Even with tens of hours of new nội dung & welcome improvements over its predecessor, Monster Hunter Freedom Unite has yet khổng lồ hunt down a few critical annoyances.

By Austin Shau on July 2, 2009 at 5:58PM PDT

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When looking at a checklist of features, it"s easy khổng lồ see why the Monster Hunter series has garnered such a cult following. With scores of boss khủng species to lớn hunt, classes of weapons khổng lồ learn, & special items to lớn craft, any Monster Hunter game is almost guaranteed lớn provide dozens of hours of gameplay even in a loose play-through. Monster Hunter Freedom Unite for the PSP, an enhanced version of 2007"s Monster Hunter Freedom 2, is most certainly the epitome of the series thus far with its scads of additional nội dung và advancements to its predecessor"s core. Even so, there are some things that have sầu not changed with this "nâng cấp," which leaves Unite with the same frustrations that series veterans have sầu been putting up with for five years.

From the introductory cinematic that shows you getting knocked into lớn the snow by a gigantic quái vật to lớn the town in which you wake up & the people with whom you interact, Unite seems lượt thích an exact replica of Monster Hunter Freedom 2. The structure of the game is very simple: You reside in a single town that acts as a hub for many activities, the most significant of which are quests that skết thúc you out inlớn the field. Among muốn these quests are hunting expeditions, where you must take down a large beast; slaying quests, where you must take down multiple monsters of a certain species; and gathering adventures where you"re asked to lớn bring someone herbs, mushrooms, or monster parts. There"s no shortage of variety khổng lồ your encounters because the monster roster is a healthy mishmash of dinosaurs, swine, sea creatures, gorillas, and more.

…but they can be incredibly annoying khổng lồ fight solo thanks to lớn wonky camera controls.

Lock-on control could have sầu been used khổng lồ alleviate at least some of the camera"s problems, but yet again, it"s nowhere khổng lồ be found. Because you"re supposed to lớn attaông chồng different parts of a monster"s body toàn thân to achieve sầu different results it"s true that lock-on control might remove sầu the challenge of & pinpoint control needed khổng lồ, say, ayên for the head versus the front leg.

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There have been variants of lock-on control employed in other games that still allow for body toàn thân part targeting though. Further, the "challenge" here is turned inkhổng lồ frustration thanks to the initial problem of a poor camera system. That this--the third installment of the series for PSP--still hasn"t addressed some of Monster Hunter"s most fundamental flaws is disappointing.

The silver lining is that, as with its predecessor, Unite allows you to tackle multiplayer adventures via ad-hoc play. With up to three friends watching your baông xã & teaming up to lớn take down the most ominous of wyverns, this has always been the way to lớn fly, especially given the issues with the series. Multiplayer can lead to some great moments of camaraderie và elicit fond memories of games such as Phantasy Star Online. If you can manage to lớn get accustomed to lớn the awkward camera & controls, as well as remain a diligent player, you"ll be able to lớn scratch your loot-scrounging itch with some truly spectacular, rare gear.

That"s a very big if, và while it"s one that many longtime Monster Hunter fans are sure lớn satisfy, others might not be so patient. Yes, the improvements made here are much appreciated, as well as a decent start lớn enhancing Monster Hunter"s playability (which is an important distinction from simply making it "easier"). But the series still has a few hurdles to clear before everyone who"s interested can enjoy all the content it has to lớn offer, & Monster Hunter Freedom Unite simply hasn"t made those jumps yet.