previews\ Jun 5, 2009 at 8:00 pm

Monster Hunter Freedom Unite - PSP - Preview

Considered the third installment in the Monster Hunter series, Monster Hunter Freedom Unite for the PSP promises to be bigger, better and now with 100% more cat hair. It’s a bold claim, indeed, but it’s no surprise that Capcom has definitely delivered on their promise. So far, Monster Hunter Freedom Unite is looking like another reason our PSP will feel like it’s glued to our hands.

Monster Hunter Freedom Unite screenshots 

One thing I should point out, however, is that Unite doesn’t feel like a new Monster Hunter game. In fact, it feels more like an extended version of Monster Hunter Freedom 2 seeing as the story and most of the missions are identical. You are still able to create your own character but you can also import your character from MHF2 so you can start the game with a familiar face but you’ll still have to go through the intro where your hunter is nearly killed during a hunt only to wake up in a village filled with seasoned monster hunters just like you.

Much of the gameplay is still very much like MHF2 and that’s not a bad thing at all considering the game featured plenty of armor and weapon options and the levels were surprisingly diverse. Unite; however, adds more of everything into the mix so it’s quite possible that you’ll have more than 3000 weapon and armor sets to work with to create your own stylized equipment.

On top of the fact that you’ll have a number of weapon and armor options, the up to 400 missions are far more diverse this time around thanks to an advanced mission rating that will have you going up against even bigger monsters than before. I worked my way to one of these missions only to be killed right away by a giant red beast that made short work of me. The task was not only to bring the beast down but also take a very rare piece out of the creature as well.

Speaking of monsters, the new monsters are ferocious and challenging enough to give you a real workout if you decide to play the game solo. It’s not impossible to bring these monsters down but it certainly helps having a helping hand aid you during your quest. Once again, you can accept or decline any mission you are offered in the Guild Hall and you will find an overwhelming number of quests from the very beginning of the game so there’s really no shortage of things to do in Unite.

Monster Hunter Freedom Unite screenshots 

Once again, the game supports multiplayer via Ad Hoc and you’ll be able to quest with up to three other friends. Remember that giant red beast I mentioned? Alone it slaughtered me within seconds but with a friend I was able to take it down. A friend could distract said beast while the second player could swing at its torso as it snaps at your buddy. Teamwork is definitely the key to clearing the more difficult missions and - thankfully - so far the multiplayer runs just as smooth as my rhino horn/sword. Even the loading times have been cut in half thanks to the Media Install feature that works with the memory stick to make the game flow faster.

If you like playing solo, you won’t go it alone thanks to the new Felyne companion. We’ve seen these cat-like creatures before in other Monster Hunter games but this time around your new furry companion plays a more helpful role. For instance, you can send your companion to pick up resources you need such as a spit to roast monster meat for a health boost. You can even pick a behavior that best suits your needs during a mission. I “trained” by cat to distract monsters while I rushed it and slashed away with my created lance.

Monster Hunter Freedom Unite screenshots 

Monster Hunter Freedom Unite is really shaping up to be that delightfully epic and grand adventure fans have been enjoying since the series was first introduced to us on the PlayStation 2. With no shortage of missions, item options, a Felyne companion and an amazing multiplayer experience, it’s hard not to get excited about Unite. The hunt is on this June so expect a bigger and better monster hunt on store shelves very soon. 

Monster Hunter Freedom Unite is rated T for Teen.

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