• It’s been a long time since Gurumin was in the gaming sphere since it’s Steam release about a year ago. Following it’s PSP port from 2009 from publisher Mastiff they have once again tried their hand at making the game a success with the 3DS version. While it’s still the fun game it always was, there are some obvious version differences to take note of. Thankfully it’s differences are such that it’s still worth picking up.

    The game is about a young girl named Parin, who has moved in with her Grandfather in another town while her parents are on a trip somewhere exploring. While exploring, Parin notices an anomaly in an alley, and ends up in Monster Village, and immediately becomes the townspeople’s friends. But when Parin decides to explore this new world looking for a monster, she returns to find Monster Village destroyed. Now it’s up to her to find all of the monsters, fix the village, and stop the Phantoms from causing anymore trouble. There’s a lot of great humor in the game, with intentionally awkward voice acting and physical comedy. There’s also some general oddities like an older guy asking girls to go on dates with him. But it’s mostly a cute little action platforming romp.

    Levels are dungeon hopping affairs, where combat plays out like your typical action game, but with some twists. In the original game, you had a drill lance weapon, which could be powered up three levels, and parts can be attached to it which imbue it with elements. These elements can be used to solve puzzles and exploit enemy weaknesses. There are also some upgrades you can buy like helmets that can offer passive bonuses, like immunity to poison gas or extra money drops. Special skills can also be purchased that give you new attacks. I highly recommend buying those first. Not that the game is particularly hard, at least until you get to Hard difficulty and harder. You do have a dodge roll dash to avoid attacks, so make use of it liberally. It’s a real fun game, but the 3DS version has some differences from even the Steam release that you should know about.

    The biggest difference in the game is the removal of the Stars and rhythm based combat system. One reason for this seems to be from the fact that’s it’s mostly pointless since the pace of the beats is such that most attacks will end up becoming critical hits anyway. The other noticeable difference would be the omission of the mini-map. Not really a big deal as the game’s dungeons are very linear, with almost no backtracking. As a design choice it is kind of bad, since you can earn medals for S-Ranking a level. This usually means breaking all the pots, opening all the chests, and killing every monster. Aside from the obvious downgrade in graphical quality and overall framerate, there are some spots in the game where the framerate dips while in 3D mode. It’s better to play the game with the 3D off, so you can at least enjoy a mostly stable 30 FPS. Although some of the enemy animations are missing frames entirely which is kind of bizarre. The touch screen does at least let players quickly swap out headgear and elemental parts, or save the game. So the real question you need to ask yourself is if you want to play this game on the 3DS because you didn’t pick it up on the PSP/Vita or Steam. As long as you aren’t bothered by the lower visual fidelity of the game, Gurumin 3D is a great way to experience one of Falcom’s quirkiest titles. The differences actually only amount to some minor gripes, and aren’t deal breakers by any means. I so do pine for a sequel, and I hope Mastiff can help make that happen.

    Gurumin 3D : A Monstrous Adventure - Review
    A good port of a great platforming action game produced by Falcom.
    Our Score8.5
    • The game feels like a lost game from the Dreamcast era, and it couldn't be better any other way.
    • The rhythm based combat of the original and Steam versions of the game is gone.
    • The framerate does dip in some places even without the 3D off.
    8.5Overall Score
    Reader Rating: (1 Vote)

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