Monday, April 17, 2017

Gurumin 3D: A Monstrous Adventure Review (Nintendo 3DS)

Written by Patrick Orquia 


Title: Gurumin 3D: A Monstrous Adventure
Publisher: Mastiff
Developer: Nihon Falcom
Genre: Action, RPG
No. of Players: 1
Release Date (Exclusive to the 3DS eShop): 13th Oct 2016, $14.99 (NA) / 27th Oct 2016, £14.99/€14.99 (EU)
Platform: 3DS Systems



Gurumin 3D: A Monstrous Adventure is a remastered port of the game that was originally released for the PC and Sony PSP over a decade ago. Aside from the added stereo 3D effect, not much has been changed in the graphics from the original, but since the world and the characters are brightly colored and cute, its age doesn’t seem to factor much, though some frame rate drops can be encountered from time to time. It may not be the most technically amazing games on 3DS now, but its lovable characters, with surprisingly good voice acting, more than makes up for it.




In the game, you play as Parin, a little girl who comes to a quiet mining town where her grandfather resides to live with him, since her parents are adventurers and travel a lot. There are no other children living in the town, much to Parin’s disappointment, but she soon discovers that monsters only visible to her live at a nearby Monster Village that is adjacent to the town, accessible via a small hole in the wall. Parin gets quickly involved with the monsters’ lives when one day, Phantoms, enemies of the monsters, attack the village and it is now up to Parin to help them rebuild it by conquering other nearby dungeon areas and getting rid of enemies.

The game is a 3D action-adventure game that relies heavily on real-time combat mechanics, similar to the 3D Zelda games with added RPG elements. In between levels, you can change and upgrade Parin’s accessories, such as the gas mask and goggles, to get different beneficial effects. You can also upgrade Parin’s weapon of choice, a drill, with different elemental parts, such as fire, for added attack power. Parin also has health and energy levels that can be upgraded as you defeat bosses.




The core of the game is arranged as a set of dungeon areas that open access to other ones as they are cleared. These dungeon areas are linear, but contain some walls that can be broken using Parin’s drill to reveal some hidden areas that contain treasures or enemies to beat.

Most of the enemies in the game are not much of a problem to beat. Most of them have very similar attack patterns and weak points, though the armored ones and boss battles can be a bit more challenging if you come less prepared. You can do some preparations before going to an area by buying food from the town bakery that can replenish lost health during battles. These food items can also be found from chests and breakable jars in some areas. There are also some heal points where Parin can replenish all her health. Defeated enemies drop coins which can be used to purchase food and accessory upgrades. Some stronger enemies also drop junk parts, which can be used to upgrade Parin’s weapon and learn new attack moves, such as strong area attacks that hit multiple enemies at once. This make revisiting dungeons easier, which can be done to farm for coins or junk parts, if needed.



Overall, I enjoyed playing this game, despite it being a port and at times, it showed its age. The lovable, quirky characters got me hooked, and the simple yet engaging game mechanics made me wanting for more. Most of the dungeons could be beaten in less than 15 minutes, ideal for short play times on a portable console. Anyone can easily pick up this game and play it right away without having to go through any long tutorial stages or having to get entangled with complicated storylines and backstories. I recommend this game to anyone who wants a good action-adventure RPG with brightly colored lovable characters. For $15, you’ll surely get your money’s worth, plus more.



PROS:
  • Cute character designs
  • Very good soundtrack
  • Surprisingly good voice acting during cut scenes, despite the animation being not as good.
  • Simple gameplay, with most attack moves easily executed with just a simple A button mashing. Advanced attack moves are also available and the button combinations for them are not too complicated, though targeting enemies is not very accurate
  • Options and item slots can be quickly accessed via the touchscreen
  • Offers good post-game rewards, such us additional dresses and difficulty modes
  • Reasonably priced, though it would have been better if it was cheaper

CONS:

  • Stereo 3D is not implemented very well on this game. You can see the effect, but it is quite negligible and doesn’t really add much to the experience of the game
  • The graphics is largely unchanged from the original release and thus its age is quite apparent
  • Frequent frame rate drops can be experienced, especially during fight scenes and transitions between areas
  • Camera angles can be a bit cumbersome at times but can be quickly fixed since the camera can be turned 360 degrees from left to right, but not from top to bottom
  • No in-game map of the current dungeon that the player is currently in


SCORE: 4/5 cutesy monster stars