Nintendo-centric MH games on 3DS — and indeed World — this is a title that opens up an understanding of how monsters have ticks and behaviours, and introduces all the familiar items and their effects. Although knowing monsters from first-hand battles in past games can help a little in initial encounters, the systems and tutorials on hand here make the game accessible to pretty much any player.

As an RPG, Wings of Ruin isn’t shy about simply tagging along with decades-old genre tropes and methods. You have forests, ice areas, a desert and… you get the idea. You visit a village or town and to earn trust you set off completing quests to prove yourself — it’s almost always the same “this monster is causing problems, deal with it for us” scenario. So yes, it’s arguably a bit of a grind, but games like this are designed to be slowly digested over a number of weeks; in that context it works well.

However, the particularly intriguing aspects of Monster Hunter x RPG come in the combat and party building. You are a Rider, part of a group of rather charming folk that opt to raise, befriend and team up with monsters rather than hunt them. Yes, it’s a bit Pokémon to a limited degree — with a questionable practice of stealing eggs from nests, but let’s not go too deep into that — but as a playthrough develops there’s staggering depth to the setup. Each monster has a preferred ‘type’ that feeds into a rock-paper-scissors combat, and they then have varied special moves, abilities and buffs.

You could absolutely bury yourself in the stats, especially once you have the ability to ‘channel’ abilities between monsters, but the game is also generous enough that you can pay minimal attention and just about get away with it. The setup is clever, and you earn ways to expand your roster of monsters and even send them off on expeditions to level them up when outside your party. Particularly later in the story, you find powerful monsters that you want to use but are 20+ levels lower than desired, so sending them off on 20-30 minute jaunts to level up while you continue with saving the world is smart design. This is a game that encourages you to dive into the detail and build the dream party, but doesn’t judge you too much if you instead opt to stick to your old favourites.

Then there’s your Rider, a charming individual that can buy, forge and upgrade a dizzying array of armour and weapons derived from monsters you’ve faced. As always the Monster Hunter fashion is genuinely fabulous, and we had family members react with amusement to seeing our character in a different outfit pretty much every time they watched us play. There’s depth to admire again, as you carry three weapons and conveniently all the varieties fall into three categories — sword, bow, and hammer / horn — that add yet another wrinkle to the combat. Forging armour and weapons with your preferred moves and buffs is genuinely fun, and then you ditch them for something snazzier within a few hours. That part of the Monster Hunter life is brilliantly recreated here.

As mentioned previously, the combat itself incorporates a rock-paper-scissors format, as you try to second-guess opposing monster’s moves to successfully counteract them. When you know a monster’s patterns you have the tools to win well, as you can determine your accompanying Monstie’s next move or swap them out for a different type. There’s the option to target specific parts, and when you trigger combinations you build up to the option to ‘Ride’ your Monstie for a powerful special, healing you both in the process. As enemies become tougher you also learn how to use various items such as bombs and traps, too, so it’s kept interesting.

Despite the notable positives it’s not quite a clean kill with the combat, despite its solid construction and clever variety. For one thing, later in the game battles can drag on to 20 or more turns, even when you’re doing well and heading for an S rank. If you’re working through a dungeon and are getting snarled up in regular fights it can feel a little long-winded as a result; we spent a lot of time trying to duke around enemies as a result, as thankfully they’re visible on the field. You can also speed up battles, which helps a little, and if you’re over-levelled in an area you can also quick resolve a battle for an instant win. AI ‘buddies’ are another very small complaint — they can be very useful at times, but occasionally a little dim in their moves. They don’t intuitively target the same monster parts as you and will use a heal at silly times. These are relatively small complaints in the big picture, however.

When it comes to equipment, party building and combat, the mechanics in place are strong and clearly introduced. There’s far too much depth to go into fully in the space of a review, but suffice to say Stories 2 does an excellent job of keeping things varied.

Out of necessity, a lot of mechanics and detail are introduced slowly, with clear guides to help you find your way. It’s carefully put together so that it’s easy to grasp, but the victim of this is the story progression early on — another genre trope that is inescapable here. There are long stretches of busy work, where you may spend half a dozen hours on quests that achieve nothing of note but introduce useful mechanics. That’s the nature of RPGs, yes, but we would have preferred some slicker storytelling in the early stretch, in particular.

