Majin and the Forsaken Kingdom Hands-On

With the oafish Majin in tow, we try to unravel the mystery behind this forsaken kingdom.

The legendary majin was known to have protected the kingdom before it was engulfed in darkness, and a hundred years later, the magical creature is the key to saving the realm once more. It has been pointed out that the game bears many resemblances to Sony's The Last Guardian, but the team behind Maijin and the Forsaken Kingdom was working on the game before the Team Ico announcement. It has been a while since we've seen the game, and we recently received a preview build so that we could explore the kingdom on our own time.

Team up with the majin to perform combo attacks.

You play as a nameless thief, whom the majin fondly calls Tepeu, once you've freed the beast from captivity. You seem to be the only human who has been able to sneak into the kingdom, and with your monstrous friend in tow, you're able to solve puzzles and talk to animals in an attempt to figure out what is going on in this world. As the nimble thief, you can't do much in the beginning until you've rescued the majin, who follows you faithfully like a lost puppy. It seems that these skeletal creatures in the realm have stolen the demon god's power and have sealed it in bulbous pieces of fruit that are scattered across the land. After fetching one of these juicy nuggets for the majin, your new friend is able to summon enough strength to free himself from his chain. The large pin that kept the majin in place is now imbued with his power, so for the time being, it functions almost as well as a sword.

The first part of the game was similar to the initial demo we received back in April. The tutorial section leading up to your meeting with the hulking beast will give you a chance to become familiar with the controls. We aren't sure if the final build will continue to display the buttons, but in our current build, you never have to worry about forgetting what the right trigger does, because it is always onscreen. Using the left trigger you can crouch to get through tight spaces, and the right trigger is reserved for all your majin commands. Like a big, goofy puppy, he will follow you, wait, or attack on command. The majin doesn't come across as the brightest star in the sky, but he does come in handy in a fight and will heal you automatically if you're hurt. The enemies that lurk in the kingdom are covered in a tar-like substance and will cling to you when you take damage.

You'll level as you kill enemies and pick up bright blue life shards, which give you more health and stamina as time goes on. The more fruit you pick up for your hungry friend, the stronger he'll get. Red shards are seen when you perform combo attacks with your buddy (a button will appear for you to press at the right moment to pull off some smooth moves), and the more you collect, the higher your friendship level becomes. Save points are pillars that are located at the entrance to each new area and can be activated when you and the majin are close. Here you can equip new pieces of armor that you've collected, which come with their own set of unique abilities.

The majin doesn't get all his cool powers right away, but it will pay off when he does.

The game is a mix of platforming, action, and puzzle solving, and there are several ways to approach certain areas. You don't have to go through the regions in any particular order; the world is open for you to explore, and you can always pull up a map to see where you are. Some puzzles don't seem to have a solution, though, if you haven't completed a puzzle necessary for you to continue. You can find ways to avoid enemies if you want to keep combat to a minimum, or sneak up from behind and impale them with a single strike. If you'd rather let the majin handle it all, you can always order him to attack for you. There are many items you'll stumble across that will help you on your journey, such as a catapult that is conveniently located in the center of a clearing. Using this ancient contraption, you and the majin can lob stones at breakable walls to find cleverly hidden levers that lock heavy wooden doors, preventing you from moving to the next area. Eventually you'll be able to throw stones at enemies to distract them so you can waltz on by. Explosive barrels are also fun to toss, to help blast away boulders that have somehow formed on winding stone staircases.

It's hard not to love the big teddy that is the majin, and pulling off combo moves together can be fun. Once you make your way out of the decaying castle, you'll be greeted by many areas that are blooming with flowers and majestic waterfalls that will make you step back and swing the camera around for a better view. During our play-through we didn't get to unveil too much of the story, but from what we know, we'd like to find out what happened to the majin and how he came to lose all his memories and powers. Maijin and the Forsaken Kingdom will be available on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 on November 23.

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51 comments
VVhiteVVolf
VVhiteVVolf

After playing the demo all I can say is that they really need to change the voice of the majin. If they wanted him to sound big and dumb, really dumb, than mission accomplished. I would rather he spoke in an unknown language that only your character understands through subtitles. At least that would take the dumb out of his dialog. Otherwise the gameplay seems pretty interesting and the graphics were decent.

FlashCharge
FlashCharge

Something new and will have to keep an eye on this game.

N4Red_NYC
N4Red_NYC

@squallgunblade7 what game did feature the team up theme of thinker and fighter in a creative aspect environment before Team ICO's games ? I am curious because I would love to play it. Thanks

unbentonslaught
unbentonslaught

Looks weird....and awesome, I'm gonna rent it first though.

SavoyPrime
SavoyPrime

I've had this on my radar for a while and it seems to be coming along smoothly.

SicklySunStorm
SicklySunStorm

@squallgunblade7 - Ico may not have been the first, but it is probably the most memorable and best example in a lot of people's minds. It's not surprising people refer to it since it was such a good example of this theme....

squallgunblade7
squallgunblade7

@DSfanatic5 i will just repeat what i said to pos7box ico ain't the only game that does that and wasn't the first i am just so sick of people comparing 1 game to another when that game it was being compared to wasn't even the first to do what it did

squallgunblade7
squallgunblade7

@Pos7box ico ain't the only game that does that and wasn't the first i am just so sick of people comparing 1 game to another when that game it was being compared to wasn't even the first to do what it did

Pos7box
Pos7box

@squallgunblade7 Lets see, Ico had two characters that worked together to solve problems and escape, one was a thinker and the other was the fighter The gameplay (or what we can see of it) is very familiar and obviously compareable to Ico & Sotc Have you played the games because if you have and enjoyed it, you cant deny the influence it has to want you to play this game.

