The Monster Hunter series is a mix of RPG and Hack n' Slash elements combined with a sort of big game hunting sim that makes for a very intriguing experience. Monster Hunter Freedom Unite
is the latest installment for the PlayStation Portable and brings these elements together in a compact easy to carry disc. With not much expereince with the Monster Hunter series I was going in blind when I downloaded the demo from the PlayStation Store on my PSP and I must say that being a virgin hunter did not help in the slightest. There are many classes to choose from, several pet classes to choose from, and a ton of items. Needless to say there was a lot of trial and error during my romp through forests, caves, deserts, and swamps hunting the big beasties.
The monsters are deadly powerful and incredibly fast but no very cunning so to beat them you have to be smarter than they are. Knowing what class your playing is capable of and a solid knowledge of the controls is key to manuvering out of harms way and inflicting as much damage as possible before a monster can be taken out. Trial and error indeed. I spent most of my time walking to where the monster was located being sent back time and time again to the base camp to recover from my mistakes. The helper pets weren't very useful either in that all the tend to do is serve as a distraction for a short while before the monster turns its attention and fangs and claws towards you. The class I had the most success with was the long range heavy gunner which can pack a wallop and has decent aromor but is incredibly slow. The speed really does become a factor when playing by yourself because most of the time I found myself running away from the very creature I was trying to take down. While the combat certainly was interesting and I really felt like I accomplished something when I took down a monster I suspect that Monster Hunter Freedom Unite
really must be a game that is played with friends to be truely enjoyable.