Review: Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin – A Franchise Riding High

An ideal introduction to the series.

Monster Hunter is a series with a longstanding tradition of being impenetrable to casual first-time players, with systems layered upon systems and tricky combat. In the mainline series Monster Hunter: World provided a multi-platform mainstream breakthrough, while on Switch the recent Monster Hunter Rise followed that lead in applying copious quality of life improvements, and at times aggressive streamlining, to make the experience more palatable for a wide audience. That said, the IP’s broad universe and the intricacies of its monsters are still vitally important factors, and no genre is better suited to making sense of a complex world than a traditional RPG.

Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin may be a sequel, but it’s worth saying right away that you don’t need to have played this spin-off’s debut to jump into the new release — this reviewer hadn’t, despite a borderline obsession with the main games. There are some returning characters along with some assorted nods and winks that no doubt raise a smile for those that fought through the 3DS epic, but nevertheless Capcom takes a generational approach to storytelling and it is certainly a standalone game.

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