Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak's Title Update 2 doesn't shatter any expectations, but that's okay
Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak’s first Title Update was a bit of a needed reinvention of the expansion’s endgame, adding integral context to the game’s Anomaly Quests. With that squared away, there was never any need for Title Update 2 to match the same heights as the previous release; a handful of new monsters, alongside a new wave of existing monsters being added to the Anomaly Investigations pool was more than enough. As such, it doesn’t reinvent the wheel - but it merely continues what should hopefully remain a steady stream of bi-monthly updates.
This time around, only 3 monsters have been added to the game - much like the last Title Update, they’re all based on existing monsters in some shape or form. Flaming Espinas features more of an emphasis on its fireballs, including a new attack where it will begin charging up a blast while rearing up on its hind legs. After a few stomps towards whichever hunter he’s targeting - boom. If you’re too close to the monster when this attack goes off, no amount of defense will save you. While it’s still an Espinas at the end of the day, the fight refines what was already a decent enough fight, adding just enough additions and making the monster’s movements a little less predictable to bring its difficulty more in line with the rest of the current endgame.
Violet Mizutsune, on the other hand, is a more traditional Subspecies. Instead of utilizing soap bubbles, Violet Mizutsune is covered in oil - it has the ability to ignite its bubbles into flames, sending them at hunters with light tracking, and leaving puddles on the ground that will eventually erupt into pillars of fire that linger on the battlefield. Much like regular Mizutsune, it’s a slippery foe that doesn’t like to stay still for very long - but the additions to its moveset make the fight feel otherwise entirely different. While having yet another Fire Monster in Sunbreak is annoying, it’s hard to deny that the developers didn’t knock the concept out of the park here.
Finally, the real star of the show - Risen Chameleos. For anyone that played Monster Hunter World, it’s fair to compare this new class of monsters - Risen Elder Dragons - to the similarly conceived Arch-Tempered Monsters from that game. Buffed HP and damage, some unique visuals, and a handful of new moves that really put the heat on hunters. Of special note is the MR requirement; while every other monster added to the game with Title Updates so far have merely required you to finish the story, Risen Chameleos requires MR 110 - 10 above the requirement to fight Scorned Magnamalo.
It’s a welcome sign, honestly; it sets the expectation for the fight heading in, and sort of filters out any players that wouldn’t be able to manage with its difficulty. While you can invite players into a lobby for the hunt if they’re even just MR 10, it’s still nice to see something for players that have continued to devote their time to Sunbreak past its launch earlier this Summer. The additional levels and materials for Anomaly Investigations - as well as adding new levels for Qurios Crafting Augmentations - land much the same on my end. Title Update content is for players that are already absorbing the current endgame, and while the team should keep adding monsters that players can fight at MR 10, adding more content to grind towards feels like a good call. Maybe others won’t feel the same.
More than anything else, it sets the stage for content to come. Exactly how many Elder Dragons will get Risen variants? Risen Crimson Valstrax is a terrifying thought, but I can’t deny a morbid curiosity at what exactly that might entail. On that note, what about additional subspecies in future updates? While Title Update 1 was merely adapting existing monsters, Sunbreak’s introduction of Violet Mizutsune shows that the team is still full of excellent ideas for new monsters to fight. Title Update 2 might not be some earth-shattering addition to Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak, but it continues the trend of satisfying updates, which is more than enough to justify players coming back to the game whenever they drop. Here’s to the updates to come!