Review by Mx4_1204

"A Hunting Experience of Epic Proportions"

Monster Hunter: one of, if not, THE, best game out there for the PSP. As a fan of the game since it came out on the PSP, I have enjoyed playing this game in all of its sequels. Its latest incarnation, Monster Hunter Freedom Unite, is truly the best one to date.

Story: ...
The story of this game is, well, there is no real story. It starts off with you getting knocked off a cliff by a giant wyvern. Sounds painful but, obviously, you live. You are then invited to be the town's defender, in exchange for lodging, supplies, etc. This is pretty much where the story ends. From here, you decide how to do things. So, there is no real story to Monster Hunter. This, however, should not be a problem. I, myself, have put a lot of effort into this game without thinking too much about it, so it's not a real problem

Graphics: 10/10
The graphics are beautifully done. The monsters look awesome, the area is gorgeous, and Weapons and armor are wonderfully detailed. Some of the best graphics I've seen in a handheld.

Now, I've heard many times of the complaints people have had with the camera angles in this game. I, personally, never noticed anything wrong with them. There were some problems in the past with certain areas (*cough* Forest & Hills, Area 9 *cough*) but those have been fixed in Unite so there aren't any problems. You can have a full 360 degree view of the area as well as 5 vertical levels to adjust the height of whatever you are facing. This is enough.

Sounds: 8/10
Nice soundtrack. Fighting themes are good and environment BGM's sound good. The best music in the game is the opening theme. That is epic music right there.

Replay Value: 10/10
Beating this game is difficult to define. For some, it's hunting all monsters at least once. For others, it's getting everything possible. For me, it's collecting all weapons because it's pretty much doing both. Either way, you'll be hooked on this game for a long time. Get other friends to play to make Ad Hoc playing more enjoyable and possible. You could do them on your own, but I don't recommend it. It's for experienced players. No matter what you're ending is, you'll have countless hours of fun ahead of you.

Gameplay: 10/10
Why is Gameplay last? Because that's the beautiful thing about Monster Hunter. It's awesome to play.

There are 2 elements to this games gameplay: village time and quest time. First is village time. This is when you stock up on items and supplies such as potions, whetstones, etc. You should prepare wisely for quests because you cannot buy things in the quest and it is very difficult to get good stuff during quests. Yes, they give you supplies anyway, and you can combine items in the field, and the veggie elders can give you good items (you trade them things for other things, like a stone for an herb) but, trust me, this way is very limiting so you will want to stock up as much as you can pre-quest. Also, when you get to the REALLY hard quests, they don't give supplies right of the bat, so be careful.

Next are the weapons. There are 11 weapon types. Each with its own pros and cons, depending on your style of play, you will like some better than others. Personally, as a starting weapon, I recommend either great swords or long swords. They are strong, durable, and have easy-to-master combos. But, as you get through the game, try out other weapons. You will find that some work better on some monsters than others. Whichever one you choose, you will need to maintain the weapon if you want battles to be easier. There are also 2 major divisions for weapons: blades and long range weapons. Each will require its own armor set.

Now is armor. Like many games, armor provides defense, gives you supportive abilities, and makes you look wicked awesome, or like a complete and total idiot. Unlike most games, Defense isn't a major contributing factor to keeping you alive. Dodging and, if your weapon allows it, blocking are. Master these for if you solely rely on defense to get you through the game, you will definitely not go far. Remember, you are man and they are beast. Man is weak, fragile and, most importantly, flammable. Monsters are strong, versatile, and difficult to kill. However, don't worry, because you do have a major strength that very few monsters have: intelligence. Monsters are very, very, VERY stupid. But don't take your time to tell them this to their face, because they don't care. Think while playing, because if you just decide to hack at a monster, you'll get caught off guard, and it could trample you, burn you, electrocute you, freeze you, squish you, and, if you're REALLY unlucky, fart on you. So learn how to survive, find good strategies, and be very, VERY cautious. Now is the good part: the quests. There are three kinds of quests (well, four, but the fourth is very minor and has little difference from other types of quests. It just means that it's very difficult). The first type is gathering quests. Very tedious. Most of the items you get from the rewards here can be found in the farm. However, there are a few select items that can only be found, or are more easily retrieved, out in the wild. These quests shouldn't take up too much of your time. Second is slaying quests. You have to either kill a bunch of mini monsters outright, kill a monster that can't be captured, or just defeat a REALLY tough guy. Good for racking up minion kills, not so good for materials or other things. The last is hunting quests. The real meat of this game. Having an epic duel with a monster and either killing it for glory, or capturing it for goodies. Killing a monster outright is much easier than capturing one and it's really not all that bad. However, capturing a monster can reap better rewards. CAN. Not always, but usually.

Now is the time for the technical parts of the hunt. You have 5 or 6 basic things on your screen: Your life bar, your stamina bar, item list, map, and sharpness and/or ammo/coating. These things are self explanatory except sharpness and ammo. Sharpness is for blades. The higher it is, the more damage you do. Every time you hit something with your sword, your sharpness decreases. It decreases faster if you hit something hard. To restore sharpness, use whetstones. Ammo is for bowguns and coatings are for bows. They basically do the same thing: make your shots hurt. For coatings, they give your arrows added effects like poison, paralysis, etc. Ammo lets you shoot with your bowgun. Some kinds of ammo are better than others. Some are more effective than others on some monsters. This is for you to decide, hunter.

Finally, there is the pay. Of course there's pay. They're not making you kill monsters for nothing. There are two determinants: the contract fee and the quest payout. The contract fee you pay before taking a quest. If you succeed, you get double what you paid. If you fail, you get nothing. It's a double or nothing kind of thing. The quest payout you only get if you win. You are allowed 2 deaths per quest. Every time you die, your pay gets reduced by 33% (hey, someone has to pay the kitty cart). If you die 3 times, you fail the quest. If you run out of time, you fail the quest (usually). If you fail the quest, you keep all items gained inside the quest, but also lose all items used. If you abandon the quest, your inventory stays as it was when you began the quest, and you get your contract fee back. Choose wisely.

Other details are not mentioned because a) They'll be better explained in the game and b) they make this already long review even longer.

Final words:
This is a very awesome game. Not perfect, there are some flaws, but not enough to make it unplayable. This is the kind of game that you have to play for a long time to really enjoy it. If you tried but you didn't like it, sorry, but at least you tried and I respect that. If you played for a short while and quit because you can't beat the Kut-ku, shame on you. Give it a chance. It could be a game that you will really enjoy

Final Score: 9/10

Reviewer's Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Originally Posted: 04/19/10

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

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