Gurumin 3D is a charmingly pleasant romp through a colorful and nostalgic world, despite its technical issues.
Gurumin 3D: A Monstrous Adventure
Developer: Mastiff Games
Platforms: 3DS (Reviewed)
MonsterVine was supplied with a code for review.
The world of Gurumin 3D is an endlessly adorable one. Every monster, whether hostile or friendly, is full of charm, and every NPC is quirky and unique. Unfortunately, this wonderful world is sometimes broken up by some troublesome technical issues.
The story of Gurumin 3D is a basic, but fun one. Parin, a young girl and wondrously sassy girl, has just moved in with her Grandfather in his town. Being a mining town, there are no other kids for Parin to befriend. As Parin looks for something to do, she discovers the existence of monsters, a normally peaceful species of happy-go-lucky creatures that inhabit a secret village inside the town.When the evil Prince of monsters and his personal squad of warriors destroy the village, it’s up to Parin and her new friends to fight back, for the sake of all the good monsters. It’s by no means the most complex story, but it’s fun and fitting for the world of Gurumin 3D, so it serves its purpose well.
As you play as Parin, you’ll find yourself enveloped in the world around you, largely due to the charming beasts you’ll befriend. The characters and setting are very reminiscent of MegaMan Legends, another game with a colorful 3D world full of charm and gusto. As discussed in my interview with Mastiff, Gurumin 3D‘s localization goes a long way in making the world so lovable. Monsters are silly, each with their own gimmicks and quirks. A particular favorite of mine is Poco, a beast who exists purely to dance. He brings a boombox everywhere he goes, and joyfully dances at all times.
Gurumin 3D‘s charm even breaks the fourth-wall at times. The in-game guide for moves and basic commands are written by Parin’s monster friends, with a little drawing on the last page of the characters all hanging out. It’s these little touches that make the world feel so comforting, and almost pure.
On the gameplay front, Gurumin 3D is enjoyable, but nothing mindblowing. From a pseudo third-person perspective, you’ll run around as Parin, drilling through enemies and obstacles as you search for items, bosses, and lost friends. The combat is similar to that of the 3D Zelda games, with the majority of it focusing on quick drill slashes and swipes at whatever is attacking you. The gameplay is functional, but it’s nothing remarkable. While it doesn’t get boring or tired, but it’s never really exhilarating either.
The temples and towns you explore throughout Gurumin 3D are all well-made. Exploration/battles areas are never too long, and towns have enough in them to keep you occupied whenever you visit. As mentioned, the characters in these towns are especially fun to talk to, making the hubs feel more alive.
While Gurumin 3D looks great, it suffers from fairly-consistent framerate issues, even in 2D. While the drops aren’t major, they’re frequent when the screen gets too busy. The slowdown is very noticeable in spots, which is somewhat disappointing for an otherwise colorful and smooth game. When the framerate is consistent, the world emits a feeling of nostalgia, harkening back to the lively worlds of Banjo-Kazooie, Skies of Arcadia, and again, Mega Man Legends. Even the more menacing areas of the world emit a certain sense of whimsy, which adds to the already stellar world and atmosphere.
The music in Gurumin 3D is memorable and upbeat, which is increasingly uncommon in the current industry. All too often does music become background music that’s easily forgotten once the game is done, so it’s refreshing to play a game with music that compliments the world while sticking with you after you’ve turned off your 3DS. The music does tend to stutter when entering and exiting buildings, which, while not a major issue, is somewhat distracting when you’re going into numerous buildings for quests or items.
Gurumin 3D‘s voices are fantastic as well. Every character, be they human or monster, has a silly, but fitting, cadence to their voice. Everybody feels distinct, from the pervy old man, to the sassy Parin. No one blends into the background, which feels reminiscent of old JRPGs. The enthusiastic voice-acting compliments the world perfectly, serving as yet another building block in the endless charm of Gurumin 3D.
The Final Word
Gurumin 3D is a chipper and relaxing action RPG. The world is wholly entertaining, and the characters and world are as memorable as they are silly. Though Gurumin is hampered by some unfortunate technical issues, it’s still worth checking out for fans of the genre. Games like this don’t come around often, so it’s a nice change of pace for anyone looking for a simple good time.
MonsterVine Rating: 4 out of 5 – Good