Review: Monster Hunter Stories (Nintendo 3DS)

Become a legendary Rider, bond with wild beasts and take to the skies for a breathtaking journey, filled with friendship, mystery, and plenty of turn-based battles.

Pros:

  • Gorgeous graphics nice and bright yet charmingly pleasant on the eyes.
  • 14,749 Block download size.
  • 3D implementation.
  • Get bonus loot if you have a Monster Hunter Generations save.
  • Character creation-Male/Female, Name, Face type, Mouth, Hairstyle, Colours of hair and skin, Face markings and if you get really stuck, A name generator.
  • Tutorial pop ups as and when you need them.
  • Top screen is the game screen. Bottom screen is the map and inventory.
  • Options- Camera type, Inverts axis, Camera speed.
  • Amiibo support- Uses any Amiibo for loot and if an unregistered Amiibo is used it will boot the app.
  • Connecticat- Download DLC, QR Code, Amiibo and download code.
  • Classic monster hunter sounds and art.
  • Home- Save, Change outfit of you and your follower and few basic appearance settings.
  • Rider card- Fully customisable with background, unlocked titles, poses and welcome note.
  • Combat-Turn based. You have 3 attacks- Power, speed and tech. On a rock paper scissors basis you need to fight with the stronger attack to do more damage.
  • Earn EXP level up yourself for HP and your Monsties for HP and learning new moves.
  • End of combat rank with rewards.
  • Easy to get into with simple controls.
  • Battle pouch- Holds 10 items that can only be used in combat.
  • Poogies- Hidden around the world. 100 to collect and every milestones grants a reward.
  • Blacksmith- Buy/sell/craft/upgrade gear and weapons here for materials and zenny.
  • Kinship stone- The bond between you and your monstie, Successful attacks fills the stone, Once filled you can ride your Monstie and do epic special attacks and do more damage.
  • Prayer pot- Give zenny to activate timed buffs like double EXP or more materials.
  • Monsties can interact differently in the world. Some can do jumps or swim whilst some can fly.
  • Clean easy to use UI and menu system.
  • Feels like a Monster Hunter game but very simplified and streamlined.
  • Monster den- Spawns randomly and come in many forms like common or rare. Go in here to get an egg.
  • Eggs- Find eggs in dens or fragments to make one. There are loads of eggs and each one hatches into a Monstie. When you tap the egg open, Clicking different parts of the egg increases its stats.
  • Streetpass support- Share rider cards, Download riders to fight them and share dragon dens.
  • Stables- Here is where you can store upto 200 Monsties and 12 eggs.
  • Has a strong Pokemon vibe to it with the need to collect all Monsties.
  • Monsterpedia- Fills up as you discover/fight Monsties. Filling it up grants rewards.
  • Battle- You can fight other parties both online and offline local.
  • Decent pacing as it unlocks new activities and events slowly.
  • Side quests- Optional but give loads of rewards and EXP. Get them from the village message board.
  • Accessible to new players.
  • Still feels like Monster hunter as you can still collect all the items you know and love, Monsties retreat, You can attack certain body parts to get rare drops.
  • Fast travel can be unlocked and used to save as well.
  • Play how you want and explore how you see fit.
  • Every Monstie plays and handles differently.
  • Addictive collecting and building up your Monsties.
  • Constant feeling of encouragment.
  • Enemies are roaming around and you engaging them by contact. You can sneak up from behind to get an advantage in the fight.
  • Still has the big Monstie fights.
  • In game cut scenes.
  • Really hard to put down.

Cons:

  • Some may find the game too simple.
  • Materials and enemies spawn back very quickly.
  • Combat takes a bit of adjustment as you learn the tells.
  • Camera can go a bit crazy in tight spots.
  • Full of fetch quests but thats always been the case.
  • Lands especially in the begininng are big granted but feel barren with the odd Monstie and pick up lying around and it doesnt look very enticing.
  • Can just run past enemies.
  • Caves have little variety.
  • Slow to load character assets so you will see a lot of grey people in town.

The Numbers:
  • 9/10
    Graphics - 9/10
  • 9/10
    Sound - 9/10
  • 9/10
    Accessability - 9/10
  • 9/10
    Fun Factor - 9/10
  • 9/10
    Length - 9/10
9/10

Summary

I really didn’t have high hopes for this game, I mean its not the Monster Hunter I know and love so it must be bad. WRONG! This turned out to be every bit as addictive as the original series. It feels like a Pokemon game in so many ways from the graphics to the UI to the feverish addiction to collecting all the Monsties. That is in no way a bad thing and for me really fits here. You get the Monster Hunter experience of the world, The flow of the game but in a streamlined less chaotic experience. Fights are a lot easier I can tell you! This game is for those times when you just want to be in the Monster Hunter world but either dont want the stress of item management or arent very good at the hunts, The game appeals to every type of gamer and is good for chilled gaming or introducing new hunters to the series. It really surprised me how accessible and fun this game is and how much I still want to play it after this review. Give the demo a try but to be honest the game is cracking good fun and well worth playing.

Jim Smale

Gaming since the Atari 2600, I enjoy the weirdness in games counting Densha De Go and RC De Go as my favourite titles of all time. I prefer gaming of old where buying games from a shop was a thing, Being social in person was a thing. Join me as I attempt to adapt to this new digital age!

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