The story itself is quite simple but enjoyable, all told, and it’s certainly boosted by the lead protagonist and the utterly charming relationship they have with their ‘Monsties’, and ‘Ratha’ in particular. It feels like a while before the plot truly lifts off, but the pay-off is effective because of the lead-up and the excellent cutscene work — they mostly run in-engine, and the animation and direction of these scenes is terrific.

What you will notice in cutscenes are performance dips, and you’re going to see a fair bit of that during gameplay, too. There’s no getting around the fact that this title is not particularly well optimised for Switch, which is disappointing considering the stellar work that went into Rise. It feels like this was developed for PC primarily — where it is getting released on the same day — and then squeezed onto Nintendo’s little hybrid. The framerate even appears, bizarrely, to be unlocked, though it only nudges above 30fps very rarely when indoors with very little on screen.

Even if you don’t worry much about performance, especially in a large-scale RPG where there’s no real-time combat, it’s still noticeable. It can vary wildly depending on location and time of day; we’ve seen an area be smooth-ish at daytime and a juddery disappointment at sunset, and there’s a forest area early-on that runs downright poorly, especially in portable mode. It doesn’t stop you playing, but it is nevertheless hard to completely overlook in the worst-affected areas. That’s a bit of a pity, especially as the art-style is a brightly coloured pleasure, while copious voice-acting and beautiful music elevate the storytelling.

Intriguingly, an effort is being made to boost both story progression and no doubt postgame activity via multiplayer; a big strength of the main series that is getting a chance in this spin-off. Only unlocked after a decent number of hours and progress, you can either go into battles against others or embark on co-op quests — the latter is given more focus. The environments are similar to ‘dens’ you find in the story, with the option to team up with assorted players online or use room IDs. We weren’t able to test it extensively for review, but as a means of teaming up with friends and boosting Monstie collections and resources it’s a fun idea that could add even more longevity.

Conclusion

Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin deserves to find a sizable audience. It’s full of charm and boasts depth that can immerse the committed or be dabbled with by those eager to simply experience the story. As a blend of Monster Hunter with a traditional RPG approach it’s an accomplished effort, and offers the sort of meaty experience that’ll keep most players busy for weeks. Switch owners will need to tolerate some disappointing performance, unfortunately, but the overall experience shines nonetheless. It’s a game of bright colours and wholehearted optimism, which is very welcome indeed.

Oh, and you can name your Monsties; trust us, you’re gonna love these companions.

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Read more here >>> Nintendo Life | Reviews

Eek! The Physical Copy Of Monster Hunter Stories 2 Might Require A Download

Monster Hunter Stories 2© Capcom

Here’s some news that physical collectors will find quite concerning – the retail version of Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin could potentially require a download. And it may be more than just a day-one patch.

According to Nintendo Everything, photos it has received of the game’s box (from a retail worker) seem to indicate a download will be required in order to play the hard copy of the game. On the front, it says “download required” and on the back, it’s mentioned how the game requires a download of at least 15GB. The eShop file size listing is 13.5GB.

While storage requirements aren’t necessarily a problem – especially if you own a MicroSD card, there’s still the issue of the physical copy not featuring the entire game on it, which some might feel defeats the purpose of purchasing a hard copy in the first place.

Capcom has made no mention of the game requiring a download of this size previously and there’s no reference of it elsewhere, so with any luck this is just a misprint. If we hear anything else, we’ll update this post.

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Read more here >>> Nintendo Life | Latest News

Feature: Monster Hunter Rise Director Talks RE Engine On Switch

Monster Hunter Rise

Monster Hunter Rise has been out for a number of months, selling an impressive number of copies while also showing the capabilities of the Switch hardware in the right hands. One of just two titles on the system to utilise the RE ENGINE — the other being Ghosts ‘n Goblins Resurrection — it brings the series to another level on Nintendo hardware, while successfully retaining the visual look and charm from past-generation entries.

The technical aspects of the title are interesting, however. Monster Hunter: World always seemed beyond the capabilities of Nintendo’s hybrid system, yet many of the updated approaches of that title made their way to Rise. The days of segmented maps with numerous load screens are replaced by seamless open areas, while new gameplay additions allow players to traverse environments quickly and even vertically. While the visual styles of Rise and World are different, they have far more in common than many may realise.

