Unleash the Adventure with MONSTER HUNTER STORIES

One of my all-time favourite role-playing games is Monster Hunter Stories, the game that delightfully combines the thrill and joy of monster hunting with the thrill and joy of collecting monster companions. Released in 2016 for the Nintendo 3DS, and later ported to mobile, the gameplay itself flips the monster-hunting formula on its head (which is appropriate when you’re doing the Hunting). While in normal Monster Hunter games, you hunt monsters to collect their parts and die a lot trying, in this game you befriend monsters, turning them into your friends. Your friends are called Monsties. This is great. Not only does this make for a very fun game, but it makes Monster Hunter more friendly to monster-catching fans beyond its usual demographic.

The Evolution of MONSTER HUNTER STORIES: A Visual and Functional Feast

What it does to its fantastic world: the PC remaster of Monster Hunter Stories – prerelease review code was provided to me and other reviewers by the publisher – its anime art style more vivid than ever in 1080p and its battle scenes more fluid than ever at 60 FPS and above. The remaster not only polishes the game’s original presentation, it also improves upon it with added bonuses that enrich your experience with the game including a museum mode, some cool costumes you can dress your character in and, my favourites, fully voice acted dialogue.

Tame the Wild: The Unique Appeal of Being a Rider

You’re a Rider, a monster trainer, setting off to battle the Black Blight, a plague that threatens to radically alter the continent’s ecosystem. You journey and bond with your monsters using items called Kinship Stones, forming deep friendships and forging strong strategic allegiances with your Monsties as you level them up, learning about them through optional sub-quests, and collaborating with them in turn-based combat against increasingly fierce foes. Every battle means outguessing an opponent’s moves and then countering them. Every victory is wildly satisfying.

Crafting Your MONSTIE Squad: The Art of Battle and Exploration

The meat of Monster Hunter Stories is tactical battle and exploration, and Monsties add a neat framing device for players’ exploits. Making preparations for a tough hunt — updating armour, feeding a Monstie, and selecting partners — and then stepping into a Monster Den to hunt is exhilarating at the same time as it’s sublimely restful. Tapping into the essence of Monster Hunter’s core series in a turn-based combat system is pretty satisfying too. Stepping through action with characters who can exploit types and elements of attack against one another feels like a meticulous ballet.

Channel the Monster Within: Rite of Channelling

The most interesting are the Rite of Channelling, which lets players customise their Monsties in ways they never could before to create the perfect Monstie team to suit them in tackling the game, and More than Monsters, a questline of optional missions and events where players explore areas of the Earth that have been absorbed long ago by the environment taken over by Monsties.

First-Game Challenges: Growing Pains and Opportunities

Don’t get me wrong: the first Monster Hunter Stories is a solid release that’s deserving of all the hype it should receive – but it’s also clearly a first outing in many ways. Balancing between player durability and Monstie’s felt a little weighted either way, and the player’s arsenal remained a bit thin for too long. I was reminded of that as I played, and also felt a glimmer of the potential the sequel is successfully tapping into in Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin.

The Hope for Future Remasters: A Call to Capcom

I can’t wait to see more games get the remaster treatment, and I hope that Monster Hunter Stories represents a shift in how Capcom updates and re-releases old games for a new generation. The level of care put into this particular remaster has me hoping that it might mark the beginning of a new wave of remasters for classic Monster Hunter entries.


Monster Hunter Stories is not just a game – it is a phenomenon, built on millions of ardent fans and a universe of monsters, heros and epic battles. At every step, Monster Hunter Stories taps into the series’ lingering magic, proving that it can adapt, deepen and grow without sacrificing the familiarity and joy of discovery that originally drew fans to it. If you enjoy the thrill of the hunt, or the equal joy of capturing the enemy and riding off into the sunrise with a beast of your own on your back, Monster Hunter Stories is a journey both entirely familiar and wonderfully new.

Jun 14, 2024
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