Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin Review
Welcome hunters to the long-awaited sequel of Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin. An RPG takes on the famed Monster Hunter story with vibrant characters and a vast open-world to explore. Let’s check this game out and see if it is worth it.
MHS 2: Wings of Ruin Story:
There is a rift going on where Monsties are going crazy thanks to the red lights coming from strange holes in the ground. This has been going on for years with the bad omen of the wings of ruin. Right now Hunters and Riders are at each other’s throats as one side is trying to show that Monsties are pure and tamed. The other just wants to hunt down out of fear and protection, but you are technically the balance. The light of hope to bring peace and understanding just like your grandfather Red did so long ago.
It will be soon time for your to pave your own legacy and save the world from this mysterious terror and those that want to harness it.
You start your journey in Mahana Village where you will learn the ins and outs of being a rider. Do not worry, you will have a friendly guide to start things off with Kayna. Kayna is a Velocidrome rider and is your teacher as you discover your abilities and form a kinship with your first monstie. That’s right in Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin the monsters are referred to as Monstie. This is a turn-base RPG with a rock, paper, scissor gameplay mechanic. What does that mean? All right, so when you are in combat you have different abilities that come in Power (RED), Tech (GREEN), and Speed (BLUE). Red beats Green, green beats blue, and blue beats red. This is where your brain abilities will come into play and for some their knowledge of how monsties work.
For example, if you run into a Nargacuga they will start off with speed, so you would and your buddy would counter with tech. However, there is a situation where the monster will be enraged and they switch up their style. Usually going into another mode. So, pay attention to what the monsties do and as you gradually capture eggs of monsties. You will gain the knowledge to understand how each monstie fights.
To make things spicy you will have special skills and abilities including twin attacks with your monstie partner. If you and your monstie pick the same ability be it red, blue, or green and either of you is the target. You can perform a powerful twin attack. Or at times if you want to perform a different ability and your monstie is the target they will go into a head-to-head match. Hopefully, you have enough kinship meter to choose an attack for them if they pick one that will lose against the opponent’s attack. If you do not then hopefully your monstie picks the right one. You as a rider can go head to head with a monstie too.
Once your kinship meter is filled which can go up to level 3, you can ride your monstie to perform a cut-scene attack. Each one varies and is an amazing animation sequence to enjoy watching. There are also team-up kinship attacks as well. This will also heal you and your monstie from any damage and poisons, as well as Knock an opponent monstie out of their rage. In that, you must pay attention when that happens and which up your monstie by hitting the Y button.
Weapons and armor make the Rider!
What is a Monster Hunter game without particular weapons to utilize? Below is the list of weaponry you can build.
- Great Sword
- Sword and Shield
- Hunting Horn
Each one will have its own means to help you battle as you explore the world. As a rider in Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings or Ruin you will have a choice of 3 different weapons. Personally speaking, I chose Hammer, Great Sword, and Bow. Hammer is good for breaking horns and hard shielded monsties, a great sword is good for cutting, and a bow is for piercing damage. Now, it gets technical with each weapon offering different features and ailments. Some will have fire or ice damage and others will have poison or paralysis effects.
Depending on the monstie you are fighting you can pick which area of the body you can attack, but keep in mind if a particular weapon you are using has a red slash across it. That is an indication that the weapon you are using will not cause much damage. When you do the switch in a round, please choose wisely. You will not be able to switch again between weapons and monstie until your next turn.
It is all about strategy and while you are in the story mode of the game you will have no time limit, so treat this like chess and think before you act. Whatever move you make next can either grant you victory or cause a reset. Speaking of, each player will have 3 hearts in your team. You share hearts with your monstie while the A.I. companion will have their own set. If all 3 of your hearts are extinguished you will be teleported back to camp and have to start that fight all over. There are certain items like heart vessels and heart churros that you can use to restore your hearts. Use them sparingly.
But, if you are in a situation and you end a fight with just one heart while still in the world, there are fast travel options or palico dens to help you restore your hearts.
Now if you truly want to survive you need to bring in the right armor to the fight. That is particularly important to have the right resistance and of course defenses. Right now I am rocking upgraded Tigrex armor, but pay attention when going to the smithy to see what enhancements work for you. Getting the right materials is key as well which some might be hidden if you have not run into a particular monstie yet. It all comes full circle with the right gear and weaponry to survive.
Explore the world!
The world is your oyster and you must enjoy it, but be wary of your surroundings because there are other things stalking around as well. All right, let’s assume you have not found a Den or Everden yet. What to expect inside? Well, all the dens will have a nest for you to find eggs. However, Everdens will only have one egg for you to pick up after fighting a monstie that is walking around it. In regular dens, you can find a nest that will give you a particular number of chances to pick up an egg. They are random but what you really want to look out for are the gold shine and rainbow shine eggs. Those are the special ones that might grant you superior stats.
While out in the world each monster will have special abilities to help you travel. In my party, I keep a Nargacuga with me at all times because it can go into stealth mode for a long period of time. You want someone with a bit more noise, use a Diablos that will scare monsties away. The list goes on especially when you need to climb, jump or break through walls. I suggest trying to keep a monstie in your party with each of these categories, especially a swimmer.