That’s been reinforced to us recently – we’ve had the wonderful opportunity to pose questions to Yasunori Ichinose, Director of Monster Hunter Rise. This interview was focused on the technical development of the game, and of course that implementation of Capcom’s flagship RE ENGINE.


https://i2.wp.com/images.nintendolife.com/18876a7b861b8/hub-town.original.png?resize=474%2C267&ssl=1Hub Town© Capcom / Nintendo Life

Nintendo Life: What was the main technical reason for utilising the RE Engine for Monster Hunter Rise on Nintendo Switch?

Yasunori Ichinose: The main technical reason is that we can use RE ENGINE’s powerful C# scripting system, not to mention the latest graphics features of RE ENGINE (if hardware specs allow it). In MT FRAMEWORK, all the game logic was implemented in C++, so the build time was a problem; in RE ENGINE, the game logic is implemented in C#, so the build time can be greatly reduced (approximately 10 seconds, which would take 100 times longer in C++). This allows for quick iterations of trial and error to make the game more interesting. It’s not directly visible, but it’s a very important part of development, and I think it indirectly contributes to the fun of the game.

Along with Ghosts n’ Goblins Resurrection, this is a rare instance of the engine being utilised on Nintendo’s hardware. To what degree did the core RE Engine team adjust the tools to suit the Switch?

“The initial performance was quite severe and major optimization was a must.”

RE ENGINE was designed from the beginning with multiple platforms in mind, so the simple porting itself was not that difficult. However, it was quite difficult to work with the core graphics elements (which involved the Nintendo Switch’s slightly unique graphics API, NVN) to develop a translator for the shader program.

In RE ENGINE, shader programs are written in HLSL (high-level shader language), but we had to implement a new translator to convert them to GLSL (OpenGL shading language). In this translator, we implemented a few tricks to output the optimal code when converting from HLSL to GLSL so that the performance of the GPU can be achieved. We also added support specifically for the Nintendo Switch GPU. For example, we added support for ASTC (adaptive scalable texture compression), a texture compression format that has been very useful in reducing memory and data size.

Did early testing of the RE Engine and the planned visuals for Rise return strong results, or was significant optimisation required to achieve the performance you wanted?

The initial performance was quite severe and major optimization was a must. First, we switched the graphics pipeline from a Deferred-based one to a Forward-based one. In the past, the RE ENGINE used a graphics pipeline based on Deferred Rendering. However, since memory bandwidth was expected on the Nintendo Switch, we built a new Forward Rendering graphics pipeline for Monster Hunter Rise. We then made many optimizations one by one, from large to small.

Examples of these optimizations include: baking/applying shadows, applying GPU Occlusion Culling, and replacing DOF (depth of field), etc. with new lightweight alternatives. Many other miscellaneous optimizations were made as well, including: replacing overly rigorous computation with simplified computation, replacing Compute Shader implementations with Pixel Shader implementations, and adding a Culling Process. We also worked with the artist to adjust the area of influence of lights, since the light source calculation process becomes very heavy in areas with too many lights.

Like Monster Hunter World before it, Rise utilises larger and seamless environments – what are the biggest benefits of that approach?

In Monster Hunter Rise, you can now perform highly flexible actions such as wall-running and using the Wirebug. You can also ride around the field quickly while riding a new buddy character called Palamute, which works very well with the seamless environment.

Though it’s a new engine, the visual design does share similarities to the previous Wii, 3DS and Wii U entries. Can you explain how you evolved that look, albeit at a higher resolution and level of detail?

In order to make the new monsters of Monster Hunter Rise fit in the same field as the monsters of past titles with very different model specifications, we carefully proceeded with the texture expression, polygon count, and number of joints after repeated verification with the motion team. The expression of hair was the most difficult part, but it was solved when the shaders from Monster Hunter: World could be ported over.

Can you talk about the extensive animation work that went into this project? How significant a progression did this represent from the previous 3DS titles, for example?

“Due to the specs of the Nintendo Switch, it would have been easiest to use data from the 3DS era, but since Monster Hunter: World was released recently, it was important to make Monster Hunter Rise look as modern as possible.”

