Monster Hunter is bigger than it ever has been, after the huge successes of Monster Hunter World and Monster Hunter Rise. With Monster Hunter Wilds on the way, it makes sense that Capcom is finally bringing its JRPG spinoff of the series to PlayStation. Despite being almost eight years old and made for the 3DS, Capcom has done a great job in boosting Monster Hunter Stories' visuals for PS4, building on top of the fantastic adventure itself.

Born in a small village, you are a Rider, a human who lives their life amongst monsters, forms bonds with them, and is trying to reach the land of the Hunters, people who slay monsters, in order to bring the two worlds together and take on the Black Blight — which threatens the lands of both groups.

For the most part, the story setup is a typical outline, but it remains engaging enough throughout the whole experience. The gameplay is really where Monster Hunter Stories does some interesting things. Throughout your adventure, you hunt down and collect monster eggs to hatch them and form a team of 'Monsties' that you can then use to take down other, bigger monsters, other Monsties from opposing factions, and those monsters that have been affected by the Black Blight.

We think it's a really engaging twist on the typical JRPG formula of having a party, and it effectively meshes Pokémon and Monster Hunter together to create a very enjoyable party system. Your individual Monsties can also be used in the world, either through riding them to traverse landscapes more quickly, or to reach new areas through climbing vines, or jumping up to new cliffs and paths.

However, the rest of the world and quest design are starting to show their age at this point, especially when huge advancements have been made in this area in recent years.

When using your Monsties for combat, there are also a lot of fascinating and fun mechanics to fighting. The game uses a familiar and easy-to-grasp three-way Rock, Paper, Scissors combat system where different attack types are strong against one another.

However, thanks to the power of the Kinship Stone, you get access to a whole bunch of more powerful attacks when riding your Monstie in battle, which can change fights in seconds. Using these attacks is so much fun, and they often incorporate brief quick time events to keep combat engaging.

Capping all of that off are some lovely visuals. While still feeling limited by the game's 3DS origins, Capcom has done a fantastic job of updating textures, and boosting the overall quality of environments for this re-release. When looking back at 3DS gameplay, you can see the stark difference.