Monday, June 22, 2009

Monster Hunter Freedom: Unite Demo Impressions

Some of you may not know this about me, but I'm pretty big into imported games from Japan. While Monster Hunter may not technically be an import title, since they have been releasing some of the games in the states for a while now, it's always had a very Japanese feel to the gameplay, and I mean that in a good way. Now, they've released a demo of the newest game, Monster Hunter Freedom: Unite on the Playstation Store. Definitely a good idea if they want to get a larger amount of Americans interested in the game, which is definitely what it seems like they're doing with their advertising campaign.

Monster Hunter Freedom: Unite is the US version of what's known as Monster Hunter Portable 2G in Japan. The game takes a lot of elements from Monster Hunter Freedom 2 and expands on them. While I never got a chance to play Monster Hunter Freedom 2, I have played the first one, and it's occupied a lot of time in my PSP.

Comparing what I've played of this game to the first one, there's been a lot of improvements. the first most noticeable one is the map system. In the first game, your map would be limited to the section you were in, and you'd have to blindly wander around trying to find your target. Now, you can see the entire map, and your target is clearly marked, I'm a much bigger fan of this system than the previous one.

Also, I'm not sure if they're only doing this for the demo or not, but there's a class system now. Before, you would simply make a character and buy different equipment, and have a lot of customization options, but it seems now that you can choose different classes, and customize from there. However, it could just be for the demo so you can get right into the action.

The graphics, for a PSP game are excellent. Strong, crisp, detailed textures. Fluid animation. The poly count doesn't seem very high, but the PSP can only do so much. I think the game really pushes the PSP to it's limits, while still maintaining a rock-solid framerate.

Overall, I'm really impressed with the demo, and I'm anticipating the full game. One thing that's pretty nice is the amount of content they give you in the demo. Seeing as how the Monster Hunter games have so much stuff in them usually, it's not a huge surprise, but it's definitely welcome. For anybody who's a big Monster Hunter fan, or anybody who likes a good action game, definitely download the demo and check it out, I'm sure you won't be disappointed. Also, don't forget to look for the game, hitting shelves in the next few days.

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