I bought my girlfriend Gurumin: A Monstrous Adventure for Valentine’s day last year. She seems to have enjoyed it enough to sock 10 hours away. The other day in a fit of boredom, I picked it up and started playing it. At first glance the games childish appearance would have you believe it is any other run-of-the-mill action title, and that its difficulty level is fairly easy.
Well, like most first glances you would be wrong. The game feels like Brave Fencer Musashi meets any given Zelda game. You have HP and wield a legendary weapon–in this case a legendary drill. There are a variety of special moves you can perform, and items you can consume to recover status and health. There is a town that you move into, which is full of townspeople that you can assist in various ways. There are dungeons which you can enter and are graded on how well you complete.
The story is where the game becomes interesting:
A young girl named Parin goes to live with her grandfather in Tiese Town after her parents are called overseas on an excavation trip. After being told that there are no other children in Tiese, she finds what looks like another girl who is being threatened by a dog. Parin rescues the girl and discovers that she is actually a monster which only children can see. To thank Parin, the monster takes her to a crack in the back wall of the town which is revealed to be a portal to the monster world. A group of monsters known as phantoms begin a series of attacks on Monster Village. Parin, who unearths a legendary drill, decides to fight against the phantoms and restore Monster Village.
Parin can interact with people from Tiese Town, and an assortment of monsters from Monster Village. Both places are filled with characters even the most jaded of individuals would find mildly amusing.
One of my favorite aspects of the game is the equipment feature. Parin can purchase equipment, or earn them by performing especially well in dungeons. Only one equip can be worn at a time, and each one grants some benefit, as well as changing Parin’s appearance. For example, the first accessory you will get are goggles, and they decrease the amount of water elemental damage Parin receives by 50%. These accessories can also be upgraded in Tiese Town by collecting items dropped by monsters. I raised my goggles one level, and now I take no water elemental damage.
The drill is also somewhat customizable. You can attach “parts” to it which allow Parin to perform special attacks. My favorite of which causes her to spin in a circle hitting anything around her with the drill. Also, you can acquire items which alter the element of the drill, adding new depth to fighting. So far I only have lightning and fire, but I am sure there are more out there.
While the game is considered an RPG, you do not level up exactly. The more Parin uses her drill without being hit, the more damage she will do. The more she gets hit, the weaker her attacks will be. There is an item which prevents the drill from being weakened and one that recovers its strength, but both are costly. Like most games of this genre, you get more HP by beating bosses. The rest is based on your level of skill.
The simplicity of the game makes it a good way to pass the time with your PSP. It also features some catchy music, my favorite track benig the opening song Guruguru Tonight. The game was recently bumped down to $19.99 by Mastif, the people who brought you La Pucelle, so go find it!