Due to the specs of the Nintendo Switch, it would have been easiest to use data from the 3DS era, but since Monster Hunter: World was released recently, it was important to make Monster Hunter Rise look as modern as possible. From a processing standpoint, it is better to have fewer joints, softness of the movement and a high degree of freedom of expression. That was an element that we did not want to cut, so I was working closely and consulting with the programmer. Characters from Monster Hunter: World are kept as they are as much as possible, while some new characters were created by consulting with the model team and we cut the joints up until the very last minute. When it comes to facial animations, Monster Hunter: World’s ample number of joints was an impossible number, so we worked on finalizing the number for this game and then worked on the facials.

As for the animation work, we started by making sure that the data from Monster Hunter: World could be ported over. Modifying and reducing the chain and auxiliary joints was a task that required more work from the modelers and programmers. In addition to the Monster Hunter: World attacks and movements, “Wyvern Riding” was added as a new feature to Monster Hunter Rise, so the number of motions we needed to create increased considerably. The time it took to create attack, movements, and techniques was high, and since “Wyvern Riding” movements were also added, the enemy animation team had a hard time due to the sheer volume of material, creation time, and post-incorporation checks.

On the player’s side, we included a lot of aerial actions involving Wirebug actions and additional actions using walls, so in addition to internal captures, we also had the help of Katsugekiza (action mo-cap team) to improve the quality. For the NPCs, we focused on the placement and relevance of each NPC in this game. We hope that you will enjoy the little things that change, such as the way NPCs greet you when you come to their villages, or the way NPCs change their locations after you move from one area to another.

What graphical tricks and adjustments are you most proud of, in terms of steps that enabled the game to look and perform so well (for example reduced framerates on distant creatures, resolution adjustments)?

No texture streaming is done during the game, but it’s done during the cut scenes, NPC textures are streamed and loaded only in the high-resolution mipmap portion to make them higher resolution. This allowed us to reduce memory usage during the game, while making the cut scenes look even better. The graphics in Monster Hunter Rise are a combination of many fine tricks and adjustments and we are proud of them all equally.

Small objects (props) in the background are erased when they are far away, but if they suddenly disappear, the popping will stand out. So, we used a dither pattern to gradually erase them so that they would not stand out. We also manually adjusted the distance at which we erased individual items that stand out. Since there is no G-Buffer in Forward Rendering, the techniques often used in Deferred Rendering (SSAO and SSR) cannot be used as they are, but they are implemented in a creative way. SSAO (Screen Space Ambient Occlusion) was implemented using a method that calculates it using the ‘normal’ recovered from the Depth Buffer depth values. SSR (Screen Space Reflection) was specially supported by adding a dedicated drawing path only for the water surface. The reflection of the water surface is a part that we worked especially hard on, even if it increased the processing load a little, because we wanted to make it look realistic and beautiful. Additionally, a simple atmospheric scattering calculation was included in Fog. With only a small processing load, I think it contributed to making the background light expression look a little more gorgeous.

“I’m happy that we were able to create something that people will think is impressive that it runs at this quality on the Nintendo Switch.”

If you could travel back in time and give yourself some advice at the start of Monster Hunter Rise’s development, what would it be?

I believe that we should have created an environment for automatic performance measurement earlier. Monster Hunter has a wide variety of combinations of stages, monsters, weapon types, etc., so we did not have an automatic measurement environment that covered all of these patterns. This made it a little difficult to check the optimization results.

What is your overall feeling after working on Monster Hunter, in the RE Engine, on the Nintendo Switch?

Optimization was very difficult, but it was also challenging and rewarding. Thanks to the basic design, tools, and development methods of RE ENGINE, we were able to challenge the optimization up until the very last minute. It was a challenge to fit the large RE Engine into the small Nintendo Switch, but I’m happy that we were able to create something that people will think is impressive that it runs at this quality on the Nintendo Switch.


We’d like to thank Capcom and Yasunori Ichinose for their time.

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This post originally appeared on Nintendo Life | Latest News

First Impressions: Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin Is An RPG Of Monstrous Potential

Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin in out in just a few short weeks, but ahead of that launch we were able to get our hands on it and were granted the luxury of giving you all a bit of a whack from the ol’ impressions stick. The first game came out on the 3DS in the West after the Switch had launched and didn’t perhaps get the audience it deserved, so the pressure’s on for this sequel to grab the audience share it missed out on. So, how’s it looking so far?

