Gurumin 3D: A Monstrous Adventure Vs. 8BitBoy

Gurumin has certainly come a long way. Now, that’s not to say that if you’ve played it before that it’s been graphically overhauled, but some of you may not realize that this game was on the PlayStation Portable, or the PSP, back in 2007 and on the PC for Japan and Korea back in 2004/2005 respectively. It does look better now on the 3DS, but it still retains that classic 3D action RPG look and feel, but now with actual 3D! Gurumin has been remade a few times now and I still wonder why such a well received game hasn’t garnered a sequel. All the elements are there and it has a great world and feel even if it feels small, but all that can be expanded right? Where does that leave 8BitBoy then? It has one less D and has been dropped more recently with an ending that doesn’t exactly beg for another to be made. How do they fair when put into the pit? Let’s break it down!

The humor is all very good here, but man... this villager is down-right creepy. The village police need to keep an eye on him.

The humor is all very good here, but man… this villager is down-right creepy. The village police need to keep an eye on him.

What stands out the most with Gurumin 3D: A Monstrous Adventure (Gurumin 3D from here on out) is the fun atmosphere including the voice acting and general aesthetics of the characters and the world presented. Everything is fun and whimsical, even the combat that feels pretty smooth despite a flaw that I’ll get into soon. The good guys and bad guys all have a cartoon feel about them making the good guys seem even friendlier and the bad guys all seem mostly misunderstood even when being jerks. 8BitBoy also has the super-cartoon look that almost seems really close to certain Mario titles. The bad guys here, aside from a few bosses, all look so pleasant that it’s almost sad to jump on their heads and kill them… except that they would kill you in a heartbeat if they could. (Also, don’t jump on the cacti… that’s a trap!)

Side note: the penguins that throw snowballs are jerks.

Side note: the penguins that throw snowballs are jerks.

Speaking on jumping on top of things, things go pretty well in both cases. Gurumin 3D’s controls are pretty responsive. There is a slight issue of lag in the game in general, but let me set any records straight if you’ve heard anything negative here. Having played this on Steam as well is the only reason I noticed it. It doesn’t seem to affect the fighting as when I push jump or stab, Parin jumps and stabs. The experience is smoother on Steam, but this is now on the 3DS and I guess there was some give and take in development even if it’s slight. There isn’t much to notice in 8BitBoy as far as lag goes, but there is the usual “you thought you pressed jump, but then walked off the platform” and the “I swear I just jumped right through that block I should have broken with my noggin”. That stuff can get annoying, but fits in well with the current “let’s make a platformer and make it hard like it was back in the day” mantra.

Gurumin3D

Funny thing is about that lag issue, while it doesn’t seem to affect the gameplay, it does mess with the audio. Every now and then when you’re attacking and/or jumping and there is a grunt which can be slowed down and then makes a very Parin grunt like a large male and it is hilarious. It doesn’t happen often, but still makes me laugh when it does!

Speaking of having fun, story plays a big role in both. 8BitBoy’s story is kind of a mixed bag. It starts with the grim reality of being out of a job and depressed and then comes in with nostalgia of the good old days you had with older gaming consoles. Of course then you get sucked in to said game console and then have to fight your way through all the levels. Why? Because! If you don’t get all of the coins the first time around, then you don’t even really beat the game.  Gurumin 3D starts you as Parin and you find out that there are monsters and their world is in peril and it’s up to you to save them and… their furniture. The ending “situation” is different only in the sense that you have to beat certain bosses to get the “good” ending. While Gurumin 3D wins here, I’m as excited about this as I am about games requiring DLC to get the whole story (apple and oranges, I know). I like it when you make the effort to get all the way to the end and when you beat the final boss you get a proper ending and not told to get back in there and work harder. I’ll take different endings depending on how you act though, that’s just getting the consequences of your actions.

There are very clear parralels that can be drawn from Mario games, but come on, castles, coins and platforms to jump on? Not everything with these elements are Mario clones. Now if 8BitBoy here had been wearing overalls...

There are very clear parallels that can be drawn from Mario games, but come on, castles, coins and platforms to jump on? Not everything with these elements are Mario clones. Now if 8BitBoy here had been wearing overalls…

Gurumin 3D provides a larger world to explore. It’s done, once again, with you as a pawn moving around a map. It works OK here because they’re not making a huge world, it’s more akin to Super Mario World’s over-world and you’re moving from one level to the other. More levels unlock as you rescue more monsters and satisfy the need they have, be it a comfy place to sit or a radio to rock out to. You get to choose what level you want to complete in which order as long as it’s available. 8BitBoy’s levels you have to complete one after another in a linear fashion (not a problem). You get to go back to and try to 100% them only after you finish the final boss. This isn’t anything new, but when done back in the day, the levels weren’t built like this to punish you unless we’re talking about those I mentioned last time.

I didn't talk to much about the items and gear upgrades, but to throw a bone out there to anyone wondering. Upgrading isn't a huge issue because you'll come across a lot of scrap and you'll also come across enough metals to buy gear too (ignoring mystery bags with gear in them). It can start to feel like a grind and so I just kind of went with what I had a long time and bought what I knew was a good buy. Also... whoever got this shot sure didn't take a screenshot from his/her 3DS... that's for sure.

I didn’t talk to much about the items and gear upgrades, but to throw a bone out there to anyone wondering. Upgrading isn’t a huge issue because you’ll come across a lot of scrap and you’ll also come across enough metals to upgrade/buy gear too (ignoring mystery bags with gear in them). It can start to feel like a grind if you get S-rank the first time on most levels just to go back in for more scrap before you progress. I just kind of went with what I had saving for a time and then bought what I knew was a good buy. Also… whoever got this shot sure didn’t take a screenshot from his/her 3DS… that’s for sure.

Winner: Gurumin 3D: A Monstrous Adventure

Gurumin 3D gracing the 3DS at $14.99 at the holiday season is a Christmas present waiting to happen. It's a fun action-filled RPG that reminds me of the time when games were made to be enjoyed. It would have given a full on "Tasty!" rating, but as I said, I've played the Steam version and it is a better experience for me. I don't think it will affect anyone other than the most nit-picky people.

Gurumin 3D gracing the 3DS at $14.99 at this time of the year is a Christmas present waiting to happen. It’s a fun action-filled RPG that reminds me of the time when games were made to be enjoyed. I would have given a full on “Tasty!” rating, but as I said, I’ve played the Steam version and it is a better experience for me except that I can’t take it with me. I don’t think it will affect anyone other than the most nit-picky of people, but it’s brought up because: honesty! The levels are well designed and don’t feel like a slog to get through whereas 8BitBoy can feel like that a good chunk of the time. Both give off that classic feel, but only Gurumin 3D delivers on the joy that should come with gaming.

Steam version of Gurumin!

Steam version of Gurumin!

More Gurumin 3D: A Monstrous Adventure info: Facebook / Nintendo eShop / Official Webpage / Steam / Twitter
More 8BitBoy info: Facebook / Official Webpage / Steam / Twitter

Jonathan Amarelo Sig


Love it or hate it, let me know!