Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin, the tried

Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin, the tried

Monster Hunter Stories 2

Building on the success of Monster Hunter World, Capcom has literally relaunched its franchise on Nintendo Switch first with the excellent Monster Hunter Rise, and now with Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin. Spin-off in turn-based RPG sauce, Monster Hunter Stories made its debut on Nintendo 3DS in 2017 and found a very positive reception for the fidelity with which the Japanese developer had translated the most iconic features into a completely different context of his action / adventure games focused on hunting. A feat that was anything but simple, yet Monster Hunter Stories managed to mix traits that recalled Pokémon in a traditional JRPG without overdoing it, but rather following a unique direction.

After playing the first hours of the sequel to be released for Switch and PC, we can say that our feelings are extremely positive and we will explain why in our tried Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin.

Riders and Hunters

Monster Hunter Stories 2 again focuses on Riders, a category of hunters who have learned to tame monsters and ride them, establishing an empathic bond with them through the mystical Stones of Bond. The protagonist - who we will be able to customize at the beginning of the game, choosing his gender and a multitude of facial features - is the grandson of Red, a famous Rider who many years earlier disappeared riding his Rathalos and never returned to the village. by Mahana.

The story begins in this peaceful village that overlooks the sea and recalls Hawaiian folklore: while the inhabitants dedicate themselves to a nocturnal ritual ceremony, a young Wyvernian takes the egg of a Rathalos into trust for a moment before it goes mad and attacks the legion of hunters who secretly followed it to take it down. Despite their number, the confrontation is unequal; many of them are injured and the Rathalos, along with many other members of his species, leave the region to migrate to an unknown destination.

Monster Hunter Stories 2, a scene from the game. The prologue is told through a film of absolutely amazing quality, not only on the graphic front: everything is enchanting, from the direction to the dubbing, passing through the soundtrack that includes a ritual litany completely sung in English. It literally feels like watching a cartoon.

The very soft character design, the clean cel shading and the soft colors are reminiscent of Japanese animated films, with a wink to those of Studio Ghibli. In these very first minutes that lead to the appearance of the logo, you immediately have the feeling of starting a special title, developed with love and passion. We can't tell you too much about the first few hours of the game - Nintendo's ninja cats are spying on us - but we can tell you that our protagonist will have to prove that he is a real Rider just as strange incidents begin to occur: some monsters, usually docile, have become aggressive and they have changed habitat, putting other creatures in serious danger.

Monster Hunter Stories 2, a scene from the game. At the beginning of the adventure we will therefore have to investigate these strange cases that become more and more frequent together with our mentor Kayna, while we discover new Monstie (monster + beasts, in the sense of best friend) to ride in the dens scattered throughout the region. The structure is that of a traditional JRPG: in the village of Mahana we can access various services such as the market or the forge, talk to the NPCs who will sometimes have secondary missions to entrust to us, hatch the eggs and form our team in the stable or worship the stone idol in exchange for talismans to get some temporary bonuses.

Leaving the village, a huge and structured map opens up in front of us. We are not facing an open world, beware, but the region extends all around us, separated from the village by a short loading. There are rocky arches that overlook tongues of sand, cliffs, small islands still unreachable for us who do not have a Monstie who can swim, ups and downs and waterfalls.

Monster Hunter Stories 2, a scene from the game. Some elevated points can be reached thanks to the skill of the Velocidrome with which we begin the adventure, which can in fact jump in the vicinity of special marked platforms. The different types of Monstie possess movement skills and more that allow them to reach new locations on the map. The Bulldrome can simply run faster than the others, yes, but the Yian Kut-Ku can smash boulders with pecks, uncovering secret passages that lead to chests or special collection points. The maps are full of the latter. It is enough to approach a honeycomb, a bush, a mining deposit and press a button, even in a hurry, astride a Monstie, to collect the materials that we can then use to make consumables, weapons and protections. Exploration is a lot of fun, also because we can walk or ride our favorite Monstie, which we can call up by simply pressing a button.

Rider Fights

Monster Hunter Stories 2, a scene from the game. Monster Hunter Stories 2 seemed to us a sufficiently fluid title and we did not notice any major slowdowns, but the 30 frames per second are all felt and sometimes there is a vague feeling of heaviness as you move between the various monsters. In fact, creatures appear on the screen, of all sizes and dimensions, from the small Bnahabra to the gigantic Larinoth, and only by coming into contact with them triggers the fight which, after a short loading, takes place in a separate screen that represents the same one in which we met the enemy, creating the illusion that everything happens in a solution of continuity. Once the battle begins, we find the enemy monster or monsters on one side and our team deployed on the other. The game has remained roughly the same as it was in 2017 in terms of mechanics, but there are some new features that are worth mentioning.

The first is certainly the battle companion, a partner who supports us together with his Monstie. Like the guests in the old JRPGs, his battlemate and his Monstie act on their own, controlled by satisfying artificial intelligence. They do not revolutionize the combat system, but they give greater variety and dynamism to the fight. We suspect they also have some strategic value: Kayna, for example, uses a Velocidrome in battle, a Monstie that attacks mostly in Speed, and fights with the sword and shield. If it were possible to choose the battle partner from a range of secondary characters, it would be advisable to select the one that best suits us in the most demanding battles based on the weapon he holds and the Monstie he rides. In the first hours of the game, Kayna's help proved essential to better understand the combat system, thanks to her contribution not only in attack, but also in defense: her punctual healing herbs got us out of the way. of an occasion.

