Generally favorable reviews - based on 53 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 39 out of 53
  2. Negative: 0 out of 53
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  1. Sep 13, 2017
    Monster Hunter Stories is an excellent adventure that channels the colourful world of Capcom’s storied series into a joyous JRPG. It suffers from performance issues on non-New 3DS hardware, but it’s still full of personality, beautifully presented and fun to play, with combat that’s easy to grasp but engaging throughout. Longtime MonHun fans will appreciate Stories as a thoughtfully-made spin-off, but the gameplay template and tone are so different that you don’t need to be familiar with — or even enjoy! — mainline Monster Hunter to have a great time here. Regardless of whether you’ve been hunting Hornetaurs since the beginning or couldn’t tell a Felyne from a Fatalis, Stories is yet another charming 3DS RPG that’s well worth your time.
  2. Sep 13, 2017
    For a spin-off that manages to change the core of what makes the mainline series so popular, Monster Hunter Stories does an amazing job becoming a stand-out title for the series. There’s loads to be discovered in Stories, with a perfect level of challenge for those who want to take their time or those looking to speed their way to the end-game content. While the story is simplistic and predictable, it still manages to throw in a few twists with plenty of good laughs along the way. Although it may seem most appealing to fans of the long-running series, there is plenty for any player to enjoy on their riding adventure through Monster Hunter Stories.
  3. Sep 7, 2017
    Monster Hunter Stories is an excellent JRPG through and through filled with content, challenging fights, interesting customization options and amazing visuals. It is also very respectful of its source material, offering players a new take on the iconic Monster Hunter tropes.
  4. Sep 15, 2017
    A great spin off for one of the most beloved franchises in videogames.
  5. Sep 8, 2017
    I absolutely thoroughly enjoyed my more than 50 hours with Monster Hunter Stories so far. It effectively eliminates the oh-so-common boring RPG grind, implements a novel turn-based battle system, and sincerely surprises me with seemingly limitless customizability. Though wrapped in a pleasant, sugary coating, Monster Hunter Stories did all of this while retaining the spirit of the Monster Hunter world with some small yet enjoyable nods to fans. I can’t wait to dive back into the endgame and hatch myself a Kirin.
  6. Sep 7, 2017
    The whole thing is "propped up" by a good-looking narrative structure and an eye-catching style.
  7. 88
    Monster Hunter Stories is a perfect synthesis between a classic JRPG and the Pokémon formula. Though is quite easy to play, the combat system and the rest of the features are solid enough to keep your attention alive till the end.
  8. Sep 22, 2017
    Monster Hunter Stories is a brilliant spin-off that captures the essence of Capcom’s successful series. The combination of a charming story with a deceptively deep combat system, creature collecting, and the trademark gameplay loop of gathering, crafting, and fighting makes for one of the best RPGs on the 3DS. It’s evident that a lot of love and attention has gone into Stories. The result is a delightful title that continues the success of the franchise.
  9. Sep 20, 2017
    I saw this experience as Monster Hunter meets Pokemon (which are two of my favorite series.) and if you consider yourself a fan of either of these, then you will probably find joy in giving this title a try no matter what age you are.
  10. Sep 18, 2017
    Monster Hunter Stories is an unlikely alternative to the main series of the Monster Hunter franchise that effortlessly packs a punch. With its adorable cast of characters and art style, it’s inevitable to be drawn by it. With changes in the battle mechanics and role as a player, returning fans might be skeptical with how it holds up, but rest assured it’s a game for both returning fans and newcomers to enjoy and seamlessly fawn over.
  11. Sep 7, 2017
    Monster Hunter Stories is a game that adds to the series a more Japanese style of narration, adding the turn-based combat mode. An awesome RPG for Nintendo 3DS.
  12. Sep 7, 2017
