Majin and the Forsaken Kingdom.


Did you ever see a trailer and an opening that totally heighten your expectation to the point of awesome?

Well it did. All I can say is that I was tricked.
This is one of those cases where the trailer and intro is way better then the game itself. Sure I understand that it has to be because that is after all, the selling point.
But this was ridiculous. This is basically someone telling me to eat this yummie chocolate and I end up eating a pile dog (fill in word here)
Alas, I am going to give this a fair analysis and you might understand to why I rip on this game so early on.
So the game starts, I like the design, I like the story, it is classic and safe. The graphic art design reminds a bit of Totoro and Folklore mixed up together to create Torolore. Music reminds me of something from Nausacaa valley of the wind.
The main prologue is safe, basically by let me quote “blah albhblahg kingdom, blah blah darkness blahal, un-likely hero blah blah”. We have heard this one before.
My first reaction is the voice acting. It seemed to me like one person was doing all the voices in the game, they were very poor. Not to the point where I muted my TV but enough to be an disturbance in the game enjoyment. The initial feel for the controls is that they are a bit off, I cannot put my finger on it (or thumb, excuse the pun) but it is noticeable, not to the point that it ruins the game. As the game progressed i noticed that it might not have been the controls as much as the camera. The giant guy (Majin) is non passable. You cannot pass through him which creates several awkward situations. For instance, when he stands behind you and goes transparent. You aren’t really paying attention that he is there, so you try to run through him, which you can’t, so you have to run around his large stature. There are several tight situations where it is near to impossible to pass by him and where he is just in the Effin way.
You also notice pretty early that the graphics aren’t as wonderful as promised. Run pass a water fall, I dare you! The noise sounds more like static and the water fall is just a step back in graphic creation. It just sucks because this did have the potential to be a beautiful game. Also the rats will throw you off in the beginning, except the cheesy  (there, I did it again!) voice acting, they shift voice pitches, making you think that the same rat is going through some weird personality disorder. Once you played for a bit, you come to a point where you are told “Did you know that by controlling the Majin, that you can understand what animals say?”.

Every bit of the way you are told about something you already know, as if you weren’t intelligent enough to come to a simple conclusion of 1+1=2 all by your self. They have to remind you.
You have the animals talk to you, and an hour later “did you know animals can talk to you?”
The monsters reminded me to much of the heart less from the awesome amazing super game Kingdom hearts. It is the basic concept, shadow, goo, dark, etc. In kingdom hearts, the “heartless” are begins that have lost their hearts and turned into walking shadows of dankness. While in this game, the darkness engulfed monsters used to be people…
However, after a few hours, the game begins to grow on you.

The first boss fight almost made me put down the controller and do something productive, like go treasure hunting in my belly button.
Imagine yourself controlling a huge beast. Now you have to tell him to pick something up to throw at this giant jerk that wants to kill you. Every time he shoots something on your Majin, the Majin looses its prior command.
Ok, so you command your Majin to pick something up, then the beast spits at you and your Majin drops whatever he was holding or any command he was executingt. “damnit” and repeat this a few times, gets annoying right?
Not only that, when the beast is out of balance enough to beat up, the stupid walking pile of mold finally completes his command and cannot cancel that current command to do a different command that is required while the boss is disabled. The boss recovers after a bit, just enough time for the walking degenerate to start the belated command which now doesn’t do any good at all.
Is this interesting as a game? Yes, but it TOTALLY blew it on the small part that makes a game good and play able.  Games are supposed to push the boundaries of the technology at hand, this was a step back in all sense except the music, the music was awesome!
Even though there was so much that was bad with the game, it actually does balance equally with all the things that were good. The problem is when the bad things pile up, you end up overlooking the good parts. It is a charming game. It does have some spirit, heart and sense of adventure. The big ol lump does grow on you and maybe once I complete the entire game I might have a change of heart. Who knows? Some people actually thing that the Black eyed peas were awesome during the super bowl halftime show 😉
And now, some unbiased facts from Wikipedia:

Plot

Majin’s story is set in a once prosperous and fruitful kingdom, which is overtaken by a mysterious darkness and thrown into disarray. While many citizens attempted to explore and find out what’s going on, they were never to be seen again, and the decay continued. To cleanse this forsaken kingdom of the darkness, a young thief, whom the Majin refers to as Tepeu, sets out to free the mythical Majin – an all-powerful and mystical beast, to reclaim its power and restore the land to its former glory.

Gameplay

The game is an action/platformer, with puzzle elements thrown in at different intervals. Players control Tepeu, while Majin is A.I. controlled. Though the player takes no direct control over Majin, they can give him commands, which are often used for solving puzzles or during combat.

As the game progresses, Majin will gain powers, such as the ability to produce electricity. These elements will be used both in combat and puzzle solving.

The game is intended to emphasize the differences in Majin and Tepeu. For example at certain points, the characters will be separated and Tepeu must dispatch enemies using stealth, as he does not have the strength Majin does.

Wallace & Gromit’s Grand Adventures Review

I have to admit, I’ve never been a big fan of Wallace and Gromit.

Not a fan as in, I’ve maybe caught the show a few times but nothing that I got hooked on watching.
What I do know about it, that it’s about a man and his loyal “very smart” dog. His master is a bit of a questionable in his intellect and relies very much on his dog.
They live in a British town where they do British things. Like Tea and Crumpets.

Xbox has however released a series of adventure games developed by Telltale games staring these two lovable characters created by Nick Park.

It is a simplistic adventure game based on the point and click function. Same function basically like Sam & Max and Axel & Pixel.
Have you noticed the trend yet? Two main characters, in pointy and clickedy based adventure games.

