Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin

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Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin – Review

Gather around, my fellow Hunters! No more do we need to wander the world using our legs, draining valuable battle strength! Now…we can ride the Monsters! Launching this week is legendary developer CAPCOM’s next instalment in their Monster Hunter franchise, “Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin”. Fuelled by a great storyline, gorgeous graphics, and monsters aplenty, Wings of Ruin is a great way for players to introduce themselves to the Monster Hunter universe.

Wings of Ruin is a turn-based RPG where you befriend the wild Monsters that the Hunters traditionally seek, build bonds of friendship with them, and ultimately ride them into battle where they fight by your side. Playing as the grandson of a legendary Rider, you learn the basics at the Riders camp before coming across an egg containing a legendary Rathalos, foretold to have the power to destroy the world. Here you begin your adventure to become the greatest Rider to ever live, and together with your little “Monstie” you’re off to save the world.

Whilst Wings of Ruin is not a direct sequel of either Monster Hunter World or Monster Hunter Stories, playing them will give you an introduction to the world at large. The layout of the village is remarkably similar to MHW, in terms of shops and villagers that can be spoken to. As well, is the fact that the villagers can hand out quests, or you can get them from the mainboard. When you enter the open world section of the game it’s JUST like MHW, and the grind is real! I love the fact that you can still just roam the wild, fighting monsters and gathering items at will. You initiate a fight with any of the wild Monsters that you encounter by walking into them, but this is where things get a little different…

Unlike MHW, Wings of Ruin isn’t an action RPG where you rush in and start swinging. Wings of Ruin uses a turn-based combat system, similar to Final Fantasy games. You and your companions take turns launching attacks against whichever monster(s) you’ve encountered. Making it a little spicier is the scissors-paper-rock style of combat that gives you a distinct advantage over a Monster that is about to attack you head-to-head. Power-speed-technical uses the same rules, and it gives you an advantage if you already know the style of attack the monster will use. There’s also double-up bonuses when you use the same attack as your Monstie. Unfortunately, you only control your moves, and none of your party members, so you need to take every advantage you can.

The game gives you plenty of guidance along the way; markers showing where you should be heading, a reminder in the corner of which mission you’re on, and if you’re paying attention, plenty of advice about how to win your battles. If you’re worried this makes it too easy, let me assure you that the monsters you fight are tough enough to make it a real struggle at times. This is not an easy balance to manage, but CAPCOM has nailed it.

Topping off how good the game is on launch day, CAPCOM has already launched their road map for future updates to the game, meaning that you can get in now and still know there’s plenty more content coming to this game. Releasing this before launch is a tease and a half, and yet another example of why CAPCOM is at the top of its class.

The hardest part about the game for me was the controls. You’ll have to deal with the game’s standard layout to start, as you don’t immediately get access to the menu. Pretty traditional use of WASD and the mouse for movement, however, the confirm button is enter; neatly halfway between where both your hands will sit. It almost feels like you need three hands to use these, however, soon enough you’ll be able to map it to your preferred settings. No matter the layout, you’ll find you can’t avoid the fact you have to double-accept options. Click to select, then click to confirm. Nearly. Everything. This would probably be my only gripe with the game. I’ve got the need for speed, but I just can’t click that dang fast!

Special mention, you also can’t “jump” in general, which made me really sad, but some of your Monstie’s can, and I assure you that the butt-wiggle on the way down will make you laugh so hard that you’ll be ok with the trade-off.

Wings of Ruins has some gorgeous graphics, with an art style that puts it more in the range of Zelda. Taking a step backwards from the realism of the MHW environment, it’s a far more simplified style. Even though it’s not got that realistic edge that “hardcore gamers” are after, it is one that will appeal to the nostalgic side of older gamers, as well as ease younger gamers into the open-world experience. A lighter and more creative style that suits a broader audience.

There are only two “issues” I could find with the gameplay, and that is the movement and the gathering. For movement, when you are just running around on your own two legs, there are only 8 directions your character can face. It just snaps to and leaves it feeling like you’re playing an 8-bit game. I consider this a bug as when you’re on your Monstie, everything is smooth. Maybe an oversight, or maybe a design thing, I don’t know. It definitely gave me a good laugh, but it was inconsistent. The problem when gathering was when you’re roaming the countryside on your Monstie, you just ride over the item and hit “F” to collect. Simple enough, and it worked 90% of the time. However, that means that 10% of the time it just wasn’t registering my click, and I’d have to double back and stop moving for it to collect the item.

Overall, I thought Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin was an amazing game. Whilst very different to the Monster Hunter World I’m more familiar with, the depth of the storyline, the option to speedrun it or grind, not to mention the ability to “catch ‘em all”, makes it a load of fun for a wider audience. Really looking forward to the upcoming updates and seeing how much CAPCOM advances this next installment. Although a little pricey, I definitely recommend giving it a shot.

The Good

  • Vibrant Graphics
  • Huge Storyline
  • Guaranteed updates

The Bad

  • Inconsistent “collect” acceptance
  • Double tapping accept on everything

Written by: HadesTheHobo


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