Monster Hunter Freedom Unite for iOS: first impressions

Monster Hunter Freedom Unite for iOS: first impressions

I love Capcom; like, love Capcom. I own a PSP. I own a PS Vita. Hell, I even own Monster Hunter 3DS, yet I’ve never – somehow, against all logic – played a Monster Hunter game.

Until now, that is! Enter: Monster Hunter Freedom Unite for iOS (to use its full name), available for £10.49 on the App Store. Is it worth the price of admission? Hell yes!

What is Monster Hunter Freedom Unite? Released in Japan as Monster Hunter Portable 2nd G, it’s a PSP-based expansion of Monster Hunter 2, and has notched up – according to Capcom – “3,700 thousands” sales. That’s 3.7 million to you and me.

The astute eye users among you will have noticed I wrote “first impressions” above, as opposed to “review”. That’s because Monster Hunter is notorious for consuming dozens if not scores if not hundreds of hours per player, and I’m still – after several thoroughly enjoyable hours – wading through the, eh, tutorial.

Yes, it’s that kind of game, which will immediately set alarm bells ringing if you’re a big wuss, or have you salivating like the dog you are if you’re a big manly man of a gamer.

Anyway! First impressions. A couple of the early screens in Monster Hunter Freedom Unite for iOS looked hella stinky, almost like they were ripped straight from the 480 x 272 PSP version and stretched to run on – in my case – the 2048 x 1536 iPad.

But when you actually get into the meat of the game, you’ll find that it looks “totes ‘mazeballs” (remember “totes ‘mazeballs”?). Seriously, it’s probably the best looking thing I’ve ever seen on the iPad. Look:

Monster Hunter Freedom Unite for iOS: first impressions

For some reason, I’d always assumed the Monster Hunter series would be firmly on the serious side. It certainly seems that way from the outside, and again there’s the well-documented depth in gameplay.

But nope! It’s actually quite funny at points, with early highlights including the absurd music when you cook meat on the portable spit, and the tutor, who asks you to “add a little something something to the Blue Mushroom. You know… A lil’ sumthin sumthin… Is sumthin even a word…!?”

And it’s a good thing the tutor is funny, because you’ll be spending a great deal of time with him, learning how to skin animals, cook meat, gather goods like honey and herbs, combine items, fish, carry eggs, and – last but not least – hunt monsters.

If all that wasn’t enough, there are 11 weapon types to get to grips with too, including the basic sword, dual blades (with cool spin attack), and the great sword (incredibly slow, but incredibly powerful).

And this is all before you actually start playing Monster Hunter Freedom Unite for iOS proper. But hey, we are dealing with a proper game after all, one that has already established itself as a cult classic, and not something that’s chock full of adverts and/or stupid IAPs. It’s a GAME, people, and that’s a good thing.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have hundreds of hours of Monster Hunter Freedom Unite for iOS to play before penning my review. In the meantime, if you’re playing, or if you just fancy berating my outrageously unprofessional attitude (whatever, dingus), hit us up below.

Developer: Capcom

Price: £10.49 @ App Store

Compatibility: see App Store listing for full details

Read more about: iOS

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