Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruins is out now on Nintendo Switch and Steam PC ($59.99).

The spin-off series charges players with becoming Monster Riders rather than hunters, using their own monsties to battle hostile monsters a la Pokémon.

To acquire new monsties, riders will need to explore dungoen-like Monster Dens to find new eggs, and hatch them back town. Eggs can also be used in the Rite of Channeling to pass on desirable traits and attributes to other monsties, combining abilities and elements to create the perfect genetically enhanced monstie.

Unlike Pokémon, riders aren’t content with letting their companions do all the work. Riders wade into battle alongside their monsties, wielding weapons crafted from monster parts. Riders can target specific body parts of enemy monsters to deal increased damage and break materials to forge new gear. With their Kinship Gauge filled, they can perform big combo attacks with their monstie.

Aside from an all-new story and upgraded visuals (the original game released on 3DS in 2016), Wings of Ruin adds online multiplayer to the series. Two players can join forces and tackle co-op dungeons that feature rare and powerful monsters. They can also test their mettle with player vs player battles.

In addition to the standard version, Wings of Ruin is also launching in a digital-only Deluxe Edition, which includes extra cosmetic armor sets. Players who have save data from Monster Hunter Rise on the Switch can also unlock the Kamura Garb layered armor for their main character. A free trial version is available on Switch and Steam.

Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin is available now on Switch and Steam. It’s rated E10+ with Crude Humor, Fantasy Violence, and Mild Language.

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Eric has been writing for over eight years with bylines in Dicebreaker, Pixelkin, Polygon, PC Gamer and Tabletop Gaming magazine, covering movies, TV shows, video games, tabletop games and tech. He reviews and live streams D&D adventures every week on YouTube. He also makes a mean tuna quesadilla.