Published on June 25th, 2024 | by Gareth Newnham

Monster Hunter Stories Remastered Review

Monster Hunter Stories Remastered Review Gareth Newnham

Summary: Baby's first Monster Hunter bounces onto Switch with the same sense of wide eyed joy that made the overlooked 3DS original such a pleasure to play.


Pocket Monster Hunter

It’s good to see Monster Hunter Stories get another shot at the big time.

Coming out before Monster Hunter broke through to the mainstream proper at the end of the 3DS’ lifespan and after the Switch, this more upbeat, family-friendly version of Capcom’s venerable action RPG series is great for both kids and kids at heart.



Essentially baby’s first Monster Hunter, Stories sees players take in the role of a young Monster Rider as they come of age and go out into the wider world to collect and train up monsters. Sorry Monsties ( because they’re monsters and your besties… urgh)

However, these particular monsters won’t be living in your pocket. Instead, they work as both your partner in Stories turn-based combat and as a mount to help you traverse the semi-open world as you hunt for more eggs to take back to the village that you then hatch into more powerful monsters, with plenty represented, including Tigrex, Velocidrome and the mighty Rathalos.

Hunting eggs is an absolute joy as you explore monster dens (read: dungeons) and eventually stumble upon the nest containing several eggs. There’s a slight element of gatcha to the proceedings, though, as you play you’ll also begin to recognise which of the colourful eggs belong to the different species of monsters.

There’s also an element of Pokemon (or Persona) breeding-style fun, too, as you eventually unlock the ability to splice monsters together to create more powerful ones and have them inherit stats and attacks from previous pairings.

The world also opens up in a similar way to the mainline games, with each new area featuring new monsties, crafting materials, and gear to collect.

Although combat is not as complex or immediate as in the mainline games, it is still engaging and a lot of fun thanks to its surprisingly engaging rock-paper-scissors-style system, which sees attacks and abilities categorized as either power, speed, or technique.

Choosing the correct kind of attack is the key to victory, especially when you’re being targeted by an enemy, as this will set off a head-to-head. Which is basically a game of rock paper scissors with the winner doing bonus damage and deflecting the attack.

Winning a head-to-head also builds up your kinship meter, which allows you to hop onto your mount to perform powerful dual attacks and devastating specials.

If the battles feel a bit slow for your liking, you can increase their speed by up to 3X. This is a system I wish more turn-based RPGs would employ because although grinding is a necessary evil sometimes, anything to make it less painful is always welcome.

Your rider also has access to the bevy of weapons seen in the main series, and although they don’t have their full movesets, each weapon type’s strengths and weaknesses translate really well into the more easy-going turn-based battles and they all hit with the same kind of heft.

The story stakes are incredibly high for a kid’s game, and as demonstrated in its opening, it doesn’t have a problem discussing some heavy themes.

After a fairly innocuous opening that introduces players to our protagonist and their two friends, Cheval and Lilie, as they sneak out to find a monstie egg, and return with an adorable baby Rathalos in toe, the idyllic village is attacked by a rampaging Nargacuga,  killing Cheval’s mother in the process after it drops a house on her. A year later it’s revealed that the Naracuga was being controlled by a mysterious sickness known as the Black Blight and that the only way to stop it is by finding a legendary egg containing a white dragon capable of curing the blight.

One of the biggest improvements to the game is its presentation. All the story elements are now fully voiced in English and Japanese, using the same cast from the short-lived anime tie-in Monster Hunter Stories: Ride On.

The textures have all been upscaled and touched up, too, and there have been some tweaks to the lighting as well that make the cutsie cel-shaded adventure sing as best as it can. It’s not mind-blowing, there is only so much you can do with a 3DS game,  and the pre-rendered cut scenes feel like a tease of what could have been on more powerful hardware, but there’s still a certain charm to proceedings, and it fits perfectly with the game’s more kid-friendly, laid-back tone.

Though Stories isn’t as challenging as the mainline Monster Hunter games, it’s got a much better sense of progression. In many ways, it feels like a JRPG from the late 90s; you rarely die during a battle, and even if you do, you’re never pushed back very far. So, it’s a great game to dip in and out of for a few hours at a time.

There’s still plenty to do with 100 Monsties to collect, and many of the legendary ones requiring several hours of work to track down, but you won’t find yourself feeling like you wasted several hours of your life after your best-laid monster-hunting plans end in one particularly nasty tail swipe.

My only minor complaint about Stories is that it is more game-adjacent, though, and only applies to the Switch version. Like the 3DS version before it, there is substantial amiibo support, and the amiibo for Wings of Ruin even unlocks special costumes.

However, the best perks are still stashed behind the amiibo made specifically for the game, which unlocks eggs containing legendary monsties ridden by various characters in the game. This would be great if not for the fact that these amiibos never got a European release and are crazy expensive if you can track them down.

Given that Nintendo seems to have done everything possible to destroy amiibo scalping recently, this would have been the perfect time for a reprint and EU release of a line of figures that often wind up on eBay for several hundred dollars per statue, but Capcom has opted not to mention this key and very cool Switch feature at all.

Final Thoughts

I suppose the best part of Stories for many players is that it doesn’t feel like a rerelease, as it’ll be the first time most will have played it (the well-implemented glow-up doesn’t hurt either).

It is also a great companion to the superb Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin, and it’s well worth grabbing the double pack if you can. It’s a fun, easy-going reimagining of a notoriously impenetrable series that is well worth your money and time.

About the Author


Back to Top ↑