The great Monster Hunter series are coming back to our world, with a new game for the Nintendo 3DS, but this time, it aims to attract a younger audience. So let's go hunt-- Wait, what? We need to capture them instead of hunting? Let's see how that works out!
The Monster Hunter franchise is one that started back in 2004 on the Playstation. The series always revolved around hunting down great beasts, and skin them to create new, stronger and unique armor and weapons, which can be used to hunt greater and even more powerful monsters. During your hunts, you discovered wonderful places, watched the wildlife and studied how each and every creature lives and how to deal with them, so they won't stand in your way.
But this game is a little different...
We don't hunt them, we train them
Sounds familiar? This Monster Hunter game has made a turn in the direction of a Pokemon game, where you must capture the monsters, so you can ride them and fight with them. So unlike all the Pokemon games, you're not a trainer who let's monsters fight for you, while you sit in back giving orders. No, you have to grab a weapon and fight with them.
One of the things people from the first generation of Monster Hunters won't recognise, is the combat system. No longer do you have to time your attacks, learn the monsters' attack patterns, and dodge in time. Instead, you get turn based combat, where your attacks work like a rock paper scissors game, with power, technique and speed. Power beats technique, technique beats speed, and speed beats power. Monsters have one of these attributes, and it's up to you to figure out what that is and use an attack that it's vulnerable to.
When you're not fighting or looking for a fight, you can explore the area, gather up items the land gives you. After the end of a quest, you get to use the materials you've found to turn them into stronger weapons and armor, while both you and your monsters gain experience points to level up, making you both stronger with every quest.
What about the story in Monster Hunter "Stories"?
Don't expect some in-depth storyline from this game. While it might be a good read, this is still a game that children at the age of 7 are allowed to play. The quests have a little story behind them, just like the usual Monster Hunter series, where a Tigrex could be hunting all the Popo's. Without giving spoilers, expect the main story be very simple without too much drama and a happy ending.
While Monster Hunter Stories is a good game for kids, it doesn't mean that the elder generations of the franchise can't enjoy it. It feels good to enter a world full of creatures you've known for a long time, and while the graphics are more colorful, you will see some recognizable art as well. Just don't expect to cut off tails, and see alot of blood.
All and all, it's a great addition to the franchise and it will welcomemany kids into this magnificent world. And when they grow up, they can join the adult hunters in the next game, Monster Hunter: World, which will return to the original gamestyle or hunting.