Capcom made it official today, announcing that Monster Hunter Freedom for the PlayStation Portable will be released in North America during the first quarter of 2006.

Monster Hunter Freedom, like its console counterparts, puts players into the role of a beast-slayer, and sends them out to slay dinosaurs and monsters for monetary and item rewards.

Whereas the two Monster Hunter games for PS2 focused on the online experience, "Freedom" has been optimized for single-player and ad hoc multiplayer play. The PSP game contains new missions, for single and co-op play, and new features, such as shops that sell weapons and clothing that formally had to be obtained online.

We'll have more on the game as its release nears. Until then, check out our screenshots .

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