Gurumin - Review

Ages: Everyone 10+

Well, I must admit that I was won over by this Keane-eyed little redhead with the diamond shaped braids. There is a quirky world view going on here that I attribute to Japanese sensibilities. You have a cute little child as a fearless fighter, good monsters in every conceivable hue and shade with personalities and distinct voices, a drill as a weapon, hats and goggles as powerful protection devices, junk as currency, strawberry shortcake as a health restorative and all this is coupled with serious RPG accoutrements hit points, inventories, level ups. The game is rich in environments Tiese Town inhabited by humans vs the Monster Village with forests, dungeons, snowy mountains all done in colorful cartoon-like style. Moving around the environs around Monster Village is assisted by a map accessed by pressing the X button. The characters are numerous, both in the human town and the monster village which has both friend and foe. All this contributes to a game with not only charm but also great depth.

The story is about Parin who is sent to her grandfather's town, which is devoid of children, who befriends a girl monster and is invited into Monster Village. Disaster strikes when the evil Phantoms destroy the village and kidnaps the good monsters. It is Parin, with her Arthur-like drill pulled from a stone, who must rescue the inhabitants and restore the town not only rescue the inhabitants but retrieve their furniture! Sound trivial and childish doesn't it? But it's not. The Normal mode is straight challenging RPG. In the Beginner Mode hazards will be easier to navigate and do less damage and after a game over, all your HPs are restored, as opposed to the Normal Mode where you get only half back. Beginner Mode is an excellent idea and is well worked out to help casual players who may not have played a RPG before to enter into the genre.

Weapon varity is done through different drill bits which are obtained from Cylinder, a town character. New drill bits have new attacks and you are transported to a virtual tutorial room to practice. Some compare Gurumin to Zelda, well maybe, but this game has a lively female in the lead and I grow tired of playing young boys.

Fun factor: High. If not fighting, just wrecking the place.
Female factor: Parin, a cute girl who can be a formidable fighter.
Player friendly: Yes. Good beginner level. Easy start. Save anytime in game.

Reviewed by: Editor - 03/07

  • Gurumin
  • © Mastiff/Falcom
  • Platform(s): PSP
  • To Order: PSP $39.99