Don’t get me wrong, when GTR supplied me the game and I started playing it, it is surprisingly relaxing. There isn’t much to do in games such as these.
You just try various combinations with items you find to prompt an action/event in the story telling.

I would compare this to an interactive movie.

The graphics are pleasing and you appreciate the effort they put into the detailing of it. It is identical to the Tv version clay type style. A perfect mimic and mirror to the styles and patterns used by the original series.

When it comes to Wallace & Gromit’s Grand Adventures, you are able to play through four “episodes”.
I refer to them as episodes since it is like watching an episode on TV, except that you have to pointy clicky to continue the show,
This is where the story is more important then the functionality itself.

Why I really enjoyed Sam & Max was because of the captivating storytelling and crazy characters within the tale. Maybe it’s my morbid humor that made me enjoy Sam & Max more then I did Wallace and Gromit. I feel that Wallace and Gromit was more tailored to a younger audience. Granted I am an adult and at times it’s hard for me to get into “younger” games. I do however watch a lot of cartoons, because let’s face it, news today are to damn depressing. Don’t get me wrong thou, there were times during the episode of Wallace and Gromit (The last Resort) that made me chuckle up a storm. It’s funny how a dog can be smarter then his master. They are manipulating us!

Anywho, the camera as always, get’s stuck sometimes and it tends to lag a bit. It might be cause my Xbox is the verge of a breakdown again, but I’d figure I mention this supposed flaw.
The game does entertain with some colorful characters. I am a big fan of the General, his paranoia can only be compared with a conspiracy theory geek. I’ve always had a soft spot for eccentric characters.
They make me feel better about myself since I feel less crazy then them.
I know, I know, it’s pretty sad where I compare my own psychosis with in game characters, I just can’t afford a visit to a therapist.

There isn’t really much to say about this particular game. Would I acquire it if It wasn’t sent to me? Probably not, simply since you have to enjoy the TV show to enjoy this game. It is what it is, four episodes that you can interact with by point n’ click. This would be a great game for a younger audience. Yes I admit it. I am to fricken old.
I see myself returning more to Sam & Max since it’s more my cup of tea.

Informative Wiki:

Wallace & Gromit’s Grand Adventures is an episodic series of adventure games by Telltale Games based around the characters of Wallace and Gromit created by Nick Park and Aardman Animations. The first episode was released on March 24th 2009 for the PC. The Xbox Live Arcade version of the game was released on May 27, 2009 starting with Episode 1: Fright of the Bumblebees.
Episodes are developed by Telltale Games in collaboration with Aardman Animations to develop the story, characters, and setting. Players control both Wallace and Gromit at times through the gameplay. Ben Whitehead, Aardman’s official backup voice actor, portrays Wallace, instead of Peter Sallis, who has voiced the character in all screen appearances. A playable demo of the first episode was made available on March 16th 2009 and can be downloaded from the official site as well as Yahoo Games. It is also included on the Region 2 DVD and Blu-Ray releases of A Matter of Loaf and Death as DVD-ROM content
.

Episode Release date

(Xbox Live Arcade)
1 “Fright of the Bumblebees” May 27, 2009
2 “The Last Resort” November 4, 2009
3 “Muzzled!” November 4, 2009
4 “The Bogey Man” November 4, 2009

Mabion Reviews: Sam & Max – Beyond Time and Space

“This week , we are having a Guest review Sam & Max.
Mabion has a history in gaming ever since early childhood and as an avid comic geek. Enjoy” – Anjo Banjo
 


Ever wondered how it would feel to be insane and just make random comments about nothing in particular, being randomly violent and furry?

That’s how it feels to be a part of Sam and Max, released in comic book form by Steve Purcell in 1987 the characters whimsically nature to anything sane has joyed people all over the planet.

When their first game came out in 1993 by Lucas art you could actually steer these fellas around the crazy world they call home.
It resembled Monkey Island and manic Manson solely because Purcell was hired by Lucas art and got a chance to try out his characters in a game environment. But who wants to know about facts, on with the review you say, and I say I’m hungry.
Wait I’ll be right back.

Where was I? Oh yes, Sam and Max. The game is not far from the original game, it’s still a point and click game but in a 3d environment. The difference is the mouse now tells you if it is clickable item or not by explaining what the object is you are holding it over.
you still have an inventory that hold various tings you pick up and the it’s up to your logic to fit them together with whatever you find in the game, now there is the hard part, if your logic doesn’t match a crazy rabbity thingy and a fully dressed dog in a fedora then you won’t get far, a little crazy will help.

Yes it’s a thinking game and if you think like some fps people then you won’t get far.

The characters are still funny to watch and their dialog is still interesting in an entertaining way.
Even though it can be hard at times it’s not impossible to beat the game, just give it some thinking time and you will go, AAAAH! And then chuckle a little when you find out the solution to the whole thing.


The machine to the far left had a genuine Swedish accent! Sweet!

Even though it has been a long time since I saw the duo it was a welcome sight to see them again. The game takes you to the North Pole where you meet Santa, to Easter Island and talks to ancient moai, to the Bermuda triangle and to hell itself meeting many of the people and other creatures they encountered before in their other adventures.

The game takes me back to when I first read the comic book and I still remember how funny I thought them to be all the way back then. I still remember when I played another Lucas art game, dark forces and when I went to The Mission to Anteevy and a cave right outside the town and by tracing the cave walls I got max head in Silhouette. And also in the follow up Max was actually seen and could be fought in Jedi knight, dark forces II.

It is a great game if you like humor point and click games and I would recommend it to not only Sam and Max fans and point and click games but also to everyone who love crazy humor and have a quirky sense of thinking.
Enjoy.