Monster Hunter Stories Review


Monster Hunter Stories review hero

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Both Monster Hunter Stories 1 and 2 were recently rereleased. The original Monster Hunter Stories was only available on 3DS, Android, and IOS, but now it is available for Nintendo Switch, PS4, and Steam. Monster Hunter Stories 2 was released for Nintendo Switch and it is now available for PS4 and Steam. Overall, the second game is nearly the same as it was on Switch for the most part. Both games are traditional Japanese RPGS unlike their bigger brother the Monster Hunter series. The first game looks absolutely amazing now that it is on other system besides mobile devices.

The PlayStation release was my first time trying the original Monster Hunter Stories. I can’t say whether it looks more like the 3DS version or the IOS/Android version since I haven’t played either of those. The IOS/Android version is said to be an HD version of the 3DS version. I must say that this first game looks fantastic with this current rerelease. It’s hard to believe this game started out as a 3DS game. The game is so very colorful and clear. It has a unique graphical style all its own.


The world of Monster Hunter Stories

The main thing that made me fall in love with this first game is its characters. These characters are so full of life and I love the expressions! Each character has their own unique personality, such as the village chief that rhymes with each phrase spoken. Unlike most games, I never really got tired of the dialogue since it wasn’t overused. Even during the most trivial dialogue, I had the unique character personalities to enjoy!

As the story unfolds, you take control of the cloaked rider and get to create your own character out of that rider. The overall character creation for this game has had to have MANY extra additions. It seems like this first game now outdoes the sequel with its overall choices. While it is no Dragon’s Dogma 2 of characters creation, it offers a lot of choices. Before long, you gain your own “Monstie” to join your party. Your party consist of two members – both you and your monstie. You have limited control over your monstie’s actions and full control over your character (the rider).


The cloaked rider

The game plays out much like your standard turn-based JRPG. Instead of just “attack” you get to choose between Power, Technical and Speed attacks. The game uses a Paper-Rock-Scissors style of gameplay. You have to pay attention to each enemy’s attack type and counter it with your own attack. Power beats Technical, Speed beats Power, and Technical beats Speed. While targeting an enemy, the game lets you know (with a bright cursor) if the enemy is about to attack, so you can take that chance to counter the attack with an attack of your own. If you and your monstie both target an enemy with their attack weakness, you’ll get a special team-up attack.

Boss enemies change up their attacks but they usually have some sort of pattern. Your monstie attacks on its own and you have control over its special actions, which you can command it to perform instead of its normal attack. Special attacks build up as you perform better during a battle. If you counter enemy attacks more, the points shared between you and your monster build up and you can perform more special attacks. As your bond continues to grow, you can eventually ride your monstie and perform a special attack exclusive to the riding phase.

All monsties have their own special abilities and attack types. Some of them can climb vines and some of them can jump in order to get you to secret areas on the world map. There are several monster caves that randomly pop up on the world map. You can enter those caves (normal and rare) and fight your way to the monster nest at the end then dig out an egg and take it home and then hatch it for a new monstie. The cat-like creature Navirou helps you grade an egg, so you know its worth and he also gives helpful advice during combat. Navirou is your party cheerleader. He’s a great little character that makes an appearance in both Monster Hunter Stories games.


Monstie fight

If you like JRPGs, make sure you try out Monster Hunter Stories and its sequel. Both games are fantastic. I actually enjoy the Monster Hunter Stories games more than the traditional Monster Hunter games since I favor turn-based RPG over action RPG. You can’t go wrong with either this game or its sequel. If you like one, you’ll like the other just as much. I do feel the first game has the better characters and the second game has the overall better gameplay. They both come out as being even to me.

The Good:
+ Many different varieties of Monsties to find
+ Simplistic and addicting combat “paper, rock, scissors” system
+ Interesting story and characters
+ Really good visuals (this game has been upgraded greatly since its 3DS release)

The Bad:
- The first game is more limited with its gameplay compared to the sequel

Final Rating: 80% - Monster Hunter Stories has finally broken free from handheld/mobile and it looks fantastic!

 

Note: A review code for Monster Hunter Stories was provided by the publisher. It was reviewed on PlayStation 5.