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For many years, Monster Hunter was a game series that was as complex as it was beloved. With the release of Monster Hunter World on PlayStation 4 (later on PC), players have been able to partake in hunts with greater ease. At its core, Monster Hunter games are all about locating and hunting giant monsters to harvest for parts or capture for study. Players craft a variety of different weapons, armour, and items to better help with their hunts, in addition to enlisting a chef to cook meals to eat before going out on an adventure. Your handler will give you quests for hunts, which become more and more challenging and complex the higher level your character is.

Monster Hunter Stories, which is an offshoot of the Monster Hunter core series, focuses on villages that don’t believe in hunting monsters. Instead, they befriend them and train them from hatchlings, creating strong bonds with their “monsties.” Monster Hunter Stories – the original is available on the Nintendo 3DS and on mobile – is more akin to Pokemon’s animation style than the more “grown-up” animation style of the core Monster Hunter games. You still need to hunt down some monsters, which is justified in the story as to why, but the focus is far more on creating bonds between the protagonist and a bevy of monsties.

Monster Hunter core games are pure action games that require quite a bit of reflex and skill. Monster Hunter Stories games are turn-based roleplaying games and rely on strategy to be successful in monster encounters. Newly minted “riders” will wander around the world map to collect eggs from monster dens and gain experience for their squad of monsties by defeating aggressive monsters.

Monster Hunter Stories 2, available on the Nintendo Switch and PC, is a follow-up to the original game from 2016. It’s not necessary to have played the original game, but it is beneficial for story purposes. Monster Hunter Stories 2 takes many of its design and gameplay cues from the original game, but refines the combat so that it’s less reliant on guessing what form of attack a monster will take (power, speed, or technical). Much as with the core Monster Hunter games, Monster Hunter Stories 2 encourages players to get to know the monsters in the world by fighting them over and over again. Players will learn a monster’s moves, how their tactics change when they get angry or use special abilities, and which weapons are most effective against their various targetable body parts.

It sounds violent, right?

Monster Hunter Stories games do not rely on gore or blood. Pieces will not go “missing” as you’re playing, so that the monster’s character model stays intact during battle. Monsters will fall over when they are defeated or will run away back to their den once they’ve taken enough damage. If players chase monsters back to their dens, they will have an opportunity to take one of their eggs and hatch them with the village Monstie caretaker “Felyne.” Felynes are cute little cat creatures that speak and have culture of their own. They’re featured heavily in core Monster Hunter games, too.

The story in Monster Hunter Stories 2 is much more accessible than its predecessor. Without getting too deep into the narrative weeds, the story is a journey of exploration and discovery as much as it is about saving the world from the Wings of Ruin. The Wings of Ruin refers to a particular kind of Rathalos, which are held in deep reverence by both hunters and riders alike, that is born with stunted wings and will awaken to its powers under great duress and destroy the world with its fully formed Wings of Ruin. As a descendent of the original game’s main character, Red, your character is met with the task of raising monsties and helping young Ratha discover who he really is.

(Fingers crossed that he isn’t actually responsible for the Wings of Ruin.)

Monster Hunter Stories 2 is rated E10+, which means that it’s appropriate for children 10 and over. Much of the game has voice-over, though it still has a fair amount of reading to do, so it’s not quite right for children who aren’t reading at a third or fourth-grade level. Strategically, the game will teach players everything they need to know about how to play. There will be some guesswork involved as players get to know the monsters they’re fighting, but it’s not particularly frustrating to do that extra work.

This game is such a treat to play, both in terms of its methodical gameplay and its adorable aesthetic. It’s a delight to be swept away by each of the different biomes in the game, even when it gets mighty cold or particularly hot. Fighting the monsters themselves can be challenging, especially when players get to the most powerful monsters in the game, but it’s like solving a great puzzle. Players will feel like absolute champions when they get through those high-level fights.

