Thank you, Japan
TomChick - News - 06/01/06 - Link

Sometimes I get an assignment that I dread, expecting that I'll be spending six or seven hours of dead time playing some crappy RTS or Japanese RPG or soulless shooter. Which was exactly what I expected when I slipped the Monster Hunter: Freedom disc into my PSP.

Yeah, sure, I'd heard of it before. It was 'big in Japan', which is shorthand for 'it's probably not going to make any sense'.

But fifteen hours later, I'm still playing, even after turning in the review. This is the Harvest Moon of Japanese action RPGs, and it manages to tap into a bit of what I loved about Dark Cloud 2. I'm still discovering new things. The desert area is still kicking my butt. I'm just here to get a bit of ore and those frickin' cats keep running off with my stuff, forcing me to trek over to their camp and take it back. Little buggers. I'm saving up to improve my lance, which I've gotten pretty good with; I can hold off three or four raptors at a time now. And by golly, my character looks spiffy in her Velociprey get-up. Plus, I'm starting to figure out how to hunt those crazy sandswimming dragons.

I can completely understand someone not liking Monster Hunter: Freedom. It's one of those weird niche things that some guys -- like me -- will love and other guys just won't get. Like Chibi-Robo or Phantom Dust. But these are the kind of discoveries that really make me happy. So I just want to say, once more, 'Thank you, Japan'.



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