E3 Encounters: Majin and the Forsaken Kingdom for PS3

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A “heartwarming puzzle-action game” — that’s how Namco Bandai describes their upcoming PS3 game Majin and the Forsaken Kingdom. Majin is being developed by Game Republic, a studio that boasts several former members of Team ICO and a track record consisting of PS3 fan favorites such as Folklore.

Majin’s fantasy world looks highly stylized, with “shadowy, storybook visuals” in the words of Namco Bandai producer Daisuke Uchiyama. According to Uchiyama, the team wanted to create “something everybody can relate to…something familiar, nostalgic.” See Majin in motion below and judge for yourself.

You play as Tepeu, a mysterious thief who possess the ability to communicate with animals. Encroaching into a “forsaken kingdom” overtaken by a dark force, Tepeu comes across an imprisoned golem-like creature — called a Majin — and frees him. Named Teotle, the Majin follows the thief out of gratitude, thus forming an unlikely alliance against the murky forces of the forsaken kingdom. Majin’s gameplay always focuses on the symbiotic pair of the powerful Teotle and the nimble Tepeu. If you played BioShock, you can think of the slow, powerful Teotle as a Big Daddy and the nimble Tepeu as a Little Sister. That is, if Little Sisters were known for swordsmanship and acrobatics. Or having a Y chromosome, but I digress…

Majin and the Forsaken Kingdom for PS3

Majin and the Forsaken Kingdom for PS3Majin and the Forsaken Kingdom for PS3

Tepeu and Teotle need to scratch each other’s backs frequently in order to survive encounters with the evils of the forsaken kingdom. In combat, you’ll face armies of tar-like creatures that will quickly overrun your spry thief. Luckily, the powerful Majin can bowl these guys over effortlessly and give you a chance to land a lightning-quick final strike with Tepeu. You’ll need to help out the Majin sometimes, too, by knocking snarling dogs off its back and fetching fat, revitalizing “power fruit” when it’s hurt. Mmmm…power fruit.

Majin and the Forsaken Kingdom for PS3

Though you don’t directly control the towering Majin, you can issue broad commands easily via a radial menu and the Majin does the rest auto-magically. During puzzle sequences, the Majin will respond to your orders contextually. Order it to “Crouch” and you’ll be able to jump onto its massive shoulders to reach high places; order it to “Act” and it might spew fire-breath to light your bomb’s fuse so you can blow a hole in a wall. Sometimes, the enemy hordes may be too much for even the rough-and-tumble Majin, so you’ll need to use the environment in creative ways, such as ordering the Majin to push a crumbling wall onto an enemy mob.

Majin and the Forsaken Kingdom for PS3Majin and the Forsaken Kingdom for PS3

Majin and the Forsaken Kingdom is currently scheduled for late 2010. What do you think of the art style and the two-character symbiotic gameplay? Leave your impressions and questions in the comments, and I’ll try to shed some light.

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8 Author Replies

  • Looks nice, but to be honest I’d rather play Tales of Vesperia Complete.

  • Looking good

  • @ HairyToeKnuckles (50)

    Ha! I was thinking the exact same thing- while watching the video, the very thing going through my mind “The big guy’s gonna die.” If the actual story turns out to be that obvious (attempting to play on the emotions of the player in such a predictable way), I may die a little inside. It’d certainly be a shame, considering how intellectually stimulating Folklore’s story was (I seriously didn’t see that ending coming).

  • This game is looking amazing, but sadly it doesn’t seem to be getting as much hype as other games. It seems like it definitely has the potential to be one of those classic little gems that people will look back and fondly remember years later though.

    Or I could be completely wrong. Who knows.

    I think the one thing that will make or break this game is the computer AI for Teotle. I would have personally preferred the ability to switch between the two on the fly, but as long as the dev team is working all the bugs out of the AI and has him not doing stupid or annoyingly useless things, then I shall be happy.

    Oh and +1 for wanting Tales of Vesperia. I’ll preorder it the minute its announced.

  • Sony’s relationship with 3rd parties must be pretty poor if they are telling customers to contact Namco Bandai on twitter to get information about a game. How hard is it for the blog staff to pick up the phone, call the NB rep and ask them if/when ToV is getting a US/EU release and then post it here?

  • The screenshots did nothing for me, but the video really did. The creature looks cute and it reminded me sort of like a different magical twist on the team Ico style. I can’t say it’s a definite buy just yet, but if it can hold the charm much like the titles of the aforementioned dev team, heck if it can hold even half of that charm… I will be happy.

