Gurumin: A Monstrous Adventure PSP Review

Most kids are terrified by the sheer thought of monsters, but not Parin – the star of Gurumin: A Monstrous Adventure befriends a friendly posse of monsters and even goes as far as to helping them in the restoration of their village after it’s destroyed by an evil prince.

So far, so clichéd and not exactly a terribly exciting story, it’s only really going to appease its young target audience, whilst us grown ups almost throw up over its saccharine sweet style. We have to admit that the characters are a charming bunch though and that the light hearted humour is rather pleasant.

In regards to the game itself ( you know, the parts you actually play?) Gurumin should perhaps have Nintendo in its special thanks section of the credits, as their Zelda series obviously has a lot to thank for.

Like Nintendo’s seminal series, Gurumin is essentially a dungeon crawler, that has you trawling through dank dungeons, whilst occasionally smacking the hell out of impossibly cute enemies (it almost feels as if we’re attacking a kitten, or a basket of kittens to be more precise, it just feels bad) and smashing jars or opening chests to find loot or money that will aid you in your not so epic quest (it’s possible to complete Gurumin in about eight to ten hours, though there is a wealth of additional content if you want it and if you‘re a completist, you‘ll probably be looking to be getting the best grades on each of the stages), hell upon victory over a boss, you’re even awarded an additional heart (which represents your health) and this will be so very familiar to many a gamer.

It would be churlish to say that Gurumin doesn’t deviate whatsoever from the surprisingly underused blueprint of Zelda however.

Combat is simple, but fun and largely devoid of depth. Parin initially has just one combo to administer pain to her enemies with and a useful dodge move, but as you advance through the game you’re able to purchase more moves, some of which require fighting game like commands to execute, but all of which remain relatively simple.

A nice twist to the combat is the fact that Parin’s drill (her weapon of all things) actually increases in strength as you whack baddies, whilst being on the receiving end of hits, will weaken it. This encourages a mildly more strategic approach to skirmishes as opposed to random flailing. See, it’s not all like Zelda.

On the normal difficultly the game is largely easy and if you want a more substantial challenge, you must first complete the game, as doing so will unlock additional levels of difficulty which is a bit silly for those who are looking for a challenge right off the bat.

Gurumin is a fantastically playable game that makes skilful use of the PSP’s impressive capabilities and it turns out that it’s actually one of the better games available on the system. A rather monster eight it is then.