Monster Hunter Freedom Unite
Review by sod9gfk2
"A most amazing game"
Monster Hunter Freedom Unite, the third of the series to be launched exclusively on the PSP. This game is a gem if I have ever seen one, a very unique title in itself. Boasting a whopping 500 hours of gameplay, and several dozens of sets of armor, weapons, and items; this title is bound to keep you amused for hours on end. Many critics have praised the Monster Hunter series since its first release on the PSP on the title Monster Hunter Freedom 1(one). Although in the Americas it is not praised as much as in per say Japan, it has still acquired a loving fan base.
Gameplay: A+ - 9/10
Monster hunter keeps true to it's name, hunting monsters! Right as you start up the game, you are awaited with an action packed cut-scene depicting the occurrences before you start your game. This intro is a sneak peak into what you will be seeing throughout the game and the terror (and fun) that awaits you on your adventure. After you navigate your way to the option of new game, you are exposed to a customization menu for your character. In this menu you input your name, select your aesthetic traits of your character (hair, face, skin tone etc). Now that you've created your character, you see a small cut-scene of your character in a slumber on his bed in your new house. At the start, you already have a chest filled with assorted weapons awaiting you to try. Each weapon has its own cons and perks, which I will not cover but these weapons are: Great sword,Hunting Horn,Longsword, Sword & Shield, Dual swords, Hammer, Lance, Gunlance, Heavy bowgun, Light bowgun, and Bow. Each of these weapon types are pretty easy to start with, but difficult to master!
One of the main attraction of this game is challenge, each of the monsters have a unique way of seeming to bombard you with attacks. Most of the time you cannot jump straight into a boss's quest and expect to beat them first try (not always the case) because each of them have strategies that you must learn by experience. Upon slaying a monster you will be filled with joy and accomplishment! You can carve the monster if defeated extracting materials for crafting, or as an alternative and sometimes more challenging option you may capture the monster by trapping it and tranquilizing it. Either of those paths you decide to take, you will still be greeted by a reward screen after completion of your quest. Defeating the monster will get you a nice reward, but capturing it will give an even larger reward. With the acquisition of these materials you can craft yourself a new weapon, or armor, or even improve upon what you already own.
This game is said to be based completely around multiplayer, which is in some ways true, but still do-able on a solo play through. Being on your own you will definitely face some real challenges. When you are joined by your friends you will be invited into essentially an entirely new game. Having multiple people really makes the experience much more exciting and fun.
Controls B+ - 7/10
The controls in most peoples eyes, are the thing holding the game back from amazing success. Although the controls are indeed a little too much at first, you will get used to them after putting a little bit of time into the game and playing around with them a little bit. The main complaint is the camera, the camera is admittedly a little badly placed but without a second joystick what can you do! The camera is controlled by the dpad, but the movement is controlled by the joystick directly under so it can be a little awkward having to basically make a hook with your pointer finger directly upwards to control the dpad and move your camera around. The game does have an auto-adjust feature by hitting the L button, but after you get into more challenging bosses it really is not enough to see just in one direction without adjusting your view to watch the upcoming attack of an enemy.
Graphics A - 8/10
For a PSP game, the graphics in this game are extremely impressive. I believe the only game I've witnessed on the psp to look nicer than this would be Tekken Dark Resurrection ( Definitely the best on the system). Each of the areas are very diverse, in appearance and sometimes in size. Several of these areas provide cliffs or edges that portray beautiful scenes that are amazing to be shown on a PSP. The areas also have different climates, and physical feels to them as well. For example in the desert, it is very hot requiring you to drink cool drinks to keep cooled off or your stamina bar will disintegrate in a matter of time, while it also houses caves that are so cold you would need hot drinks to keep yourself going. But as an alternative, you could be thrown into the jungle. Which is a very temperate climate that has no real challenges to your health.
The weapons in the game be it a sword as big as you are, or a cannon twice as big as you are all have very different appearances. There are dozens of different weapons belonging to each of these classes and almost all of them being upgradeable to something completely new. In my experience, you usually will not see two of the same model used twice. The developers really put some time into the production of these weapons. On another note, the armor is also quite impressive visually. Some of these actually end up looking pretty menacing. Supposedly, the game houses 300+ different sets of armor for you to obtain still all crafted from the materials you gather on your own (or with friends).
Length S - 10/10
As said in the introduction, this game boasts 500+ hours and when it says that it really is true. There are so many quests in this game to keep you occupied and Capcom is regularly releasing more quests as free DLC. The quests can really be sprawled out for a long time sometimes with a 1 hour limit to each quest. I myself have never hit the limit, but I can tell you right now with some of these quests and having no experience in them it can really be accomplished. Also as noted before, the game features dozens upon dozens of sets of weapons and several hundred armor sets for you to acquire. As for replayability, as far as I know this game can't actually be completed. And because of the repeated stream of new things it will have you entertained as long as you allow it.
I 100% recommend this game to anyone who owns a psp or enjoys an obscure title. I promise you that it will bring so much fun to you over time that you will never regret or look back on your decision. As for the amount of time this game will give you, it cannot be equalled by any other game as far as I know.
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 07/27/09
Game Release: Monster Hunter Freedom Unite (US, 06/22/09)
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