Monster Hunter Stories 1 + 2 Preview

Monster Hunter Stories 1 + 2 PS4 Hands-On Preview

The Monster Hunter series is known for its crazy monster-slaying gameplay. It often does not hold back on the violence factor as players bash, slash and pummel their target over and over again before skinning it and walking away with loads of resources. Monster Hunter Stories trades the traditional gameplay for a kinder, more PG take on the series. The games are delivered in bright colours with cute monsters to find and even raise through egg hatching. Everything about it looks like a sort of Cartoon Network interactive show as the game mixes some Pokemon mechanics in with turn-based combat.

I say “Pokemon” because essentially, monsters in the Monster Hunter Stories games fight alongside you after obtaining them through eggs. These creatures are also called “Monsties” instead.

Monster Hunter Stories 1 + 2 Preview

Much of the combat system relies on taking these Monsties and participating in rock, paper, scissors combat. Speed beats power, Power is at an advantage to Technical, and Technical beats Speed. However, there is also a large emphasis put on weapon types including blunt and sharp etc. Add in some elemental effects later on and you have yourself a solid turn-based combat system. Even if it is far from layered and complex.

The more monsters I fought, the more I learnt about their weaknesses and various weapon types which are more effective against them. The Kulu-Ya-Ku, for example, digs up a large boulder and protects itself similar to the main games. I had to break this boulder as soon as possible and using a giant hammer was the most effective approach.

Monster Hunter Stories 1 + 2 Preview

Weapon types range from slashing, blunt and ranged. Using these across different combat encounters helped fight off monsters. Some weapon types naturally deal more damage to certain monsters too.

There’s even an odd quick-time encounter here and there in Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin. These scenes had me rapidly pressing buttons as fast as possible to knock down the enemy monster.

Even the charge gauge from the main games has somehow found its way into the Stories series. Using certain skills, I was able to rack up charges across the various weapons which then resulted in even more powerful attacks. So I could use an STK Charge attack, deal damage with it and gain one charge. I could then deplete the charge with another skill which was only usable if I had one charge gauge.

Party management and gear across the Stories games are also important factors to consider. The RPG-like approach means equipping gear to buff defence and better weapons to increase attack damage. Gear sets are also based on the various monsters in the game. This means killing them unlocks new stylish weapons and outfits. If you’re a fan of the gear in the main series, then you’ll enjoy this system.

Monster Hunter Stories 1 + 2 Preview

When it comes to the party management system, it is all about collecting Monsties. These are obtained by finding eggs in certain nest areas of the game. It is also luck-based meaning sometimes I would find rarer eggs and sometimes not-so-rare ones. Rare eggs have a more potent smell to them, according to the game. Each egg houses a Monstie a cuter, baby version which immediately grows up to a life-sized monster.

Both games also include a lot of exploration to undertake. Hubs see you run around and engage in turn-based combat with other monsters. Nests are scattered around these hubs which contain treasures and eggs to collect. Some hubs are also explorable in different ways by riding your Monstie. Some can swim across the water while others can jump and climb vines.

I would often have to return to previous hubs once I obtained the right mount in order to reach a certain area. However, after a while, the ability to carry six Monsties around means that there will always be one which can overcome the parkour.  The game then lets you swap out at any time unlocking new exploration opportunities.

Monster Hunter Stories 1 + 2 Preview

I am currently playing the PC version of Monster Hunter Stories and the PS4 version of Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin. Both versions run quite well. However, the first game was developed for Nintendo 3DS and later ported to mobile so this is a given. The sequel was only on Nintendo Switch.

The first game has seen some minor improvements to the package though. The dialogue, for example, is now fully voiced. This is likely due to the larger data capacity outside of the 3DS. It further adds to the great narrative of the game.

There’s been very little graphical tweaks to both games. Monster Hunter Stories 2 runs at 4K 60FPS on now and the Steam version of the original includes an uncapped frame rate.

Both games also come with some extra digital goodies including a digital art book and in-game soundtracks to enjoy. It also includes the Japan-only content which was originally released on the Nintendo 3DS version of Monster Hunter Stories.

With the looming launch of both games on the horizon, Monster Hunter Stories and Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin offer unique ways to experience the series. Sure, these aren’t the action-based games you likely know, however, seeing the series adapted to this unique gameplay style makes for an enjoyable time.

The launch lineup for both games is a bit confusing so I put together a guide below explaining what game is coming to what platform and when.

  • Monster Hunter Stories
    • PC – 13 June
    • PS4 – 14 June
    • Switch – Later 2024
  • Monster Hunters Stories 2: Wings of Ruin
    • PC – Available Already
    • PS4 – 14 June
    • Switch – Available Already

Marco is the owner and founder of GLITCHED. South Africa’s largest gaming and pop culture website. GLITCHED quickly established itself with tech and gaming enthusiasts with on-point opinions, quick coverage of breaking events and unbiased reviews across its website, social platforms, and YouTube channel.

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