|System: PSP||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Capcom||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Capcom||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Aug. 28, 2007||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-4||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Cole Smith
As a game reviewer that lives in a small town, in Canada nonetheless, there are times when games are a little late to arrive. Things are getting much better, but there are still customs and duties to be mindful of when receiving shipments. Often, I can get my hands on an import if I put my order in early enough.
Also, it's in my best interest to play the game as fast as possible to post my review quickly. You can imagine that if I'm the first to get the game in my town, the possibility of testing the multiplayer component could be next to impossible. But that's where my main game man, comes in handy. He owns the store where I rent, buy, sell, trade, and steal, (I mean borrow) most of the games that I review. He also helps me test out the multiplayer components, since he has all the systems and games at his disposal. He does this during business hours, so I can always tell when he's into it a certain game or not. If it's not an interesting game, he will start answering his phone and do other rude things like pay attention to his paying customers. If, on the other hand, he's hooked, the store may as well be closed. He's my barometer of how good a multiplayer mode is. So what's the point? When we played Monster Hunter Freedom 2, he actually put a closed sign on the store for over an hour.
Monster Hunter Freedom 2 is that good. In a few days, I have only scratched the surface of the gameplay. This game could be played for months on end. Not only does the single-player quest rival the length of any RPG, but the multiplayer component and extra downloadable content pushes the replay value through the roof.
Monster Hunter Freedom 2 may be a RPG but it plays like an action adventure game. You have total control. You can customize your character's appearance, sex, armor, and weapons. Weapons, moves, skills, and attributes will continually evolve throughout the game as you complete various quests. You will hunt, gather, farm, and create. Essentially you play the role of a hunter-gatherer, although a much more sophisticated version. Throughout the game you will collect various materials in an effort to create new and powerful hybrids used to aid you in your quests. This will result in weapons for offensive attacks, armor for protection, and potions for healing and extra boosts. You will also have to collect food items and herbs for sustenance and potions. There are lots of quests, lots of customizing options, and more monster hunting than ever before.
After an attack by a particularly viscous Tigarex, in which you wind up on the losing end, you will awaken in a village, far away from your secluded winter fortress. In this village, you will become a part of a society of hunters and gatherers. Here you will take part in a variety of quests, from fetch quests to tracking down and killing the strange and dangerous monsters that prowl the region. But unlike the original game, there is less gathering. You may recall the egg carrying quests in which you have to bring back giant monster eggs. While there still are similar quests, there are less of them. There are plenty of items to locate, because you have to earn money (in the form of points) to buy other things that you need, but there's less running around back and forth. In fact, you can control the inventory at your home from your farm. I'll explain more about the farm later, but while I'm in a good mood I might as well tell you that the load times have been reduced considerably. Yes, there's nothing but good news concerning this game. There's no wonder it's so friggin' popular in Japan.
Monsters come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Expect mutations of dinosaurs, dragons, birds, crabs, and mammals. Each of them offers a different challenge. You may have to change your technique or your weapons. There's a good deal of skill involved. Since there is no lock-on targeting system, you can't rely on the forgiveness of the CPU. There's one monster that will turn you into a giant snowman, while another can stun you with its farts. Yes, I'm serious. The Babakonga is able to unleash a virtual hurricane through his rear cavity. This mighty wind not only knocks down things in its path, but it temporarily suspends you from using your weapons. The only way to foil it is to use deodorant.