Monster Hunter Stories 2, a scene from the game. Weapons are even more important than in the past, considering that there are now six instead of four: sword and shield, broadsword, hammer and hunting horn are added a bow and rifle lance. The combat system is inspired by the original dynamics of Monster Hunter, so each weapon has different functions and specialties. Take the bow, for example: the Charge skill allows you to fire an extra arrow in the turn after use, and the bows differ in the type of attack (swift or fan) and coatings, but still inflict penetration damage that they are more effective against certain monsters. The icons above the target suggest its weaknesses and it will be up to us to choose the best weapon with which to attack among the three that we can equip at the same time in battle. Then you have to select the target ... or a part of its body. Attacking the weak points, such as the tail or the crests, weakens the enemy, interrupts any special attacks in preparation and you get more materials at the end of the battle.

Virtually every selection during the fight is evaluated at the end of the fight with a score that establishes the quantity and quality of the rewards. The strategic component has its weight, because the combat system of Monster Hunter Stories 2 continues to hold itself on a form of Chinese morra. Each attack can belong to three categories: Power, Tenacity and Speed. Each category is stronger or weaker against the others, so it is necessary to get to know the enemy monsters to understand what kind of category their attacks will belong to, it being understood that they can change them, especially when they get angry. Even our Monsties tend to use attacks and skills belonging to certain categories independently: choosing the right Monstie to deploy is part of the solution, the other is to consume the accumulated Bond points to give direct orders to our monstrous ally, rather than letting him be its artificial intelligence to decide. The clashes then take into account the relationship between the types of attacks and are resolved in short cinematic sequences that depict the conflict: if two attacks cross each other, the one of the advantaged category wins.

Monster Hunter Stories 2, a scene from the game. Monster Hunter Stories 2's combat system is easier to play than to explain. The interface is clear and comprehensive, albeit slightly invasive, and the various dynamics intersect very well in the flow of action. For example, repeatedly attacking the enemy charges an indicator that allows you to ride the Monstie, gaining a bonus to all parameters, and unleash a very powerful special attack. And if our battlemate is also riding his Monstie, our team will perform a powerful combined attack that will inflict disproportionate damage.

Some weapons are then characterized by elemental properties that can inflict extra damage on susceptible enemies, and the armor performs the same task in a defensive sense: there are many, inspired by the iconic ones of Monster Hunter, and protect our Rider from the most insidious enemies. In short, making them is an investment, and obtaining the necessary materials is quick and easy ... as long as you understand and assimilate the mechanics of the clashes.

Burrows and eggs

Monster Hunter Stories 2, a scene from the game. Monster Hunter Stories 2 re-proposes the collecting and management component seen in the first episode, but in our initial test we could not explore the customization system based on genes and Monstie crosses. At its core, the game has remained the same, and anyone who has enjoyed the original will soon be at ease. The maps are scattered with caverns, called Tane, which lead to small dungeons where you can find enemies, chests, resources and ... nests. In the nest we will find a certain number of eggs that Navirou will evaluate for us. We will not be able to recover the eggs laid, so every time we discard one for the next we risk losing the previous one. In any case, having chosen the egg that we want to bring back to the village, it will be enough for us to leave the nest, perhaps dodging the attacks of the monster that presided over it, to leave the den in possession of a potential new Monstie. We will find out what it is once the hatching ritual is completed at the stable, but at that point the Monstie will manifest itself with its genetic makeup, that is a series of bonuses and abilities that can make the difference between Monstie of series A and Monstie of series B.

There are many Monstie to find, try and collect, and only in the first hours of the game did we get on the back of Yian Kut-Ku, Kulu-Ya-Ku, Bulldrome, Velocidrome, Pukei-Pukei and so on. Monster Hunter Stories 2 also implements numerous monsters from Monster Hunter World, which at the time of the prequel was not yet released. Exploring the Burrows is a great way to fill our stable and expand the Monstie squad we can ride, especially as it may happen that we come across the Golden Lairs, which offer rarer eggs than usual. Lairs are a part of the content that we can't wait to go through completely, although there are several things that we wanted to test but which, for the moment, remain out of our reach: one of them is the multiplayer mode, both cooperative and competitive.

Monster Hunter Stories 2, a scene from the game. Our rehearsal ended around the beginning of the second chapter of the story, when we left the village of Mahana - but rest assured: you can use the Felyne caravans scattered around the maps to return at any time to the places we have already visited - and we are off on an adventure to find out what became of Red and what are the Wings of Ruin which, according to a prophecy, could plunge the world into a catastrophe. We are very curious to continue, of course, and we can't wait to tell you everything else in our review.

If we liked the first Monster Hunter Stories, Wings of Ruin has all the credentials to be a JRPG even better: the mechanics are solid, the combat system is fun, technically it's great to see and hear. We found all of Capcom's passion in the goodies and references to the parent series, implemented with intelligence in a title that belongs to a completely different genre. Even if the narrative will remain on the levels anticipated in these first hours, Monster Hunter Stories 2 could easily become one of the best role-playing games available on the Nintendo hybrid console.


The technical sector it's really top notch The combat system works even better than before DOUBT Will the story be compelling to the end? There is still a lot of content we haven't tried. Have you noticed any errors?

Powered by Blogger.