The official Monster Hunter Youtube channel hosted a special pre-launch program stream for Monster Hunter Stories 2. A variety of information that would assuredly excite any Monster Hunter fan was showcased and discussed, so let’s dive in.
Following Misaki Fukunaga’s performance of the game’s opening song, “Scarlet Land Lit Up By The Heavens,” the story’s preambles are reiterated. Players are a new Monster Rider in the series universe yearning to follow in the footsteps of their grandfather, Red, who was a Monster Rider himself. They then meet a Wyverian girl by the name of Ena, who knows of Red. Afterward, the 2 decide to head out on a journey while Rathalos are increasingly vanishing throughout the world, and monsters are becoming fiercer and more aggressive from glowing lights shooting out from peculiar pits in the ground.
This title boasts an improved turn-based combat system from its predecessor with inspiration from the main series of games playing an active role. Eggs can be found in the depths of Monster Dens that randomly spawn in the field with rare eggs containing notable genes. These items can be given to the Stables, where they will then hatch and provide new usable Monsties for the party.
A mechanic called the Rite of Channeling will allow players to transfer genes from one Monstie to another was showcased, which will grant a considerable degree of player agency and choice with party setups. Additionally, certain Monsties can be ridden upon and cross the environments in varied ways, such as traversing the sea and climbing walls. This feature makes the world of Monster Hunter Stories 2 far more intricately woven in facets regarding exploration and not solely combative prowess.
The launch trailer was then shown, further highlighting the title’s key features ahead of its release next week. New and upcoming content was briefly shown during the trailer, with the game’s first free update coming on July 15, 2021. The new Monstie joining the title during the first update will be Palamute. The second free update arriving on August 5, 2021, will bring with it Kulve Taroth, a co-op quest exclusive monster alongside new Monsties Hellblade Glavenusand and Boltreaver Astalos.
The third free update releasing in early September 2021 will provide new Monsties Soulseer Mizutsune, Elderfrost Gammoth, and Oroshi Kirin. Free update 4 in late September 2021 will grant the high difficulty version of Kulve Taroth via co-op questing and new Monsties Dreadking Rathalos and Molten Tigrex. Finally, free update 5 on October 2021 will provide the new Monsties Silver Rathalos, Gold Rathian, and an unknown high difficulty co-op quest monster.
You can view the digestible roadmap showing off the aforementioned information revolving around the free updates below:
At 41:40 in the video, the contents of the free updates are more intricately discussed.
3 Monster Hunter Stories 2 amiibo will be releasing; Ena, Razewing Ratha, and Tsukino, which unlock armor sets specific unto themselves. In addition, the Kamura Garb layered armor can be obtained by linking Monster Hunter Rise save data to Monster Hunter Stories 2 and is purely cosmetic.
Plenty of post-game content is promised, with The Elder’s Lair area being an example. After clearing the game’s story, it can be explored and houses challenging content such as high-leveled monsters and quests. Additionally, deviant Monsters and Elder Dragons can be ridden, including Dreadqueen Rathian, Thunderlord Zinogre for the former, and Teostra and Nergigante for the latter.
Local co-op quest gameplay is then showcased, which requires story progress to be playable. Explanations are provided for UI and such, but it is all fairly self-explanatory. This co-op gameplay feature is quite lengthy though it does a magnificent job of granting players a realistic and genuine view of what to expect from this aspect of gameplay.
A brief interview takes place at the stream’s end, where some noteworthy trivia is stated. The Stories games were developed to build strengthened affinities between players and the iconic monsters of the series in contexts not feasible in the mainline entries. The graphical presentation of Stories 2 was highly considered for the sake of appealing to a wider audience, with body proportions being an undeniable point of contention and deliberation. Cooperative play was a feature thought of being included since the initialization of development due to key components of mainline Monster Hunter being socializing and adventuring with other players.
The balancing act of making a game that would appease veterans of the series, fans of the first game, and complete newcomers was an arduous task to undergo. The reasoning for the narrative of Stories 2 taking place 4 years after the original game is because of the development plan being from 2016-2020, a four-year time period. The characters and their design decisions were discussed next, with the differing viewpoints between the protagonist, Ena, and Kyle being at the crux of their characterizations.
And that does it for the stream aside from recapped information at its end. The demo of Monster Hunter Stories 2 has save data that can be carried over to the full retail release, and doing so will give players a Kinship Talisman in Monster Hunter Rise. Monster Hunter Stories 2 save data will grant players of Monster Hunter Rise special layered armor and Rider armor.
Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin is releasing for Nintendo Switch and PC-via Steam on July 9, 2021.
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