is one monster worth hunting for.
by Colin Thames
20, 2005 - Capcom
has brought the fantastical world of PS2's Monster
Hunter to the PSP. It's been redesigned and streamlined,
and the results are a more flexible and structured
game that doesn't require you to quit your job to
find the time to play it. There is a four-player wireless
component but no online play which means no online
your character and prepare to live the wild life -
while killing the wildlife. As a hunter you will be
faced with several challenges that require you to
interact with monstrous creatures including dinosaurs,
dragons and huge insects. Accepting various mission
from the village where you live, your character will
gain experience and increase his skills while earning
enough Zenny currency to purchase better weapons,
armor and ammunition. Combining RPG and action elements
the gameplay has a nice balance of combat and strategy.
you're an old fan of Monster Hunter or not, you are
bound to be impressed with the graphics. From the
environments to the creatures there is an impressive
display of realism. The tall grass, caves, woods,
deserts, fog and water are rendered almost perfectly.
The backgrounds contain animation that bring the environments
to life and the creatures ripple and writhe with such
authenticity that even Speilberg would be proud. Not
only do the monsters look good but they are programmed
with an intelligence that make them worthy adversaries.
You won't be able to sit atop a hill and pick them
off, you have to fight them on their own turf and
that can spell danger.
come in two flavors: Blade and Gunner. The Blade employs
the use of swords, axes and lances and is more resistance-based.
The Gunner is more defensive and uses guns to make
his kills. There are different items and accessories
that you can purchase for you character, although
some are class-based or will require a certain number
of skill points to use. Generic items include binoculars,
flash bangs, pit traps, poisoned meat, paint balls
and stink bombs.
monsters can be scavenged for food and other items
as the bones can be used for weapons and the skins
can be exchanged for other things that you desperately
need. You hunting skills will increase throughout
the game but keep in mind that these creatures don't
always go down easy. It's best not to attack a herd
of them. Lure one away from the pack and put all your
skills into just killing it rather than trying to
defend yourself from the attacks of other creatures.
You'll find that the Blade-specific weapons are cumbersome
to maneuver. They are effective when aimed at the
monsters' vulnerable areas but it takes some practice
to get used to this rather sluggish system.
from the hunt players can return to their villages
where they can beg, borrow, steal and purchase new
weapons and armor from various shops and NPCs. Or
you can retire to your home and rest up, an activity
that will save your progress. In your home you will
have a chest where you can store your inventory items
for use in your next mission which you'll also find
in the village.
cooks are available for hire. They will prepare food
for you from either suggested recipes of meat and
vegetable or ones they create. Regular meals will
increase your health and stamina while the special
meals they concoct will result in other skill increases
such as increasing your resistance to attacks or increasing
the effectiveness of your traps or the damage of your
bombs. Keep in the mind that the cats will sneak into
town and steal things from you. I've found that if
I buy and plant the yellow Felvine plants, they will
takes these instead of more expensive items.
great feature is the farm which allows you to grow,
explore and mine resources for use in upcoming missions.
This keeps you from having to harvest in the wild.
The farm is part of your personal inventory, as it's
located on your land. It's another way the game had
been streamlined from its online predecessor. The
farm can only be used once after each mission. Items
harvested can be used to upgrades weapons and armor
or combined to create new hybrid items. With points
earned from the missions you can purchase seeds and
tools that will improve the quality and overall production
of items that you gain from the farm.
obvious that the developers spent a long time adapting
the single-player mode to compensate for the lack
of the online mode. The four-player co-op mode is
played via the ad-hock wireless system. Having players
equipped with different weapons, both Blade and Gunner
style, you will be able to hunt effectively as a team
by ambushing the creatures, flanking them or forcing
them down paths loaded with traps. The only problem
with this mode is that not all of the creatures show
up on all of the players' screens. Sometimes you'll
see your friend attacking the air when in fact he's
actually taking on a raptor. It's hard to come to
his rescue if you can't see what it is he's fighting.
excellent graphics are disrupted at times by the continuing
load times which take place at some very inappropriate
places. Another inconvenience is the Japanese menus
and text. This is an import game after all so it helps
to have some knowledge of the previous PS2 version.
A North American version is expected to be released
sometime in early 06 so you might just want to wait
a while if you're not too impatient and impulsive.
graphics - lush environments and detailed monsters
are beautifully represented on the PSP system
accessible single player experiences
hoc four-player co-op
village hub features a new look and includes various
item shop - players can use quest rewards or pillaged
items to upgrade more weapons and armor than before,
as well as purchase items, ammo and food
- a brand new location where players can fish, garden,
scavenge for items and more
investing with the town's representatives and dealing
with the businesses, players contribute tothe growth
and development of the area which creates additional
Felyne Kitchen - hire these feisty creatures to
create various culinary delights in their extraordinary
cat has their own unique "special" ingredient
which can produce different results that aid players
"treasure hunters" two player co-op game
and deliver treasures in a specific time to achieve
high scores and earn various items
value prizes are added to a collection list on a
guild card which can be traded with friends
mini games - collect items, harvest plants and complete
other small tasks to obtain all kinds of useful
new weapons and equipment provide even more options