Curse you, Monster Hunter. You’ve turned us into obsessive compulsive hoarders. We’ve learned to fish, farm and mine. We’ve mastered the arts of alchemy and blacksmithery. Damn it, Monster Hunter – you’re like frickin’ Rain Man; brilliant but so pedantic and stuck in your ways that you scare everyone away. Well, apart from the Japanese – they consume Monster Hunter with the same ferocity we eat M&Ms.
As you’ve probably guessed, Monster Hunter Freedom Unite (being an expansion for Freedom 2) is still an infuriating game. It maintains that you can’t lock-on to enemies and continues to annoy us with crappy cameras and repetitive missions. Plus, you need to spend hours trawling internet FAQs to work out how to make a pair of tights using a handful of berries, scales and rocks that took days to collect.
What you might not have guessed is that we love Monster Hunter; few games demand such tedious tasks for so little reward and still keep us playing. Similarly, while the new additions here aren’t much, gamers who have invested hundreds of hours will be overjoyed with something different to carve up. Adding over half a dozen new beasties (like the Hypnocatrice) means that there is not only fresh stuff to hunt but new weapons and armor to be created from their innards.
Will Monster Hunter Freedom Unite win new fans? No – and with few players outside of Japan it can’t even be appreciated for its multiplayer strengths. But do we still like it, despite its many flaws? Yes – it’s one of, if not the most customisable and time-consuming PSP games ever.
Jul 1, 2009