Major additions in this installment include hatching eggs and befriending monsters, battling alongside them, executing special Bond attack moves, and customizing your monsters’ abilities and appearance.
When a monster infected by the Black Blight attacks a remote village of riders, players can bond with monsters in a gorgeous open-world environment. As the story progresses, players will meet a riches of side quests and turn-based battles where you can must correlate monster skills, rider skills and enemy attack patterns. The rock-paper-scissors combat system is a newly added feature as well as, players able to battle others online, locally, or via StreetPass.
The game includes amiibo based on the monsters that appear in the game in tandem with character plus the Felyne mascot, Nabiru. The first wave includes:
- One-Eyed Rathalos and Male Rider
- One-Eyed Rathalos and Female Rider
The second wave, launching in December, includes:
- Cheval riding a Rathian
- Ayuria riding a Barioth
- Dan riding a Qurupeco
Series executive producer Ryozo Tsujimoto stated that the concepts for this RPG were based on the Monster Hunter series players’ interests for the world’s setting, and livelihood of the monsters, and that these concepts were thought of since 2010. The reasoning behind the switch from the Hunter role to a Rider one was to give the spotlight to the monsters, along with the idea of petting them and seeing things from their point of view.
Alongside the release of the game, there will be an anime called Monster Hunter Stories: RIDE ON, produced by David Production. Funimation will be handling North American streaming and distribution rights.
On the September 1, 2016 Nintendo Direct, Nintendo revealed that a Link costume for the main character in the game.
Monster Hunter Stories got "generally favorable" reviews on Metacritic receiving a metascore of 79/100 based on 53 critic reviews. It also receives an aggregate score (playscore) of 8.47 on whatoplay.com based on 38 critics and 1,300+ gamer ratings.
On its first week of launch, according to 4Gamer and Media Create, Monster Hunter Stories sold 140,603 copies, being the top-selling title of the week of October 3 through October 9, 2016.