Fans of the once Pokemon-like now brutal monster-killing action game franchise have reason to celebrate. Somewhat. Capcom has finally bestowed upon iPhones and iPads a Monster Hunter title of its own. However, although this game has been retrofitted to be playable on mobile devices, it might not be the same Monster Hunter that you've grown to love and dreamed of playing on your iPhone.
For one, this isn't a new game in the series or even one of the latest incarnations. Instead, Monster Hunter Freedom Unite is a port of the 2009 Monster Hunter that was released on the PlayStation Portable. Perhaps it was easier to reuse that generation's graphics assets instead of more recent, and perhaps heavier, materials. Nonetheless, as you can see from the trailer below, the graphics, optimized for mobile gaming, are still fluid, gorgeous, and not to mention flashy.
Of course, it isn't just the graphics that have been optimized for mobile. The controls have necessarily been modified as well. Everything is touch-based and have been made easier, almost lazier. Flick and drag your finger to rotate the camera. Tap on a monster to auto target and even lock on to it. Even items that you can interact with now show popup icons. And if touchscreens aren't your thing for gaming, it has support for the MFi game controller so that you can get back that more authentic gaming experience.
Now for the slightly disappointing part. Monster Hunter Freedom Unite does have multiplayer support, but it is limited only to local WiFi buddies. Sure, the original PSP was limited that way too, but that was a gaming handheld, not s smartphone or a tablet. You'd expect the latter class of devices to allow for true online multiplayer, but alas, it is not to be so. That said, all players must still be logged in to Apple's Game Center in order to partake the of local multiplayer monster bashing fun.
Monster Hunter Freedome Unite is now available on iTunes App Store and has a long list of compatible models, starting with the iPhone 4s and later, and devices running at least iOS 6.1. It costs $14.99, which is a bit pricey but probably nothing to keep fans from adding it to their collection. No word on an Android version coming any time, so this might remain an exclusive for those on Apple's platform.