Review - Gurumin (PSP)

Discussion in 'GBAtemp Reviews & Guides' started by Chrono1102, Sep 2, 2006.

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Sep 2, 2006

Review - Gurumin (PSP) by Chrono1102 at 11:16 PM (1,423 Views / 0 Likes) 0 replies

  1. Chrono1102
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    Newcomer Chrono1102 Member

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    It’s been awhile. I haven’t written a single review ever since Animal Crossing for the DS, and I have to admit that when I look back at it, I can’t believe it got onto the boards in the first place. Filled to the brim with nasty, crappy jokes and horrible placing of derogatory phrases, it’s amazing that the moderators didn’t turn it down. That being said, at least I kept the bestiality joke out.

    Pros: Feels great, although the nub can become a problem, great music.
    Cons: Horrible voice acting for the main character, another dated port.

    The PSP has a problem. All, if not most of the RPGs released for the system have suffered under extreme suck. The Legend of Heroes series, and also unfortunately the Y’s series have been ragged on for poor game play, bad story, and long load times. 2/3 of these faults belong to Legend. I believe what I’m trying to get at here, is that Falcom, the maker of both these series, is in a rut. Port after port, each game has proved worthless, or annoying on the PSP platform. What can Falcom do to get them out of this hole they have dug themselves into? Make a new, original game that has great, new graphics, a great storyline and an interface that works well with the PSP? Sure they could, but here’s Gurumin for the PSP instead.

    What The Heck is It?

    What do you get when Tim Burton meets Hello Kitty in an acid trip, and tells her that he shall make a great new story idolizing her in all of her being? Probably not Gurumin, but you get the idea. Gurumin is an Action RPG that was released earlier on the PC in 2004, but looking at the graphics from this game, they could’ve fooled me into 7 years earlier, but more on that later. Gurumin is the first Falcom title to include voice acting as well, but more on that also later. For now, let’s focus on the story, and how it all feels.

    Gurumin stars Parin, or whatever you want to name her, in her quest to help her new found ghost (Obake) friends retrieve their missing crap from the Phantom Prince (Phantom Ouji) after he ransacked and destroyed the Obake Home, a quiet resting place for Parin’s Obake friends. Obake, obake, obake. The game starts out simple enough, you walk around your hometown called Tiese, and meet your first ghost friend*. No one else can see her but you, so because of that, and also probably because you saved her from a dog, they decide to become friends and venture into the dark alleyway of Tiese, which soon reveals to be the transport to Obake Home, where your adventure begins.

    *Spoiler: She gets kidnapped!

    But How Does It Play?

    Gurumin is an action RPG, so you can think of game play feeling like Zelda, but with HP. You control Parin in real-time. Monsters run around freely, and it’s up to you to both wander up to them and kill, kill, kill, or you can pass them by to save time. You can jump around as well, providing a variety of combo attacks with your little drill weapon in hand, which even includes a charge attack by holding down the attack button. The more monsters you smash, the more “EXP” your weapon will gain, and the stronger it becomes. With that being said don’t think that it’s a permanent thing. Think of it like a whip in your side-scrolling Castlevania game. It has three levels, and you can automatically level your weapon up in shiny holes in the ground, or just by smashing monsters and walls and stuff. However, the more you get hit, the lower level your weapon becomes, as well as losing HP.

    Are We Having Fun Yet?

    Game play is easy to get into, especially for fans of Zelda, Goemon on the N64, and Action RPGs of the like. You have a world map, which is entirely linear. Think Super Mario RPG with a little more movement then that. Places that progress the storyline are marked “New!” on the map. When you return items to your obake friends, newer areas open up. The dungeons are mostly linear, with a touch of hidden areas to explore, but none have proven to be more special that just a treasure chest, or some cash. You can also collect monster relics, by charge attacking monsters and collecting the helmets and other neat do-dads that fall from them. The camera is easy to control, and doesn’t get weird or spastic. There is puzzle solving to boot, but from the looks of it, even a 3rd grader could get past these puzzles just by a 5 second look at them. Sometimes, the frame rate can get choppy, but it usually happens during an in-game cinematic, and doesn’t take away from game play at all.

    How Does It Look and Sound?

    If there’s one thing Falcom can do, is make mediocre games using a wonderful soundtrack, and beautiful landscapes. Gurumin was made originally for the PC in 2004, but take a quick look at the character graphics, and you would suspect that it was made sometime in the 97-00 area. For a game made in 2004, I’ve seen better. However, the landscapes look great, as usual. A little glitchy at times, but it definitely lives up to Falcom’s standards. Falcom provides a soundtrack fully equipped with cute sounds and music, and it gets the point across to gamers that the game is…cute, for lack of a better word. That’s a good thing. Yet despite the decent soundtrack, and the cuteness, the voice acting is at most times lame, and uninspired, which is almost unheard of in a Japanese dub. Well, I suppose I’m being too unfair. The main character sounds like she’s in the same mood all the time, using the same tone of voice whether she’s depressed or excited. The other characters sound great though, but it comes down to the fact that you won’t be hearing those characters as often.

    With everything said and done, and all things considered, Gurumin is good, even for an effort from Falcom to keep shelling out old games for $40 a pop. The story is fun if not weird, the landscape is pretty, and the character handles well, even though the analog nub makes things difficult at times. Easily said, the good outweighs the bad, and Gurumin is definitely worth your time, Even if you don’t understand a word of it.

    Gameplay – 4/5
    Graphics – 4/5
    Sound – 4/5
    Lasting Replay – 2/5
    Overall – 4 [Averaged, then rounded up to nearest tenth.]
     
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