Monster Hunter Stories
|Monster Hunter Stories|
Japanese cover art featuring Navirou and Lute
Monster Hunter Stories[a] is a role-playing video game developed by Capcom and Marvelous. It is a spin-off title set within the Monster Hunter series. The game was released in Japan for the Nintendo 3DS handheld game console on October 8, 2016, and was released in North America, Europe and Australia in September 2017. A mobile version of the game was released on December 4, 2017 in Japan and September 25, 2018 worldwide. Unlike any of the previous titles in the Monster Hunter series, Monster Hunter Stories lets players take on the role of a Rider instead of a Hunter, and are able to battle in a role-playing turn-based system. Major additions in this installment include hatching eggs and befriending monsters, battling alongside them, executing special Bond attack moves, and customizing monsters' abilities and appearance. The game features support for Amiibo figurines, with a first set launching alongside the game, and a second set launching two months later. A similarly named anime series is a loose adaptation of this game.
The game starts with the main character and their friends, Cheval and Lilia, looking for a monster egg. They find a nest with one, and it hatches into a Rathalos that bonds with the main character almost immediately. They nickname the creature Ratha. However, upon returning to Hakum Village, it is attacked by a rampaging Nargacuga possessed by a sickness called the Black Blight. Ratha tries to defend the village, but is seemingly killed. Cheval's mother, Vlau, also dies in the attack, driving him into despair.
A year later, the village has recovered, but the threat of the Black Blight still remains. The main character takes the Rite of Kinship and is gifted by the village chief with a piece of Kinship Ore, a crystal with the power to tame wild monsters almost instantaneously. They then gain the title of Rider, which is unique to the village. They also meet a strange-looking stray felyne who names himself Navirou and demands to accompany them. Traveling outside the village to tame monsters, they soon come across the Black Blight, which they are able to purify by using their Kinship Ore to resonate with a larger, natural formation of the mineral.
Lilia decides to join the Royal Scriveners, a group studying the Black Blight, while Cheval tames a Rathian and becomes bent on slaying blighted monsters to get his revenge. Meanwhile, the main character continues to purify the Blight. Eventually, they encounter Doctor Manelger, an evil mad scientist who is attempting to create artificial Kinship Ore and bend monsters to his will. The main character reunites with Ratha, who is revealed to have survived the attack, and flies to Manelger's laboratory, rescuing many kidnapped felyne slaves, as well as the Numbers, felyne test subjects of which Navirou was formerly a member.
To stop the Black Blight, the main character decides to look for the egg of a legendary white dragon, Versa Pietru, that was once tamed by the very first Rider, who is called Redan. They find the egg, but it is stolen by Manelger. Manelger gives the egg to Cheval, who is wielding the artificial ore, and the creature hatches and immediately grows to enormous size. However, after Cheval loses control of the creature, it is infected by blight, turning into Makili Pietru. Cheval finally realizes his foolishness, while the player rushes to defeat Makili Pietru before it can infect the entire world.
However, Ratha's Blight, given to him by a scar left by the Nargacuga, suddenly manifests and the player must defeat Ratha first. After Ratha comes to his senses, they face off against Makili Pietru.
After a long battle, the player and Ratha use Sky-High-Dive to try finish off the Makili Pietru. During this time, Ratha is engulfed in a bright white light, and defeats the Makili Pietru, showing Ratha was really the White Dragon all along.
Monster Hunter Stories features a completely new gameplay different to the past titles in the series. The player assumes the role of a Rider who befriends monsters by stealing eggs and hatching them. The player then has the ability to name them, ride them in the field, and have them join the player in battle. The player will be able to explore different environments, encounter monsters in the field, battle them, collect items and steal eggs from monsters’ nests.
