Monster Hunter Stories Review

Monster Hunter Stories Review

The OMG Review
Our review format is not your usual fare and we’ve broken it down into 3 very simple ratings!

“Buy it!” means that the game deserves a place in your collection. Be it day 1 or a slightly delayed purchase, it’s hard to go wrong with this title. In numbers, this is around an 8/10 and above.

“Wait for it…” means that while the game is good, it probably isn’t worth it at its day 1 price point. We suggest you wait for a sale before jumping in. In numbers, this is around a 5 – 7/10.

“Ignore it!” means that the game is not something we’d recommend playing, whether it be now or in the near future. Maybe ever. Let’s not even go to the numbers for this one.

Sneak Peek
  • Release Date: June 14, 2024
  • Platforms: PS4, Switch, PC
  • Genre: Turn-based RPG
  • Similar Games: Pokemon Series, Dragon Quest Monsters
  • Price: starts at $29.99

The premise of Monster Hunter is simple: find monster, hunt monster, slay or capture monster, harvest monster, find stronger monster, rinse and repeat. It’s a tried and tested gameplay loop that’s enjoyed by many, especially as the Monster Hunter series is seeing a resurgence as of late in anticipation of Monster Hunter Wilds.

We’re not talking about the mainline titles for now, but rather a spin-off named Monster Hunter Stories, originally a 3DS exclusive back in 2016. Facing a much wider release this time around as it hits PS4, Switch, and PC as a remaster, the game is back and offers a different perspective in this world of monster hunting, along with a few new features to sweeten the deal.

Monster Rider

In the Monster Hunter series, storylines have typically been unremarkable. Players assume the role of a character who arrives in a hub town and gradually ascends the ranks from a novice to a celebrated monster hunter. The central focus has always been on hunting down increasingly formidable creatures as the narrative unfolds.

However, Monster Hunter Stories takes an unexpected turn. In a world where monsters are hunted for their parts, there exists an entire community that coexists with these creatures. These so-called ‘Monster Riders’ can befriend, raise, and even ride monsters.


As a Monster Rider, your custom-created character embarks on an adventure alongside your fellow Monstie, and together, you investigate a mysterious phenomenon known as the Black Blight, which drives monsters into a berserk state. Along the way, you explore the world, encounter friends, and even meet Hunters who find the idea of befriending and riding the very monsters they hunt absurd.

Compared to the main Monster Hunter games, Monster Hunter Stories stands out due to its actual narrative. While it incorporates familiar elements like accepting quests and battling monsters to grow stronger, it takes a more traditional JRPG approach to storytelling.

Despite the colorful and cute graphics, the plot is quite generic but manages to maintain a surprising level of maturity. Your childhood friends, Lilia and Cheval, will feel familiar—the former being a supportive friend with different aspirations, and the latter a brooding loner on a path of revelation.

Rathalos, I Choose You!

Unlike the real-time hunting and expansive open environments of the main series, battles in Monster Hunter Stories follow a turn-based format with intriguing twists.

In combat, you and one of your Monsties engage using menu-based commands. The standout feature is the rock-paper-scissors mechanic, where monsters fall into three categories: Power, Speed, and Technical. Power beats Technical, Technical beats Speed, and Speed beats Power. While seemingly straightforward, this system requires strategic thinking and familiarity with monster types to exploit weaknesses effectively.


Achieving victory in a rock-paper-scissors encounter feels rewarding because it negates the opponent’s attack and grants an advantage. If your Monstie shares the same type, you can trigger a Double Attack, dealing extra damage and boosting your Kinship with your partner.

As you fight alongside your Monstie, certain actions raise your Kinship level. Once it reaches a threshold, you can mount your Monstie in battle. This not only combines your HP but also grants access to powerful Kinship skills that can turn the tide of battle.


Monster Hunter Stories also introduces quick sequences like button-mashing or stick-rotating minigames, adding variety to combat. Winning these mini-challenges also contributes to building Kinship, incentivizing battles to be engaging and something that requires active participation.

Veterans of the series will find familiar concepts carried over. If you or your Monstie is knocked out in battle, you lose a life, and two defeats result in overall failure. Monsters can become enraged or knocked down, akin to the base game. Additionally, hitting them with a paintball forces them to retreat to their dens upon defeat, providing an opportunity to find monster eggs.


The game retains the monster-collecting mechanic through scattered Monster Dens. Here, you can pick up eggs to hatch and raise. The addictive aspect lies in the chance of encountering rare Monster Dens, potentially yielding rarer monsters to bolster your party.

For those who enjoyed finding and raising creatures in Pokémon, Monster Hunter Stories offers a similar thrill. As someone who initially hunted these beasts, having them as allies and riding them across the field feels like a delightful treat. Collecting diverse monsters becomes essential, as some possess world abilities—such as water traversal or long-distance jumping—that aid exploration.


If you’re the type that has fun finding and raising monsters in Pokémon, then Monster Hunter Stories offers the same fun collecting and raising gameplay, only you’ll be collecting the likes of a Rathalos, Arzuros, or a Khezu to name a few.

Something’s Missing

While we’ve been praising Monster Hunter Stories, as a spinoff, I noticed a few personal nitpicks—especially coming from the main Monster Hunter series.


The shift to turn-based combat was fine, but the absence of certain weapons (like the Long Sword, Dual Blades, and Bow) stood out. Although my preferred weapons (Great Sword, Hammer, Hunting Horn, and Sword and Shield) made the cut, having access to all weapon types would have added gameplay diversity.

Additionally, the repetitive design of monster dens—where you collect eggs to hatch and raise—might become tiresome for some players. Despite this, the joy of collecting monsters remains intact. The game’s channeling system allows for monster customization, making duplicate finds more meaningful as their genes can enhance your team’s abilities.

The added features like Japanese and English voice tracks, a Museum Mode with artworks and music, and having the updates previously released available from the start definitely makes this the definitive edition of Monster Hunter Stories to get.

Verdict: Buy it!


While Monster Hunter Stories may not be the traditional hunting experience that players may be used to, the game manages to be a fun JPRG experience with many familiar Monster Hunter elements. Newcomers will find it accessible, while veterans may appreciate the nostalgia evoked by recognizable sights and sounds.

The game also sheds light on another facet of the monster hunter world—a faction that befriends and fights alongside monsters rather than merely hunting them for parts. Despite its simplified gameplay and vibrant graphics, Monster Hunter Stories remains a solid experience, even today. Whether you’re a Monster Hunter veteran or a newcomer, this JRPG adventure is well worth exploring.

*Monster Hunter Stories was reviewed on a PS4 and Steam Deck with a review code provided by the publisher.

Monster Hunter Stories Review

8 Score

Whether you’re a Monster Hunter veteran or a newcomer, this JRPG adventure is well worth exploring.


  • Turn-based combat is fun and engaging
  • Collecting with familiar monsters from the series
  • New features enhance the experience


  • Not all weapons from Monster Hunter are available
  • Repeating designs of areas

Review Breakdown

  • Rating 0

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