Is this a hot take? I don’t know. Maybe. We’ll see, won’t we?
I’m a big fan of Monster Hunter. I always felt like the 3DS was holding this series back from being what it could be and I was proven right when Capcom released Monster Hunter World on every platform except the Nintendo Switch. I’m not claiming that Monster Hunter World shouldn’t be on the Switch, mind you. I’m just stating a simple fact. That Monster Hunter World plays, looks, and performs better on home consoles, and PC than it ever would on a Nintendo handheld device.
Monster Hunter Rise will be the next big Monster Hunter installment and that game has been dominating the headlines and rightfully so. Monster Hunter World is an incredible game and is one of the best looking games ever made. Especially on PC which is where the majority of my playtime is. I’m not here to hype up Monster Hunter Rise though. I’m here to tell you why I’m personally more excited for Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin than I am Rise and why I think you shouldn’t sleep on it when it does launch on the Switch and later on PC.
Monster Hunter Stories was one of the most slept on, underrated, and best titles on the 3DS. Capcom themselves were disappointed with how the game performed (sales-wise) on 3DS and that seemed to kill all hope that this game would ever get a sequel. Fast forward to 2020 and we have confirmation that there isn’t just one Monster Hunter game in the works, but two! And one of the two is a sequel to Monster Hunter Stories. Capcom is giving this game another shot and for good reason. Stories had a lot going for it. It’s easy to get into (unlike the base Monster Hunter games) and is a full-fledge turn-based JRPG like Pokemon. It also has the best damn animations in any turn-based game I’ve played on 3DS. It puts Pokemon to shame and I’m sure it had a much smaller budget than those games.
Its rock, paper, scissors battle system was unique and more challenging than you would think. Monsters that I thought were slow and powerful pulled out speed and technical moves on me which made me have to change my strategies mid-battle. Collecting new monsters required me to find the correct monster den, beat the shit out of the momma monster guarding her eggs, and make my way out with my newest member.
The story still is the best one that’s been told in this series and it’s not even close. Since the gameplay and graphics were dumbed down for the 3DS they added a pretty good story to the game with cinematic cutscenes that were beautifully animated. Traversing the world was one of the biggest treats in the game. Depending on the monster you have following you around depends on how to get to travel. You can ride on the back of certain monsters or even fly high in the sky on your rathalos. There are parts in the game that even requires you to have monsters that can walk through fire. It was all very creative and fun. It made me want to expand my team and get a monster for each situation that popped up.
There were also multiple cities that you got to visit throughout the story. Each city acted as the main hub that allowed me to craft new gear, accept side quests, and breed new monsters for my team. Stories had so much going for it and was so different, yet the same at the same time, from other Monster Hunter games that it felt like a breath of fresh air for the series. It also didn’t take itself as seriously as other Monster Hunter games.
Stories is the perfect starting point for newcomers to Monster Hunter. The only major difference between this game and the core games in the series is the turn-based. All of the basic things, like crafting armor and weapons, are the same throughout every game in the series. This game breaks things down step by step and will guide you more than other Monster Hunter games outside of Monster Hunter World.
Monster dens, riding, flying, the unique rock paper scissor battle system, and hatching monsters are all extra that helped this game not only stand out from other Monster Hunter games but other turn-based games on the 3DS console. We all know Rise will be successful because it’s a normal Monster Hunter game. Stories, on the other hand, will have it harder because if it doesn’t succeed it’ll most likely be the last one we ever get and that would be a shame because the first game is one of the best games on the 3DS. I would place it right under Fire Emblem Awakening and Pokemon.
When I first played Stories I didn’t put it down until I finished. I usually bounce between two or three games at once, but I only played Stories until it was finished and I even stuck around for some of the end game. That’s how hooked I was to this game and I highly recommend checking out the first game if you haven’t already. It’s a great turn-based JRPG that’s the perfect introduction to the Monster Hunter universe. I plan on buying both Rise and Stories on the Switch and when they release on PC I’ll get them there too.
On the outside looking in, you would think Monster Hunter Stories is just Capcom’s version of Pokemon. I kind of hate how every turn-based monster-catching game is compared to Pokemon just like how every hard game is compared to Dark Souls. If we go by that logic then Pokemon is just a Shin Megami Tensei clone since that started the whole monster-catching thing. I mean that feature was also in Dragon Quest V, but Shin Megami Tensei was built around that feature.
Monster Hunter Stories is nothing like Pokemon. You don’t even get the monsters the same way you would in Pokemon and I think the comparisons are unfair to both games even if Capcom did get inspired by the recent trend of monster-catching games that released during that time period. Yo-kai Watch was at an all-time high in popularity in Japan, Pokemon Sun & Moon were about to release just a month after Monster Hunter Stories and I’ll admit that I originally didn’t buy this game because I was saving my cash for Pokemon. Looking back I think I should’ve brought both games because they’re both incredible to me.
Don’t sleep on Monster Hunter Stories. I have no doubt that Capcom will deliver another classic on the Switch and it deserves some recognition.
I’m Omar. I’m the founder of drakulus.com and the new founder of Petescorner.net. I cover every type of game genre there is and I’m using all of the skills I learned over the last 7 years working on Drakulus to make Pete’s Corner the best it can be. My favorite types of games are strategy, RPGs, and Shooters. That doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy other types of genres. Those are just my top 3. You can expect my brutally honest opinion on what I think of games in long reviews, editorial pieces, and game news coverage.