Free The Monster Within...Again
Back in 2004, Capcom introduced Monster Hunter into the annals of RPG-dom. It was crazy! No XP bar! How are you supposed to get stronger without leveling up? *watches as RPG fanboys pass out* It was mind boggling. The strategy to getting stronger was in the equipment and you couldn't buy it right from the start. You had to go on quests to maim monsters to help out the town and after they were down you carved random parts of the monsters to create the better armor. It was a cult classic. Then Monster Hunter 2 came out in Japan in Feburary 2006, but US didn't get anything but a remake of the first one on PSP, Monster Hunter Freedom. It wasn't a bad game (we enjoyed it thoroughly), but it was pretty much the first one on PS2 but portable. Well folks the day has come and it is portable as well.
Monster Hunter Freedom 2 is out for the PSP and although it isn't a drastic change in the gameplay, there is a lot of cool content added. You start of the game by creating your character. Pick your gender, face, and hairstyle and color (we made ours look like Marilyn Manson). Then you have the starter weapons for each class. There are a few new weapon types they have added in order to help players find their niche (Yeah like the Longsword because we all know you are going to be calling your character Sephiroth. *sigh*) Then you are off to start the quests. They start of little at first until they start to throw huge monsters at you, like the Tigrex that is on the cover of the game case. It isn't just how big the monster is it is also how they look...
The graphics on this game are excellent. There are few games on the PSP that can show the graphical prowess that this does. Only problem with that is that you do have to deal with a tad bit of load times. The terrain is beautiful, even the backdrops (look at the 1st zone in Forest & Hills across the river. You can see the monsters over there move!) Also the terrain makes sense for what zone you pick which are based on different climates. The monsters move like what you would imagine a dinosaur or dragon would (Yes! We know dragons aren't real.) The only problem is that even though they do have a few distinct movements for each one, a lot of them share some of the same moves as well. They did add quite a bit of different animals this time around. Giant chameleons, baboons, and crabs. ]Oh My! So now that you can commit animal genocide...lets get to the tools of destruction. *grins*
Well when you look at the game case, it boasts over 700 weapons and 1400 pieces of armor. We don't know about you, but when we hear that the first thing that comes to mind is: palette swap. To our surprise, there are a crapload of designs they used for the weapons and armor. There are a few weapons and pieces of armor who get the swap treatment, but most are crafted to look like the materials that are used in the creation of them. Each piece of armor also has skills attached to it and if you get enough of that set you can activate them to help you in various aspects of the game. Now each of the weapons also have a different twang to them as well. Not only do each of the weapons hold somewhat of a element or damage attribute to them, but they also handle each different on type. Hammers and Great Swords are slow, but powerful. Long Swords are more agile and create long sweeping motions (We picked that type...and no we didn't name our character Sephiroth.) And all the other play differently as well. They even have their own control scheme for each. This now leads to the point where you need to farm certain monsters over and over to get certain equipment. It does get rid of the xp grind, but the item grind can be just as bad (even with percentage type drops...Try getting a Tigrex Helm and you will know what we mean.) Now that we have this awesome arsenal, time to put them to use!
The gameplay on this game is insanely long. To beat just the single player guild quests will take you about 60-100 hours. In addition to those you do have a Ad-Hoc mode which you can either access in offline or online mode. Online you can pick 3 other Ad-Hoc buddies and go through the quests using teamwork and unity. Offline, otherwise known as "Hardcore 'get your arse handed to you' mode" gives you the same difficulty quests with the option of tackling them by themselves. With additional modes other than these and a farm you have to tend to for materials, this game can easily rack into the hundreds of hours category. To get the better type of experience though you HAVE to spend a decent amount of time on it to see the cooler monsters or items, so that would be a warning to the casual gamers who might get pwned by this game.
Now that we broken down the game to you, we now set you free to wreak carnage on the land. Create some wildlife genocide and make the world a better place. Only thing we ask though....If you get a Tigrex Skull please give it to us, we need that helm!