Monster Hunter Freedom 2 Review
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This is an excellent action adventure game for the PSP, offering a unique blend of gameplay and stellar multiplayer. It is open-ended to the point that it may be played nigh infinitely. Its only downfall is the steep learning curve and difficulty, especially when played solo.
- Great multiplayer!
- Immersive gameplay and crafting system
- Unique mix of 3rd person action/shooter and FPS elements
- Gameplay suffers if only played solo
- Steep learning curve and frustrating difficulty level
In an ancient time of wonder, when dinosaurs and giant animals roamed the earth, when the desert and sea was the domain of giant crustaceans, and dragons ruled the sky, there was an elite group of people, making existence for humanity a possibility.
This is the premise behind the Capcom’s Monster Hunter Freedom 2. Sequel to the cult classic Monster Hunter Freedom, MHF 2 once again puts players in the role of the protector of a somewhat primitive village, defending it from the gargantuan beasts that roam the nearby landscape. Capcom has managed huge improvements within the title, creating variety where in areas that were previously somewhat bland, while still maintaining the brand’s integrity.
The Game begins with character creation. For those Monster Hunter veterans out there, importing your saved data from Monster Hunter Freedom is possible, although with some limitations. Your character retains his name, and you get to revision his looks with some new character features. All your equipment, as well as items above rarity level 4 are traded in for a combination of cash and tickets, the later of which can be used in place of certain materials for the purpose of crafting new weapons and armor. For those starting from scratch, you will be given the option of creating a male or female hunter, with multiple options for hairstyle, color, and skin tone. While this may not seem overly in-depth, the majority of your career will have your character clad head to toe in unique armor and gear, leaving your crafted persona to only be seen when you “dress down.”
After creating your character, the story unfolds. Your character was a successful hunter in the village of Kokoto (the name of the starting village from the first Monster Hunter Freedom). Pokke Village, a nearby settlement resting in the cold embrace of the snowy mountains, is to be your new home. The residents have come across many monstrous entities, and require your unique skills. On your trek to the village, however, your player character is accosted by the deadly Tigrex, a large flightless wyvern, and tumbles from a high cliff. Then the real adventure begins.
You awaken to find yourself in a home within Pokke village. One of the residents watched your fall, and managed not only to dig you out of the snow, but also return you to the village and nurse you back to help. This is where the game truly begins. You start by introducing yourself to the various non-player characters around town. Almost everyone you meet will somehow play a pivotal role in the coming adventures. The true persons of interest initially are the village elder and the training school instructor. If you imported character data from a previous save, you will be free to immediately start tackling the quests the elder is so eager to give you. If you’ve started fresh, you are required to head to the training school and engage in some tutorial missions to get you started.
The real meat of the game now begins, as you head off on your first series of quests. Depending on the quest itself, your character is placed in a different climate or area. Each area is made up of its own unique set of “zones,” each separated by loading zones, quite similar to Everquest, but without the heinous load times. Most areas are comprised of 10-12 zones, which appear number if you have a map for ease of multiplayer tactics (more on that later). Each zone is populated with all sorts of different critters, ranging from herbivores such as the deer-like Kelbi or saurial Apceros, to carnivorous predators like the dung-flinging simian Congas, giant boar Bullfangos, and even more sinister wildlife.
Depending on your personal play style, you will find your hunter locked and loaded for bear in one of two ways. If you are wielding a melee weapon, you are considered a blademaster, and can use any gear blademasters have access to. Similarly, if you find yourself hefting a gun or bow and quiver, you are considered a gunner, and have all their abilities and restrictions. Not only does your weapon end up determining your class, but it also determines your controls. Each and every melee weapon class (8 total) has ... (continued on next page)