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Monster Hunter Stories takes the series in an entirely different direction

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Ride or die

In a lot of ways, Monster Hunter Stories doesn't necessarily feel like Monster Hunter. It shouldn't; it's different. The Monster Hunter series that has grown an immense following basks in constant action and team-oriented gameplay. Stories eschews all that for a more traditional role-playing game experience, yet it's not hard to imagine it fitting right alongside its brethren with regard to popularity.

Stories is a turn-based RPG with an emphasis on riding monsters rather than hunting them. Roaming the overworld while riding your monster proves to be satisfying enough in the way you can engage or weave around enemies as you head toward the objective. Being a tradeshow demo, none of the baddies were tough to avoid or tough to kill. Only once did a fight include multiple threats.

While the fighting is mostly a standard affair, there's an interesting mechanic at the beginning of each round of turns. It's basically rock, paper, scissors. You pick a color (red, blue, or green) and depending on what the opponent picked, someone gets an extra blow in. In the event of a tie, each takes a bit of damage but not as much as for a clean win.

Because of the language barrier (the demo was entirely in Japanese), it was unclear to me if this is solely a random event or if there are patterns you can pick out. Fortunately, the rest was easy enough to figure out just from familiarity with turn-based games. Replenishing health was necessary a couple of times via healing potions; otherwise, attacking was the way to go.

All that was training for the quest's final boss: some sort of giant, unhappy dragon. His health bar was obscured by question marks, so all I could do was fight on and hope that he was near death. It added a nice sense of tension. I fought alongside my humble looking monster in hopes of taking down this formidable-looking foe.

We didn't stay side-by-side the entire time, though. Eventually, something called my Kizuna Stone filled up and I could hop on top of my monster for a particularly powerful group attack. This was accompanied by a slick animation to verify that, yes, whatever was happening was indeed special. A few of these, some solo attacks, and a couple rock, paper, scissors victories later and the dragon was defeated. We did it, monster buddy.

It may be more Pokemon than Monster Hunter, but Stories is undoubtedly entertaining. It's breaking the series formula to try something new, but piggybacking on franchise popularity. At least it's thematically consistent. After all, piggybacking's kind of the entire point in Monster Hunter Stories.

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Brett Makedonski
Brett MakedonskiManaging Editor   gamer profile

While you laughing, we're passing, passing away. So y'all go rest y'all souls, 'Cause I know I'ma meet you up at the crossroads. Y'all know y'all forever got love from them Bone Thugs baby... ... more + disclosures


 


 


Also on Destructoid: Monster Hunter Stories   (4)   From our database:

  • Review: Monster Hunter Stories - Chris Carter
  • Play as Link in Monster Hunter Stories - Peter Glagowski
  • Monster Hunter is getting its own amiibo line now - Chris Carter
  • Monster Hunter Stories still looks damn cute - Chris Carter
  • Monster Hunter Stories takes the series in an entirely different direction - Brett Makedonski
  • The new Monster Hunter RPG looks just adorable - Kyle MacGregor Burleson
  • Monster Hunter X gets release date, gameplay videos - Steven Hansen
  • First look at Monster Hunter Stories for 3DS - Jonathan Holmes
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    Filed under... #3DS #Capcom #monster hunter #Previews #Role-Playing Games #Tokyo Game Show

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