It’s such a nice feeling when a game comes around and grabs your attention. When it’s all you think about and you count down the minutes until you get your hands on the controller to play, you know you’ve found yourself a great game. Gurumin: A Monstrous Adventure was that game for me! The game play, music, and the characters were all fantastic and very well done.
You take the role of a little girl named Parin who has just moved to the small village of Tiese to live with her grandpa while her parents are out on an expedition. Tiese as you’ll soon discover, is a very small mining town with not many inhabitants. Out on a stroll Parin comes across what she thinks is a fellow kid, as kids are rare in the town of Tiese. She soon discovers that the kid is a monster! Don’t worry, these monsters are friendly and cute, not your typical monsters!
Soon the monster village gets destroyed by the evil Prince and his phantoms. The monsters have you pull the legendary weapon from the ground and presto, you’re the hero! Your job is to help rebuild the monster village and help the monsters find their lost possessions scattered throughout the land. Your legendary weapon is a drill. At first I didn’t think this was a good weapon but boy was a wrong. There is some awesome mechanics built around the drill
You navigate from place to place via a world map. Most of the areas are blocked off by dark clouds. At the end of some levels you’ll find items which belong to various monsters back in the village. When you take them back to the right monster, more areas will unlock on the map. You fight in real time with your drill. At first your attacks are limited but you can buy drill upgrades back in town to unleash some pretty powerful moves. You can buy and even find different hair pieces which act as armor. Each piece has a unique ability such as raising your chances of a critical hit, or raising your defense up to 25%. Of course there is much more than that but I don’t want to spoil it all! Two that come in handy and you’ll use the most are the goggles which prevent water damage and allows you to swim. The other is the gas mask which protects you from poisonous gases.
There are ways to upgrade these pieces as well. You do this by collecting junk! Junk can be found in trash cans or by drilling off weapons and armor carried by enemies. I really enjoyed this and thought it was a neat mechanic. Some enemies will be equipped with things and if you hold down your attack button and release, you’ll thrust your drill into the enemy thus knocking off it’s armor and weapons. Pick these up and they are added to your junk for upgrading your equipment. Be careful, some enemies will try to grab their weapons back! There are also different elements you find that equip to your drill. The fire, ice and thunder parts are cleverly hidden but are a must have! For instance, there are some puzzles that require you light torches with the fire parts, or put fire out with the ice parts. Your drill can reach up to level 3 but taking damage lowers your level. To rise and keep your drill level up, attack to the beat of the music. The music bar at the top of the screen keeps track of the beat and each time you match it your drill level increases and you get a critical hit.
You’ll return to town frequently to stock up on cakes and cookies which restore your HP. I love games that have one central town you return to. It makes you feel at home and almost like you know the NPCs. Grandpa will exchange medals you get after each stage. Gold medals can get you new equipment while he offers cash for the bronze and silver medals. Grandma will open mystery bags that you’ll find. They contain various items. Of course there’s a shop for upgrading and buying equipment. You can even go to your room and change into different costumes!
I could go on and about Gurumin. There is a lot to do and explore. The story and the cast will keep you entertained and you’ll want to come back. They even went as far as to give Parin idle animations which I love. On snowy levels she’ll sneeze or shiver. In town in a shop I’ve seen her bust out a dance! There are some secrets as well and even a different character you can switch to, but I couldn’t do it. I felt it was Parin’s game and it felt wrong to switch. Gurumin was apparently a PSP release back in 2007 and sadly I missed out. If you did the same, be sure to grab it now! You’re in for a treat and I promise you’ll enjoy it!
- Fantastic game play with lots to find and explore
- Interesting cast of characters
- Nice story with some twists and turns
- Lot of replay value
- Drilling enemies is satisfying
- Destructible environments is also satisfying
- Camera can be an issue, but nothing major
- Full controller support!!!!