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Monster Hunter gets a cute RPG spinoff on Nintendo 3DS

Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate might have brought the long-running series to new levels of accessibility, but the level of dedication required to truly master the game is still high. In an effort to bring new fans to the franchise, Capcom is bringing a colorful spinoff to the Nintendo 3DS.

During a press event at Capcom’s “Monster Hunter Fest ’15 Finals” event last week, the company showed a trailer of a new game, titled Monster Hunter Stories, which shows a take on the series that is at once familiar and dramatically different. Certain elements are instantly recognizable — the character sneaking up on a monster egg, the monsters themselves — but this is an overall friendlier take on the series.

Okay, we’ll just come out and say it: it’s cute.

Unlike previous games in the series where the focus is on the titular hunters, Monster Hunter Stories instead focuses on “riders.” Details are scant on how the actual gameplay will work, but the game is described as an RPG in the trailer.

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“After having passed the 10th anniversary last year, this is a new challenge for the Monster Hunter series, that we’ve began designing since about five years ago,” producer Ryozo Tsujimoto said, as translated by Siliconera. “While staying true to the world of Monster Hunter, and a story that can only be told through an RPG, we’d like to pack it with fun and enjoyment that we can’t even begin to describe with words.”

Monster Hunter Stories is expected to be released in Japan sometime in 2016, and so far no release details have been announced for other countries.

For a peek at the game’s style, take a look at the trailer below. Keep in mind that since the game is coming out for the Nintendo 3DS, the actual in-game graphics will look somewhat rougher.