The Monster Hunter series is known for its giant monster-slaying gameplay, and awesome monsters. And for years, that formula didn’t change. However, in 2016, Monster Hunter Stories came out and changed the formula, adding in new gameplay, monsters, and a Pokémon-like experience. Lucky for you, Monster Hunter Stories 2 is set to come out later this year.
What Is Monster Hunter Stories 2?
Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin is a role-playing game from Capcom, makers of the Monster Hunter franchise. First revealed in 2020, the game was shown alongside new information about another Monster Hunter game, Monster Hunter Rise.
The title is a sequel to the 2016 release, which is a spinoff of the main Monster Hunter franchise. The game is slated for a global release on July 9, 2021.
Monster Hunter Stories 2 Preview
We don’t know much about what the gameplay of Monster Hunter Stories 2 would be. Thus, this preview is based on information available from the developers and speculations based on the previous games in the franchise.
What’s New in the Game
The game will have a harrowing story that comes with the usual RPG progression as well as the ability to gain and hatch “Monsties.” Monsties in the game are companion versions of various monsters in the series. It is this party-building mechanic, as well as the game’s turn-based combat, that sets the game apart when compared to the mainline series as the games are usually action-oriented RPGs in nature.
Alongside the game, there will be a set of three new amiibos that Nintendo will release as well. These amiibos are Razewing Ratha, Ena, and Tsukino, which unlock an armor design when used in the game. This armor, the Layered Armor, is just cosmetic. This allows players to customize their appearance, allowing them to wear stat-boosting gear while still looking cool.
In addition to this, the game will also have a Deluxe Kit edition, which adds Razewing Armor Alpha and Beta layered armor, and the Spiky Nergal hairstyle for the game’s main character. It also has a Kuan Coat for Ena, Navirou’s Nergigante and Pukei-Pukei costumes, and lastly, two sticker sets for players that are using co-op communication.
Those that pre-order the game can get and equip Ena with the Kamura Maiden outfit. In addition, players that have Monster Hunter Rise save files on their Nintendo Switch or PC can also get an additional armor set for the Main Character, the Kamura Garb layered armor. This armor is similar to the default armor set that’s from Monster Hunter Rise.
Story and World
When compared to the mainline games in the series, Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of a Ruin is stated to be similar to its predecessor, a game that puts more emphasis on story as well as RPG mechanics.
The game’s story sets players to the role of a Monster Rider that they can customize to their liking. The Monster Riders are a tribe of warriors that keep their existence a secret. This is because they instead befriend monsters compared to the usual Hunters that constantly hunt them. They do this by the use of special devices called Kinship Stones, which allow Riders to tame monsters. These monsters are referred to as Monsties.
However, one day, a young Wyverian by the name of Ena approaches the main character bearing a warning that the Rathalos are disappearing. The main character’s grandfather, Red, tried to solve why this is happening alongside Ena but disappeared. Ena asks the player to help her save the Rathalos, as well as finding out why they’re disappearing. Of course, you’re not only doing this for her but also to find out what happened to your grandpa along the way.
However, before the player starts their adventure, she gives the player an egg that hatched a baby Rathalos. It isn’t a mere Rathalos; it’s a Razewing Ratha, born with deformed wings. Stories foretold that this Rathalos brings destruction to the world if it awakens its true power.
Gameplay and Controls
Monster Hunter Stories 2 is probably going to follow the gameplay structure that was on the first Monster Hunter Stories. The player is going to take on the role of a Rider, someone that doesn’t kill monsters but instead befriends them. They do this by stealing the eggs that monsters lay and hatching them. These monsters can be renamed by the player. After which they can do various things, ride them around, join the MC in battles, and more. To get them, as well as to continue the story, the player can explore multiple diverse environments.
Compared to almost all of the games in the franchise, Monster Hunter Stories 2 will have a traditional turn-based system when doing battles. We don’t know what the battle system would be yet. However, in the first game, there’s a rock-paper-scissors format that comes in three types. These types are Power, Technical, and Speed. Each of these types has an advantage and disadvantage against each other.
Speed wins against Power, Power wins against Technical, and Technical wins against Speed. Both the rider and their tamed monsters will use this system to attack the enemy. There’s also a chance that the enemy monster will attempt to attack someone. In that case, there’s a chance that said person, or monster, will attempt to attack them, which results in a Head-to-Head that puts their attack types against each other. Of course, the one with the attack-type disadvantage will prevail in this exchange.
Combat, Weapons, and Skills
Back in the first Monster Hunter Stories game, the player can only use four weapon types compared to the usual 14 from the main series. These weapon types are the Sword and Shield, the Great Sword, the Hunting Horn, and lastly, the Hammer. The player also has access to a myriad of skills that depend on what weapon and equipment they currently have in use. Meanwhile, their companion monsters also can be customized and even improved through the use of the Rite of Channeling feature. This is where the player can use Bond Genes to unlock and awaken new abilities and improve their base stats.
