Monster Hunter and I do not have a long, happy history. I’ve never been huge on the series, and I was hoping that the new Monster Hunter Stories would be the right game to get me involved. I’m all about fun JRPGs, and this is right up my alley

Funny thing is that when I finally got to play it at Tokyo Game Show 2015, I kept thinking of other franchises that would make better use of its lovely graphic engine.

For the game itself, it is pretty fun. The battle system comes layered with great special attacks and a rock-paper-scissors system when it comes to normal attacks, power-speed-technique. Your nameless hero and the monster of your choosing fight side by side, meaning fights are always two versus however many enemies show up. The monster can fight on his own, or you can command him with specific special attacks.

Kindred levels with your monster affects his abilities, and should it get high enough through mutual trust, he and your character can perform united abilities.

The overworld also comes with plenty of Monster Hunter‘s tried and true elements like gathering materials and making items. Other monsters also scatter the world for battles and most likely for collection in the final version. I could barely touch any of these elements in the demo, scraping by with just enough time to beat the demo’s final boss.

More so than the gameplay, though, I was interested in Monster Hunter Stories’ gorgeous graphics. Capcom has a lovely little engine on its hands for this game. It might have few framerate and pop-up issues, but overall, the art and quality mesh well together.

I kept thinking how it could be manipulated into a perfect Breath of Fire game, or any of Capcom’s other wayward franchises that need a more cartoonish reboot. Since Monster Hunter Stories proves it is capable of making an old school JRPG, why not make that the next project with this slick little style? So much potential here, and I hope Capcom’s little spin-off game is just the beginning.

Monster Hunter Stories is clearly made with the Yo-Kai Watch and Pokemon crowd in mind, and it looks like the company is up to it. Fun game. Hope it gets an English release.