Wow, this is quite the surprise. Android just received its first Monster Hunter game, and it's an HD port of the 3DS version of Monster Hunter Stories. It's available on the Play Store for $19.99, and there are no in-app purchases or advertisements, this is a premium release. Oh, and if that wasn't good enough news, Capcom has actually provided a separate free demo. This way we can all check and see how the game performs on our Android devices.

Honestly, I'm flabbergasted. I never once thought Android would get a Monster Hunter title, but I suppose it makes sense that if we did, it would be a 3DS port. If you are unfamiliar with this series offshoot, Monster Hunter Stories serves as a more kid-friendly RPG experience, with turn-based battles and monster collecting. It's not your typical Monster Hunter title, but it's a solid collection-based RPG that received glowing reviews when it originally released on the 3DS.

The gameplay is on the simpler side, but it is enjoyable. You get to ride around on your collectible monsters in search of new monster eggs. There are plenty of dungeons to explore, and when you find new eggs, you can hatch them. These monsters are useful in battles since they bring with them unique abilities that can turn the tide of a fight. These battles mainly consist of turn-based rock, paper, scissors mechanics, so it's not that difficult for first-time players to pick up.

Some improvements have been made since the original 3DS version. You can expect HD graphics, an improved UI for touchscreens, and an auto-save feature. This way you won't ever have to worry about losing your data when have to put down your phone.

Online multiplayer is included. You can build up a team of your favorite monsters to take on your friends or random online players. This mode won't be available when you first start since you'll have to collect enough monsters to build a team. Online play appears to be regional. US players can't battle Japanese players. A good internet connection is also recommended, and both parties will have to own the paid version of the game to play online.

One thing to note is that if you do purchase the full title for $19.99, returns are not guaranteed. So make sure to check out the demo before you plunk down your hard-earned money. Oh, and don't worry about losing any of your progress. Your save data can be transferred to the full version. Just make sure you hit the backup button in the main menu.

Oh, and after testing my trusty Logitech F310 connected over USB OTG to my GS8+, it would seem that HID controller support doesn't work fully. Some buttons are recognized, but I couldn't move my character with the thumbsticks. There is also no Shield TV support, which is a total bummer. A game like this would shine on Android TV.

Capcom has almost nailed this release, which is kind of surprising. I wasn't too enthused with the horrible Monster Hunter World port on PC, but it would seem Capcom has made an effort with the port of Monster Hunter Stories to Android. A demo is available for anyone who wants to take a look before purchasing, and save data can be transferred. The full $19.99 version may sound expensive at first, but compared to the lower resolution 3DS release, it's $20 cheaper, which isn't a bad deal. It would have been nice to see proper controller and Shield TV support, especially for a game that was designed to be played with physical buttons. Still, I'm sure there are plenty of people out there that will be perfectly happy to have a Monster Hunter title on Android, even if it isn't perfect.

Monster Hunter Stories
Monster Hunter Stories
Developer: CAPCOM CO., LTD.
Price: $19.99

MHST The Adventure Begins
MHST The Adventure Begins

Press Release

Ride On! 'Monster Hunter Stories' Now Available For iOS and Android Devices

For more information and assets click here »

In a world where large monsters roam, and people everywhere make a living hunting, there's a remote village of people who follow a different set of customs. They are the Monster Riders, a people who don't hunt but instead form bonds with monsters. Unlike hunters, they raise and live in harmony with monsters, forming inseparable bonds with them using mysterious artifacts known as Kinship Stones. The monsters that form kinships with Riders, known as "Monsties," possess incredible powers. By becoming a Rider, you too can befriend countless Monsties, riding them as you explore a vast, exciting world.

Monster Hunter Stories will be available as two apps on each platform. MHST: The Adventure Begins is a demo version of the game, allowing players to explore the game free of charge. The Monster Hunter World app offers players the complete game for the one time price of $19.99 USD (no IAP).

Game Features:

Recruit countless Monsties! - Monsties, and the bonds you form with them, are the backbone of your adventure. Explore vast environments and dungeons to find monster dens, and bring back the eggs you find to hatch new Monsties!
Fight with your Monsties in Network Battles! - Take your hero and the Monsties you've raised into battles with other Riders! Build a team of your favorites to challenge other players.
New features for the smartphone version! - New improvements include beautiful high-resolution graphics, improved user interface, and a new auto-save feature!

iOS Download Links
Monster Hunter Stories - https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/id1339054344
MHST: The Adventure Begins - https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/id1339054474

Android Download Links
Monster Hunter Stories - https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=jp.co.capcom.mhsspen
MHST: The Adventure Begins - https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=jp.co.capcom.mhssfen