One of the downfalls of Monster Hunter Stories 2 is how repetitive the gameplay can become. Once players have fought a monster the first time, they’ll likely have to fight the same monsters over and over again as they make their way through the story in a given region. It’s very much the kind of experience that repeats itself as you go from region to region. It’s comforting, but it can get a little boring if you’ve been playing for many hours at a time.

For children that love games like Pokemon, where they can collect little friends to play with, Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruin is a fantastic new experience. For teens that have enjoyed core Monster Hunter games, like Monster Hunter Rise on Nintendo Switch, Stories 2 provides a break from the intense action, allowing players to focus on both strategy and story. And for the new players, Monster Hunter Stories 2 (even more than Monster Hunter Rise) is an incredibly accessible way to dip a toe into this prestigious game series without diving into its core action full force.

Beyond its repetitive gameplay, Monster Hunter Stories 2 is a beautiful, sweeping RPG experience that straddles the line between Pokemon and Monster Hunter with elegance and ease. There’s just something satisfying about having a squad of monster best friends to roam the world with, meeting new people, protecting villages, and saving the world. Just take care of Baby Ratha.

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Here are all the video game releases rated E-T by the ESRB that are releasing between August 8th through August 14th.  

Monday, August 9th

  • I am Dead- PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Series X

Tuesday, August 10th

  • Action Arcade Wrestling- PS4, Xbox One
  • Black Book- PS4, Xbox One, Switch
  • Button City- PS5, Series X, Switch
  • Godfall- PS4
  • Godfall: Fire and Darkness DLC- PS4, PS5
  • Lawn Mowing Simulator- Series X
  • Shadowverse: Champion’s Battle- Switch
  • Super Hiking League DX- Switch
  • Synth Riders- PS4
  • Untitled Darkness- Xbox One, Series X

Thursday, August 12th

  • Art of Rally- Xbox One, Series X, Switch
  • Faraday Protocol- PS4, Xbox One, Switch
  • Fhtagn: Tales of the Creeping Madness- Switch
  • Fire Tonight- Switch
  • Fort Triumph- Xbox One, Switch
  • Gelly Break Deluxe- PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Series X, Switch
  • Tetragon- PS4, Xbox One, Series X
  • The Plane Effect- PS5, Series X, Switch

Friday, August 13th

  • Barry the Bunny- Switch
  • Cardaclysm: Shards of the Four- Xbox One, Switch
  • Fishing Adventure- Xbox One, Series X
  • Hades- PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Series X
  • Paw Patrol the Movie: Adventure City Calls- PS4, Xbox One, Series X
  • Witchspring3 (Re:Fine): The Story of Eirudy- Switch

For the Grown-Ups

  • Assassin’s Creed Valhalla: The Siege of Paris DLC- PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Series X (Thursday, August 12th)

Jeff’s Pick of the Week: Art of Rally

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Every other week the EFG staff will be defining a gaming term that is either confusing or ill-defined. Please leave a comment with any terms you are confused by and we will try to include them in future editions!


The gaming definition this week is a term that is applicable to BOTH video games and can also be applied to board games, tabletop RPGs, and even collectible card games.

Aggro (often shorthand for Aggressive)

In board games, tabletop RPGs, and collectible card games, Aggro describes a style of play featuring consistent and fast actions. It describes a character, game object, (or constructed deck) that is designed to be played with the intent to win in as few turns as possible.

Red Decks in Magic the Gathering are often Aggro Decks, built mostly of low-cost spells that deal direct damage and low-cost creatures with haste or high power.

Aggro characters in tabletop RPGs focus heavily on offense and try to eliminate opponents quickly and efficiently.



In video games, Aggro is used to describe the behavior of a player or enemy character in a game. A character who is aggro will often directly attack non-allied characters and follow them to within limits of play. Computer-controlled characters will often display visual and audible cues before “becoming aggro” and will often change behaviors when the non-ally character travels a certain distance or specific area of play or is eliminated.

Multiplayer RPGs like Final Fantasy 14 will feature monsters that actively seek out players as they enter their field of vision in order to attack. “Aggro’ing” too many monsters is often a dangerous or unwise choice for the unprepared.


