Majin And The Forsaken Kingdom
is an excellent game, but overall, several factors keep it from being as good as it could be.
The concept is very similar to Ico
: You control a helpless human being who must aid a powerful creature in order to solve whatever problem is at hand, whether it be a puzzle or a horrifying monster, he caveat here being that your partner has the maneuverability of a fish while you have the equivalent strength. However, Bamco added several things that set it apart from the team's masterpieces.
Unlike Ico, you and the Majin have to work together in order to succeed, using his strength and elemental powers in tandem with your stealth and agility, in order to succeed in puzzles. Battle also consists of fast-paced combat and liberal use of the Combination Attack
. This reinforces the friendship theme of the story, and it works well.
The story is also well done, starring a plucky young thief working together with what is essentially Barney as a powered gorilla. You get to see both characters' pasts and become close to them. The presentation is also first-rate, with the incredible environments
interspersed with storybook-style cutscenes for flashbacks.
However, there are problems that could've been easily solvable, almost painfully so. The Majin, for example, is needlessly slow in an effort to highlight his Gentle Giant Dumb Muscle
personality, but it doesn't endear, it annoys. Especially when he trips and you have to slow down just to keep up. Frustrating a player does not endear a character, Bamco.
Another problem is that there's no concrete character growth. Oh sure you have two different kinds of EXP (stats and combination), and the Majin gets stronger by eating fruits, but your own character is static. Sure he gets more health and strength, but he no new skills. He'll still have the same three-hit combo, thrust and jump attack by the end of the game. Couldn't they have added more for him?
A less forgivable problem is the use of Memory Shards. It takes no skill to find them, just mindless patience because they only appear at night. Useless Padding
for no reason whatsoever.
However, these are only minor problems. Fast-paced battles, brilliant presentation and a heartfelt story bring a definite recommendation to your game library.