Initially announced way back in April, Capcom has opened the official website for Monster Hunter Stories, a turn-based RPG set in the franchise.
The game starts in Rider Village, where youths strive to overcome trials to become full-fledged dragon riders. Upon overcoming this trial, the main character - boy or girl - receives a Kizuna stone from the village elder. Rider and dragon then go to explore to world to investigate a looming threat and to discover the mysteries of the stone and the world.
The combat in Monster Hunter Stories in turn-based, and the player selects from 'Power', 'Technique', and 'Speed' commands - which work as a sort of 'weapon triangle' where each has an advantage and disadvantage over another style.
The monsters that Riders befriend are known as Otomons, and if the bond is strong enough, the rider and Otomon can perform combination abilities. The weapon that the Rider equips will also play a part in what abilities will be available to use in battle.
Otomon eggs can be found throughout the game, and brought back to Rider Village to hatch new Otomon creatures.
Different monsters with different abilities not only will have varying battle styles, might be be able to explore previously unaccessible locations on the map.
We have screenshots and artwork below, although several of the screens are clearly above the native resolution of the Nintendo 3DS hardware. There are shots of the village of Hunters, as well as artwork for many of the explorable field locations throughout the game
Monster Hunter Stories is set to release in Japan next year, and is currently not announced for localization.