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Monster Hunter Freedom review

Wear your enemies as a hat (or armor, or a sword) in this sublime slash-'em-up

Strategy is also a big part of the four-player hunts (ad-hoc only, unfortunately), and while it's fun to just run around hacking at stuff with your friends, you'll do a lot better if you can each specialize in one of the game's five weapon types: quick, defensive lances; huge, powerful hammers; giant broadswords, sort of an in-between weapon; bowguns, which range from crossbows to firearms and allow for first-person sniping; and knife-and-shield combos that might as well come with training wheels attached. Unlike the original Monster Hunter title, Freedom actually gives you all five to start with, sparing you from trying to kill things with a flimsy starter knife. You can't change your weapon in the middle of a hunt, though, which sucks.

Fighting and butchering monsters makes up the meat ofthe gameplay, but there's much, much more to it than that. Crafting items from the things you find is cool, and simple minigames allow you to cook meat, catch fish and collect bugs. We also liked exploring the vast, beautifully rendered countryside, although the long load times between areas are a drag.

As you get into the game, you'll eventually become the caretaker of a full-on farm and a pajama-clad little pig, whose affection you'll have to win. There's also the Felyne Kitchen, a new addition that lets you hire comical cats to cook for you between hunts. Aside from being cute, each one comes with a special ingredient that can upgrade your abilities before a big hunt.

More Info

GenreRole Playing
DescriptionHunt down freaky dinosaurs and make their skins into hats in this wild, weird adventure.
PlatformPSP
US censor ratingTeen
Release date23 May 2006 (US), (UK)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

After graduating from college in 2000 with a BA in journalism, I worked for five years as a copy editor, page designer and videogame-review columnist at a couple of mid-sized newspapers you've never heard of. My column eventually got me a freelancing gig with GMR magazine, which folded a few months later. I was hired on full-time by GamesRadar in late 2005, and have since been paid actual money to write silly articles about lovable blobs.
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