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Majin and the Forsaken Kingdom

Partnership In Action

Majin and the Forsaken Kingdom is an upcoming action-adventure title from Tokyo-based developer Game Republic whose previous works include Genji: Days of the Blade, Folklore, and Clash of the Titans. You’ll assume the role of a pony-tailed thief named Tupeu. In his travels he encounters an imprisoned titan named Majin, who he releases from captivity. The pair quickly needs to learn how to work with each other’s strengths to restore the once beautiful forest kingdom they inhabit that has been consumed by dark forces.

Forsaken Kingdom has drawn comparisons to Team Ico’s The Last Guardian, that was notably absent from E3 this year. Publisher Namco tells us that the game’s design is instead inspired by the films of Hayao Miyazaki, which explains the adorable titan. The biggest element of gameplay revolves around the partnership between Majin and Tupeu. After having been imprisoned for 100 years, Majin is fairly weak at the outset thus early parts of the game requires the player to find power fruit in the lush forest world to help the titan regain strength. Once Majin regains some power, it can lift large gates and remove other obstacles from your path. You can also command the titan to restore health, attack enemies, and wait or follow your character. Majin can also help elevate Tupeu to hard-to-reach places.

Enemies in Forsaken Kingdom are anthropomorphic tar-covered creatures that presumably were once people themselves, an element we expect will later be explained through the game’s narrative. You can fight these enemies using combo attacks, or more effectively stealth attacks by creeping up from behind. As previously mentioned, you can also send Majin after swarms of enemies once it gains enough strength. If both characters are in battle, you have to keep an eye on them both. If enemies surround Majin and begin to climb the giant, it’s up to you to defend your partner and fight them off. Though these mechanics would lend themselves well to co-op play, Namco tells us the game will strictly be single-player to help the player build an emotional attachment to both characters.

The environment can also be used as an offensive tool. In the demo the duo was perched on a ledge above a group of enemies. After luring enemies toward them, Majin pushed a giant block over the ledge smashing foes underneath. Finding other ways to take on large groups of enemies is key to survival as they can quickly do quite a number on our main character. Once Tupeu takes a substantial amount of damage, he will slowly become consumed by black sludge, which is a cue to head over to Majin for health restoration as opposed to a typical damage indicator on the HUD.

Majin and the Forsaken Kingdom is an attractive title that borrows Team Ico’s partner-based gameplay mechanics in a new world. Forsaken Kingdom is due out for Xbox 360 and PS3 this winter. While we’re fairly limited on details at this time, I’m hopeful the game will offer enough unique mechanics and polish to stand against the flood of AAA titles that hit over the holidays. It could be a real win for Namco if done right.

  • This game looks beautiful. I want it in and around my pants now.

  • Sounds wonderful.

  • i'm immediately reminded of Fable and Team Ico's games when i see this game. it looks fun and the game itself looks beautiful and full of color and life. i like the whole partnership aspect of it and how the game focuses on friendship. i love to play different games and this doesn't look to disappoint.

  • It's almost like a mix between Ico and Shadow of the Colossus.

  • Not so sure about the pedigree, but what I've seen of THIS game makes me want it. Majin kinda reminds me of one of the Wild Things from the Sendak book, which is of course a good comparison. Also the other games it's being compared to speaks positively of this title.

  • It looks like it could be shapping up to be a decent title. I dont think its going to be a blowout or anything. But looks fun and entertaining.

  • where the wild things are??

  • This is one of my most anticipated titles after The Last Guardian.   Another art masterpiece from the masters at Game Republic, & this will be their magnum opus...

  • oh wow, i'm really looking forward to the Last Guardian and i'm a huge Miyazaki fan, so this game is sounding great. i love a good emotional game, and this one looks beautiful and fascinating. can't wait to hear more about it

  • it looks beautiful!thankfully it's coming out for both platforms,so i'll have something to tide me over until i can get a PS3 (because i REALLY want to get The Last Guardian)!

  • Interesting.  Given the developer's history of games, I wouldn't expect this game to be excellent, but, hopefully, it will be a very enjoyable and worthy of at least one playthrough.

  • This definitely has the vibe of a Holiday release.

  • As soon as I heard it took inspiration from Team Ico I knew this game was going to look beautiful and awesome.

    Not many games do well like Team Ico in terms of emotion and/or art but hopefully this one can live up to Team Icos standards. Looking forward to it this winter.

  • Seems a bit too "by the book", even with a uniquely endearing monster-guy. Hoping the best, but expecting mediocre : /

  • looks like it will be one of those special games that sell really poorly but manage to gain a strong cult following like ICO or Psychonauts.  its a shame it probably wont sell well, but im grateful that there are still some developers out their willing to make unique but risky games that have no real chance of selling as good as a generic blockbuster.  they will get my money and praise (assuming the game turns out as good as it looks), and thats the best i can do for them.  

  • That second paragraph is dead on -- the whole reason I'm interested in this and have been following it is because it has shades of Castle in the Sky or Totoro in it, at least as much as Last Guardian. I wonder then, why the main character is so...weird looking. He has big eyes, and he lacks charm entirely and wears tribal clothing and whatnot. NOT a good main character design, but the game still looks brilliant. Even though Game Republic is an inconsistent studio (Folklore was amazing), this is DEFINITELY something to keep an eye on. I wish it were coming sooner than winter, but it's a must buy for me this holiday season, along with Epic Mickey. My personal christmas list is starting to fill up now...

  • using the environment as a weapon. Interesting.