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Monster Hunter Stories was an intriguing and exciting reveal earlier this year; it was described as five years in the making (conceptually, two years in development) and a major diversion from the series norms. Due for a 2016 release on 3DS in Japan, its cartoonish style and neat concept of a young hunter riding a baby Rathalos on a hunt - yes, really - certainly caught this writer's imagination.

The official Japanese website has now gone live, and Gematsu has been translating some details. You play as a young boy or girl (your choice) Rider that's recently qualified, but a looming darkness over the land naturally puts Riders and Hunters to the test; yep, there's a legendary relic in there, too. There looks to be a colourful cast and some handsome environments; a key plot point will revolve around the conflict of Riders that nurture and fight with monsters (of which you're a member), and the traditional hunters that do the opposite.

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The battles will be particularly interesting, with a three component turn-based system, though it's still necessary to watch a monster closely for its tells. A key aspect is that your companion monsters - 'Otomon' - do much of the fighting, though solo and co-operative moves with the Rider will also feature.

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Another part of the game will be recovering Otomon eggs and raising them in the village; players will be able to have multiple monsters in their party, though only one fights at a time.

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The original trailer from earlier in the year is below; are you hopeful of this making it to the West?

[via neogaf.com, gematsu.com, mh-stories.jp]