  • Holy crap! Good stuff and lots of potential to boot.

  • Keepin an eye out for this thing. Looks promising.

  • redesign the the main character he does not look convincing.

  • Hi. Planned to get this since I first saw it previewed. Still looks good.
    But I hate the Voice-Overs.
    If there are Japanese voices released for that market please include them as an option for the US as consolation.
    I hope in the next preview of the game you show how the gameplay works in more detail like issuing commands etc.

  • Looks pretty interesting and I definitely want to give it a try. With respect to gameplay, is it gameover when Tepeu or Teotle dies or both…

    Sony fans also want more RPGs, I’m sorry Sid we tend to get a bit crazy! :D But on that note…WHERE IS LEGEND OF DRAGOON 2!!! ;)

    Guys carry the torches and pitchforks to Namco now!

  • @Sid, Wikipedia is not the official PR source of Namco Bandai, it’s edited by anyone.

    Anyway, found out myself, according to Gamepro a NB rep said there are no plans to bring Tales of Vesperia to the US.

  • This is purely a ICO /SOTC RIpOFF

    WE want the HD remastered versions!!!!

  • Damn first time I heard about this game, loved Folklore and this has somewhat similar feel to it (except less mysterious and more mystical)

    Gotta keep my eye on this one.

  • looks interesting

  • This game looks really great and the idea is really good.I would play this game for sure.

  • I loved Folklore so I’ll probably get this game eventually…

    But, this story just isn’t tugging on my heart-strings! Just by the trailer, I don’t like the Majin guy’s voice… And, it seems like it’s just falling a little flat on the narrative side…

    HOWEVER, this is the first trailer I’ve seen for this game, and it’s scheduled for LATE 2010, so that leaves plenty of time to surprise me!


  • Great idea for a game, nice concept. However, the gameplay needs some work, the animations don’t always look the best from what I’ve seen and the VO is terrible. The art style truly is beautiful though, so I really hope you do something amazing with this game.

  • As soon as I saw the graphics I could see the resemblance to Folklore. Loved that game, I’ll likely be getting this on release day! \o/

  • This is quite annoying for me to read this article and these comments, and honestly. It’s been a year and half that Namco Bandai have been hiding games behind their pockets. The voice actor Troy Baker has announced it in the press – in a very poor quality way that he’s been called in to voice for additional lines by many people in the Expos and Anime convention centers. From this point on, I don’t think he was joking though the way he interviewed was quite unprofessional to answer people’s questions. What is going on with NamcoBandai and why has Sony not made their own move to ask NamcoBandai that Tales of Vesperia for Playstation 3 is coming out in the US? The XBOX360’s hidden audio log which were not officially in the game were revealed inside the game files, and they are supposed to be in Playstation 3. Which means, this project and plan has been going on for quite a while. Why hasn’t this been brought up yet? The fans have been asking these question about Tales of Vesperia at least for about more than a year, and NamcoBandai and Sony Entertainment have not made their own move to answer these questions yet. This isn’t about Dragnball game or Naruto game.

  • This is about something that fans’ have been asking for and the game companies love to ignore what fans want to hear and what they want. Has the game industries became so ignorant these days? @Sid Shuman, I request you and the Sony team to personally make the first move to ask for Tales of Vesperia for PS3 in United States. I shouldn’t really be sitting here and posting this rant just to ask for this game that I’ve been waiting for more than a year and half when this main character’s voice actor’s spreading around the news that the game will be coming out for US.

    Thank you.

  • Sid Shuman recommeds us to twit NamcoBandai. But they never answer inquieres about Vesperia. I’ve even emailed them and my emails get ignored.

    And its not just Vesperia… I’ve also asked about .hack//LINK for PSP and I get no answer.

    Im sad that a ‘Naruto’ game gets announced to be released almost immediately after the Japanese release, whether this other great games get ignored…

  • This game has folklore/team ico written all over it. Looks good… I’ll be getting it for sure.

    On another note sony should definitely re-release folklore. When it came out the install base was very small. It’s a shame cause it was a very good rpg. much better than all that turn-based crap. plus it can a bit difficult to find.

  • this may be one of those games that just might be a sleeper hit of the year..it sure has the potential to…let’s just hope everything that can be done to make it so, is done…it sure gets my vote and I am anxiously awaiting its arrival…

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