Well, if you’re not familiar with Monster Hunter Stories as a concept, it differs from the standard Monster Hunter formula in a number of ways. First and foremost, you are not a hunter, you’re a rider. Whereas hunters kill monsters, riders kill monsters with monsters that they’ve befriended. The gameplay is also leagues apart from the mainline series, as Stories takes on the form of a turn-based JRPG.

Similarly to something like Miitopia, you’ll have numerous members of your party, but you’re only in direct control of your player character rather than your ‘Monstie’ (a term used to distinguish friendly monsters from your bog-standard common or garden monster) or any partners that might be tagging along.

System01 Tab01 01© Capcom

This at first may seem detrimental to your control and efficiency as a unit, but the game is very open with what moves and/or attacks everyone else on your team is going to use before you make your final decision, meaning that you can plan accordingly and apply tactics where necessary. You can also command your Monstie to use specific special moves called Skills if you really need to, so it’s a limitation only in part.

When it comes to attacking you have a fair few options at your disposal. You can perform a Power, Technical, or Speed attack, and this trifecta functions like a rock-paper-scissors system, with Power beating Technical, Technical beating Speed, and Speed beating Power. This is important because if an enemy is targeting you (which the game also kindly highlights) and you decide to target them back, you’ll enter a head-to-head situation, whereby the winner of the conflict – through the rules of the three attack types we just mentioned – will get to attack, and the loser will deal no damage whatsoever, which can be crippling for said loser.

System01 01© Capcom

Each monster also has weaknesses and resistances to specific weapon types, categorised into Slashing, Piercing, and Blunt. When you first encounter a monster you’ll have no idea which weapon is most effective, so you’ll have to get experimenting by swapping out your weapon, which you can do once per turn and thankfully doesn’t ‘use up’ your move for that turn.

There are also tactics where you and your Monstie can perform a Double Attack against a foe, and ride your Monstie mid-battle when your Kinship gauge is full, and it’s all these little wrinkles that add up to what is really quite a detailed and nuanced system, even if on their own they’re relatively simple. The end result is a combat system that’s really rather excellent, and provides intense battle situations but without overwhelming the player at any point. Nice work, Capcom.

System06 01© Capcom

But combat isn’t everything this game has to offer, you’ll be exploring vast swathes of land littered with monsters, resources, and – most importantly – Monster Dens. These dens are essentially little mini-dungeons with monsters, resources and – most importantly again – nests, where you can find eggs to hatch into new Monsties to join your party.

If that sounds a bit Pokémon then yeah, it is a bit, but that’s no bad thing whatsoever. Each time you find an egg your partner Navirou will give you an indication as to whether it’s a good egg or not, and the patterns give away what kind of Monstie you can expect. It’s a fun system that makes each Monstie feel deserved, but we did see quite a few duplicates from time to time, so bear that in mind.

The world of Monster Hunter Stories is rich and diverse, and its art style is just to die for. The whole game pops visually, cutscenes are engaging and don’t outstay their welcome, and the cast of characters is (mostly) endearing. Our feelings about the Felyne Navirou are a bit mixed; he’s clearly the comic relief of the story but his Bubsy-like voice and relentless use of cat puns did grate on us. We miss the Felynes that just went ‘mrow’.

Weapon01 Ss01© Capcom

All in all, Monster Hunter Stories 2 is looking to be a fine spinoff that truly feels like it fits in the Monster Hunter universe, but without simply emulating the mainline games. From what we’ve played so far we have high hopes that this is going to be an RPG well worth your time, so keep an eye out for our full review when it rolls in around launch day on 9th July.

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This post originally appeared on Nintendo Life | Latest News

UFO sighting over Utah: Bizarre light formation is 'cloaked alien craft' claims ET hunter

The outrageous claim was put forward by Scott C Waring, a self-titled UFO expert and host of the blog UFOSightingsDaily.com.

Mr Waring is a staunch believer in extraterrestrial phenomena and is convinced aliens are living among us, hidden in plain sight.

He has previously called on SpaceX billionaire Elon Musk to retrieve from the Moon what he believes is the carcass of a crashed UFO.

