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Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin Review

Reading Time: 6 minutes

Fast Facts

Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin

Developer: Capcom
Publisher: Capcom
Website: https://www.monsterhunter.com/stories2/
Genre(s): Adventure, RPG
Platform: Nintendo Switch (also available on PC)
Age Rating: PEGI 7
Release Date: 09/07/21
Price: £49.99

A code was provided for review purposes

Monster Hunter Stories was originally released on the Nintendo 3DS, and although it didn’t really take off over here, it’s back with its sequel – Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin. Was this a welcomed addition to the Switch library? Read on to find out.

Where’s Rathalos?

If you have played a Monster Hunter game previously then you will probably be expecting awesome monster battles, farming for cool armour and weapons, and collecting more items than you can know what to do with, and you would mostly be right. Mostly. Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin is so much more than an ordinary Monster Hunter game.

Monster Hunter Stories is based on an anime of the same name, so it has a completely different art style. But, that’s not the only way it differs. Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin is a turn-based RPG. So, a little different to the hack ‘n’ slash type combat the usual series offers.

The story is an interesting one. Rathalos are disappearing from all around the world and nobody can pinpoint why. Soon, the mighty Rathalos will be extinct. That is until an unknown Wyverian girl entrusts you with an egg – a tiny Rathalos egg. It’s said that this Rathalos (known as Razewing Ratha) has the potential to destroy the World, who knows what to believe?

A baby Rathalos hatching out of a red and black egg with a forest background
How can this little cutie destroy the world?!

Monstie Egg, Anyone?

Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin has taken perhaps the most frustrating part of previous Monster Hunter games and have made it into the best part of this one. You would never catch me carrying a Wyvern egg back to base in previous games. It would be slow, frustrating and you wouldn’t get anything out of it. But, in this one, you will hatch your very own Monstie!

Whilst out and about in the world you will encounter numerous monsters to battle, and in doing so, you will occasionally be able to collect an egg from that monster. Hatch it and that Monstie is yours. Raise it as your very own. Bond with that Monstie to unlock special skills that will help in battle.

Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin has elements of Pokemon in it, in regards to the party system. Players can choose a party of five Monsties to be in their team, with one of those Monsties being selected as the ‘Lead Monstie’. Your Lead Monstie is the one that you, quite literally, ride into battle.

There is also a chance at finding rare monster eggs with better stats and abilities which is cool. It’s best to gather up eggs at any opportunity because later on down the line you will be able to combine Monsties’ genes to create a ‘super soldier’ of a monster! Because that worked so well in Jurassic World

Riding a Lead Monstie across a grassy field
See, they’re not so bad.

Get Ready For Battle!

The battle system in Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin is an interesting one. As stated earlier, when out and about in the world you will see monsters roaming around, if you make contact with them you will enter into a battle. Your Lead Monstie will be first out and players take turns in choosing actions to defeat the monster. If it is a monster you have battled before, you will see its life bar. However, if you haven’t battled that monster before, you will not know how much life it has got – or what it is weak to or strong against.

When attacking you will be given three choices; Speed Attack, Power Attack and Technical Attack. The enemy monster will also choose one of these, but you won’t know until you have chosen (a little bit like Rock, Paper, Scissors). You need to learn which monsters favour which attacks in order to best defeat them. These three attacks are stronger against certain ones. For example, Power beats Technical, Technical beats Speed and Speed beats Power. See, I told you it was like Rock, Paper, Scissors.

As is the case in Monster Hunter, you will have a lot of weapons and armours at your disposal. Unfortunately, there isn’t as much choice when it comes to weapons though. There are three weapon types to use; Sharp, Blunt and Ranged. Of which there are two different weapons you can use in each category. Sharp has the greatsword and sword and shield, Blunt has hammers and hunting horns and finally, Ranged has the bow and the gun lance. So, there are still a few options to choose from. Each monster has a weakness to these weapon types, so again, it’s finding what works best for whatever you’re fighting.

Oh, another cool thing is as you are battling with your Monstie, your Kinship Gauge will fill up – when this is full you can use Ride On, which allows you to jump onto your Monstie and perform a superpower special move – which is extremely helpful because it also restores your health.

You can change your weapon and Monstie at any time during a battle and as many times as you like and it doesn’t use a turn. Also, very helpful.

An example of the battle system in Monster Hunter Stories 2
The battle system works so well.

It’s a Small World

The areas in which you are free to explore in Wings of Ruin are somewhat small and you’re limited as to where you can go. There is often only a singular route to take which makes it feel a lot more linear. The areas are filled with a lot of dead ends and such and so there are secrets and hidden items to find. But, one thing I can say is that it does look good. Vibrant and colourful.

Your Monsties also have a part to play when it comes to exploring the world. Each of your Monsties will have a skill that is unique to them. For example, Velocidromes are able to jump from one platform to another. It ranges from being able to swim, climb vines and even fly.

No More Grinding

Battling monsters to gather parts to create their weapons and armour is still a huge part of Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin. But, I will say that it is a lot easier to craft the weapons and armour you want. In any other Monster Hunter game, you would find yourself having to battle a monster several times (and more) to be able to craft its armour. Not in this one. I would often be able to create both a monster’s armour and a weapon from defeating it once – which was both good and bad.

Wings of Ruin’s crafting system doesn’t work by needing specific times to craft. Instead, each item you have is worth a certain amount of points. As long as you meet the points requirement, you can use any order of the parts of the monster to craft.

Two players ride their Monsties side by side
Teamwork makes the dream work!

F Is For Friends Who Do Stuff Together

Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin features local and online multiplayer. The way it works is you can select various quests that will either require you to gather eggs or materials, or fighting a specific monster. You can only do this with one other player though, and not the party of four that we are used to with Monster Hunter games. To start off with, there aren’t many quests to play with friends but you can unlock them as you progress through the main story.

On top of these cooperative missions, you can also partake in some PVP in the form of Versus battles or tournaments. This is exactly how it sounds, imagine Pokemon battles and you’ve got it spot on. It’s a nice add-on but that’s exactly what it is, an add-on.

Summary

Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin is not the Monster Hunter game we are used to, but it’s a welcomed addition and a nice breath of fresh air. It doesn’t hold as much content as usual games, but the turn-based combat and the ability to ride Monsties makes it feel like a totally different game. It’s brilliant.

Rapid Reviews Rating

gold score

4.5 out of 5

4.5

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You can find and read our reviews on OpenCritic.

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