I have noted in the past, often at great length, sometimes a $60 game does not deliver what I feel is a fair amount of entertainment. This can be caused by buggy gameplay, poor story or direction, terrible voice acting or being made by South Peak. This is true for most things in life hence the phrase you get what you pay for, most often heard after your $5 bathing suit falls apart in the wash….or the public pool. That being said when an AAA title does come up short it’s easy to lash out at it and pick it apart. Honestly, it’s rather fun. Not too often though a low priced game over comes the built in cost to fun ratio that gamers have and surprises us like Tyrone. This is becoming more common though with some of the great titles that indie shops are pumping out and offerings on XBLA (I’m still cursing out Trials HD). Majin and the Forsaken Kingdom defiantly hit the sweet spot for fun versus cost.
I had been interested in Majin since before its release but giving the fact that JRPGs suck free time like some hybrid of a black hole and a porn star, I opted to pass on it when it was released. Then came the day when Amazon was offering it for $9. I couldn’t resist and so another game was thrown on the pile. When I finally got around to playing it, mostly due to being couch ridden after my shoulder decided it was tired of being ignored and committed seppuku, I was down right shocked at how much I enjoyed it.
The story follows a young thief who is in search of the ancient beast Majin to help him rid the once glorious kingdom of the evil force that has over run it. The unnamed thief finds and frees the Majin from a dungeon deep under the castle, and in return the Majin agrees to help him and names him Tepeu. That may all sound strange as hell, but compared to some other JRPGs out there *glares at Star Ocean* it’s pretty solid. The dialog is a little rough around the edges, but not so much it ruins the experience *sneers at MindJack*.
The buddy fighting system works really well in the world. While it is annoying sometimes waiting for the Majin to catch up, and while seeing him trip the first time was amusing, around time 300 I wanted to smack his fat head. The Combo finishes are nicely animated and the control scheme works well. Combat had a good over all flow but was a bit button mashy.
A good portion of the game is puzzle solving, which while never to terribly difficult, does require some forethought. The game does a nice job spreading the work load to both characters and not over using one particular power that the Majin has. For most puzzles you would direct Majin to a certain area or to pull a lever or attack an enemy while your character controlled a secondary event. Controlling the lumbering beast at times was a pain, but that was due mostly to bad camera angles.
The only real downside to the game is length and challenge. I cleared the game and side quests in just less than 20 hours. With some JRPGs you wouldn’t even of gotten to the good stuff at that point *sideways look at FF13*. Majin and the Forsaken Kingdom feels more like an intro class to JRPGs. Baby’s first JRPG if you will. There’s no pesky battle system to learn. No ridiculously convoluted upgrade system. The main character’s hair is not even that over the top.
All in all it was a fun game that I got enjoyment out of. I will say that I was on a lot of Percocet at the time for the aforementioned shoulder malfunction, but I’m pretty sure I still genuinely enjoyed the game. Amazon’s got the game for $25, which may be a bit steep for nonJRPG players, but if you looking for a good intro to the genre or looking for a simple JRPG romp to kill time until Skyrim or FF13-2 come out, this will fill the void nicely.
While on the topic of the case of Fun V. Cost I recently received an item in the mail. A few weeks ago I placed and order with Figure Prints. If you haven’t heard of them they turn WOW avatars into real life statuettes and also offer XBL avatars as well. I was intrigued enough to order one, mostly out of narcissism. Due to a hectic schedule and generally shitty memory I had forgotten about the order and when it arrived earlier this week, I pulled out my best Brad Pitt impersonation as I always do when a mysterious box is waiting for me.
I will tell you honestly, the photos do not do it justice, this thing is gorgeous. The detail on it is astounding. If you need some fun desk candy or a gift for the Xbox/WOW gamer in your life I highly recommend placing an order.
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