Brand new action adventure title Majin And The Forsaken Kingdom is the latest release from Japan’s Game Republic. You explore the game through the character of Tepeu, a young thief who sets out to free a giant mythical beast names Majin and help him to reclaim his powers in order to save the kingdom, which has become forsaken by a mysterious and pervasive darkness. With citizens disappearing at the hands of strange warriors who rise from the darkness, Tapeu and Majin set out on a deadly trip to uncover the forgotten past and truth hidden in the Kingdom.
The game is mesmerising to look at as one progresses through lush environments; the 2D cut scenes are particularly impressive. The environment is subtle and impressive, as the ancient world is depicted with a real sense of atmosphere, let down only by some clumsy lighting effects, which reveal a lack of detail and texture, particularly in the background elements. Visually, the depiction of Majin also leaves a little to be desired, with his movements too rigid to convey the personality he has.
As a character, Majin is a brilliant creation; kids and bigger kids alike are bound to fall for his lovable charms. There are no Neverending Story style flying piggybacks, but you do get to command everything he does. Essentially he comes across as a well-trained dog, with the occasional mischievous trait. However, what initially comes across as clumsy and cute can grow to become a little irritating after while, as his tendency to ignore you and get distracted by enemies begins to irk. Majin acts essentially as a tool or solution element for many of the games puzzles, as new abilities are added to his repertoire as you progress in the game. Each puzzle successfully solved adds more options for overcoming obstacles. Jump on his back to access high platforms, or use him to launch Tepeu through the air on to ledges. Tepeu battles enemies most effectively using stealth to despatch enemies with a single blow, but when fights are unavoidable you can team up to lower the enemies energy levels, using satisfyingly strong combination moves in co-operation with Majin to finish battles more effectively. Rewards are given for such moves and help to increase the skill level of future combinations.
Sadly the voice-overs are memorable for the wrong reasons, jarring against the rich atmosphere created both visually and from the music. Majin voice is particularly annoying, which is a shame as he is your best friend in the game. This is perhaps indicative of some of the lapses in attention to detail that let the game down at times. Overall the narrative and flow of the gameplay are more than enough to keep you interested in this game, and the buddy story of Tepeu and Majin is sure to please most.