    Monster Hunter Stories provides fresh air to the Monster Hunter saga with a formula in which humor, turn-based fighting and raising Monsties are the main components. Might not work for bitter fans, but if you are looking for a casual and fun JRPG or you have never played a Monster Hunter game, you'll love it.
  13. NF Magazine
    Jan 7, 2018
    I fully recommend it as a first step into Monster Hunter. [Issue #31 – January/February 2018, p. 26E]
  14. Oct 12, 2017
    Monster Hunter Stories was a game I didn’t expect to enjoy so much. It managed to forge its own identity while retaining many of the beloved staples of the series. If a non-fan like me could find so much to like about this title, fans with prior knowledge of the series will definitely love it even more.
  15. Sep 11, 2017
    New players are welcome and classic users are invited to play in order to discover an innovative way to get lots of fun in the Monster Hunter series.
  16. Sep 7, 2017
    Monster Hunter Stories is a great spin-off for fans and a good moment to start this game franchise for newbies. The story is fun, the gameplay is entertaining and sometimes that is all it takes to be great.
  17. Sep 7, 2017
    Longtime Monster Hunter fans may have radically different opinions from mine, but for what it’s worth, I’ve found this game to be full of wholesome fun. It’s hardly unique in gameplay and story, but what it lacks in uniqueness it makes up for in execution and presentation.
  18. 85
    Monster Hunter Stories is a delightful game that surprised the hell out of me. It’s pretty, it’s fun, it’s fresh, and a real departure from the original series but still retains elements to keep it familiar. If you like JRPG’s or monster collecting games like Pokemon, Monster Hunter Stories is a must own. Just don’t go into the game expecting a traditional style, and you will be surprised with how good it is.
  19. Sep 7, 2017
    As someone who is terrible at the main series, I really enjoyed Monster Hunter Stories, even if it is a bit easy early on. The more traditional RPG-style of gameplay is a radical departure from what the core games are like, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth your time. If you can put aside the fact that this plays rather differently than the past games, you’ll find an enjoyable experience for new and returning fans alike.
  20. Sep 7, 2017
    Monster Hunter Stories is a special installment in the Monster Hunter franchise. It combines the best of the RPG world with the best from the Monster Hunter games.
  21. Sep 7, 2017
    Monster Hunter Stories stays true to the world of Monster Hunter while telling a story that can only be told through an RPG.
  22. Sep 7, 2017
    This spin-off is a great title we recommend whether you are a fan of the main series or not. If you like RPGs, this one should be yet another outstanding addition to your 3DS library.
  23. Sep 7, 2017
    Capcom has created a deep adventure that makes this franchise even more rich and fun. A light RPG approachable to everybody, but at the same time really addictive and rewarding. More than 100 hours of play if you want to achieve everything. Personality is it virtue.
  24. Nov 2, 2017
    Monster Hunter Stories is a Monster Hunter game distilled down to a more simple level, but still retains what makes the games fun.
  25. Oct 2, 2017
    At first, I wasn't completely sold on MHStories, but the longer I played the more that the game's heart shone through. The story might not have much depth, but what the game might lack in narrative it more than makes up for with its charm.
  26. Sep 20, 2017
    Monster Hunter Stories is an enjoyable 40+ hour romp that adds depth and personality to world that often lacks narrative.
  27. 80
    Monster Hunter Stories may look and sound like a traditional Monster Hunter title, but underneath that veneer is a deep monster collecting game that surprises in its breadth, with cartoonish graphics and a kid-friendly story to boot.
  28. Sep 15, 2017
    Being able to adapt the heart of Monster Hunter into a turn-based RPG is Monster Hunter Stories’ biggest success. It’s aesthetics are visually pleasing, some of the best on the 3DS, bringing a sweet, sugar-coated take on the world of Monster Hunter that is only spoiled by taking too long to get challenging. Despite that issue, the game is a pleasant experience which brings with it an enjoyable, lengthy adventure that gives people fascinated with the world of Monster Hunter, but maybe could not get into the main games, a chance to enjoy the spirit of those titles in a game that cries out to not only the Monster Hunter fans, but fans of Pokemon and light-hearted RPGs. This game could easily find a new audience to build itself up, lifting it up from simply being a spin-off game to becoming a fully fledged series to sit along side the main titles.