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You can also look at our other video game definitions from previous weeks here!

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Here are all the video game releases rated E-T by the ESRB that are releasing between August 1st through August 7th.  

Sunday, August 1st

  • Demons of Asteborg- Switch
  • Theofil- Switch

Tuesday, August 3rd

  • Dragon Star Varnir- Switch
  • In Sound Mind- PS5, Series X, Switch
  • Memory Lane 2- Switch

Wednesday, August 4th

  • Castle of Pixel Skulls DX- Xbox One, Series X
  • Dungeon Defenders: Awakened- Switch
  • Enter Digiton: Heart of Corruption- Switch

Thursday, August 5th

  • 123 Dots- Switch
  • A Monster’s Expedition- Switch
  • CrossCode: A New Home- PS4, Xbox One, Switch
  • Dodgeball Academia- PS4, Xbox One, Switch
  • Doomsday Vault- Switch
  • Dreamscaper- Switch
  • Haven Park- Switch
  • I.F.O.- Switch
  • Picross S: Genesis and Master System Edition- Switch
  • Starhunter DX- Switch
  • The Falconeer: Edge of the World- Xbox One, Series X
  • The Falconeer: Warrior Edition- PS4, PS5, Switch
  • Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles- Series X

Friday, August 6th

  • Armed Emeth- Xbox One, Series X
  • Badland: Game of the Year Edition- Switch
  • Bone Marrow- Switch
  • Castle of Pixel Skulls- Switch
  • Goroons- Xbox One
  • IIN- Xbox One
  • Race Track Driver- Switch
  • The Last Survey- Switch
  • Zengeon- PS4, Switch

Saturday, August 7th

  • 3D Advantime- Switch

Jeff’s Pick of the Week: Picross S: Genesis and Master System Edition

What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

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Here are all the video game releases rated E-T by the ESRB that are releasing between July 25th through July 31st.

Monday, July 26th

  • Pets No More- Switch

Tuesday, July 27th

  • Alchemic Cutie- Xbox One, Series X
  • Clone Drone in the Danger Zone- Xbox One, Series X
  • Dariusburst: Another Chronicle EX+- Switch
  • Harvest Moon: One World- Xbox One
  • Microsoft Flight Simulator- Series X
  • NEO: The World Ends with You- PS4, Switch
  • Samurai Warriors 5- PS4, Xbox One, Switch
  • Splitgate- PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Series X
  • The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles- PS4, Switch
  • Tribes of Midgard- PS4, PS5
  • Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles Enhanced Edition- PS5

Wednesday, July 28th

  • Ayo the Clown- Switch
  • Minecraft Dungeons: Echoing Void- PS4, Xbox One, Switch
  • The Forgotten City- PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Series X
  • Trigger Witch- PS4, Xbox One, Switch
  • Unbound: Worlds Apart- Switch

Thursday, July 29th

  • Banners of Ruin- Switch
  • B.Ark- Switch
  • Blaster Master Zero III- PS4, Xbox One, Switch
  • Christmas Tina- Switch
  • Eldest Souls- PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Series X, Switch
  • Fuga: Melodies of Steel- PS4, Xbox One, Series X, Switch
  • Infection Maze- Switch
  • Kosmonavtes: Escape Reality- Switch
  • Omno- PS4, Xbox One
  • Piczle Puzzle & Watch Collection- Switch
  • Skydrift Infinity- PS4, Xbox One, Switch
  • The Long Gate- Switch

Friday, July 30th

  • 10 Second Ninja X- Switch
  • Alfonzo’s Arctic Adventure- Xbox One, Switch
  • Alone With You- Switch
  • Apple Slash- Switch
  • Flowlines Vs.- Xbox One
  • Inbento- Xbox One
  • Papa’s Quiz- Switch
  • Super Squidlit- Switch
  • Xenogunner- Switch

Saturday, July 31st

  • Easy Flight Simulator- Switch

Jeff’s Pick of the Week: The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles

What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

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Here are all the video game releases rated E-T by the ESRB that are releasing between July 18th through July 24th.

