Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin Review
Monster Hunter Stories: Wings of Ruin is a fantastic JRPG, regardless of whether you have your Monster Hunter Guild card. While it’s easy enough to play for both beginners and more experienced players, the mechanics are complex enough to keep them interested. It’s a lovely love letter to Monster Hunter and offers an imaginative world that I can’t help but imagine already in.
Wings of Ruin is a JRPG that plays much like Monster Hunter’s action-oriented gameplay loop of crafting, hunting, and then more hunting. You can play it even if you haven’t played its predecessor: there are some familiar characters that you will meet along the way. However, you don’t need to have played the previous to be able to grasp the second. You will find many likable new characters, as well as tutorials that are extremely well-paced. The tutorials teach well but allow you to do what you want. Wings of Ruin brings many improvements to the original game, but some of these are a little disappointing.
It is a reincarnation of its predecessor. It swaps real-time combat with turn-based battles and deep customization systems. There are also a lot of side tasks and a heartfelt tale. The classic Monster Hunter formula is well translated, but instead of being a Hunter, you are placed in the role of a Rider. Riders are primarily friends with monsters (though they do make them into pants out-of-necessity too). This creates a party-building mechanism that is somewhat like Pokemon. Each Monstie (monsters who are your besties) has different stats and abilities. Your Rider can also fight alongside your Monstie and have armor and weapons that you can craft and equip. You can only equip one of each of the six types of weapon. Each type has its own mechanics, skill sets, and damage types. Switching between weapons and Monsties is possible once per turn. This makes it an viable and necessary tactic to prevent things getting repetitive.
Although the old method of reading an opponent’s intent seemed almost impossible, it is now possible to pay attention. You can switch to the Monstie with the more advantageous Speed, Power or Technical type of attack if a monster becomes angry, takes flight or changes its appearance, such as when a Zamtrios becomes Iceclad. This is much easier than trying to memorize a complex pattern with variables, like the first.
I like the combat changes. These combat changes make battles more interesting, thought-provoking and more reminiscent to classic Monster Hunter. Attacking Duramboros’ legs will eventually cause it to topple over. Kulu-Ya Ku’s rock will be broken faster by a blunt weapon, while hitting it with a Flash Bomb with a Flash Bomb will make the item drop completely. These tips are often given by NPCs early on. However, they become more rewarding as rewards for personal discoveries or exercises in previous Monster Hunter knowledge.
Although ‘Stories” is mentioned in the title, this story is not Wings of Ruin’s main draw. There are many thrilling scenes, and I was able to gasp or get a little emotional at times. However, this story is not original. It has a humorous, lighthearted plot that’s not too groundbreaking. Although the writing is funny and I found it amusing, Navirou was too pawsitively pawsitively pawsitively pawsitively gnawed at me. Sorry.