The battles now have an RPG turn-based combat system and during the player's turn, both the rider and the player's companion monster will get to attack the enemy. Attacks for both the player and the enemy come in three categories: Power, Speed, and Technique. Each category is stronger against one in particular, similar to Rock-paper-scissors, Power will win against Technique, Speed will win against Power, and Technique will win against Speed. In this game, the player only has a choice of four weapons to use in battle, those being the Great Sword, the Sword & Shield, the Hammer, and the Hunting Horn. The player will have access to different skills depending on the weapon and equipment they use, and the player will also be able to use items in battle.
Companion monsters can be customized with the Transmission Ceremony feature, in which the player can transfer Bond Genes into a monster's slots in order to unlock and awaken their stats and abilities. This allows for further customization and adjustment to the player's play style. The game features multiplayer battles via local or Internet connection. The game is also compatible with Amiibo figures, with the figures from the Monster Hunter Stories line of Amiibo unlocking original and special monsters, among other bonuses.
Series executive producer Ryozo Tsujimoto stated that the concepts for this RPG were based on the Monster Hunter series players’ interests for the world's setting, and livelihood of the monsters, and that these concepts were thought of since 2010. The reasoning behind the switch from the Hunter role to a Rider one was to give the spotlight to the monsters, along with the idea of petting them and seeing things from their point of view.
Monster Hunter Stories was first announced in Japan in April 2015 at the “Monster Hunter Fest ‘15 Finals” event by Capcom with a planned release in 2016. A demo of the game was released digitally in Japan on September 20, 2016, via the Nintendo eShop. The demo features two game modes: “Quest Mode”, which allows the player to play part of the story, and “Tournament Mode”, that lets the player partake in Rider battles. The game was subsequently released for Nintendo 3DS in Japan on October 8, 2016. Translated versions for the 3DS launched about year later.
The game was subsequently ported to iOS and Android, with improved graphics and other features. The mobile version was launched in Japan in late 2017, while the translated versions reached Western markets in September 2018.
Similar to previous Monster Hunter games, the player can obtain armor, items and clothing themed to other franchises and other third-party titles. Stories has themes based on Puzzle & Dragons X, Chibi Maruko-chan, Jump, and The Legend of Zelda.
On its first week of launch, according to 4Gamer.net and Media Create, Monster Hunter Stories sold 140,603 copies, making it the top-selling title of the week of October 3 through October 9, 2016.
The game was nominated for "Best Handheld Game" at The Game Awards 2017, and for "Best 3DS Game" and "Best RPG" at IGN's Best of 2017 Awards. It was also nominated for "Handheld Game of the Year" at the 21st Annual D.I.C.E. Awards.
- "Monster Hunter Stories Developed by Marvelous". Go Nintendo. 13 November 2016. Retrieved 22 June 2017.
- Osborn, Alex (April 13, 2016). "Monster Hunter Stories Announced for Nintendo 3DS". IGN. Ziff Davis. Retrieved July 16, 2016.
- "Monster Hunter Stories Is Launching In Japan On October 8 With Amiibo Figures And More". Siliconera. Curse. 26 May 2016.
- Porter, Matt (May 26, 2016). "Monster Hunter Stories Japanese Release Date, Amiibo Unveiled". IGN. Ziff Davis. Retrieved July 16, 2016.
- Knezevic, Kevin (July 31, 2017). "3DS Monster Hunter RPG Release Date, Demo Announced". GameSpot. Retrieved July 31, 2017.
- Whitehead, Thomas. "Monster Hunter Stories Will Roar Onto 3DS in Europe on 8th September". Nintendo Life. Gamer Network. Retrieved 22 June 2017.
- "Capcom Just Released Monster Hunter Stories on iOS and Android in Japan". TouchArcade. Retrieved December 9, 2017.
- Romano, Sal. "Monster Hunter Stories for smartphones now available in the west". Gematsu. Retrieved 25 September 2018.
- "Capcom on Monster Hunter Stories – world, systems, game length, amiibo, and more". Nintendo Everything. 12 June 2016. Retrieved 22 June 2017.
- Pereira, Chris (13 April 2015). "New Monster Hunter RPG for 3DS, Stories, Goes in a Different Direction". GameSpot. CBS Interactive.
