Monster Hunter Freedom Unite Update and Videos

Capcom's Monster Hunter series is selling like hot cakes in Japan, and the company is hoping that it's only a matter of time before gamers on this side of the world catch on to this phenomenon. Monster Hunter Freedom Unite, known as Monster Hunter Portable 2nd G in Japan, is heading to North...

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Capcom's Monster Hunter series is selling like hot cakes in Japan, and the company is hoping that it's only a matter of time before gamers on this side of the world catch on to this phenomenon. Monster Hunter Freedom Unite, known as Monster Hunter Portable 2nd G in Japan, is heading to North America at the end of June. Keep an eye out for a demo as well, because it's scheduled to come out a few weeks before the game's release. We recently had the opportunity to play the pocket-MMO at the Game Developer's Conference, so for more details please see here. Capcom decided to swing by our office today to give us another look at this monster hunting goodness so that we could share some videos with you.

One of the newest features is your AI felyne companion (yes that's the real spelling), a sidekick that accompanies you in the single-player mode. As you can see from the video, it lends a hand, err paw, in a tough fight so that you're not fighting dragons by your lonesome.

Your furry companion can be trained to be more adept at a particular skill. For example, the kitty in the video had a propensity to throw bombs at an enemy. While that may be helpful, sometimes you happen to be in the way, which will knock you off your feet. If you're hurt or trying to set a trap, this particular cat can also distract the beast by playing a horn, giving you precious moments to get away or a few extra seconds to lay down a shock trap.

This felyne gets stronger as you take it out on hunts, but your skills are reliant on the gear that you acquire and create. Cooking also has its benefits as you can see from the video below.

Monster Hunter's appeal is primarily in the multiplayer mode, in which you can play with up to four players ad hoc, on the PSP. Right now it is possible for those in Japan to link through the PlayStation 3, but that feature has yet to be announced here. What we do know is that once the demo is available, it can be downloaded via Wi-Fi, and you'll have access to three missions. Preset characters (with all weapons types) are available and you can link up with a friend to start playing immediately. The town has been removed so you'll dive right into the hunt without any fuss. If you're wondering what a four-player hunt looks like, see below!

Once the game is released, Capcom has another 40 quests for players to download, one each week--you can hold up to six at a time. The game already comes with more than 400 missions, so it might take awhile before you'll get through them all. This will be the largest Monster Hunter to be released with more than 500 hours worth of gameplay. There are 1500 weapons and 2000 armor sets, so if you're all about the latest fashions, there's plenty for you to go through. For those who have Monster Hunter Freedom 2 files, youcan transferyour character data over as well.

This might seem like a lot for someone new to the series, but makes a good starting point as well. Capcom plans to launch a Monster Hunter resource site so that new players can get up to speed and have a place to reference all the details about the game. If you're the type that likes the MMO grind and collecting rare items, you might want to take a closer look when the game is released this summer.

And of course, for those who want more monster slaying goodness (like a severed tail), see here.

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