  29. 80
    Whether you enjoy raising monsters, slaying them, or adventuring across vast lands with your pals, you’ll find something to hold your attention in this game, and who knows? You may even come to find yourself loving every little bit of this adventure.
  30. Sep 8, 2017
    Monster Hunter Stories is a great new addition to the monster-collection genre, boasting unique mechanics and a beautiful world filled with all sorts of weird and wonderful monsters. In spite of the shifts in genre and art style Stories manages to feel and play like a Monster Hunter game, allowing it to serve as a breath of fresh air for series veterans and a nice transition into the main games for those new to the series.
  31. Sep 7, 2017
    Series fans might be put off by Monster Hunter Stories’ simplified combat, but I enjoyed the opportunity to pilot some of my favorite creatures from the franchise on the other side of the blade. Fans of turn-based JRPG fare, newcomers to the franchise, and younger gamers have more to enjoy here – to explore and engage with the Monster Hunter universe without having to enter through a less accessible door. Monster Hunter Stories is a warm and welcoming trek that’s only brought down by stale and repetitive combat. Despite its shortcomings, there’s still a neat egg to crack here.
  32. Sep 7, 2017
    The Monster Hunter franchise has a rich and varied universe but outside of a handful of spin-offs; its games have always been limited to their very specific formula. That's a doubled-edged sword, as the fans don't want big changes but those who don't enjoy the series' core mechanics are missing out on a fantastic universe filled with some amazing monster designs and the fabulous Felynes. Monster Hunter Stories breaks the mold and delivers an experience that shows that universe is just waiting for more innovative ideas. Like Final Fantasy Tactics and Dragon Quest Builders, Monster Hunter Stories delivers a wholly new experience that is utterly addictive and absolutely superb. If you enjoy Pokémon, give this a chance!
  33. 80
    Monster Hunter Stories was a very enjoyable adventure, but the battle system let it down. With all the improvements made to make the game pop, the battles feel shallow during the campaign. You are asked to make a boring leap of faith in the hopes of finding rewards. Everything else about the game works. Exploring the world hasn't been better than this and the style just pops on the Nintendo 3DS. Newcomers and veterans alike will find a lot to love, but also need to go in with lowered expectations about the combat.
  34. Sep 7, 2017
    Quotation forthcoming.
  35. Sep 7, 2017
    Monster Hunter Stories is not a groundbreaking game but the good news is that it's a very competent RPG with an immense amount of content to explore, a stunning visual presentation and a fun and challenging combat system. The main elements of the Monster Hunter saga have been perfectly adapted to this spin off title and any fan of the genre will no doubt feel right at home with this production.
  36. Sep 12, 2017
    Monster Hunter Stories is a good RPG, that combines collecting with a fun combat system.
  37. Sep 11, 2017
    The series’ monster and equipment design has always been high-quality, but the cartoonish presentation of Stories simplifies the art style without losing any of its flair.
  38. Sep 10, 2017
    It may be different to the other games in the MH series, but Stories is a lot of fun, and the JRPG mechanics are enjoyable, providing lots of different scenarios in its combat.
  39. Sep 7, 2017
    It's far too easy and its combat system seems to be too dumbed down, but we've had a great time with Monster Hunter Stories nonetheless. We can't stop farming eggs and monsters, and we're doing it well after the campaign was over.
  40. Sep 12, 2017
    Monster Hunter Stories is a solid RPG for novice players of the series. Fans will miss the epic battles and the complex crafting.
  41. Game World Navigator Magazine
    Nov 7, 2017
