A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Players taught to respect, care for creatures they raise, developing strong bonds with them in the process. Strong themes of friendship, kindness, with game encouraging players to do what they can to help others in need.
Positive Role Models
Players take on role of a Rider, one who raises, forms bonds of kinship with monsters. Most characters player runs into are kind, helpful. Players work to save land, creatures from mysterious Blight, teach others in outside world to have a similar care for creatures of the world.
Ease of Play
Fair bit of management involved in maintaining, upgrading your inventory, equipment, as well as in raising, evolving your monsters. Some of this can be a bit overwhelming for younger players at first. Combat, on the other hand, is relatively simple, with players choosing either special abilities or basic attacks using a rock-paper-scissors-type formula.
Violence & Scariness
Turn-based battles are central to fights, with players and their "monsties" fighting other monsters in the wild. Players use a variety of fantasy weapons, such as clubs, swords, hammers, in fights, while monsters use a variety of special abilities, natural attacks. There's no blood, gore; defeated monsters simply fall over or run away, though players are usually rewarded with items like pelts, bones, meat from creature.
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Products & Purchases
Spin-off from Capcom's hit Monster Hunter series, which has a dedicated following and has appeared in a number of games and in licensed merchandise. Also supports Nintendo's amiibo figures and cards, which unlock additional items for use in game.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Monster Hunter Stories is a role-playing adventure game available for the Nintendo 3DS. The game is a "kid-friendly" spin-off of Capcom's popular Monster Hunter series of games. The game features a story focused on helping others and saving both the people and creatures of the world by building strong bonds of friendship. Younger players may need help with some of the more complex inventory and character management parts of the game, though it's something that can easily be picked up with practice. While players regularly do battle with strange creatures in the game, the violence is mild overall, with a lot of special effects and animation, but no blood or gore.
Is It Any Good?
What kid hasn't thought about how much fun it would be to have a pet dragon as a best friend, or maybe to hitch a saddle up to a dinosaur and ride into the sunset? Monster Hunter Stories takes key elements from the Monster Hunter franchise, tosses in the creature capturing and team-up aspects of games like Pokémon, and wraps it all up in a style that looks like it's just waiting for an afternoon cartoon series. It's much more kid-friendly than the series is usually known for and a perfect entry-level game for newcomers, yet it still feels like a solid addition to the franchise as a whole.
The biggest change in Monster Hunter Stories is the player's role. Instead of being the equivalent of a fantasy big game hunter, you're teaming up with monsters that you've found and raised. There's so much focus on building bonds with your monsters that you can't help but look at them as more than just bad guys to fight. It's like going on an adventure with a beloved family pet … that happens to have scaly wings and giant teeth. Admittedly, there's a fair amount of repetition in the game, between traveling back and forth and fighting the same monsters for missions. But between local and online battles, gene splicing with other monsters, crafting equipment and items, and general exploration, there's still plenty to break up the monotony.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.