Tuesday, July 20th

  • Cotton Reboot!- PS4, Switch
  • Cris Tales- PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Series X, Switch
  • Death’s Door- Xbox One, Series X
  • Mind Maze- Xbox One, Switch
  • Steam: Rails to Riches Complete Edition- Switch

Wednesday, July 21st

  • Fatal Twelve- Switch
  • In Rays of the Light- Series X
  • Mousebot: Escape from CatLab- Switch
  • Pokémon Unite- Switch
  • The Last Rolling Hero- Xbox One

Thursday, July 22nd

  • Last Stop- PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Series X, Switch
  • Nyakamon Adventures- Switch
  • Pinocchio, Super Puzzle Dreams- Switch
  • Racing Xtreme 2- Switch
  • Terra Bomber- Switch
  • Terra Lander- Switch
  • Terra Lander II: Rockslide Rescue- Switch
  • Timothy Vs. The Aliens- Switch
  • The Sims 4: Cottage Living- PS4, Xbox One
  • Urban Trial Tricky: Deluxe Edition- PS4, Xbox One, Switch
  • Wood Block Escape Puzzles 3- Switch

Friday, July 23rd

  • Aery: Calm Mind- Xbox One, Switch
  • Blue Fire- PS4
  • Dininho Space Adventure- Switch
  • Freddy Spaghetti 2- Switch
  • Hunter Shooting Camp- Switch
  • Orcs Must Die! 3- PS4, Xbox One, Series X
  • Scrap Garden- Xbox One
  • Truck Simulator 2- Switch
  • Where the Snow Settles- Xbox One

Saturday, July 24th

  • US Navy Sea Conflict- Switch

Jeff’s Pick of the Week: Pokémon Unite

What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

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Here are all the video game releases rated E-T by the ESRB that are releasing between July 11th through July 17th.

Monday, July 12th

  • Fates of Ort- Switch

Tuesday, July 13th

  • F1 2021- PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Series X
  • Where the Heart Leads- PS4, PS5

Wednesday, July 14th

  • 3D Air Hockey- Switch
  • Induction- Switch

Thursday, July 15th

  • Batbarian: Testament of the Primordials- Xbox One
  • Blaster Master Zero II- Xbox One, Series X
  • Dark Fantasy: Jigsaw Puzzle- Switch
  • Escape from a Deserted Island: The Adventures of Nyanzou & Kumakichi: Escape Game Series- Switch
  • Guild of Darksteel- Switch
  • Junkyard Builder- Switch
  • Labyrinth City: Pierre the Maze Detective- Switch
  • Little Witch Academia: VR Broom Racing- PS4
  • Lotus Reverie: First Nexus- Switch
  • Macrotis: A Mother’s Journey- Switch
  • Our Battle Has Just Begun! Episode 1- Switch
  • Risk System- Switch
  • Rogue Wizards- Switch
  • Streets of Rage 4: Mr. X Nightmare DLC- PS4, Xbox One, Switch
  • Word Crush Hidden- Switch

Friday, July 16th

  • Lost Grimoires 3: The Forgotten Well- Switch
  • Restless Night- Xbox One, Switch
  • The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD- Switch
  • Wizodd- Xbox One, Switch

Jeff’s Pick of the Week: The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD

What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

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Here are all the video game releases rated E-T by the ESRB that are releasing between July 4th through July 10th.

