Nintendo didn't show up to the Tokyo Game Show this year - it rarely does - but that didn't stop Capcom from bringing one if its most popular franchises on the 3DS along. In fact, Monster Hunter Stories was one of the only Nintendo exclusive games prominently displayed. Fitting, because playing the game felt like an amalgamation of Nintendo goodness: one part Monster Hunter — a Nintendo 3DS bestseller in Japan — mixed with a handful of Pokémon mechanics and a dash of Fire Emblem-like battle mechanics. The colourful booth stood in stark contrast to the massive PlayStation booth across the way, reminding attendees that while Nintendo wasn't there to showcase titles like Pokémon Sun and Moon, the 3DS still has life in it yet.
The demo we played opened like many Nintendo games before it, with a choice between a boy or girl main character; no customization screen was offered in the TGS build. After choosing, Stories opened on a snowy mountain range. Nyavi, a cat character that functions as the player's guide, instructed us to hop onto the blue, raptor-like creature that wouldn't look out of place in a Jurassic Park film. Once in the saddle our avatar waddled down to a monster fully rendered on the map; touching the creature pulled us into a battle.
Combat proved rather convoluted at first. Both our character — named Rider by Nyavi — and our "Monstie" stood side-by-side before our foe. The lower half of the 3DS's screen was divided into seven buttons: Skills for both the monster and Rider, typical RPG conventions like items and run, a standard attack option, a swap option to change Monsties, and a special Kinship gauge/button that slowly filled in the centre of the lower screen. Monstie and Rider skills were only useful as heals and debuffs, so we spent most of the time using the attack option, which once selected breaks into a further three options: Power, Technique, and Speed.
Reminiscent of Fire Emblem's weapon triangle, Power beats Technique, Technique over Speed, and Speed trumps Power. Our opponent gave us visual cues for which move it may select and how we should counter it; at first, the cues made little sense, but as the battle went on we began to learn what a swish of a tail or a growl meant in the context of the battle. When Rider attacked so did the Monstie, making quick work of the first foe.
Several other monsters dotted the mountain we explored, but we instead chose to enter a nearby cave. Inside we were greeted by a Zamtrios, a monster long-time fans might recognize, and engaged in a longer but still quite easy battle. During the fight we swapped our blue raptor for a Naruga Karuga (better known as Nargacuga in the West), a black wyvern creature, that at one point locked heads with our opponent. When that happens it's necessary to tap A to push Zamtrios off screen, resulting in significant damage that pushed the creature over a threshold. Zamtrios then sprouted ice armour and began breathing ice attacks, but we never came close to failure or being able to fill up the Kinship gauge to unleash an ultimate rider attack.
Items to create better equipment were awarded upon victory; deeper in the cave we uncovered a nest of eggs to steal from. We automatically returned to the village (possibly a function of the demo) after clearing two caves and thieving two eggs. There, we were able to tap the eggs with the touch screen to hatch them into new monsters to use in battle. Quite suddenly we were thrown into a boss fight with a Khezu, a worm-like creature without eyes but more than enough mouth and teeth to make up for it; we actually lost all of our health points, only to discover we had three "tries" before a game over screen appeared. The demo ended immediately after the inevitable victory.
Monster Hunter Stories left us with a strong impression of its inspirations; with those influences there's a certain amount of confidence that this game will have more than enough ideas to please those curious but intimidated by the barrier of entry and dedication a main Monster Hunter game requires. It's possibly a more casual experience that may turn off a few long-time fans, though monster collecting and the rather complex battle system may or may not pull doubters in, despite how the modest difficulty level on show in this demo. Western audiences won't know for a while either way, because while Monster Hunter Stories launches in Japan next month, there is no word of a localized release.
Does Monster Hunter Stories sound like something you'd enjoy, or do you think you'll stick to proven titles like Monster Hunter Generations? Let us know in the comments!
So not only can I ride Kirin in this game, but Epona too? xD
it looks amazing honestly I have no doubt it'll be one of the best games on the 3DS, I just hope it gets released over here 🙁
@YouSeemFRAZZLED the story clearly says that there's no word on localization.
@YouSeemFRAZZLED "while Monster Hunter Stories launches in Japan next month, there is no word of a localized release."
Nyavi? so a pun between Navi the fairy and a cat? ._.
I will throw myself at Capcoms feet and beg for a European version.
I am willing to forego the entirety of my dignity in my cause.
@YouSeemFRAZZLED the article clearly state "there is no word of localization"
Bring this to the states Capcom!
You better be able to rename Nyavi and dress him up. I want to call him revolver and give him a cowboy hat. Because there's nothing like the feeling of slamming a long silver bullet in a well greased chamber.
If Crapcom don't localise this, I will pay them a personal visit and introduce my shin to their heads.
Even though I'll probably prefer the main series games to this, Stories does look very enjoyable.
@OneArmedGiant well the game is tanking in preorders in Japan. I assume the Japanese monster hunter die hards know something we don't and it's turned them off to it.
Man! Do I want to play it?
