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I loved Monster Hunter Stories when it first launched on the 3DS back in 2017, and when Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin came to Nintendo Switch four years later in 2021, I loved it even more. With the first title in the series now having made its way to Nintendo Switch with an HD polish and voice acting, I was excited to dive in and experience the fun all over again.


A Better View



The visual upgrade to Monster Hunter Stories in the jump to modern consoles is pretty staggering when you compare it to the 3DS release. Go ahead and check out the initial review of the 3DS version I linked above and take a look at those screenshots. Monster Hunter Stories on 3DS was wonderful, but there was only so much visual fidelity to be had on Nintendo’s handheld. This upgrade to HD visuals makes the game smooth and bright, and allows you to enjoy your monster pals and their special Kinship moves in all their glory.

That being said, it is still fairly obvious that Monster Hunter Stories is a 3DS game at its core. Most faces are just animated textures, and there are textures and objects in the overworld that, while clear and crisp now, are still simple flat surfaces. Monster models, on the other hand, look fantastic and high-quality, with rich colors and the iconic designs Monster Hunter is known for coming through loud and clear. After the prologue, cutscenes are rendered almost entirely in-engine too, and they look great every step of the way. These in-engine cutscenes also allow for your customized hunter to show up exactly how they appear everywhere else, adding a personal touch to the game that I greatly enjoyed.


Talkin’ the Monster Talk

Monster Hunter Stories’ new voice acting is wonderful as well, with just about every main character being voiced in major cutscenes. There are great performances all around, especially from the voice actors behind Cheval, Avinia, and Reverto. You’ll probably notice that there are definitely cutscenes that were scripted and animated without actual voice acting in mind, likely lifted straight from the 3DS version with no tweaking whatsoever. They feature mouth movements that don’t match the lines being spoken whatsoever, and greatly exaggerated arm and body movements to convey characters’ emotions when the voices do a fine job communicating these emotions on their own. I did get used to this after the first few hours, though at the beginning of the game it felt very glaring.

Battling Bulldromes! (And More)

The battle system is still fun, with attacks featuring a rock-paper-scissors approach of Technical-Power-Speed that you can use to your advantage, though it is a bit clunkier than I remembered. Selecting your own attack to try and one-up an opposing monsters behavior allows for some solid strategizing, but you have very little control over which type of attack your monsters use, and opposing monsters sometimes switch things up at random with no discernible pattern, especially in the late game, making it hard to gain an advantage by selecting the right attacks. It’s glaringly apparent that all the upgrades and tweaks made to battles in Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin were made for a reason, and it made going backwards to experience this title’s battles feel rough around the edges.


Eggcelent Eggstras

This new HD version of Monster Hunter Stories also features some extra content for die-hard fans. The first of which is content from the 3DS version that never made it outside of Japan before now, mostly featuring some post-game content and extra subquests that grant access to new and more powerful monsters and equipment. This HD rerelease of Monster Hunter Stories also keeps the amiibo functionality intact, and even adds a small bit of new content accessed by scanning the Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin amiibo (Ena, Tsukino, and Razewing Ratha). Unfortunately, none of the amiibo from Monster Hunter Rise or Sunbreak offer any new content, instead offering small sets of consumable items.



The other special additions are a special Museum mode, giving players a never-before-seen look at over 200 pieces of various concept art and music tracks from Monster Hunter Stories. A great deal of these works also have commentary tracks, explaining the developers’ process in designing these characters and the different choices they made. The environment arts are especially gorgeous, made more so by the understanding offered by the commentaries on them. However, if you’ve never played the game before, be wary of checking out the Museum before you dive in, as story spoilers abound in both the artworks and the commentaries. This special look at the development of Monster Hunter Stories was a welcome surprise to find when I booted up the game, and I spent a long while going through each piece and its commentary.


Taking Flight


I had a blast revisiting Monster Hunter Stories on the Nintendo Switch. Yes, it did feel a little rough around the edges after coming from the sequel’ polish, but it is very nice to be able to see where this Monster Hunter spin off series started in crisp and beautiful HD. On top of that, this rerelease of Monster Hunter Stories is perfectly poised to renew interest in the series as a whole, and my hope is that it will lead to a third entry in the series down the line. With this game being brought forth to modern consoles with a worthwhile visual upgrade and plenty of great extras never before seen in the west, Monster Hunter Stories is still worth a playthrough in 2024, and the Switch is the perfect place to do it. 

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  • Upgraded visuals look fantastic compared to the 3DS version
  • New voice acting is very well done
  • In-engine cutscenes are still as impressive and fun to see as in the original version
  • New Museum mode is a delight to dig through, but be wary of spoilers
  • Small bit of new amiibo content
  • Sometimes it’s very obvious this is just a nice-looking 3DS game
  • Battle system is a little rough around the edges after having played the sequel
  • Not all Monster Hunter amiibo offer specific rewards

Written by Jaxson Tapp

As a lover of gaming and the written word, Jaxson currently fills his time not only with playing games, but also writing about them. Ready for anything, Jaxson’s passion for puzzle games, JRPGs, tough platformers, and whimsical indies helps him bring a well-rounded opinion to Nintendo Wire’s reporting.