Monday, July 5th

  • My Little Fruit Juice Booth- Switch
  • Rubix Roller- Switch

Tuesday, July 6th

  • The Sisters: Party of the Year- PS4, Switch
  • Ys IX: Monstrum Nox- Switch

Wednesday, July 7th

  • Blitz Breaker- Switch
  • Marbles Rush- Switch
  • Ruvato: Original Complex- Switch

Thursday, July 8th

  • Aria Chronicle- Switch
  • Boomerang X- Switch
  • Crash Drive 3- PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Series X, Switch
  • Heart of the Woods- PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Series X, Switch
  • Indigo 7: Quest for Love- PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Series X, Switch
  • Infinite Golf 2- Switch
  • Masagoro- Switch
  • Monster Harvest- PS4, Xbox One, Switch
  • Monument- Switch
  • My Maité- Switch

Friday, July 9th

  • Bai Qu: Hundreds of Melodies- Switch
  • Beasts of Maravilla Island- Xbox One
  • Blue Fire- Xbox One
  • Connect Bricks- Switch
  • Fantasy Cards- Switch
  • Imagine Earth- Xbox One, Series X
  • Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruins- Switch
  • Mythic Ocean- Xbox One
  • Police Stories- Xbox One
  • Shopping Mall Parking Lot- Switch

Saturday, July 10th

  • Egg Up- Switch

Jeff’s Pick of the Week: Monster Hunter Stories 2: Wings of Ruins

What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

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Here are all the video game releases rated E-T by the ESRB that are releasing between June 20th through June 26th.

Monday, June 21st

  • Wood Block Escape Puzzles 2- Switch

Tuesday, June 22nd

  • Alex Kidd in Miracle World DX- PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Series X, Switch
  • Ender Lilies: Quietus of the Knights- Switch
  • LEGO Builder’s Journey- Switch
  • Olympic Games Tokyo 2020: The Official Video Game- PS4, Xbox One, Switch
  • Super Magbot- Switch

Wednesday, June 23rd

  • Blocky Puzzle- Switch
  • Bitmaster- Xbox One, Switch
  • Empire of Angels IV- PS4, Xbox One, Switch
  • Ninja Buddy Epic Quest- Switch
  • Worms Rumble- Switch

Thursday, June 24th

  • Beefense Beemastered- PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Series X
  • CarX Drift Racing Online- Switch
  • Cyber Hook- Switch
  • Farm for Your Life- Xbox One, Switch
  • Legend of Mana Remastered- PS4, Switch
  • Summer Paws- Switch
  • Super Cable Boy- Switch
  • The Eternal Castle: Remastered- PS4

Friday, June 25th

  • Mario Golf: Super Rush- Switch
  • Promesa- Switch
  • Scarlet Nexus- PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Series X
  • Sweet Sugar Candy- Switch

For the Grown-Ups

  • Dungeons and Dragons: Dark Alliance- PS4, PS5 Xbox One, Series X (Tuesday, June 22nd)

Jeff’s Pick of the Week: Mario Golf: Super Rush

What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

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Here are all the video game releases rated E-T by the ESRB that are releasing between June 13th through June 19th.

Wednesday, June 16th

  • Heliborne- Xbox One
  • Plastic Rebellion- Switch

Thursday, June 17th

  • 7 Years from Now- Switch
  • Bakumatsu Renka Shinsengumi- Switch
  • IdolDays- Switch
  • Luciform- Switch
  • Metal Unit- Switch
  • Rangerdog- Switch
  • Rotund Takeoff- Switch
  • Stellaris: Federations- PS4, Xbox One

Friday, June 18th

  • Bear’s Restaurant- Switch
  • Cannon Army- Switch
  • Discolored- Xbox One
  • Galaxy Champions TV- Xbox One
  • Wingspan- Xbox One

Saturday, June 19th

  • Aquatic Rampage- Switch

For the Grown-Ups

  • Dead by Daylight: Resident Evil- PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Series X, Switch (Tuesday, June 15th)
  • The Elder Scrolls Online: Console Enhanced- PS5, Series X (Tuesday, June 15th)
  • Metro Exodus: Complete Edition- PS4, Series X (Friday, June 18th)

Jeff’s Pick of the Week: 7 Years from Now

What do you think? Sound off in the comments and let us know your thoughts!

Make sure to keep your eyes on Engaged Family Gaming for all of the latest news and reviews you need to Get Your Family Game On!

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