Welcome to a world of monsters that roam a plush landscape and soar through the skies. Monster Hunter Freedom Unite is Capcom's latest addition to the phenomenal series which has taken the world by storm on PSP. Pitting you against a series of beasts as you hone your hunting, gathering and fighting skills, Monster Hunter packs in even more creatures, weapons and hundreds of unlockables for you to discover over the course of this huge gaming opus.
When you start your adventure you're greeted with a deep tutorial process that takes you through each of the weapons you can wield over the course of the game. Here, each attributes are highlighted, giving you an idea of what weapon type you might want to use, and the kind of tactics you might need to employ with each one when hunting some of the larger beasts later in the game.
For example, a lance is excellent for defensive purposes but features much less attacks than that of sword, which, while hitting enemies with heavy impact, is somewhat slow to recover leaving you vulnerable to counter attacks. It's essential that you spend even the smallest amount of time using each of the weapon systems because certain creatures can withstand and void particular weapons in battle, meaning a grounding in all styles pays off in the hunt later on.
When you start off on a mission in the grounds of your camp you're given a blue box which can be filled with all manner of materials including weapons, potions, rations, ammunition and tools to keep your weapons sharp. Keeping swords and your lance sharpened is another facet of the gameplay players must keep a keen eye on. If you blade is blunted in battle and you don't sharpen it before the next hunt, you're likely to face a difficult challenge taking creatures down.
While the missions are based almost always around tracking down and slaying one large beast or a number of smaller creatures, the key to a successful excursion is planning. Before heading out into the wilderness it's paramount that you spend as much time as possible gathering the right weapons, sharpening stones, potions and anything else that may be of need from your blue box or from the villagers. In most cases, any additional items you need can be found on route to your goal from places such as streams, dung piles and ore veins.
Battling the creatures themselves is in itself a skill. Running head first into a monster is not a wise move and will most likely result in your demise. The trick is to combine a combination of dodges and attacks while at the same time memorising a monster's attack patterns and motions as you try to take them down. Mastering this technique helps when you are low on health or need to sharpen your blade when the monster is taking a step back from attacking you. In most cases, battling the giant creatures requires skill, timing and patience, with the rewards paying off in abundance after each battle.
The newest addition to the Monster Hunter universe is that of your Felyne friend, who can help distract a monster during an attack while you power up, heal or tend to your weapon. Having it by your side relieves a vast amount of pressure during battle because enemies will have to divide their attention between both you and your companion, leaving them open to devastating attacks, if performed correctly.
You are never alone
One of Monster Hunter Freedom Unite's most addictive modes is the ability to team up with three of your friends in Ad Hoc Mode to hunt down some of the game's biggest monsters. Taking these creatures down is almost impossible to do on your own, which is why the game encourages you to team up with three of your friends and combine your skills as a team to hunt down these prize trophies.
Packed with hundreds of hours of gameplay, thousands of weapons, armour sets and power-ups, Monster Hunter Freedom Unite is one of the deepest, most rewarding PSP gaming experiences players can have thanks to the vast amounts of content poured into the game by Capcom. For anyone looking for a uniquely brilliant challenge to play either on your own, or with three of your friends, you need look no further than Monster Hunter.
For a taste of the Monster Hunter action, download the demo from PlayStation Store now.