The Monster Hunter series is one of those gaming franchises that has managed to become bigger with each new release. The original game, released on PlayStation 2 over ten years ago, wasn’t really that successful in the beginning, mostly due to the fact that its gameplay experience is truly a hardcore one, in every sense of the world. As third person action/ role playing games, the Monster Hunter games seem to lack some of the features that gamers expect from such title like a lock-on feature, some sort of port and more. The Capcom series lacks many of these features, making it a bit harder to get into the gameplay experience.
The hardcore gameplay experience of the Monster Hunter series has finally reached iOS devices with the release of Monster Hunter Freedom Unite, an enhanced port of the PlayStation Portable title released back in 2009. The additional features included in the iOS port improve the gameplay experience, making it the definitive version of the game.
Monster Hunter Freedom Unite basic gameplay experience is the same as other Monster Hunter games, where players have to travel around the game’s world hunting huge monsters, collecting items and use them to improve their equipment and hunt stronger monsters. Players can also take on some sidequests during the game which reward them with more items. While the basic gameplay experience may seem a bit boring on paper, it definitely isn’t in practice. Each of the game’s monsters has a different behavior and a different weak point to exploit which is, in most cases, not exposed at the beginning of the fight. For this reason players will have to fight cautiously until the attack patterns of the enemy and its weak point have become clear. There isn’t a single fight that can be won by using the same identical strategy, forcing gamers to always be on their toes when hunting a new monster.
Monster Hunter Freedom Unite employs some touch screen controls which work decently most of the times. Unfortunately they aren’t always as responsive as they should be since evading can be quite problematic when you’re in the thick of the action. The attack buttons, on the other hand, really work nicely, with the ability to do a swipe to perform stronger attacks. Luckily, the game is compatible with Mfi pads: playing with dual analogue sticks improves the gameplay experience considerably.
Monster Hunter Freedom Unite can be decent when playing alone but it becomes outstanding when playing together with other hunters. The game is pretty much designed with multiplayer in mind, a fact that become evident the moment you go on a hunt with other players. Working together to take down a really huge monster is incredibly satisfying.
Monster Hunter Freedom Unite iOS is an excellent port of an excellent game. The gameplay experience may be hard to get into for newcomers but once it clicks, it’s really hard to put the game down. The graphical enhancements and new features of the port are just the icing on the cake.
Touch & Tap Value9.6
Monster Hunter Freedom Unite is an excellent game that may require some time to click for newcomers to the series, as it lacks some features that gamers expect from titles like this. It's a hardcore experience from beginning to end, offering plenty of monsters to hunt, skills to learn, items to collect and equipment pieces to create. The hunt monsters - create new equipment - hunt monsters cycle may turn off some gamers but those who stick will be rewarded with one of the best iOS games of the year.