Monster Hunter Stories Remastered Review – Of Monsties And Majesty

Monster Hunter Stories Remastered Review - Of Monsties And Majesty

If you had never played the original Monster Hunter Stories and you are based in the West, you would be forgiven. The niche spin-off launched for the Nintendo 3DS in 2016 before the explosion of the brand in the West beginning with 2018’s Monster Hunter World so really it was the hipster Monster Hunter crowd who were ever really across it. What many have missed though, by way of becoming newer fans of the franchise, was a genuinely excellent first step into a new genre for the franchise. While traces of the Monster Hunter core were present in Stories, players had a fresh way to explore the world of Monster Hunter, with more narrative depth than seen in the franchise’s core entries. It’s lead to a sequel, 2021’s Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings Of Ruin, and now a wonderful remaster of the original, a game that benefits from a number of quality of life improvements, enhanced visuals, and even more heart injected. 

There are two types of people interacting with monsters in this world, those who hunt them, and those who ride them. The community your hero hails from is a town of riders, with a deeply entrenched history in forming bonds with monsters of all kinds and utilising their wonderful skillsets for the betterment of their hometown of Hakum Vilage. One day, your hero, along with their two friends Cheval and Lilia happen upon a monster egg, and in attempting to for kinship with it, they trigger a series of events that begins with the hatching of the egg, and the bonding of the resident Rathalos and your hero. Upon returning to town and being scolded for your reckless actions but this is quickly forgotten as a Nargacuga afflicted by a virus called the Black Blight attacks the township. The consequences of this attack moulds the lives of the entire community, but especially the three friends, with each responding to the ramifications of the attack quite differently. It culminates though with your hero, heading out with new ally Navirou to put a stop to the impacts of the Black Blight upon the monsters of the world. 

Monster Hunter Stories is a superb balancing act of tension, dark tones, humour, and heart-warming fun, enhanced by a number of much-needed changes in this remaster. Bolstering the narrative delivery is newly included voice-acting, which by-and-large has been well delivered. There are certainly a few characters whose writing fell into some established troupes in the original version of the game and they’ve been realised how you would expect them to. The gravity of the scenarios the lead cast have been placed in is apparent through the acting, while the moments of levity have also been captured well. Monster Hunter Stories’ remaster is also quite a looker. I had to boot up the original version of the game to refresh myself on how it looked because the game was defying all logic to look as I remembered it in my minds eye. Sure enough though there are a range of visual improvements, from smoother edges, to framerate improvements, and of course resolution too. Being a 3DS game at its core, the environments you traverse can sometimes feel a bit too bland and simple at times, and some work could have been done to populate the space a bit, but overall, the world, and everything in it looks great. 

If you’ve played Monster Hunter 2: Wings Of Ruin then you’re going to feel quite comfortable with the original game. The Rock-Paper-Scissors combat style of Power-Speed-Technical attacks is still here, all set within turn-based encounteres, collecting Monsties (friendly Monsters) by thieving them from Monster Nests originates here as well, and there are plenty of main and sub-quests for players to complete across the game’s 40+ hour duration. Like any traditional Monster Hunter game, the player can choose from a range of weapon types, although the selection in Stories is a little more limited, with players only able to choose between the great sword, the hammer, sword & shield, and the hunting horn, while the Monsties themselves possess a range of abilities that will allow you to traverse the environment in different ways, from climbing vines, swim, fly, or even break rocks. Building the best party of six Monsties that supports your environmental needs, just as much as your combative ones is one of the great tricks of Monster Hunter Stories, and even eight years since the original years, it can still be a challenge to get the party just right. Online play returns but is a pretty forgettable feature. 

Monster Hunter Stories might be eight years old, and might have been succeeded by a newer entry, but those factors do not diminish its incredible quality. Now accessible more than ever before, Stories is a game that must be accessed by fans of the franchise as well as JRPG-fans as well. It’s not the deepest of experiences, appealing undoubtedly to those looking for a step-up from Pokemon, but serves as a gateway to something even larger. A great remaster that addresses several 3DS-limitations, Monster Hunter Stories is a must-play for those salivating over the impending launch of 2025’s Monster Hunter Wilds.

Monster Hunter Stories Review Box

Monster Hunter Stories Remaster was reviewed on PS4/5 with a code kindly provided by Capcom

Have you seen our Merch Store?

Get 5% off these great Arcade Machines and help support Player 2

Check out our Most Recent Video

Find us on Metacritic

Check out our Most Recent Posts