Monster Hunter Freedom is a strong game despite reviews. It has a large amount of customization from items, to clothes, to weapons and more, and that makes this a great game to play online with others. That is exactly where the strength lies. This game does online play perfectly, and you will end up playing for hours with your friends, unfortunately that is for ad-hoc play only, and not the much needed infrastructure mode.
When you pick up this game don't look for a story line, because there really isn't much of one besides saving a village from monsters. But pick up the game for the deep strategic elements it gives, because the best monster hunters are those that can plan, watch, and learn to beat a monster. This game does have a sharp learning curve because you don't expect there to be such a large strategic element.
To summarize this is a great game underrated game when played with friends, if you are alone and lack friends, this is still a good game but it isn't as great.