Monster Hunter Stories 2 has, of course, managed to improve its graphics considerably. But that’s pretty much a given since they’re moving to another console generation, AKA, the Nintendo Switch. However, that’s not the only thing that makes it interesting.
It’s also pretty telling that the game has undergone several graphical overhauls when compared to the previous game as well. The game’s graphics now seem reminiscent of the Nintendo Switch’s flagship game Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. This fact is something to be celebrated and adored. As for why it’s because the game looks incredibly suited for the type of graphical fidelity that Breath of the Wild has. There’s a quality to it that lends itself well to the current tone of the game.
Overall, the game looks like a cross between Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, as well as having some charm from Pokemon. Well, as much charm that you can get by monsters that can turn you into Swiss cheese can have.
Characters and Monsters
There are currently seven named characters in the game that you can interact with. Two of them are human, and two are Wyverian. There is also a Palico and the game’s signature Monstie, the Razewing Ratha. Other than these characters, not much has been released about new NPCs. So for now, we’ll just have to wait and see how it goes.
Meanwhile, a lot of monsters from the game’s main series were confirmed to appear in the game. These include the Rathalos, Velociprey, Larinoth, Tigrex, Nargacuga, and Nergigante. There’s still no confirmation that these monsters can be recruited in the game, however. Monsters that the player can recruit as Monsties are the Razewing Ratha, Mizutsune, Anjaneth, Kulu-Yaku, Velocidrome, Pukei-Pukei, Paolumu, and Legiana. There are also DLC guest Monsters that are from other franchises. For now, those that we know of are Kurenai Goukami from Puzzle X Dragons and Epona from Legend of Zelda.
Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin is stated to have co-op quests. It’s on these quests where players can join up to take on the game’s various monsters. Only two players can team up, however. But since they’re together with their Monsties, that little detail is moot. They can even perform team-up attacks with each other as well.
Other than that, the first Monster Hunter Stories game has PvP elements as well, though there’s no confirmation about it happening on Wings of Ruin.
Monster Hunter Stories 2 vs Past Monster Hunter Games
Now that we’ve talked about Monster Hunter Stories 2, let’s check out previous Monster Hunter games and how it seems to compare to this new one. We’ll start with Monster Hunter Stories, then move towards Monster Hunter World, and Monster Hunter Rise.
Monster Hunter Stories (2016)
You can already see a lot of changes on Monster Hunter Stories 2 when compared to the first one. We’ve already talked about the graphical changes in length. However, other than those, there’s also a really good chance that we’ll have a better variety of monsters appearing in the game. After all, it’s been a few years since Monster Hunter was released, and there’ve been new monsters since then.
Other than those things, there’s an expectation of better sound design and better overall gameplay. We do know that the Stories segment of the Monster Hunter series has a more Pokémon style—having a monster battle other monsters and all that. However, the main difference between Pokemon and Monster Hunter Stories is the fact that you’re fighting alongside your Monster. You have a more proactive role in the outcome of a fight other than just throwing potions at your Monster. Yes, you can still do that here, but you’re also dealing damage, and generally bonding with your Monster in turn.
Of course, there are a few differences as well; for one, there’s the fact that the game is played on a rock-paper-scissors format. We’ll just have to see if that’s going to be the same on Monster Hunter Stories 2 as well. Or if the game will take a card from the previous Monster Hunter games and stick the player on a semi-open world arena.
Monster Hunter World/Rise
Next up would be Monster Hunter World, one of, if not the most popular Monster Hunter game ever, and it’s pretty clear why. The game has a lot of content updates, and Iceborne alone was great for its popularity. Combine that with a lot of the lessons from previous Monster Hunter games and the sheer amount of versatility players can have by not getting locked into one weapon.
There’s not that much we can compare Monster Hunter World to Monster Hunter Stories 2. That’s partly because there’s still no information about it and partly because of how different their gameplay is. Not to mention, their core philosophy. On Monster Hunter World, you’re hunting down monsters and turning them into sick weapons and armor. Meanwhile, on Monster Hunter Stories 2, you’re working together with monsters.
Meanwhile, when talking about Monster Hunter Rise, the game has a more distinct Japanese theme. The game has a lot of references to Japanese culture, from the game’s new monsters to the architecture of Kamura Village.
There’s also the unique Rampage mechanic that sees players fight against several rampaging monsters to protect Kamura Village. We don’t know any specifics yet, or if there’s even a connection between this game and Stories 2. But if we have to place bets, then we’re betting that the events on Monster Hunter Rise have a definite connection to the events on Monster Hunter Stories 2.
Is Monster Hunter Stories 2 Worth the Hype?
Monster Hunter Stories 2 should be on your watch list if you’re a fan of Monster Hunter and want a whole lot of lore to chew on. The graphics improved incredibly well when compared to the previous entry because it’s on a newer console. For now, we can only hope that the game is going to be one to remember and a good sequel to the first one.