Why Monster Hunter Stories Deserves an Enhanced Switch Port
Monster Hunter Stories, the monster-taming RPG spin-off of Capcom's popular hunting-action series, Monster Hunter, was released in the West on September 8, 2017, almost a year after its Japanese release. This week, on December 4, the game was released for iOS and Android smartphones in Japan. The Nintendo 3DS version of Monster Hunter Stories sold lower than expected in Japan and hasn't been selling well in the West either due to time of release and being limited to Nintendo 3DS exclusivity. Because of these factors, Monster Hunter Stories should receive an enhanced port on Nintendo Switch so that more players will be able to get their hands on it and it can get the recognition it deserves.
The Nintendo 3DS Release Had a Few Limitations
Selling poorly despite positive critical reception is a common problem for plenty of games, but in the West, Monster Hunter Stories barely got reception at all when compared to games in similar positions such as Prey and Dishonored 2. At the time of release in the West, the game didn't get much media attention due to the release of Destiny 2 that same week, although it received a 7 from Autumn Fish here at GameSkinny and currently has a 79% average score on Metacritic. Many players had also moved on to the Nintendo Switch by that time and may have either been unaware of the game's release or just didn't care to go back to playing on Nintendo 3DS. Re-releasing the game on Nintendo Switch would help give these players another opportunity to play this game after having previously been overlooked.
Another problem with Monster Hunter Stories being limited to Nintendo 3DS exclusivity are the graphical limitations of the system. Although the graphics in the Nintendo 3DS version look great for the most part, there is quite a bit of texture pop-in throughout the game. The smartphone version of the game has already fixed this problem and enhanced the graphics, and it is known that the Nintendo Switch uses a custom Nvidia Tegra processor similar to those one would find in high-end smartphones, so it may now be easier to port than before.
The Nintendo Switch Release Can Be the Definitive Version
Despite the lower-than-expected sales of the Nintendo 3DS release in Japan, Monster Hunter Stories has now been released on three separate occasions: the original Nintendo 3DS version on October 8, 2016; the 1.2 Renewal update version on July 27, 2017; and the Android and IOS version on December 4, 2017. The next big update, 1.3, will be coming to Japan this winter, although at this time it is unknown whether the update will only be digital or have a physical release to coincide with it like the 1.2 Renewal update. In the West, Monster Hunter Stories has received free downloadable content every week since release, but the 1.2 update is not yet available. An enhanced port on Nintendo Switch would be able to provide a definitive version of the game, including all previous downloadable content and major updates. Capcom could even add a save transfer function between the Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo Switch versions of the game since they already have experience with it from featuring the function in Monster Hunter XX (Double Cross).
We Can Have a Monster-taming RPG on Switch Before Pokémon
Pokémon for Nintendo Switch is currently in development and slated for 2018, but it likely wouldn't be released until late 2018 at the earliest, with Pokémon Ultra Sun and Pokémon Ultra Moon having just been released in November. A Nintendo Switch port of Monster Hunter Stories would likely be able to release before then so that Nintendo Switch owners waiting for Pokémon could get their monster-taming fix.
Boosting the Possibility of Release
Although there has been no word on a release of the smartphone version in the West yet, and it may be some time before we see a Nintendo Switch port of Monster Hunter Stories at all, it's definitely more possible than it was before. Despite its lack of media coverage and lower than expected sales, Monster Hunter Stories still manages to pull through and repeatedly re-release.
Whether you're already a fan or would just prefer a Nintendo Switch version of the game, you can vote it for Best Handheld Game at the 2017 Game Awards once a day to help show interest. Voting only runs until Wednesday, December 6, so make sure to get your votes in. You can see the results on Thursday, December 7, at 7:00 PM.
Do you think Monster Hunter Stories deserves to be re-released on Nintendo Switch? Let us know in the comments!