A Monster Hunter RPG with colorful scenario!
I'm holding my breath for this one, please Capcom, let us have one of those amazing spin-offs from great series you always hog in japan-only
I wonder why that chart/manual is in english (No, I'm not taking it as a hint for a localisation, just childish curiosity)
Is it me or the characters talking with 'Simlish' language ?
Sounds like gibberish rather than proper Japanese language.
This game looks so dang good. So good.
They better localize this.
Really hoping this comes to Europe! I've nothing at all against the traditional Monster Hunter games but this is way more appealing to me.
See Nintendo, you can keep the staple series running whilst making spin-off series with different gameplay too!
I'd buy the game in a heartbeat. It looks like my next favorite monster hunter game actually
I'd expect localization, but not until some time after the Japanese release, and only if it's sold well enough.
@faint Any idea whether pre-orders are even a good indicator of future sales for a MonHun spinoff? How does it compare to, say, Poka Poka Felyne Village or whatever?
They better localize this and bring those badass Amiibo over.
Actually just do a full on Amiibo lineup for this.
Say a little higher quality slightly larger than normal amiibos for 20-25$?
I would totes buy both the stories ones and a bunch of regular MH Amiibo too.
I really hope they localize this beautiful gem. The anime coming west gives me hope at least.
This looks better and better the more they show xD That, combined with the fact that I'm REALLY getting into the main series, means I'm pumped to see some chibified versions of my favorite monsters
Baby Kecha Wacha plz!
Please come west!
I imagine to die hard MH fans the ease of this game is disgusting.
I wonder if they'll ever bring this outside Japan. Looks interesting.
@SetupDisk How is a demo of an RPG, which normally has levelling and all that jazz not included, or at least severely restricted, supposed to be indicative of the game's true difficulty?
Ive always though MH games were terrible but this one looks relatively fun. Love the made up language. Haha
I'm not really into MH, but this looks pretty awesome.
Monster hunter stories Day one for me, all the way!!!
Hoping we hear some localization news for this sometime at the top of 2017. I've yet to play a Monster Hunter game and while I plan to (and think I'd get addicted to it), MH Stories seems a little more styled to my type of RPG. In terms of their business practices and reluctance to give fans of certain series what they want, I'm no fan of Capcom ~~cough, MML3, RE~~ But keeping my fingers crossed for a Western release, nonetheless.
@SteamedSquid well the other spin off sold about 150,000 in a few years. That is awful for a monster hunter title. This one is so low on the pre order charts I'm having a had time predicting first week. Probably between 60 and 80,000 first week. Also very bad numbers for monster hunter.
More interested in this than rest of series
If all goes well, there might be a chance for this game to come to the West. It fills me with hope since those control instructions were in English at the Tokyo Game Show, plus the fact that the characters speak gibberish (albeit more exaggerated than in a normal MonHun game) so that localising it would take less time compared to doing those voice-overs in other languages.
I'm just hoping this wouldn't turn out like Federation Force, in a sense that the hardcore fans won't touch this game since it's not the MonHun they know.
HA HA! THIS IS SOOOOO COMING TO NX! Plus - it's all in English above in the guide pictures! OF COURSE IT'sCOMING TO THE WEST! HA HA
Don't be a shinhead!
But this is a spin-off, just like you say. This isn't as much for MH diehards as it is for people who never got into MH. You can even see that in some of the comments on here.
I have tried demo after demo of the main MH series. There is clearly a lot to sink your teeth into but I used to complain about the low quality of their free offering because there was no direction. Dropping a player new to the series into that mess rudderless seemed like a bad way to introduce the series, but I now understand that it's actually very indicative of the games themselves.
I'm one of those that can see the appeal from a distance but can't really find an entry point. I don't think it's my thing. I felt hints of an enticing collect-a-thon creeping in and could sense the shadow of the complex gear creation beckoning but it didn't quite grab me.
Regarding action, leaping on the backs of those monsters in the more recent entries was satisfying but the animations between attacks, while clearly tightly designed with great variety from character class to character class, made every blow seem like a ten minute process. I appreciate this high risk/high reward mechanic in theory but these games have an interest-holding threshold starker than any I've played. When you're unskilled and can't even tell if that massive swing; which, took forever to set up and execute in the first place even did any damage at all, there is a huge incentive to quit. I expect it's one's reaction to their first encounter with that feeling; which, separates the true monster hunter from the rest of us. The slow grind and steep learning curve is just unbearable for me.
On the other hand, this colorful, JRPG-style entry looks like just the thing.
Seriously, it seems to have depth but approachability. I really hope it's localized. Still, I was hoping it would be MH-lite. Something that would act as a friendly primer to the main series but it looks to be its own thing. I guess I'll have to remain on the outside looking in.
@Rin-go it doesn't change the fact that this game is going to bomb in Capcoms eyes. Also I expect die hards to play an entire franchise.
Because the very point of the game was to attract players that find real MH games too difficult?
@Anti-Matter it's not Japanese
I would love to have this game come to the US
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