Best answer: No, you don't have to. Monster Hunter Stories 2 is a brand new story, separate from the original game. However, there are a few references to the first game that might go over your head.
A new Monster Hunter story!
Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin is the next installment in the Monster Hunter Stories series and a sequel that no one really expected. Monster Hunter Stories released on the 3DS in 2016. However, Monster Hunter was a still fairly niche series, and the 3DS already had one leg in the grave, with the Nintendo Switch set to release just a few months after. However, those who played it found an engaging RPG with a wealth of side quests and challenging turn-based combat.
With the sequel on the horizon, new fans and Monster Hunter faithful might wonder if they'll have to play the first Monster Hunter Stories. Well, you'll be happy to know that you don't have to dig up your 3DS and hunt down a copy of Monster Hunter Stories. Monster Hunter Stories 2 is not a direct sequel to Monster Hunter Stories and can be enjoyed without playing the first game. However, it wouldn't hurt to replay the game, if only to understand the gameplay mechanics shared between them.
Some old, and a lot new
Monster Hunter Stories is a spin-off of the Monster Hunter series, so if you've played Monster Hunter Rise or any other mainline Monster Hunter game, forget what you know. You won't be smacking a large sword against a monster in this one, at least not in the same way you do in other Monster Hunters.
Capcom shed some light on the battle mechanics in the recent Monster Hunter Digital Event, which seems to be expanded and improved. From the video, we can grasp that elemental attacks were key, and you have a choice to choose between power, speed, and technical attacks. Like other Monster Hunter games, you can target specific monster parts, and Battle Buddies can also join you in battles.
The video also confirmed that Lilia and Reverto, two characters from the first game, appear in this new sequel. While they are likely just cameo roles, it remains to be seen if other characters from the original game will appear.
We'll be sure to keep you in the know when Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin releases worldwide on the Nintendo Switch on July 9th. Be sure to preorder the game to play it when it drops, and snatch up some sweet preorder bonuses. Monster Hunter Rise is one of the best games on the Nintendo Switch, and we expect Monster Hunter Stories 2 to be one of the best RPGs on the Nintendo Switch when it drops this summer.
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