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IMPRESSIONS: Monster Hunter Stories

When I write these ‘Impressions’ posts about upcoming games they’re almost always based on a pre-release demo edition of a game. They’re meant to be somewhat of a preview of the game as usually demos give you a taste of the gameplay and mechanics so you’ll know what to expect going into a game. More than just watching some gameplay online it’s a way to get a hands on with the game.

Rarely am I as impressed with a game based on a demo as I am with Monster Hunter Stories. This game is beatutiful.

In Monster Hunter Stories you set off on an adventure as a monster rider and bond with your monsters along the way. Venture into monster nests to collect eggs and hatch a wide array of species with uniquely powerful skills. Form teams, battle alongside monsters, crush opponents with combo attacks, and ride into the sunset a champion.

Right off the bat it’s nice that the downloadable demo, which lets you play through the first few hours of the game, saves all of your progress, including the monsters and items you collect. All of this data can then be transferred over to the main game. It’s definitely a great way to get a head start on the game.

Without getting too much into the specifics of the game Monster Hunter Stories is definitely a departure for the series and is unlike any of the previous entries. Whereas the previous games were action games, Stories is a full on role-playing game. When you encounter monsters in the wild you’ll enter a turn-based battle rather than the previous hack and slash. And while it’s a drastic change it’s feels great.

Don’t worry if you like the previous hack and slash mechanics. Capcom has you covered with Monster Hunter World due out in 2018 for PS4 and Xbox One.

Like before you’ll have main quests and side quests but as you roam the world you’ll enter your turn-based combats for battle. You battle not just alone but alongside your Monstey, or monster you have hatched and befriended. This game makes use of the battle triangle, a sort of rock-paper-scissors combat system. Power bests technical, technical bests speed, and speed bests power attacks. So when you’re in battle you’ll have to try and predict which kind of attack the monster will use and select the superior attack. Often you can figure out what they’re going to do from their stance. If you and the monster go head to head you may get a nice bonus from the attack.

You can even team up with your monster ally for bigger attacks and on occasion perform a combo attack if your attacks are in sync.

There’s definitely much more to come beyond the demo but it’s great fun so far.

One of the things that is striking about the game is the visuals and music. Like anything that Nintendo or Capcom put their work into, both are fantastic. The game looks and feels like you’re watching and playing an anime, which is appropriate. An anime series was released in Japan alonside the Japanese release of the game. A dubbed version of the series can be watched right now in North America on Funimation.

While not available in the demo you will also be able to battle other players online, locally, or via the StreetPass feature! The game is said to be compatible with amiibo for bonus items such as Ancient Potions, Dust of Life, and other high-grade materials helpful to your quest, but as of today there is no information about the release of the Monster Hunter amiibo in North America. There were six Monster Hunter Stories amiibo released in Japan.

If you’re looking for more of the hardcore Monster Hunter gameplay you’re used to this may be one to skip for now. But if you’re up for a fun RPG game this could be fun. The demo is available right now in the Nintendo eShop. The full game will be released on September 8th.

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Written by Jason Nason

I've been playing Nintendo all of my life and have had virtually every Nintendo console ever made. I'm a little bit Nintendo-centric but I'll still bring you a helping of other gaming goodness too. You can also Check me out on Miiverse too.