Gurumin: A Monstrous Adventure Review
Gurumin: A Monstrous Adventure box art
System: PSP Review Rating Legend
Dev: Nihon Falcom 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: Mastiff Games 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Feb.13, 2007 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: E 10+ 3.5 - 3.9 = Good
A cutesy kid game that every adult should play
by Matthew Walker

We all had an imaginary friend at least once in our lives. Some of us, to this day, still have fond memories of our childhood friends that no one else could see but us. In many of our adventures from our youth, we could take the smallest thing and let our imaginations thrive in saving the lost artifact from the evil Nazis (I always thought I was Indiana Jones or Captain America). Now imagine for a moment that these imaginary friends we had, or have, were not just figments of our overactive imaginations. What if those friends where actually from another dimension and they had a home, friends, and their imaginary friends were us? Mastiff Games and Nihon Falcom have taken this concept and turned it into a challenging game for your PSP handheld.

Gurumin: A Monstrous Adventure screenshot

We all had an imaginary friend at least once in our lives. Some of us, to this day, still have fond memories of our childhood friends that no one else could see but us. In many of our adventures from our youth, we could take the smallest thing and let our imaginations thrive in saving the lost artifact from the evil Nazis (I always thought I was Indiana Jones or Captain America). Now imagine for a moment that these imaginary friends we had, or have, were not just figments of our overactive imaginations. What if those friends where actually from another dimension and they had a home, friends, and their imaginary friends were us? Mastiff Games and Nihon Falcom have taken this concept and turned it into a challenging game for your PSP handheld.

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From this point on, you will control the cutesy pink haired Parin and will scour the land in search of the villagers kidnapped by the Phantoms and their "furniture" that will be used to rebuild the Monster Village. With each new piece of furniture, you come closer and closer to opening new areas to explore for up to 10-15 hours of strong gameplay. Parin starts out with a basic set of combat moves to use against villains. After you progress through the game, you will acquire new moves and skills that you can change out for the originals. You will also be able to change out drill parts for more of an elemental effect. The attacks are simple to figure out. With each hit you deliver or receive, your drill gauge will either fill or diminish, respectfully. The three level drill gauge is important because of the power behind each of the special attacks you can dish out. The only problem with relying on these powerful attacks is that some of the Phantoms may block or dodge the attack, thus depleting the drill gauge greatly. Some of the enemies might even be wearing armor. Fortunately, Parin can drill off most armor, which you might be able to pick up and use. Additionally, you receive coins that you can use to purchase items at the shops in Tiese.

Gurumin: A Monstrous Adventure screenshot

The main story is not the only draw to the game. The story mode itself is rather quick if you don't rely on the number of medals you acquire or the many items you can collect throughout the game. However, for those of us that love to search every little crook and cranny of a game for that one thing they might have missed, Gurumin offers a great experience. While searching for all of the hidden items will be challenging enough, for those that just require more, there will be five different levels of play to help you master your skills for those who require more Three of these will be unlocked once you defeat the game once through. With mini-games like a version of whack-a-mole and a laser leaping, the various unlockables you can obtain are rewarded with ease. After you beat each new record on the mini-games, you will be rewarded accordingly. You will also able to find different costumes for Parin to wear; this adds a bit of customization to an already deep game. This reward for working hard gameplay is a nice change from the usual smash'em up, beat'em up adventure games.

Strict anime feel to the graphics, which provide sharp colorful characters and backgrounds, and the great voice acting, the only thing harming the sound of the game is the lackluster score, Gurumin suffers in an area that is both trivial and yet extremely bothersome - backtracking. This element to adventure games has plagued the market for years, but here it is far worse than it should have been. For instance, instead of automatically unlocking a new area of play once you find a new piece of "furniture," you have to travel all the way back to Tiese to return it and then travel back to where you were in order to access it. When you couple this nuisance with the insane load times, you will suffer the wrath of the load time Gods.

Gurumin: A Monstrous Adventure screenshot

Aside from the load times and the backtracking, Gurumin provides a great gaming experience. If you are looking for a game that is both rewarding and pleasantly filled with tons of playability factor, then look no further. Anyone who will give this game a chance is in for quite a surprisingly fresh and thought out game. With its cute colorful graphics and simple yet entertaining quests, Gurumin: A Monstrous Adventure is one of the few games everyone should play if for nothing else than the sheer fun of it.

By Matthew Walker
CCC Freelance Writer

Features:

  • Non-linear game play set in vast world with a variety of stages in different environments.
  • 23 non-player characters, 48 unique enemies, and over 90 items to collect.
  • Destroy everything in your path with a legendary drill: almost all objects are destructible, and many hide coins and valuable items.
  • Challenging boss battles.
  • Puzzle and trap-filled dungeons.
  • Mini-games galore!

    Rating out of 5
    Rating Description

    3.5

    Graphics
    Strong anime characters beautifully rendered in lavish environments.

    4.1

    Control
    Responsive and tight controls make the action fast paced.

    3.2

    Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
    The short supplied score is flooded by voice acting and great sound effects.

    3.8

    Play Value
    Challenging and several customizable features make it real easy to swallow the 15 hours of gameplay.

    4.0

    Overall Rating - Great
    Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.


  • Screenshots / Images
    Gurumin: A Monstrous Adventure screenshot – click to enlarge Gurumin: A Monstrous Adventure screenshot – click to enlarge Gurumin: A Monstrous Adventure screenshot – click to enlarge Gurumin: A Monstrous Adventure screenshot – click to enlarge
    Gurumin: A Monstrous Adventure screenshot – click to enlarge Gurumin: A Monstrous Adventure screenshot – click to enlarge Gurumin: A Monstrous Adventure screenshot – click to enlarge Gurumin: A Monstrous Adventure screenshot – click to enlarge

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