Review by benie_bederios

"A very deep thrilling experience ... if you want to"

Monster Hunter Freedom Unite (MHFU) is an action RPG with a twist. First of all there is no story, just a allot (and I mean allot) missions. Next to that isn't built around experience of the character, but skill of the actual player. So if you give a new player all the best armors and weapons, he will probably still lose against the weakest monsters. This is the first Monster Hunter I played, so I can't compare this one to the older ones.

Graphics
The graphics of this game are quite good. There aren't as bright and crispy as games like God of War, but on this game has a full rotating camera. The animations of the monsters are very good. Every monster has quite some different attacks with different animations. The Frame rate is terrific too, no lag or frame rate issues. There isn't allot of details in environments though. No sparkling colours, no lightning effects and such. The level design is also quite weak.

Sound
The sounds of the weapons are good, which is quite important. You also have different sounds of you character. It's a pity the only sound they make is a little grunting when climbing, running or fighting. There is no voice-acting in the game. The music is decent, but nothing really special. I found myself playing the game without the music quite often.

Gameplay
The biggest power of this game is its depth and length. I'm now 40 hours in the game and not only halfway the Elder Quests which is only the tip of the iceberg. There is a huge amount of weapons and armors all have their qualities and you can't just pick on and stick to it for the rest of the game. Every weapon type has their own strengths and weakness'. This is different game, than the normal RPG's though. Instead of developing a very powerful character through leveling, the only advantage you have is through equipments. This is a very good thing, because if it's easy to try to beat monsters with different weapons. If you can't beat a Khezu with dual swords, you can easily try it the next time with a bow or a lance.

The learning curve of MHFU is very steep. Do not think you can just start this game and go easy through the first half of it. Running up to your enemies and start slashing will surely kill you. You have to learn how the monsters react, what the weak points are, when to attack and when to evade or block. Having the best weapons is no guarantee for victory. This means you have to spend allot of time in it, this sure isn't a game you want to play now and then for just a couple of minutes. The game is very rewarding though, because you finish the quests due to your qualities and not the power of your character. The controls are good enough; there isn't a better way to it actually.

Presentation
There is no storyline. Personally it isn't a requirement, but I can understand some people will dislike it. Because you have to finish certain quests there is still a drive to keep on playing. Next to that there is no online play without a hassle. This is a game that would be perfect for that, because the monsters are very large and strong. I liked the few games I played ad-hoc, but I don't like to drive to others, just to play it.

Verdict
Graphics 8
Sound 7
Gameplay 9
Presentation 6

+ Very deep gameplay
+ Huge
- No storyline

If you want to use you psp for more than just short session's, but want to play full game this is your best bet. You can sink over 100 hours in this game, without even finishing it. The problem is that takes 10/20 hours (the time it takes to finish most psp-games) to get really into it. But then it will suck you in and won't let go.

-Benie Bederios - 29 june 2010


Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 06/29/10

Game Release: Monster Hunter Freedom Unite (US, 06/22/09)


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