Monster Hunter Stories 2 PC Review – What if Pokemon Was Good?
Despite being a franchise with somewhat humble beginnings that largely revolved around a niche community, Monster Hunter has always sneakily been one of Capcom’s flagship titles every time a new one came out. With Monster Hunter World, the franchise broke new ground when it came to amassing a player base, and with good reason.
With the popularity of World, Capcom is looking to tap into another demographic with a sequel to Monster Hunter Stories – a vastly different game than man mainline Monster Hunter series, with a much more light-hearted tone and generally cheerful demeanour. And this time around, Monster Hunter Stories 2 is getting a cross-platform release. No longer just relegated to a Nintendo console, Monster Hunter Stories 2 is also coming to PC, and with a new platform, comes a new, larger audience.
But what exactly is Monster Hunter Stories 2? Well, that’s an incredibly simple question to answer. Monster Hunter Stories 2, like its predecessor, is a monster-collecting and fighting game in the vein of Pokemon games. The big difference here is that the roster of ‘Monsties’ you can befriend and fight comes from the massive roster of monsters in Monster Hunter, and there’s an emphasis on the story and co-op gameplay, rather than the PvP endgame that Pokemon likes to focus on. But to call Monster Hunter Stories 2 simply Pokemon but with Monster Hunter would be a disservice to the game.
Monster Hunter Stories 2’s Story
While Monster Hunter as a franchise has always been incredibly goofy despite the world-ending threats you fight on a regular basis, Stories 2 takes the goofiness up a notch. Rather than just straight up hunting monsters for parts, you befriend monsters, who become your besties. That’s where the term ‘Monsties’ comes from. Each Monstie will have its own attack patterns and stats, and will fight alongside you against other monsters.
The story, if the millions of trailers haven’t already clued you in, revolves around a mythical Rathalos with the Wings of Ruin. A faction of hunters wants to hunt down the mythical Rathalos, while the protagonist and their village—who live in harmony alongside their Monsties—would rather calm the Rathalos down and help it out with regards to the whole Wings of Ruin thing. Of course, the story has plenty of twists and turns, and it’s a pretty good ride, but honestly, the story won’t be what keeps you coming back to Monster Hunter Stories 2. It’s the gameplay.
Monster Hunter Stories 2 Gameplay
Stories 2 perfectly translates a lot of the core gameplay aspects from mainline Monster Hunter games to turn-based battles. Sure, you now have plenty of time to think about your next move, but some fundamental aspects never change. You still have to learn the monster you’re fighting to figure out which move counters it best. But before I get to that, let me explain the core combat.
The protagonist—a Rider in Stories 2’s story—has several options in combat, but the most important one is the kind of attack they want to execute: a Power attack, a Technical attack, or a Speed attack. The three kinds of attacks work in a rock-paper-scissors kind of way, and you have to figure out the best choice when facing a monster, since they’ll often stick to one or two of these attacks; Power beats Techincal, which beats Speed, which beats Power.
A Velocidrome, for example, always goes for Speed attacks, but once enraged when it’s low on health, always goes for Power attacks. This means that you can use Technical attacks to counter the Velocidrome for most of the fight, and once it enrages, you switch to Speed attacks. The same rock-paper-scissor attack patterns apply to the Monsties fighting besides you as well, so against the Velocidrome, using a Kulu-Ya-Ku is great, since the latter uses Technical attacks.
There are plenty of nuances in Monster Hunter Stories 2’s combat system, and even your choice of weapons has a major effect on fights. Fighting a Kulu-Ya-Ku while it’s holding a rock, for instance, is futile with a Bow or Greatsword, but on the other hand, using a Hammer makes short work of the dumb bird and its rock. There are also elemental attacks to play with, and these are largely carried forward from mainline Monster Hunter games as is. This means that, while fighting a Rathalos, using the Dragon or Thunder element is going to be really helpful, while Fire will mostly be a waste of time.
Monster Hunter Stories 2 also supports co-op gameplay, with its own bespoke hunts custom made and balanced around two competent players. The main story itself also likes to pair you up with a fellow Rider, giving you a test of co-op features like combination attacks.
Monster Hunter Stories 2 PC Performance
Considering Monster Hunter Stories 2’s art style, it should come as no surprise that it runs incredibly smoothly on PC. Sadly, when it comes to graphics options, there aren’t too many to play around with. All you get are Resolution, Frame Rate, V-Sync, Anti-Aliasing, LOD, Texture Quality, and Shadow Quality. Running the game with everything maxed out on my PC at 1920×1080 gave me a smooth 144fps experience.
For context, here’s my PC:
- CPU: Ryzen 5 3600
- RAM: 32GB
- GPU: MSI Radeon RX 5600XT Gaming X
Regardless, Monster Hunter Stories 2 is by no means as demanding on hardware as Monster Hunter World or Iceborne were, and it’s worth remembering that the game’s design was limited by also having to run on the Nintendo Switch. This means that most mid-range PCs should be able to run the game just fine.
Monster Hunter Stories 2 Price in India
Monster Hunter Stories 2 is available on PC and Switch. The PC version, available on Steam, is priced at Rs. 3,499, while the Switch version is priced at $59.99 (roughly Rs. 4,480) on the eShop. While the pricing may sound expensive, it is worth noting that Monster Hunter Stories 2 has hundreds of hours worth of gameplay in its campaign as well as end game hunts, and will be getting updated with more content down the line.
Monster Hunter Stories 2 is a wonderful follow up to the original, doubling down on the unlikely-yet-excellent formula of translating Monster Hunter’s setting and gameplay with Pokemon. Befriending Monsties and using epic combination attacks never really gets old, and the general emphasis on high end co-op hunts once you’re done with the lengthy main campaign means that, much like mainline Monster Hunter games, running out of things to do is difficult.
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