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Monster Hunter Stories 2 : Wings of Ruin

Monster Hunter Stories 2 : Wings of Ruin
© 2021 Capcom

Monster Hunter Stories 2 : Wings of Ruin is a RPG video game developed by Capcom and release in 2021. It is a spin-off of the Monster Hunter series and a sequel to the 2016 game released on Nintendo 3DS. The game is available on Nintendo Switch and Steam.

Around the world, the Rathalos has disappeared and large pits emit some fearsome pinkish light that make Monsters going crazy. The player character is the descendant of a famous Rider named Red. He will have a fateful encounter with a Wyverian girl who has been entrusted with a Rathalos egg by a worshiped creature named Guardian Ratha. After a trip together with the girl, the player character learn to expand its Rider skill and soon, the egg hatches and a baby Rathalos with small black wings bursts out from it. The legends say this Rathalos would bring ruin to the world. The player will travel in various countries to learn how to master Ratha’s power and ensure it won’t accomplish its fateful prophecy.

I’ve never been into Monster Hunter games, mainly because of their gameplay that never attracted me despite trying some of them. This title is more a crossover between Pokémon and Monster Hunter because instead of hunting for creatures, the player is a Rider, a member of a tribe who tame monsters, called Monsties, and use them. The game itself is a traditional turn-based RPG where the player explores various maps and fight Monsters, collect items, explore underground zones, and also can find eggs to hatch and expand its Monsties collection.

The combat system is an old school turn-based gameplay inspired by the rock, paper, scissors game. The player fights along its Monstie and he can call them during the fight to bring specific skills to fight Monsters. He’s regularly accompanied during the story by another Rider or a Hunter, and there is also an online co-op gameplay. He also can change its weapon during the fight as the Monsters are more or less vulnerable to a specific kind of weapon. The player and the Monstie have a synergy gauge that fills up during the fight and when it’s full, they can launch a Riding action where the character mount the Monster and perform a combined attack. The gameplay is really simple, and can be a little too repetitive. Fortunately, when the character’s level is slightly above the monsters, a “Quick Finish” option is available to skip this kind of battles.

The exploration part of the game is not the best I’ve seen. Basically, you’ll mount your Monstie and walk around vast areas, fighting monsters, and collecting items. The caverns are almost every time the same model with a different environment according to the region… The map is recycled again and again, and the areas to explore are quite empty to be honest. Some fields actions are available like smashing rocks, swim, jump, etc, and these actions can be executed when you have a Monstie able to do them. The areas have some randoms elements with the dens which are popping randomly in the map and can be explored to capture a Monster egg.

I haven’t finished the game yet, but so far after ten hours, the story is … flat. One problem is the player character : he/she is a silent character the player can customize, but this character is completely useless. All the dialog are made by the second main character : Navirou, a Felyne (a cat with humanoid behavior) and he is absolutely annoying. It’s the over “wannabe cute mascot character” with almost every clichés possible : talking with an irritating high-pitched voice : check, making pouick pouick noises when walking : check, being dumb : check, thinking he’s a legendary famous adventurer : check, being a useless comic relief : check. As this is the only talking main character (because the player character is just a background extra), the cut scenes are boring. The other characters have the same problem with a stereotyped pattern typically inherited from the Japanese animation.

Despite these weakness, the game is not that bad. It’s just an average Japanese-RPG installed in the Monster Hunter series. The game relies a lot on the collectible search by filling various objectives : Monsters genes to enhance your creatures, finding all the Monsties, crafting weapons and armors, doing side quests, etc. There is a lot of content, which is a very good thing. The only issue is the repetitiveness of the game.

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