Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Majin and the Forsaken Kingdom

All Screenshots that i have used only represent one small area and one boss fight within the game.

   Have you heard of Majin and the Forsaken Kingdom? No? Well you really should have because this is one of the most beautiful and heart warming games I have played. Its heart warming without being overtly sickeningly cutesy and cuddly like some games, which to me, is something that can be hit and miss, not least off putting at times. But this game really is a classic in its own right, a hidden gem that won’t fail to impress those who play it and love the genre(s) to which this title comfortably fits in. Forget about trying the demo for this game as its one of those that isn’t really representative of the actual game, and unfortunately fails to show off a lot of its good points to those that want a sneak peek before they buy. If you like platformers, puzzle solving, and hack ‘n’ slash games, this game evenly balances all three into the mix, so have some faith, support Bandai Namco by buying this game new and enjoy it, you’ll love it I promise!

   The game follows two characters throughout the game, one of which you will play as, the other you instruct through commands to help you during your quest. Tepeu who is a thief with the ability to speak to animals and is the character you will control throughout the game, where as the Majin, a friendly ogre/monster and protector of the kingdom is the character you issue commands to. While you have full control over Tepeu, you can only issue orders to the Majin, such as attack, wait, getting him to open heavy doors and turn leavers that are far too heavy for Tepeu, and as such both characters are essentially two half’s that together, make a whole. Tepeu is the character that will do all the nimble sneaking around, climbing and all the general platforming elements you would expect from a platformer, as well as the fighting elements, though his attacks are very limiting in power and range. The majin, who you command, holds all the power-ups and special abilities, such as discharging electric bolts, breathing in and out fire and much more besides, and all of which are used for both solving puzzles and attacking enemies. Essentially the characters need each other, this makes for a very interesting game, having the platforming elements given to the playable character Tepeu, but the special abilities and powerful attacks given to the command based character Majin, and it works seamlessly.

   The story is told through character development and the friendship that builds up between Tepeu and Majin, oft times through conversations between the two characters at certain points in the game. Other parts of the story are told through beautiful Asian shadow puppet style animated cut scenes which mostly deal with what happened to the kingdom and the Majin in the past, all of which helps gradually build up the story of the game as you progress. The friendship that slowly builds up between the two loveable characters is one of brilliance, and clearly shows mastery over character development and storytelling. As the game moves along you will care for the characters and warm to them, and the story never feels pushed or forcefully cute and bubbly, it is just naturally presented and subtly crafted together.

   The game is split up into five different areas, each one becoming more difficult and building on each new ability you have learned with the Majin, be it using his electric bolt to bring a leaver of lift to life, or getting him to swing Tepeu around in a circle to strike multiple enemies at once. Each area is split up into several sections, each having its own puzzle or set of sequential puzzles that has to be solved for you to progress further through the game, and at the end of each a boss that must be beaten. All the puzzles in the game require you to use both Tepeu and Majin to solve them, but rest assured as they are easy enough to work out, being a challenge to pull off, yet refraining from being too infuriating to know what it is you have to do. Beating enemies as well as the bosses is a gentle mixture of hack ‘n’ slash and puzzle elements blended together, this fits well with the rest of the game as it drives you on to use what you have learned in the game thus far, using your wits, rather than resting on your laurels.

   I have to say that Majin and the Forsaken Kingdom is a fantastic game, well worth buying brand new, and quite frankly is one of the few games I have played recently that has been a welcomed break from all the hyper action titles so prevalent these days. It’s a great game that’s not the norm, its not one that follows any current trends, nor one that tries to overtly copy any other game in the vein hope of appealing to the great mass of the gaming public. It’s a game made with heart and passion, it has soul and speaks volumes, one that was made for the love of gaming itself rather than the love of money, and it did well by not chasing the buck or by diluting its many elements. It’s a shame that it hasn’t reached a wider audience and been a bigger success in its own right, but I’d wager that those of us that have been fortunate to play through it have all had an amazing enjoyable experience, and one we are keen to share with others.

A few extra points to consider that's not mentioned in the mini review
  • The game is a bit slow for the first 3 hours or so due to the game teaching you the ropes of the game, but the game does dramatically pick up afterwards and soon hits its stride, so give the game a chance at look past the first few hours.
  • The musical score really fits the game well and is a significantly memorable one.
  • The story is a real tear jerker towards the end.
  • Unlike some platformers, you wont have any problems with the camera angles in this game.


Nice review! This was one of those games that I was interested in, but then put off by the demo...so as you say it's not really representative of the game as a whole, I might give this a go if I see it around!

Thanks, yeah it is definitally a beautifl and enjoyable game to play through, and one with puzzles that has only one or two frustrating parts towards the end. I forgot to mention in the review as well that the first 3 hours or so is slow due to the game teaching the player the ropes, but afterwards the game springs to life. I honestly cant recommend this games enough, we need more modern games like this.

Post a Comment


Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More