by Mimi, reviewed on
Although Monster Hunter has barely caught on in Western territories, in Japan it became one of the most popular and successful game franchises rapidly. And for good reason too. Like most other titles developed by Capcom, this game oozes with quality and puts a fair amount of attention on small little details.
This is a tough game to categorize; not simple a hack-and-slash game like most would expect, and not quite an RPG either. The combat and controls are far more precise than other action/adventure games, such as God of War, and there is no lock-on like in many other games. Your weapons have also almost no auto-correct, so if you are pointing the wrong direction when you swing your sword, you can’t adjust it in mid-swing.
The weapons each have a different feel to them as well, and many are slow and ponderous, which frustrates those players who grab a Great Sword and expect to spin it around like Ryu Hayabusa from the Ninja Gaiden series. However, when you become more proficient at the game, you will appreciate Capcom’s decision to make the weapons this way, because not only does it balance all of the weapons out, it also offers a unique experience for each one. And that encourages you to try them all out of instead of only sticking to one weapon class.
Everything in the game revolves around the central village and your goal to become the greatest hunter ever. The village is a place where you can craft new weapons, buy items, and embark on quests. There is plenty of content to find here, and gamers who love to level grind will feel right at home in Freedom Unite. Unfortunately though, there is almost no storyline to speak of, and this is where many gamers will lose interest. Still, if you can stomach the lack of story, what awaits you is a game world featuring over 1,000 unique weapons and armor pieces and dozens of different monster types, each with their own attack patterns and weaknesses. In addition, there are 11 different weapon classes. The styles and strategies for the different weapons are very unique and mastering them all takes a lot of time.
As one could easily assume, Freedom Unite is an expansion to Monster Hunter Freedom 2, which was previously released on the PSP. Capcom promised 50% more content and over 500 hours of gameplay this time around and they certainly delivered. For those who have already thrown hours and hours into Freedom 2, you can import your character along with all of his/her items, weapons, armor, Guild Card, and cleared mission status into Freedom Unite. You are still sporting that fashionable old cabin in the snowy village, but this time you have so much more to do.
Capcom realized it was tough for lone gamers to tackle this game alone, so they went ahead and attempted to address this problem. Instead of emphasizing a community feature, they went ahead and introduced “Felyne Warrior”. This guy can level up and learn skills to save your butt in battle. Although it is no replacement for a human player, the Felyne can provide something that every Monster Hunter player appreciates: distraction. Simply having another target out there will divide your enemy’s attention, and that is very valuable in this game. The little guy can follow you into any single-player quest, including offline Gathering Hall quests.
The best changes in Freedom Unite are the ones made to the store and item box system. Most people will spend a lot of time in this game combining items, selling items, and moving items in and out of your inventory. Capcom streamlined the system in many ways. For starters, you can send items directly from a shop to your item box. This is great when the Gathering Hall shop lady is selling something you need a lot of. Better yet, you can send items in stacks of 99. No more running back and forth from your item box to the store! Sending things straight to the box has been added to almost every feature in Freedom Unite. You can send the proceeds of your farm straight to the box. You can even send the spoils at the end of a quest straight to the box. It’s simple, but it is something that makes the game more enjoyable for long-time Monster Hunter fans. Oh, and there are up to ten pages of space in your item box.
Monster Hunter Freedom Unite has had incredibly long legs in Japan; many up-and-coming gamers enjoyed it. The sheer amount of depth and entertainment to be had with the game is exceptional, and it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to hear that it is also one of the best titles to grace the PSP. Take our word for it, you will not be disappointed.
The gameplay is fun and addictive and will keep gamers coming back for more.
There isn't much reason for past owners to revisit the game.