The lights are on
New IPs always come with an air of mystery and Majin and the Forsaken Kingdom is no different. Is this kingdom one of wonder or is it truly forsaken?
Majin enters into the action-adventure genre. When a game does this is has two real competitors, Zelda and Metroid though some would argue about Metroid games being in this genre. Either way this genre has been on lock-down for generations of consoles and handhelds and while other games have done well in this genre none have really tried to compete with Zelda.
Majin feels like a Zelda game for kids. By that I mean nothing about the game is taxing on your mind and nothing is really hard about this game. The game is set up in different sections, one for each element you Majin can get. They are locked off until you beat a boss so the pacing is nice and the map never feels overwhelming. There are around 40 or 50 rooms on the map total.
The controls are extremely simple. Your character can jump, dodge and attack that's it and you know all of that from the get go. Your Majin grows slightly throughout the game but it really doesn't add anything that is hard to learn or use. Using the Majin is as easy as holding down one of the triggers or bumpers to bring up his radial menu.
Something that was bothersome was the near lack of an item system. The only items you collect are seeds that your Majin eats to gain strength and new outfits that are hardly worth mentioning. No item system means no menu system, at least one that is useful. All it shows you is your level and friendship level as well as how many fruit your Majin has eaten.
The level system is another let down. You kill an enemy you get orbs which cause you to level after a certain number is gathered. You gain health and strength every level and every so often you gain a title which is meaningless. The level system is so basic you feel like something more could have been done, such as a simple stat system that allows the players to place some stat points. The friendship level goes up when you and your Majin do a combination attack. These are basically knocking an enemy over and pressing the button prompt to deal massive damage. You gain combo damage, titles and gain new looking attacks but you have no control over what attack is done. Again the system is so basic you wish for more control over what happens when you level.
I did run into some jumping issues. I would go to jump my character just wouldn't jump. Other problems were the Majin not attacking or acting when told to so and him randomly falling over when you are running around outside of battle. It was cute once, not a hundred times, literally.
While nothing is really wrong with Majin from a gameplay standpoint it is just way to basic and can border on repetitive and boring. It has some decent moments but it should have beefed up the leveling and combat systems to really add in an extra punch. Because of that little things like the jumping or the Majin not always doing what he is told stand out more.
Game Republic, the developer, wanted to go for a fairy tale setting. The setting isn't one that is done often in gaming but overall they got the feel of it. Everything from the names, which I can't remember and don't want to look up, to the characters and even the talking animals and name of the enemy. It just feels like something out of a children's book.
Speaking of some of the coolest cut scenes are 2D flat images. If you have ever played Patapon on PSP think of those and that is kind of what they look like. They are so uncomplicated that they just work perfectly in the context of the setting and the feel. Need I say they are better than the in-game scenes.
Sadly the 2D scenes are few and far between and I think an opportunity was missed. Every scene should have used them because they gave off the fairy tale feel. Instead they opt for in-game scenes which are ok but just don't have the same punch.
That might be because the voicing, writing and overall story just aren't that great. The Majin sounds like an idiot and the lead sounds flat and uninteresting. Some of the best vocal work was done by the bosses and they only have four or five lines.
The story starts you in the middle and builds backwards as you move forward. It does the job and tells you the complete story but it is really predicable and feels like a side note. The ending pretty much leaves no room for a sequel.
Another major opportunity that was missed was the character development between you and the Majin. While there is some you basically are friends from the beginning and have no problems with each other throughout the game. You are just a pair of happy-go-lucky guys out to save the world! That is a shame because they had a chance for something really cool, a lack of trust in humans is the most oblivious path, but they just didn't do it.
The talking animals are a huge sore spot. They sound awful and say nothing of importance the entire game. How they made it through and onto the final product is beyond me.
While the feel of a fairy tale is there the story to back it isn't. It is a shame they missed out on the pair developing into something and on the 2D scenes, they would have really boosted the story.
The music really makes the game feel like a fairy tale. It makes you feel like you jumped into a Disney book or movie and are there. The music is constant through the game and changes in different areas and when you are fighting or not. The only slight problem I had is that the tracks felt too short and repeated too much because of it.
The sounds were surprising. They aren't anything great but they add a little to the game. Your footsteps change on different surfaces, the Majin's powers sound like you would think of the element, and the squishy sound your staff makes hitting the enemies is a nice touch.
Not a show stopped but again they are set up to pull you into a fairy tale. Each different area has a screen effect, ash and cinder on your screen in the fire area for instance. This is a cool effect but I feel it starts to clutter your screen a little bit and does get old after a while.
The rooms all have a different look and feel which is nice. The edges do look a little flat and I feel there is a lack of detail in the world. The characters have plenty but then you see a tree and ask yourself if that is really a tree or just some boring looking object. Nothing on screen moves either, like moves with the wind or something, which really bothers me. I shouldn't say things never move on screen but on the whole it feels stagnant at times. That being said the game in general looks pretty good.
Probably no replay value in Majin. There are collectables in each room to gather if you want but you will more than likely get most of them when you first go through. With no difficulty changes and a game that last between 10-15 hours in one play it is really up to you to play again.
My numbers seem pretty low for this game I admit. I actually enjoyed playing this game and that is really the most important part of it. If the game is fun to you than don't worry about what other people say. While I did have fun playing the game isn't a challenge and it lacks in story and replay. If you can pick this up at a cheap price I would say go for it. It is worth going through the Forsaken Kingdom once.
(My review is not an average of my numbers but what I feel the game as a whole should get. the numbers under each category are based on what I think those categories are in general when compared to most games on the market today.)
No one has commented on this article.