Gurumin 3D Review: This bonkers ‘Monstrous Adventure’ action game for the Nintendo 3DS has you smashing your way through dozens of phantom-filled levels, to save a population of monsters from the emo antagonist’s nefarious plot. Here’s what we think of Gurumin 3D.
Just when you think your entire summer is going to be spent hanging around a boring isolated village with no other kids to play with, you’re suddenly thrust into a dangerous quest to save a bunch of cartoony monsters from some troublesome phantoms. Pretty standard, really.
Gurumin 3D for the 3DS actually began life as a PC game, before being ported to the Sony PSP and now Nintendo’s portable console. It’s pretty much the same title here except with new 3D visuals, as the name kind of suggests.
You play as Parin, a young girl who finds herself accepted by the local monster community just as the sleepy village finds itself under attack from a group of phantoms. The monsters are unfortunately far from the slavering, mean creatures you might be familiar with from horror fiction. In Gurumin, they’re a bunch of wussy, hapless buffoons who flee at the first sign of trouble.
It’s therefore up to Parin to wield a massive drill and go kick some phantom arse.
Gurumin 3D is similar to Zelda Ocarina of Time in terms of controls. You run about with the joystick or the D-pad, sweep the camera around with the shoulder buttons (and the New Nintendo 3DS’ second joystick) and jump, bash and dodge with the X, Y, A and B buttons. Gurumin’s camera holds up well most of the time, helped with the manual control, although occasionally you’ll need to franticallly readjust as something hidden off-screen throws fire at your bum.
Combat is of the button-mashing variety, although you can string together attacks quite effectively if surrounded by monsters. We wouldn’t describe the battles as polished, but taking down hordes of phantoms is still good fun and there’s a solid variety of enemies to eliminate. You also have to take down some massive bosses, which can be pretty tricky if you’re not well-equipped.
Each level generally features hidden areas to discover, which reward you with new items to use in battle. And while most levels involve some form of puzzle, they aren’t exactly Zelda-style brain teasers. You shouldn’t have to resort to a walkthrough while playing Gurumin.
Gameplay is quite linear to start with, as most of the world map is closed off, but this soon opens up and you can revisit old levels at any point to collect more coins and boost your stats. And with over 30 levels in all to complete, Gurumin 3D should keep you going for quite some time.
The best part of Gurumin is probably its distinctly Japanese style. Occasionally the game will make your eyebrows shoot up your forehead, for instance whenever the pervy old miner hits on the very young heroine in a rather inappropriate manner; he says he’ll upgrade your drill, but only if you go on a date with him. And it’s awesome that you can battle to the end of a level and be rewarded with something as random as an armchair.
Gurumin 3D may feel a little dated, but it’s still packed with charm and good fun to blast through. Best of all, you can grab it from the Nintendo eShop right now for just €15.