Monster Hunter Freedom Update

Capcom shows off the US version of its portable monster-hunting sim.


LAS VEGAS--Monster Hunter Freedom is the US version of Monster Hunter Portable, the PSP incarnation of Capcom's popular monster-hunting series that first appeared on the PlayStation 2 in 2004. The Japanese PSP game was released late last year and contained content from the original Monster Hunter as well as its sequel, Monster Hunter G. In addition, the game will feature PSP-specific elements, such as ad hoc multiplayer and a revamped control scheme. The build that was on display at Capcom's press event was a near-final version of the US game.

We did a few quick hunts via the game's four-player ad hoc multiplayer mode and found the game to have all the charm that our imported version did. The collecting aspects of the solo and multiplayer games are a blast, and the ability to upgrade your gear is as cool as ever. The localized text made going through the game considerably easier on this occasion than it ever was with the Japanese original. The visuals and audio still stand out as some of the best we've seen on the PSP to date.

While the game may not have been for everyone on the PlayStation 2, the PSP game certainly promises to make some marked improvements over its console cousins and will almost certainly be worth a look if you're in the market for a good multiplayer game. Monster Hunter Freedom is currently scheduled for release in North America in May.

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