- "Monster Hunter Stories Announced For Nintendo 3DS". Siliconera. 11 April 2015.
- "How You'll Get To Steal Eggs And Make Them Into Your Friends In Monster Hunter Stories". Siliconera. Curse. 4 October 2016.
- "Learn More About Otomon Abilities In Monster Hunter Stories' Latest Video". Siliconera. Curse. 6 October 2016.
- "Monster Hunter Stories' Details How To Awaken Abilities And Its Multiplayer Feature". Siliconera. Curse. 7 October 2016.
- Copeland, Wesley (July 7, 2016). "3 More Amiibo Revealed for Monster Hunter Stories". IGN. Ziff Davis. Retrieved July 16, 2016.
- "Monster Hunter Stories' Video On Battle System Basics, Equipment, And Items". Siliconera. Curse. 5 October 2016.
- Ward, Robert (1 June 2016). "Monster Hunter Stories: Origins, Monster Abilities, And Online Battles Revealed". Siliconera. Curse.
- Romano, Sal (18 September 2016). "Monster Hunter Stories demo launches September 20 in Japan". Gematsu.
- Green, Jake (25 September 2018). "Monster Hunter Stories for iOS and Android Now Available in the West". USGamer. Retrieved 25 September 2018.
- "Monster Hunter Stories Announces Collaborations With Puzzle & Dragons X, Chibi Maruko-Chan". Siliconera. Curse. 16 September 2016.
- "Monster Hunter Stories' Jump Collaboration Brings The Pirate Outfit". Siliconera. Curse. 6 September 2016.
- Pereira, Chris (1 September 2016). "You Can Dress Up as Link and Ride Epona in Monster Hunter Stories". GameSpot. CBS Interactive.
- "Monster Hunter Stories for 3DS Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 3 October 2018.
- Carter, Chris (7 September 2017). "Review: Monster Hunter Stories". Destructoid. Enthusiast Gaming.
- Tack, Daniel (7 September 2017). "Monster Hunter Stories: A New Way To Hunt". Game Informer. GameStop.
- Defreitas, Casey (8 September 2017). "Monster Hunter Stories Review". IGN. Ziff Davis.
- Sleeper, Morgan (13 September 2017). "Review: Monster Hunter Stories". Nintendo Life. Gamer Network.
- Koopman, Daan (7 September 2017). "Monster Hunter Stories (3DS) Review". Nintendo World Report.
- Musgrave, Shaun (2 October 2018). "'Monster Hunter Stories' Review – Gotta Hatch 'Em All, PoogieMon!". TouchArcade. Retrieved 3 October 2018.
- Sato (13 October 2016). "This Week In Sales: Monster Hunter Has A New Story To Tell". Siliconera. Curse.
- Frye, Patrick (16 October 2016). "'Monster Hunter Stories' Video Game is Topping Sales Charts in Japan, 'Monster Hunter Stories: Ride On' Anime Not Getting Same Love [Video]". Inquisitr.
- Barder, Ollie (13 October 2016). "'Monster Hunter Stories' Has Topped The Japanese Charts In Its First Week". Forbes.
- Whitehead, Thomas (12 October 2016). "Monster Hunter Stories Takes Number One Spot in Japan, But Falls Well Short of Main Series Sales". Nintendo Life. Gamer Network.
- Makuch, Eddie (8 December 2017). "The Game Awards 2017 Winners Headlined By Zelda: Breath Of The Wild's Game Of The Year". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 21 January 2018.
- "Best of 2017 Awards: Best 3DS Game". IGN. Ziff Davis. 20 December 2017. Retrieved 21 January 2018.
- "Best of 2017 Awards: Best RPG". IGN. Ziff Davis. 20 December 2017. Retrieved 21 January 2018.
- Makuch, Eddie (14 January 2018). "Game Of The Year Nominees Announced For DICE Awards". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 21 January 2018.