I’m gonna cue this one up right next, because I played it right after I beat InFamous. Keep that in mind as I go.
So Majin takes place in…the Forsaken Kingdom. Wouldn’t want to confuse you, there. Hundreds of years ago, this kingdom was once a thriving, prosperous place, until suddenly one night a great darkness swept over it, bringing with it dark immortal warriors who overran the kingdom. The people were scattered, and now are only barely able to survive as the land slowly dies. You take on the role of a young thief with no name, who has the unusual ability to speak with animals. He sneaks into the kingdom, hoping to find some way to stop the evil before mankind dies out. Inside, he discovers the legendary Majin, the former protector of the kingdom, who has been sealed away. He frees the Majin, and the two work together to restore the Majin’s powers and stop the evil. The Majin (named Teotl) gives you the name Tepeu, the name of his first friend, who also had the ability to speak with animals.
So gameplay is a little curious. As a thief, you can sneak and jump around, and even sneak attack unsuspecting enemies, but your climbing ability is pretty lacking. I only mention this because it was a huge change after InFamous to NOT be able to scale walls with ease. But your sneaking is also hampered by the fact that you have a GIANT MONSTER following you around. Teotl is huge, man! Because of this, there’s a fair amount of combat in the game. You control Tepeu, but you can also give the Majin commands, which is a pretty core function of the game. Commands are fairly simple: Follow/Stop, Attack, Use Power, Feed. You feed him to restore his life. The Majin does a lot of the actual beating of the enemies, but you can attack too. The fun part comes when you combine your attacks! If Teotl does enough damage to an enemy, and then Tepeu attacks that same enemy, you can perform a combination attack that creates a shockwave, damaging all nearby enemies. As you progress, Teotl eventually regains his powers, that of wind, lightning, fire, and purification.
This segways into my next topic of the game: the power of friendship! It really is a major focus of the game. You even level it up by performing combo attacks. Teotl is a pretty simple creature, only wanting to eat and sleep, but he’s also focused on protecting the kingdom and defeating the monsters that inhabit it. He quickly forms an attachment to Tepeu, and we’re treated to occasional flashbacks (done in a really cool silhouette style, I should add) of the time before the kingdom fell, ranging from when he first met the first Tepeu to just before he was put to sleep.
Aside from combat, there are also puzzles you get to solve! These puzzle range from very simple to being actually really freakin’ confusing. None of them are actually terribly difficult, but the game doesn’t do a very good job of giving you any hints or indicators as to how you should solve it. There was one in particular that I sat for an hour on before I finally gave in and looked it up online, and even then the answer still wasn’t obvious. But aside from that, the puzzles are still entertaining, though by the time you get to the second half of the game they’ve pretty much drained away and you focus mainly on combat.
Going back to combat for a moment, I want to say that the boss battles are really cool. Each boss is really huge, and requires you to do some thing in order to knock the boss down and strike at his weak point. Very Zelda-esque. But even still, the bosses are huge enough and fun enough to fight that it’s like who cares?
If it feels like I’m kinda struggling here, it’s because I am. The game is short, probably only about 15-20 hours long, and there’s not really much replay to it. You can easily get 100% on your first playthrough, I got Platinum trophy in all of a few days from start to end. Had I a full uninterrupted weekend to play it, I probably could have done it then. But even despite all this, I don’t think the game is ever bad. Maybe a little naïve at times, or childish, but really, the voice acting is very well done and the game looks very nice.
I want to note as well that, for a game with the name ‘the Forsaken Kingdom’, this is a really colorful game. Most of the kingdom has been overgrown and so there’s a really lush forest/jungle over the city, complete with very green trees and nice scenery. But at the same time, all this color and brightness seems off, somehow. There’s an underlying tone in the game that gives it an oddly sinister feel. I could never quite place it, even after completing the game. Nothing is ever really said directly about it, but there are implications that made me stop and ponder. Is this Tepeu just a man who happens to have the same power as the first Tepeu, or are they the same person? Is this kingdom caught in some kind of time loop? What exactly does happen to the darkness that Teotl absorbs? And for that matter, what exactly IS Teotl? Tepeu asks him once that question, but Teotl never answers. Flashbacks imply that he’s some kind of creature that gained these powers by eating fruit from some tree somewhere. But where? How? All these questions that are never answered left me with a very unsettled feeling, enhanced even more so by the final screenshot after the credits.
So I’ll wind down here, and finish things off. Is it a fun game? Fun enough. I enjoyed my playthrough, though I do wish that there was either more to the game or a better measure of replayability. Maybe being able to play as the Princess (did I mention there’s a Princess? There’s a Princess. She’s super awesome, dual-wields swords and can kick the crap out of anyone) in a second play, just anything to give the game more. I think that’s my only real complaint, is that there isn’t more to it after completion. I’m not sure I’d suggest buying it until the price drops, but it would definitely be worth a rent.