Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin on Switch and PC is the latest entry in the Monster Hunter series. The Monster Hunter franchise has had a long run on consoles for almost two decades. While Monster Hunter is always a gorgeous game to look at, it’s still a very niche experience, lacking the mass following of other major, third party franchises.
The base concept of Monster Hunter Stories 2 doesn’t stray too far from the original franchise. You are still battling epic monsters across various terrains, using strategic thinking and a rock-paper-scissors mechanic that keeps the game accessible to all audiences. Unlike the mainline franchise, however, Monster Hunter Stories 2 relies heavily on a solid story, fantastic voice acting and fun monster collecting that still sets it apart and offers a different experience than what most fans are used to.
Monster Hunter Stories 2 Wings of Ruin Details
Platform(s): Nintendo Switch and PC
Reviewed on: Nintendo Switch
Developer(s): Capcom, Marvelous Inc.
Genre: Adventure, Role-playing
Modes: Single Player, Multiplayer (Online 1-4)
ESRB Rating: E10+ (Everyone 10+)
A Grand Adventure
A fairly weak monster seems to be terrorizing your village of Hokolo and as a novice rider, it’s the perfect opportunity to test your skills with a monstie—the official term for monsters in Wings of Ruin. After partnering up with one of the village’s best riders, you head out into the field and begin learning the basics of monster hunting and collecting. As the story progresses, you will learn you are the descendent of one of the world’s greatest riders, your grandpa Red.
After being entrusted with a Ratha egg, an egg that could contain a monstie that might destroy the world, you leave on an epic adventure to become a better rider, learn more about your grandfather and save your monstie from it’s foretold doom. Along the way, you meet a fantastic cast of characters who help guide you on your adventure. In each area, one specific character will be your partner throughout, which allows for fantastic story progression.
Gameplay built for everyone
Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin uses the first few hours of the game to teach you
almost everything you’ll need to know for your entire adventure. Instead of layering more and more complex mechanics as the game moves forward, the base for Monster Hunter Stories 2 is actually pretty easy to understand, making this franchise much more accessible than the mainline titles.
After learning how to ride your monster through the over world, you quickly learn the rock-paper-scissors battle mechanic, where one type of attack overcomes another and so on. Understanding the monstie you are fighting helps you understand which types of attacks to use. Until the monstie becomes enraged and begins to use random attacks, it’s pretty easy to prepare for a specific monster if you know what types of attacks they will use. Battle mechanics go one step deeper, allowing you to knock rare materials off monsters by attacking specific parts of the body.
Each body type might be susceptible to more damage depending on the weapon you use. Experimenting during battle will help you in the future, because once you determine which weapon is best on a certain monster, the game will remember and remind you of it going forward.
Equally easy to understand gameplay mechanics
Other game mechanics are equally as easy to understand, including crafting weapons, armours and potions. Collect materials, of which there are many, and find what craft you want. There is a decent level of depth here as well, with certain armour sets being more effective against certain types of attack (lightning, fire, etc.), and certain weapons dealing elemental damage that could be beneficial against specific monsters.
The game saves the deepest, most complex mechanic for a few hours in, when you learn to
manipulate monster genes. On a monster’s info page, you’ll see a 3×3 grid of symbols. These symbols indicate the type of attack your monster does and the elemental damage they do. The system works like bingo, attempt to line up the same attack type and element type to maximize the damage your monster does.
Collecting more and more monsters, even if you already own them, is important as you can take a gene from one monster and transfer it to another. This releases the monster you take the gene from, hence why you need to collect so many.
So much to see and do
Aside from this, Monster Hunter Stories 2 progresses much like you’d expect a monster
collecting RPG would. While the main game offers a solid 40 hours of fun, there is a ton of post game content waiting when you finish. And that doesn’t even touch the multiplayer options available. Players can link up with others online to do Slay Quests, eliminating a target in an area; Trial Quests, where you defeat targets in an arena; and Expeditions, which allows you to enter multiple nests with friends and collect tons of monster eggs.
Monster Hunter Stories 2 Wings of Ruin allows you to lose yourself in a deep RPG world
There is so much to do in Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin I couldn’t possibly talk about all the amazing things you’ll see and do. The worlds are beautifully detailed, and the monsters are varied and engaging. Capcom has also worked in voice acting for the majority of the games main storyline, which is still fairly uncommon in larger third party titles. While many may try to pass off Wings of Ruin as a Pokémon knockoff experience, it is important to remember it’s so much more than that.
Even if the mainline Monster Hunter series isn’t for you, consider giving Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin a go. If you enjoy collecting things, and losing yourself in a deep RPG world, this is definitely one you don’t want to miss.
+ There is a DEMO available
+ Easy to understand gameplay
+ Tons of monster collecting
+ Great voice acting
– Riding monsters while collecting items can be frustrating
OVERALL ASSESSMENT OF MONSTER HUNTER STORIES 2 WINGS OF RUIN
Lasting Appeal/Replayability: 4.5/5