The conspiracy theorist has also claimed to have found evidence of ET activity on Mars in pictures snapped by NASA’s Curiosity Rover.

Commenting on the Utah UFO on his blog, Mr Waring bizarrely claimed the four lights are indicative of a single alien craft using some sort of cloaking technology.

He said: “Wow this video is amazing! Those lights in the sky remind me of the famous Phoenix Lights UFO incident long ago.

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Weird Feed

Viral video of 'alien' walking down street vexes UFO hunter 'Aliens are getting closer'

“Perhaps it wanted to give them the secrets to immortality, and yet, no one cared enough to approach it and greet the alien. This is the world we live in.”

Could there be a much simpler explanation for the “Jharkhand alien”?

According to some of the internet’s best sleuths, the answer is yes.

Scott Brando, a popular hoax buster who runs the Twitter account and website ufoofinterest.org, the “strange figure” was a naked woman walking down the road all on her own.

He tweeted: “Contrary to what I thought, the video of the alleged alien walking on a road at night was not a hoax, it was not staged. The ‘alien’ was a woman walking naked.”

One of the men who appeared in the viral video has also spoken out about the encounter, telling the local press in India it was indeed a naked woman.

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Weird Feed

UFO sighting: Alien hunter claims to have '100% proof' of flying saucers over Florida

The person said: “Hmmm, so what’s the reason you sat on these for so long? Is it because of Occams razor? The easiest possibility is most likely to be the correct one?

“To me, the obvious candidate is rain droplets caught by the camera.

“But I too could be wrong for I wasn’t there to see one of these at the time the photos were taken either…”

There might be no telling what caused the UFOs – debris, raindrops or software glitches – but it is highly unlikely these are genuine UFOs.

But there is a well-understood psychological phenomenon that could explain Mr Waring’s interpretation of the images: pareidolia.

Pareidolia is a peculiar trick of the mind that causes people to see recognisable shapes and patterns where there are none.

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Weird Feed

Monster Hunter Rise update 3.0 live stream, patch notes NEWS, MH Stories 2 gameplay

UPDATE: Capcom has revealed more about Monster Hunter Rise update 3.0.

The update introduces a new variant of Valstrax, which is the signature monster from Ultimate Generations.

“This mysterious Elder Dragon is known by the name Crimson Glow Valstrax and can soar through the skies by changing the shape of its wings, allowing it to fly and attack from unusually high altitudes.

“Next, Apex Zinogre enters the fray with an electric “golden lighting” look and different attacks that might leave hunters in shock. Additionally, a new quest featuring an epic showdown with the Thunder Serpent Narwa and Wind Serpent Ibushi will provide players with a highly-anticipated new ending to the storyline.

“This new story ending, as well as the two new monsters, new quests, new weapon and armor options, new skills, and more will be available to players for free when Ver. 3.0 releases later today.”

Update 3.0 also adds a brand new DLC pack, which adds new voice options, gestures, hairstyles, sticker sets, background music and more.

Capcom is holding a special digital event for Monster Hunter Rise and Monster Hunter Stories 2.

The Monster Hunter Digital Event takes place at 3pm BST on May 26. You can watch the event as it takes place by clicking play on the video below.

The Capcom live stream will focus on Nintendo Switch game Monster Hunter Rise, specifically the 3.0 update.

“Monster Hunter Digital Event – May 2021 is fast approaching!” reads a Capcom tweet. “Tune in for details on #MHRise Update Ver. 3.0 and the latest news on #MHStories2.”

Express Online will update the article with the Monster Hunter 3.0 patch notes when they’re announced by Capcom.

Update 3.0 is expected to add new monsters to hunt down, as well as quality of life improvements.

There’s a chance fans will also be treated to a new area to explore, as well as new items to unlock.

Monster Hunter Rise is already one of the highest rated games in the series to date, so any post-release content will only make it better.

Monster Hunter Stories 2, on the other hand, is a new Nintendo Switch game launching in July.

“The vibrant world of Monster Hunter Stories 2,” reads the official description.

“Hatch, raise, and live alongside monsters as a Monster Rider in this fun-filled RPG set in the Monster Hunter universe.

“Our epic tale begins with the mass disappearance of Rathalos from around the world. At the start of the story, you meet a Wyverian girl who knew your illustrious grandfather, Red. She has been entrusted with an egg, but what’s inside it?

