Monster Hunter Stories demo – first thoughts

As some people may know, I’m a MH fan through and through. Since MHP3rd on PSP I’ve hunted high and low with some of my best friends. Anyways, MH Stories intrigued me with its gameplay a while back and during TGS 2016 as well, so here are my first thoughts after playing the demo which released on the Japanese 3DS eShop a few days ago.

-Graphics are actually really good, like amazing and stylized
-Cutscenes are amazing too, and in 60fps even with 3D on
-Speaking of 3D, 3D is a must-see in this game. Even improves jaggies around edges
-Gameplay wise, it of all things reminds me of a beefed up Fate/Extra, especially when equipped with the Hunting Horn. Monster companions manage to add an extra factor to manage
-I thought from gameplay that it would feel very slow, and it is, but the X button during battles makes the motions and attacks x2 or x3 quicker. You can use the start button to skip Ride Monster Special Attacks
-Speaking of special attacks, it’s not as abusable as I thought. Since Hunter skills (aka RPG ‘magic’ or ‘skills’) consume Kizuna energy, and ordering a specific action for your companion does too. You need a full gauge for Ride -> special attack
-Epona special attack is definitely modeled after the Kirin one. BTW Kirin confirmed for MHS
-I’m not quite sure what the point of riding in battle is other than raising Special Attack power level and using Special Attacks
-This game borrows a lot of stuff like SEs from main series MH. It threw me off a lot and I’m not sure I like it
-Pretty good battle BGM, it’s not the usual RPG fare but gives a more MH ‘fun hunting’ vibe

I am really liking riding on monsters! Too bad that they bar you from exploring the demo field area a bit more, as you’re sent off to fight Khezu straight after gathering and hatching two eggs. Also, this game might mark the strongest Lagombi we’ve ever seen! (I didn’t find Snowbaron Lagombi much of a threat.)


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