Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin feels like a flashback to an age gone by where JRPG’s ruled, and we couldn’t get enough of their familiar formula. Living up to an ever-growing franchise is never going to be an easy task and with contenders in the RPG genre such as Zelda on the Switch, it is never a task that should be taken lightly. Monster Hunter Stories 2 makes sure to leave no box unchecked, but does is try to check new boxes?
For anyone unfamiliar with the scene, it’s best I start of by stating that there is no need to play the first Monster Hunter Stories. Understanding the universe beforehand does help kick things off as characters will reference some monsters and characters without introduction, but it’s easy enough to follow along. Sooner rather than later you will be riding like a pro.
Let’s start off with what the game does right. I love character creators. I have several hours played in Phantasy Star Online, I have probably spent less than 10 minutes actually playing the game. Monster Hunter Stories 2 had just enough customization to sate my hunger for different eyebrows, hairstyles and faces. It also allowed me to preview some of the characters expressions, which I appreciate as you can better mold your character around them. This would be particularly good for anyone wanting to really role-play the experience. It was a solid start to my monster hunting adventure.
What of the monsters, you ask? Well, we call them monsties around here, friend. I am a sucker for design and some of my bigger criticisms of ‘monster-and-me’ games are the weaker choices prevalent in weaker titles. This is something done well in Monster Hunter Stories 2: the monsters are unique, some are elegant, some brutes, some kind-of-cute and each very distinguishable from each other. They also have a bit of a personality. The monsters also perform special actions in battle which help you get a better idea of their nature. There’s also more than a fair share of monsters in the game. This is important as it prevents that notable reskin experience, we see all too often. To make a new monstie or personal slave, you hatch your next best friend from an egg.
the monsters are unique, some are elegant, some brutes, some kind-of-cute and each very distinguishable...
The story is very safe and very predictable; I honestly felt it was more of a device to move you towards rare eggs and more gene splicing...
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Capcom, Marvelous Inc.
25 June 2021
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