Always keep an eye out for Gold dens which will grant you a higher chance at special eggs. Once you get said eggs you can bring them back to any camp. These camps will also have quest boards for you to do trails, subquest, and multiplayer features. We will get into the multiplayer soon. So, you find the bard with a special palico that will help you hatch the eggs. here you can manage your team, rename monsties, and even do rite or channeling.
This is where you really have to work them brain meats as you can gene splice your monsties into other monsties. Each monstie has a particular gene that gives them special enhancements and abilities. However, what if you wanted to make the avatar of monsties? Got that from my bro Fresh Prince who made his palamute one. Stay with me now, because things are about to get serious in talking about gene splicing.
You have your Yellow, Blue, Light Blue, Purple, Red, and Grey genes. Each one will have a particular skill, ability, or enhancement. You can stack them up to two-star genes. There is also a special rainbow gene and that is important. If you can get a bingo by either match symbols or colors it causes a great ability with your monsties. Now if you find a rainbow gene in a monstie you are not planning to use then you can move that gene to another. You can swap genes as much as you want, but only once from that monstie who will disappear once you make the choice.
Can you make that god-tier monstie? However, save your best roles for when you reach HR rank and that’s where the real fights begin.
When exploring EverDens you are solely looking for bottle caps that can be used on a particular palico. These caps can purchase enhancements to your barns and of course special tickets. You do the standard exploring the world finding bugs, items, and trap gear to combine in your menu when you can use in your fight. Just like any RPG, you will be spending your time playing the, “oh piece of candy” game. I always believe that RPGs is the cause of my “Gamer Vision” where you can spot something small or shiny from a distance and you have to go there.
Also, keep in mind that monsties are not the only ones you will have to encounter. There are mysterious riders roaming around as well to challenge you to a fight. This is where we segway into multiplayer.
It’s more than a linear story:
Throughout your campaign Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings or Ruin is teaching you a lesson in PVP combat. That’s right either you deice to go into the multiplayer area earlier or endgame. The main game is preparing you for when you do decide to cross into PVP territory. Your first taste of this was when you fought Alwin. How it works is that you can only attack Monsties and the same for your opponent. Their monstie and yours can attack either one or the other.
The same rules apply, but now things are tougher since it is now unpredictable. Before going into PVP or any co-op mode you have to set up your squad beforehand. As a rider you are only allowed to pick three monsties to go with you, so my suggestion is to take power, tech, and speed monstie. That way you can have a balance and switch out when needed too, and the only other trick I can offer is to have each monstie know other elements. It is a good strategy so you can keep a Monstie in a battle if you have a Speed Monstie and your opponent switches to a Tech monstie. But you have an Ace up your sleeve because your Monstie can do power attacks too. It’s sneaky and effective.
Now if you want more of a team-up experience you can do a co-op involving finding eggs or fighting other monsters. There are some events like the latest palamute update which is a co-op-only event. Never know when you need back up and it is a fun feature as when your teammate gets into a fight it shows a ring indicator and a smoke scuffle.
Luckily there are a lot of riders out there looking for people to team up with or fight, so get in there with your team, and good luck.
It’s a living painting.
As you go around and explore, you can’t help but take in all the vast views of the world of Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin. There are so many areas with different elements to explore, from the Mahana village to the cherry blossom fields of Palamore. Exploring the areas from sand to snow and forest is all breathtaking. Even the monstie designs that you encounter as well as the other characters throughout the world to interact with.
The music alone keeps you captivated with the sound design too. Everything comes into focus especially when watching the cut-scenes that have jaw-dropping action or comedic moments. For example, there is a particular super sayijan moment that happens during the story. It is quite comedic and pays a nice homage to Goku or Super Sonic.
There are some downsides:
There are not many, but I do have some concerns. First off why is that we can’t control our A.I. companion like in other RPGs? Do not get me wrong the A.I. is pretty good especially when I did a co-op quest and my buddy was disconnected from me. The computer took them over and we reconnected after the fight, pretty good. However, when it comes to the main story game you should give us an option to control what they do, it gives us an annoying difficulty. There have been numerous times when the A.I. was being targeted too many times which they kept using the wrong attacks. Sucks seeing the computer lose when you have all of your hearts but it ends the entire match.
The second issue, look I know there is a particular formula when making an RPG. That being said stop giving me annoying missions to do with characters. Either showing them a particular set of armor or bringing them certain eggs and it keeps going for too long. I know you want to comedically annoy us with these minor tasks, but enough. Having it be a chain of requests with no real reward at the end is quite annoying.
Oh yea, third is the fact that you need dual blades and insect glaives involved with this game. I do not understand why not even the long sword is not involved. Hopefully, an update will have you bring in more fun weapons, even the bow guns.
Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin is a big improvement from the previous title with a full-on animated cast that makes me want an anime. A pretty good amount of voice acting and silly cut-scenes to keep the game interesting. The variety of monsties involved that you can make your companion is delightful. The best are the attacks that you can perform and see how you can make monsties better with the gene-splicing brings out a whole new level of possibilities in combat.
As well as, giving us a co-op experience either in a versus mode or co-op adventures. This has a nice amount of replay value for anyone to jump into. The bonus of course is the trial version is still available. if you do play the trial you can transfer the saved data when you purchase the full game on either the Nintendo Switch or on Steam PC.
With that being said, Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings or Ruin receives 4.5 out of 5 paws. As said, the trial version is out right now as well as the full game, so check it for yourself and I hope you enjoyed this review. – Beast Out –