DSfanatic5
DSfanatic5

@squallgunblade7 I do read, and I didn't even mention The Last Guardian. I was referring to ICO, and Shadow of the Collossus, and this game does draw inspiration. I never said it was a bad thing, only that I hope the game manages to be good.

Xarcun
Xarcun

The character Tepeu is terrible! They need to shave that ridiculous hair off. That pony tail is gay

DeltaPhoenix08
DeltaPhoenix08

looks different for something on 360 where it seems its all guns and killing. might have to pick it up

ahnzz
ahnzz

looking at the shots... i think its a smaller scale i guess it can be a resemblence to the last guardian, the game does look pretty good, but i dont think it will match up to how well team ico designs their world

Tokinblckgie
Tokinblckgie

Looks good. And if there's anything I need in my 360 library it's a good adventure game. If the reviews are good I'll be picking it up.

Colestone
Colestone

I'l prolly pick this up. Take a break from the ultra violent games I've been playing :^)

squallgunblade7
squallgunblade7

@Pos7box other than last guardian what game would it be like ya he did say team ico but no other game than last guardian of team ico's would be anything like this game and this game was in the making way before last guardian was even announced

Topherman2059
Topherman2059

It seems rather interesting. I will need to follow this game as it gets closer to its released date. Hopefully a playable Demo will be available in the near future.

XxShadowzX
XxShadowzX

No pc? :O ... :/ ... :( ... FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU :'(

darwin356
darwin356

@Freethinker101 Sorry to burst your bubble, but i believe i heard the interview of this game before that this will take more or less 20hrs to finish, i don't know if i heard wrong and this game is not exclusive to PS3, try looking at the upper left below of the release date where it says "also on" ? P.S. i'm not trying to start something out of this just because i have the gears logo, to be honest i like PS3 too.

Virtual_Erkan
Virtual_Erkan

I give creadits for being colorful and vivid

jkdwest
jkdwest

@Freethinker101 Wow... It might be good for you to read the article in question before posting comments.

Pos7box
Pos7box

@Freethinker101 "Maijin and the Forsaken Kingdom will be available on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 on November 23. " Ps3 exclusive? Ps3 exclusive that doesnt last longer than 6 hours? Lol at least we have exclusives to choose from. XD

zeebenzene
zeebenzene

@Freethinker101 umm. the chances of the game lasting longer than six hours because it is a PS3 exclusive?.... I consider this a fallacy of the most offensive kind my good sir.

Freethinker101
Freethinker101

I think this game looks very good, and as for any simmilarities to Ico, SHOTC or The Last Guardian, I would say it's far to early to say. Yes they are both Japanese titles, and they are PS3 exclusives, but until more info about the Last Guardian comes out the argument is pure supposition. The game looks nothing like Ico or SHOTC and the way the character moves, fights and interacts is simmilar to many other games. The one thing you can be sure of though is that it's a PS3 exclusive so the chances of it lasting more than 6 hous is slight!!!!!!

Chronous
Chronous

First info about this game came 6 months ago. Definitely worth trying, looks nice =)

Pos7box
Pos7box

@squallgunblade7 Do you read? He didn't say the Last Guardian did he? Ico and Shadow are clear inspirations to this game, which looks amazing

Zarzha
Zarzha

omg, action puzzler junky like myself is ready for 3 (possibly greatest of all time) titles coming out soon. Portal 2, this, and last guardian? Need anyone say more?

squallgunblade7
squallgunblade7

@DSfanatic5 you do read don'tcha it was in the works way before the last guardian was even annouced

squallgunblade7
squallgunblade7

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

hush404
hush404

Heh... I kind of forgot about this title for a bit :P Nice to see it coming along.

DSfanatic5
DSfanatic5

The inspiration from Team ICO is obvious with this title, but I hope that evokes an "inspired" experience, and not a derivative one. It does look good at this point, and I would love nothing more than for this to be a great game.

cheazedude255
cheazedude255

I think this game will be awesome. Kinda reminds me of last guardian whoch also looks sick by da way.

Neogenic
Neogenic

Looks great! Hope it's as good as it looks.

soyt_llusala
soyt_llusala

The artworks are pretty good! Interesting!!!

hochstreck
hochstreck

This game looks interesting - gameplay- and art-wise. Lets hope its as good as its promising.

wwlettsome
wwlettsome

sounds promising...look forward to seeing more

DawnForMe
DawnForMe

Looking forward for this Namco game

Squirrelatwar
Squirrelatwar

Looks pretty cool. Here's to hoping the combat and AI both work well...

NeonNinja
NeonNinja

It seems pretty interesting. Hopefully it ends up a good game.

Hard_game_Fan
Hard_game_Fan

very unique and interesting, I am waiting these kind of game since shadow of colossus that was one hell of a game. and these one sounds fun enough to me.

AzelKosMos
AzelKosMos

@chadsk8r24 It is a full retail game, not arcade.

chadsk8r24
chadsk8r24

wait is this arcade or actually game to buy. looks good if its arcade

Rizer
Rizer

I love puzzle solving games like this. I'll be keeping an eye on this one.

AzelKosMos
AzelKosMos

Quite interested though not sure I would buy it day 1.