The developers try to mix things up, gameplay wise, a little bit by including a customizable equipment and armor option and leveling for both characters. Different costume pieces can be found scattered around the world which will help your character(s) increase their abilities in different areas such as combat or agility. Aside from the partner controls of the game, this is probably the only other strongpoint of Majin and the Forsaken Kingdom. It proves to be very beneficial for players to seek out improved equipment and to experiment with different combinations depending on how they wish to approach the game, but you honestly won’t “want to” after a while. The rest of the game proves to be so monotonous that it becomes more of a chore than anything. The leveling system would have been a beneficial feature of the game had players been given the ability to choose how the progression effected the character(s). Instead, it just proves to give you access to preset abilities as time progresses based on how many enemies you defeat and treasure chests that you found. You don’t directly get to dictate how your characters grow and improve, aside from the equipment, which in turn almost cancels out the whole point of statistically leveling your character in the first place.
While both the Majin and Teteu “look” interesting, you will find yourself wishing they were mutes very quickly. The voice acting of the game is downright atrocious; even beyond the point of being comical. The Majin in particular, is portrayed, vocally speaking, as a big, stupid beast and Teteu comes across as your typical, pompous rogue. The Majin is constantly speaking to you throughout the adventure and the same phrases are repeated over, and over, and over, and over… he just doesn’t stop. Namco really should have included an option to completely turn off the voiceovers and rely solely on subtitles; it really would have made a world of difference in a positive way.
While the partner-control scheme of Majin and the Forsaken Kingdom sets a benchmark for similar games, the rest of the package leaves a lot to be desired. The game controls like a dream when it comes to instructing your Majin around the screen, everything else will either bore or frustrate you. The story is unoriginal, the graphics are bland and dreary, the combat system is archaic and unresponsive, and the voice over work is atrocious. The game is playable and interesting in short spurts but it really pales in comparison to its peers in the genre. It is almost sort of fitting that the game was lost in the Christmas-shuffle as that sort of describes the game as a whole: lost in mediocrity.
* The product in this article was sent to us by the developer/company for review.
Majin and the Forsaken is the definition of a mediocre title. Nearly every aspect of the game is bland and unoriginal, with the exception of a great control scheme when it comes to controlling the non-playable Majin. Some players may find a tolerable adventure in the game, but don’t expect much else.
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