“The fate of the world hangs in the balance as the exciting narrative about the Wings of Ruin unfolds.”

As for Monster Hunter Rise, the action-RPG is set in the ninja-inspired land of Kamura Village.

“The critically acclaimed action-RPG series returns to the Nintendo Switch!” Nintendo continues.

“Set in the ninja-inspired land of Kamura Village, explore lush ecosystems and battle fearsome monsters to become the ultimate hunter. It’s been half a century since the last calamity struck, but a terrifying new monster has reared its head and threatens to plunge the land into chaos once again.

“Hunt solo or in a party with friends to earn rewards that you can use to craft a huge variety of weapons and armour. Brand new gameplay systems such as the high-flying ‘Wire Action’ and your canine companion ‘Palamute’ will add exciting new layers to the already robust combat that Monster Hunter is known for.”

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Gaming Feed

Monster Hunter Rise Helps Capcom Hit Record Profits Once Again

MH Rise© Capcom

Capcom has been on a bit of a roll in recent years. There have been multiple notable releases, but the company’s success in making Monster Hunter and Resident Evil current-day must-haves has helped deliver its profits to new heights. Monster Hunter: World was undoubtedly a Western breakthrough for the IP on PS4 / Xbox One and PC, while there’ve been a glut of quality high-selling Resident Evil releases.

The latest financial year results are out and, unsurprising, Monster Hunter Rise features prominently as a major contributor to Capcom’s profits. The company states that it’s the “fourth consecutive year of record-high profit at all levels in company history”, with the Switch-exclusive contributing over four million sales up to 31st March – that total is now beyond six million and it’s likely already the company’s best-selling single-platform game ever. Other major releases that helped Capcom reach its targets were Resident Evil 3 and ongoing sales of World and its Iceborne expansion.

Capcom is projecting that it’ll set new records in this new financial year, no doubt aided by titles like Resident Evil Village, the upcoming Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin and the planned PC release of Monster Hunter Rise in early 2022.

Have you been enjoying Capcom’s releases in recent times? Let us know in the comments!

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This post originally appeared on Nintendo Life | Latest News

Widowed author Hunter Davies opens up about life after loss

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This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Entertainment Feed

Andrew Marr is ‘grieving’ father’s death says Nick Robinson

Nah, somehow I don’t think she will do that. But I know when my wife Margaret Forster died five years ago, after 55 years of marriage, I really missed all the minor, boring stuff you carry around in your head and want to unload to someone. “Guess who I met on the bus? You’ll never guess – go on…” Or, “I must tell you a lovely conversation I overheard in the checkout queue at Morrisons…” You want to share such piddling stuff with your loved one, before it fades, knowing that by tomorrow it will have gone completely. Obviously, the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh didn’t go shopping or travel by bus, but I’m sure they had their own version: “You’ll never guess what happened when I launched that battleship – the bottle wouldn’t break. It was priceless.”

Or, “Opening that new museum, the little girl with the posy fell down and the Lord Mayor tumbled over her. Oh God, I don’t know how I kept a straight face.”

At the end of a long, boring or gruelling day, you want to go through what happened, how you got on. Or if it was an exciting day, you can’t wait to share the best bits.

My wife used to go mad when I refused to get straight on to the highlights but insisted on taking her through the whole story, blow by blow: “Now, let me think, I got on 214 bus, no hold on, it was the C11…”

“Just get on with the bloody story,” she’d yell.

After my wife died, I did so miss unloading my mind and having no one to share all the images and conversations of the day, the stupid things still buzzing around my head. The other thing about a long marriage is that you have so many shared memories no one else can really understand or be remotely interested in, because they were not there.

Hunter's late wife Margaret

Hunter’s late wife Margaret died after 55 years of marriage (Image: Daily Express)

Passing remarks or images, references in newspapers or on TV, all trigger shared memories. You can bore each other for ages, going over the same old stories, telling each other off for getting bits wrong: “No that was not in Brighton, you dummy, it was Blackpool. And it was a Saturday not a Sunday…”

I bet over cocoa the Queen and Prince Philip went on endlessly about things that happened in the tree house in Kenya or aboard the Royal Yacht Britannia or “at that outdoor picnic at Balmoral when you burned everything, oh yes you did, and then it snowed, remember?”

