Capcom has revealed the first details about its upcoming Nintendo 3DS Monster Hunter spin-off, Monster Hunter Stories. The game is considerably different to the main series, featuring turn-battles and monster raising instead of the usual action gameplay missions against target monsters.
Monster Hunter Stories starts in Rider Village as the player character, selected from a male or female option, completes a trial in order to become a Rider themselves and is awarded a Kizuna Stone by the village elder. The player character then ventures out into the world with their Felyne parner, Nabiru. The game's story is said to revolve around an upcoming darkness that will test both Riders and Hunters, with the Kizuna Stone to play a key part.
Battles feature the Rider and a friendly monster known as an Otomon going up against another monster, with three attack options available: Power, Technique, and Speed. The Rider's attacks and skills will depend on what type of weapons they have equipped. Different monsters will have their own habits, so players will need to adjust their tactics depending on the opponent. Otomon will act on their own accord but players can do a joint attack with their Otomon if they meet the conditions for it. A special Ride On technique will be available to players if they get a deep enough bond with their Otomon, which significantly raises their abilities. Other bond techniques are available through the Kizuna Stone. Players will be able to travel with a party of Otomon, but only one will be active. Otomon eggs can be found throughout the game and be brought back to the village to be raised, with the monster that hatches dependent on the location the egg is found.
Monster Hunter Stories is set to be released in Japan some time in 2016, exclusively on Nintendo 3DS. No announcement has been made regarding a western release at this time. Some images for the game can be found at its official website.