Monster Hunter Stories comes out on September 8th in Europe and North America, which is in exactly one week. Therefore, it was high time that Nintendo finally opened the full official website for the game, providing us with plenty of details about it.
There’s nothing really new in there, as everything was previously covered ahead of the Japanese launch, but now you have everything in a single post… and with official English terminology!
NB: for more details about the DLC, check out this post instead!
Monster Hunter Stories – Introduction
Monster Hunter Stories is radically different from other Monster Hunter game, in that you get to play as a Rider. They bond with wild beasts known as monsters, and even get to battle by their side. In this game, you will embark on a breathtaking journey, filled with friendship, mystery, and plenty more.
You get to play as a promising young Rider, who uses the mystical power of the Kinship Stone to form bonds with monsters. There’s over 60 of them to befriend, and they all have their own set of skills and abilities.
Monster Hunter Stories – Step into a new world
Remember the Black Blight we mentioned above? Well, it’s not really a recent phenomenom. A long time ago, that same Black Blight spread across the land, transforming once-peaceful beasts into frenzied monsters (just like Chaos in Ever Oasis). That’s when a noble warrior named Redan appeared, riding a brilliant White Dragon, and fearlessly fought the Blight… before defeating it.
Unfortunately, the Black Blight wasn’t completely eradicated, and it’s now come back, putting an end to a long age of peace. As mentioned above, your village is attacked by a Blighted monster (a Nargacuga, to be precise), and that’s after this tragic event that you decide to go on a journey — to follow in the footsteps of the legendary Rider that once put an end to the Blight. Of course, you won’t be alone…
Not only does Navirou (a rather odd but quite enthusiastic and helpful Felyne) accompany you on your journey, but you also have the support of your friends from Hakum Village… not to mention characters you encouter throughout the world!
Here’s the main characters:
- You: You are off to save the world from the evil Black Blight! You can choose to play as a boy or a girl on your adventure. You can use the feature-rich character creator to create your very own Hero, with plenty of hairstyles, fashions, skin tones, and more to choose from. You can even try and recreate the characters from the anime series, if you want, allowing you to play as anyone you want… Yes, even De…bli!
- Navirou: This energetic Felyne is your sidekick and trusty guide! He might be a bit of a goofball, but Navirou is an expert on monsters and the art of battle.
- Lilia: While she has little interest in becoming a Rider, your childhood friend Lilia is obsessed with monsters. Her enthusiasm is infectious, and she’s loyal to a fault.
- Cheval: Along with Lilia, this cheeky chappy is one of your best mates. He’s been acting up since the attack on Hakum Village, though…
- Dan: A familiar face and a trusted leader, Dan is one of the most accomplished Riders around, and he gladly shares his knowledge with the younger generations.
- Chief Omna:
- The Wyverian chief of Hakum Village. A wise old soul who speaks in rhyme; seek his guidance from time to time.
The world of Monster Hunter Stories is filled to the brim with places to explore: towering cities, quaint villages, scorching deserts, glistening coastlines, frozen mountain peaks, lush tropical jungles… there’s definitely a lot of variety in the kind of places you will get to visit throughout your journey!
Here’s a few of them:
- Hakum Village: This picturesque village is the birthplace of the legendary Riders. Few beyond its walls know of the Riders’ ways, so its people are forbidden from venturing out.
- Babda Rainforest: A dense, tropical jungle that’s said to hide the resting place of the legendary Rider Redan.
- Gildegaran: This bustling city lies on the edge of the verdant Monsonne Plains. Within its walls lies the Hall of Scriveners, home to a group of monster researchers.
- Darj Snowfields: The frozen peaks of this ice-cold landscape hide an underground network of caves, and a couple of lonely mountain cabins. Who’d want to live in a place like this?!
- Dovan Volcano: The blistering heat of this active volcano and its scattered lakes of lava make it a pretty rough place, even for the bravest adventurer.
- Naubaka Island: This purrfect paradise is where the ever-adorable Felynes call home. Its crystal clear coastal waters and summery atmosphere make it hard to beat!
- Trese Desert: They say he who builds his house on sand is a foolish man, but this bone-dry desert is home to two settlements: the town of Albarax, and the Oasum camp.
- Mt. Celion: It’s on this cursed mountainside, deep within the Ruins of Zalam, that the monster known as the Black Dread was born.
Monster Hunter Stories – Become a Rider
“In ancient times, there were those who awakened a hidden power. To open their hearts and befriend the monsters of the world. They called them Riders…”
As a Rider, you form unbreakable bonds with monsters, who then become your Monsties. By collecting eggs in the wild (and more precisely in Monster Dens), and hatching them, you can raise no less than 60 different monsters from the Monster Hunter universe.
Here’s a few of them:
In order to get the best out of your Monsties, you can alter their genes in order to not only improve their stats, but also have them learn new skills. No two Monsties will be the same that way, and you can easily make up for a particular monster’s weakness.
Mouting your Monsties is something you can do in battle, but also in the world. Thanks to special actions known as Ride Actions, you can get to hard to reach places. For example, some Monsties can swim in water, others can walk in lava, and some of them can even fly!
Monster Hunter Stories – Battle with Beasts
In battle, you get to battle alongside your Monstie, but unlike other games like Pokémon, it chooses what to do on its own. What you can control is your character: you can decide to attack, use items, unleash Rider Skills, or switch between your Monsties (your party can have up to 5 of them).
There’s three types of attacks in the game:
As you can imagine, each one has its own strengths and weaknesses. Learning how to read your enemy attacks and countering with the right move is the key to victory. If you and your Monstie booth choose the correct attack type in a Head-to-Head, then you can team up with a Double Attack.
Another important element of the battle system is the Kinship meter: it fills up as you and your Monstie pull off successful attacks, and once it’s filled, you can ride it. Doing so allows you to unleash powerful Kinship Skills, which are extremely poweful moves that can be powered up even further by filling up the Kinship meter several times over.
During battles, two monsters will sometime take part in feats of strengths known as Power Clashes, Air Showdowns, and Breath Blasts. During those, you have to keep pressing certains buttons / move the Circle Pad around as fast or possible.
Finally, as you level up and your Kingship Stone grows stronger, you are able to attract rare and more powerful monsters. In other words, if you want powerful Monsties, make sure not to neglect your training!
Monster Hunter Stories – Extras and DLC
For more details about the Monster Hunter Stories DLC, click here!
If you didn’t already know, you can download a demo version from the Nintendo eShop, or from Nintendo’s website. It allows you to play through the beginning of the game, and even lets you transfer your progress to the full game, allowing you to pick up where you left off.
If you have save data for the demo on your Nintendo 3DS, then you will unlock a Rider’s Outfit for Navirou! And if you have save data for Monster Generations, you will unlock the following:
- A new weapon: one-handed sword
- A new outfit for Navirou
Both are inspired by the Glavenus, a monster from Monster Hunter Generations.
Monster Hunter Stories – Footage and screenshots
Finally, here’s some gameplay footage for the game (in English!), and some screenshots:
Monster Hunter Stories (3DS) comes out on September 8th in Europe and North America.