    Monsters look great, but their physical model is severely lacking, which you can’t help but notice every time you just clip right through their tails or necks. Yet, the game somehow manages to overload 3DS’ hardware to the point some older models can’t keep up and drop framerate to unacceptable levels. [Issue#224, p.56]
  42. Jan 8, 2018
    There are a lot of odds and ends one discovers over the course of the game, for better or worse. The game is packed with content, quite a bit of it extending beyond the main campaign's runtime. Capcom and Marvelous wanted to turn over a new leaf, and Monster Hunter Stories certainly is that, a departure from what has come before, it just wasn't enough of a departure for my taste. The franchise faithful will probably still feel at home here, but others may need to decide if they can stomach the guesswork combat system or rote mission structure before committing to this game.
  43. CD-Action
    Dec 19, 2017
    Capcom wanted to fuse two popular series about hunting monsters and somewhat succeeded. In terms of technicalities the game is far ahead of Pokémon Sun/Moon, but lacks even a fraction of its depth. [12/2017, p.45]
  44. Sep 20, 2017
    Monster Hunter Stories is a decent spin-off, perfect for introducing anyone to the Monster Hunter franchise. The battles may allow for too much gambling and the environments can be unappealing for the eye, but it still features an interesting story that will keep you hooked for dozens of hours.
  45. Sep 19, 2017
    Too close and clearly not on par with games like Pokemon or Yo-Kai Watch, Monster Hunter Stories is clearly an attempt to seduce kids into the IP. For the seasoned player, the game will feel easy, repetitive and too generic.
  46. Sep 8, 2017
    There's plenty here to like if you're a fan of Monster Hunter or Pokemon, but ultimately this hybrid is less than the sum of its parts and is difficult to recommend over core games in either franchise.
  47. Sep 7, 2017
    Monster Hunter Stories is a delightful little JRPG that makes a big splash with its adorable visuals and addictive battle system. Performance problems aside, this is a great introduction to Capcom’s beloved franchise.
  48. Sep 7, 2017
    While it’s certainly more approachable than your typical Monster Hunter game, Stories fails to capture what has made the series such a hit over the years. Sure, the setting is evocative but, as many die-hard fans will tell you, it’s the high octane rush of hunting with friends that forms the true backbone of the franchise. That said, Monster Hunter Stories goes beyond your average spin-off and feels like a genuine attempt to expand this universe instead of simply trying to milk it. From the simple yet expanding battle system to its many ties with the core games, there’s plenty here for newcomers and grizzled veterans alike.
  49. Sep 7, 2017
    I wasn't super impressed by Monster Hunter Stories but I don't think the developers intended for it to be a game-changer.
  50. games(TM)
    Nov 3, 2017
    A fine, yet lukewarm, RPG spinoff. [Issue#193, p.85]
  51. Sep 8, 2017
    The change from hunting to taming takes a little time to get used to as well as the change from monumental realtime fighting to turn based flashtactics. At least the game world is more open and the exploration is diverse. Nonetheless I hope that Monster Hunter World will inject the franchise with badly needed fresh life.
  52. Sep 8, 2017
    Amazing art style, tedious battle system and a difficulty that's aimed at young children - not one for Monster Hunter fans, but maybe their kids. If they like Rock, Paper, Scissors, that is.
  53. Sep 8, 2017
    At best, Monster Hunter Stories is a good Pokémon knock off for fans of the genre. The flawed story makes it difficult to recommend for others.
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  1. Sep 8, 2017
    If you’re still sticking with your trusty 3DS and you’re looking for another decent-sized Pokémon style RPG to keep you busy while you wait for Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, you could do a lot worse than this. The story’s a bit arbitrary and the battle system takes a while to get going, but the entertaining character dialogue and the detailed landscapes should keep your interest for a while.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 97 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 74 out of 97
  2. Negative: 7 out of 97
  1. Oct 2, 2017
    absolutely the best 3ds title to come out so far on the 3ds this year (2017)