Then there are the shared people, now long gone, whom no one else now remembers, and the phrases and sayings, often totally banal and silly, which made your partner smile.

Margaret and I were walking in Lakeland in about 1956 when two boys aged around 10, walking slowly in front of us, suddenly had some sort of argument. One of them stopped and said: “If that’s your attitude Keith, I’m off.”

It was use of the word “attitude” that amused us, and also the boy being called Keith. We adopted the phrase ever after for ourselves when one of us was being a pain.

Hunter at home with Margaret

Hunter at home with Margaret in 1968 (Image: Derek Cattani / Daily Mail / REX / Shutterstock)

I think the Queen will be like the rest of us left on our own after a long marriage.

It doesn’t matter whether you have a palace and two castles and an army of flunkeys, or live alone in a semi in the suburbs. The result is the same. In fact, in a way, it must feel lonelier if you live in a palace rather than a three-bed semi. I once interviewed the Duke of Edinburgh at Buckingham Palace for a BBC Radio 4 books programme. The producer and I were shown into his private library.

As we waited there, I went round his books while the producer told me to stop being so nosey.

I was looking for any books by me or my wife. By mistake I must have pressed some hidden button and a secret door in the bookshelves suddenly swung open, much to my shock and horror.

Through it, I could see Prince Philip sitting all on his own with his thoughts in front of a one-bar electric fire. Now it will be the Queen sitting most evenings on her own, alone with her thoughts and images of the day.

Queen

The Queen recently shared this favourite image of a charming private moment with Prince Philip (Image: PA)

She is fortunate to have work, a large family with grandchildren and great-grandchildren to amuse and distract her.

But being widowed, you still miss your spouse, your partner, your soulmate.

With them, you can be catty about dear friends, and groan when unwanted visitors arrive, knowing they will never know what you have said.

I am sure the Queen moaned about various prime ministers and visiting dignitaries – after they had gone. Now on her own, who will she now share all those private thoughts and moments with?

I am lucky. I now have a partner, Claire, with whom I share my life. Though we don’t live together, we see each other all the time, and listen to each other’s moans and groans.

For the first year after my wife’s death, when friends asked if I would get married again, I said no. But after a year, I began to long for a friend to have meals with, go on holiday with, and exchange trivial gossip with.

London Parks by Hunter Davies

London Parks by Hunter Davies is out now (Image: NC)

In my imagination she would be aged 65 to 75, either widowed or divorced, with her own family. She would have her own interests, her own house and her own teeth. This was a euphemism for being fit and active, and still saying yes to life.

And so it came to pass. I had first met Claire professionally about 30 years ago, when she was in public relations – for the Philharmonia Orchestra, and later West End Theatres and Hollywood films. Over the years, she arranged various star interviews for me.

She wrote to me after Margaret died, asking how I was and wondering if I would care for a drink. I put her off for about three months I was just so busy with probate and also deciding to sell the Lakeland home my wife and I had shared for 30 years.

Hunter and his partner Claire

Hunter and his partner Claire now enjoy sharing the minutiae of life (Image: NC)

Claire had been divorced some 40 years earlier and was 70 and single. We were very different in some ways. She is Southern, posh and loves dogs. I am Northern, council house-born and love football.

We had a holiday in the Lake District, and then in the Caribbean, and eventually I met her family: her children, grandchildren, and the friends in her street where she lives in Battersea, south-west London.

She also introduced me to Battersea Park, which I had never visited before.

One of the excuses for visiting her so often was that I had decided I would include Battersea Park in a book I was writing about London parks. So visiting her became work and play. Smart, huh?

By getting to know her, I acquired a new circle of friends and interests, visited places I would never otherwise have seen.

It is like living twice – living Claire’s life as well as my own.

You never think that, when you exist alone. I realise now that by not having a partner, you only have half a life. I think this works for men as well as women.

We all want a confidante, someone to share the journey, bumpy or otherwise, rich or poor, known or unknown, even, I am sure, the Queen.

  • London Parks by Hunter Davies (Simon & Schuster, £16.99) is out now. For free UK delivery, call Express Bookshop on 01872 562310 or order via www.expressbookshop.co.uk