3DS Review: Monster Hunter Stories

Gotta slay them all…

Monster Hunter Stories is a spin-off from the main series, featuring monsters that fans will be familiar with…but gameplay-wise is a very different beast. The story lets you name your character and pick your gender as it kicks off with your village being attacked by a gigantic monster, only to be saved by a small one that you hatched moments earlier. A year passes after the tragic attack and you set out on your quests to hunt down monsters or gain their help and bond with them.

The story itself doesn’t require any previous Monster Hunter knowledge, which is great for newcomers to the series. The combat is also very different from the traditional one, replaced with a rock-paper-scissors mechanic that fits well with the style of the game, though it’s slightly shallow in comparison. Despite this, the game itself is great fun…even if it is more light-hearted in its approach from the main series.

The more I think of Stories, the more I think it’s almost a Pokemon/Monster Hunter hybrid in a sense. Which is no bad thing, it actually works with the overall style of the game and it’s clear that it’s meant to appeal to the Pokemon fans, which is good news for those still waiting for Ultra Sun/Ultra Moon.

The visual style is a pleasing one that runs impressively on the 3DS. I was actually surprised to see how crisp and detailed the characters and world were while maintaining a solid framerate. The voice-acting is all in Japanese, but there are English subtitles and the soundtrack is decent overall.

The Verdict

Monster Hunter Stories is a decent spin-off of the main series, while obviously appealing to Pokemon fans. It would have been nice to have a deeper combat system than the rock-paper-scissors mechanic, but this flaw aside…this is a great entry into the series and a nice entry for newcomers.

Score: 8.0