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Monster Hunter Stories

Posted by GG Goblin On September - 18 - 2017

A new take on monster hunting.

 
Both the Monster Hunter series and the Pokemon series have an incredibly loyal fanbase. While the two different game franchises do have some similarities, such as the whole collecting side of things, they really are quite different. One is a cute RPG that involves funny little creatures that can be squeezed into balls and then used in turn-based battles, while the other is a much more serious action game involving hunting massive beasts and then chopping them up for parts. Two different game series and two sets of fans. I really can’t see any crossover.

 
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Until now, that is. Capcom have released a new Monster Hunter game that really does mix things up. Monster Hunter Stories for 3DS has much more in common with the Pokemon games than it does and of the previous Monster Hunter outings.

 
In Monster Hunter Stories, the player is cast into the role aof a young character who wants to become a Rider, a warrior who is able to tame monsters and then ride them around the game world. There is a story involving a blight that seems to infect monsters, but it really does take a back seat to the well known desire to “catch ‘em all”.

 
As a Rider, the player is able to both catch monsters and tame them, making the monster a companion referred to in the game as a Monstie. The Monstie is not just a mount in the game, and players will find themselves spending a lot of time trying to add more Monstie’s to their collection. This will involve heading into small dungeons and finding nests, then escaping with an egg. Head back to the village and hatch the egg to add the monster within to your growing collection. There are different colours of egg that may give some idea of what type of monster will come out, but there are also ways to mess with the genes in order to get a better monster, or even breed hybrids. There are over 100 monsters in the game to collect, which gives the player plenty to do.

 
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But what is the point in collecting all of these monsters? Well, that would be to take them into combat. In another change from the original Monster Hunter games, in Monster Hunter Stories the battles take a more turn-based, rock, paper, scissors style. Players can take a team of six monsters into battle and they fight alongside their monsters. It is mostly a simple matter of choosing one of three different attacks, and hoping that attack is better than the opponents. Over time, the player will come to learn which attack is best against which monster. There are also all manner of different items to use in battle, such as various traps or bombs, and a Kinship stone will fill during battle which, once full, can give way to some impressive special attacks.

 
That combat is great fun and mostly quite easy, which makes the game much more accessible to both newcomers and the younger gamers than any of the previous Monster Hunter titles. Outside of doing battle or collecting eggs, there is a massive world to explore on the back of your Monstie and players will gather resources and monster parts from battle to craft new weapons or armour, or sell for cash that can be spent on new items the player needs. It is all very smooth and nothing is too complicated, again setting the game aside for the younger player.

 
Monster Hunter Stories is a good looking game as well. While the backdrops do feel a little bland in comparison to the various characters and monsters, it seems like a very vibrant game. Of course, the serious looks of the other games have also been toned down, with a chibi style washing over everything, even the most vicious monster.

 
The only real problem that I see with this latest Monster Hunter game is that the Monster Hunter fans will find the game far less challenging than what they are used to. There is also the fact that, despite it obviously being a Monster Hunter game, it is very different to what the fans are used to. Monster Hunter Stories is much more suited to the Pokemon fans.

 
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Monster Hunter Stories is a great game that does everything right. It is very accessible and quite easy to play, and is packed with loads of content that will keep players busy for ages. But I do think that the game will struggle to find its audience. Monster Hunter Stories is the game for those who wanted to enjoy Monster Hunter but, for whatever reason, couldn’t. If that sounds like you, grab an egg and start your journey.

 

 ★★★★★★★★½☆ 



 

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