    the game is jam packed with content... Exploration/raising
    absolutely the best 3ds title to come out so far on the 3ds this year (2017)

    the game is jam packed with content... Exploration/raising strength/bonding with creatures and a light hearted story about becoming a faithful rider of monsties. If you are a fan of turnbased combat, building a created hero, and raising creatures to their potential strength, then this is the game you have been looking for.
    Full Review »
  2. Dec 19, 2017
    Absolutely the best 3DS game of 2017, without a doubt in my mind. The story might be simple, but to be honest most of the best 3DS games are,Absolutely the best 3DS game of 2017, without a doubt in my mind. The story might be simple, but to be honest most of the best 3DS games are, but everything else about it makes it stand out like no other. The visuals, the gameplay, the characters, and that rare cut-scene where the game looks like a current generation home console title are all great, highly memorable and make the game worth playing until you see all it has to offer, and thankfully there's a lot there. Monster Hunter Stories is my most played game on my 3DS this year, and without a doubt, the best handheld experience you can have as well. Full Review »
  3. Oct 12, 2017
    Gotta HATCH 'em all!

    As a die-hard Monster Hunter (MH) player who has spent 100s of hours (each!) in Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate, Monster
    Gotta HATCH 'em all!

    As a die-hard Monster Hunter (MH) player who has spent 100s of hours (each!) in Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate, Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate and Monster Hunter: Generations, I was already heavily invested in the MH world and all its monsters, so I bought Monster Hunter Stories on the first day it was released without second thought. And I've never regretted it. Traditional MH veterans should find many subject matters familiar (monsters, weapons, armour). In fact, my affinity to the monsters is what made me buy this game. The difference is you're not a Hunter in Monster Hunter Stories (MHS), you're a rider! That means that instead of slaying monsters, you breed and befriend them so they can be your allies! Together with your monster party, you go hunting other monsters. It's truly refreshing, and of course, much less tense compared to traditional MH gameplay.

    While MHS offers a totally different gameplay and mechanics from the usual highly addictive cycle of working with 3 online friends to strategise, prepare and kill desired monsters to obtain parts to create better weapons and armour, Monster Hunter Stories has it's own addictive nature and it comes in the form of "gotta hatch 'em all" and forming the best monster party you can command! What really surprised me was how equally addictive Monster Hunter Stories (MHS) is, in a whole different way. Let me explain.

    Firstly, there's the "gotta hatch 'em all" aspect to it. You go around randomly-generated monster dens stealing their eggs and hope to hatch all sorts of monsters with unique gene pools - yes, even the same species of monster can have multiple combinations of genes (active skills, passive skills). "Gotta hatch 'em all" gives a familiar ring to another similar game, Pokemon (gotta catch 'em all). If you've played Pokemon, you immediately understand why MHS can be so addictive - you just want to get that next egg which could reveal a Red Khezu, or Pink Rathian, or Shrouded Nerscylla with good genes.

    Secondly, there's the customisation aspect to the game. Even with the monster genes described above, you are (several hours into the game) able to do genes transfusion so some monsters can adopt certain genes from other species! Talk about a recipe for those with Obssessive Compulsive Disorders! Of course, you've got your usual upgrade of weapons and armour, but it's mechanics is a lot simpler in that you don't have to grind a particular monster 20 times to get the super rare drops or body parts. Because the monster fights are much shorter than traditional MH fare, it's not anywhere as onerous. That said, it's no easy task to simply upgrade your weapons or armour, as they often require specific amounts of specific materials. In that respect, there is some similarity to traditional Monster Hunter gameplay. Other similarities to traditional MH games include simplified versions of combining items (e.g. into Potions, Paintball, etc.), villages to visit which includes your house, etc.

    Thirdly, the combat, while simplified, isn't a cakewalk. In Pokemon, you could almost sail through every battle without really "dying" because a lot of the mechanics are predictable. MHS on the other hand - while it has the same rock-paper-scissors mechanic to winning battles - there is a certain element of unpredictability because some craftier monsters don't necessary follow a pattern, so you can't simply predict (and easily win) battles. For example, Speed trumps Power, but the monster could use Power first, then decides to switch to Tactics instead, so you can't blindly spam a single move. Combat also gives a sense of camaraderie with your monster where you build up kinship as you successfully win a few rounds of rock-paper-scissors (Power-Speed-Tactics). Once built up, you can jump on your monster and unleash a more powerful attack. Traditional MH veterans will be familiar also with the fact that many monsters have specialty elements that work better (or worse) against monsters with other elements.

    I've played a couple of Pokemon games in the past including HeartGold/SoulSilver, X/Y etc. but if you asked me to compare Monster Hunter Stories with Pokemon games, I'd pick MHS anytime as Pokemon tends to bore me, but MHS feels much more organic and substantial - I feel more of an affinity to my monsters in MHS than my pokemons in Pokemon.

    Whether you're a MH veteran or you've never played MH before, I highly recommend Monster Hunter Stories, not least because it's so charming, but for a MH veteran, you'll be immediately familiar with a lot of things, yet be pleasantly surprised by the entirely new gameplay mechanics; for a non traditional MH player, this is a substantially new world to explore without much of the grind and difficulty you hear about traditional MH games. Super, highly recommended!
    Full Review »