If you know absolutely nothing about Majin and the Forsaken Kingdom, then you'd be forgiven. The game has flown quite low under the radar. It's being developed by Game Republic, yes that Game Republic, who made PlayStation 3 exclusive Genji: Days of the Blade, but giant enemy crabs probably won't be making an appearance. And if our hands-on preview is anything to go by, Majin and the Forsaken Kingdom could be a sleeper hit this year.
The game focuses on the story of Tepeu, a young man who has the ability to speak to animals. He lives in world whre civilization has collapsed and the realm has become infested with shadow warriors. He is guided to the heart of the cursed land with the hopes that he can awaken the mystical creature called Majin, who will be able to combat the darkness and return the kingdom to its former glory.
In actual fact, he awakens Majin pretty quickly, although he's very underpowered as he's been sleeping for quite a while. The game then revolves around the two, as almost everything involves both of them in some way. The player controls Tepeu fundamentally, but he can give Majin commands. Commands like, which enemies to attack in combat or telling him to open doors. The whole little and large combination works well and players will find themselves forming an alliance with the Majin, just as Tepeu is in-game.
And that's one of the key features of this game, as players progress through it, the relationship with the Majin will improve and new abilities will be unlocked. The key though, is that without the Majin, you won't get very far. Tepeu is very weak with regards to combat and he requires the strength of Majin to overcome enemies and obstacles. However, there are parts where the Majin requires the assistance of Tepeu to progress, so it creates a nice balance. They can't survive without each other.
While the game does involve some elements of combat, puzzle elements are equally prevalent. This might be figuring out how to unlock a door, kill enemies in a specific way, or obtaining a key, but each challenge feels unique and also interesting. The game doesn't make things completely obvious, but it doesn't hold the players' hand either.
The combat is fairly basic, with Tepeu being able to swing his blade at foes using a single button - he can also perform a lunge attack. And if he's quick enough, he can also perform stealth kills. If the Majin manages to down some foes, the two can perform a combo and if multiple combos are performed, the move gets more devastating.
Despite only playing the first few parts of Majin and the Forsaken Kingdom, it was already starting to grow on me. The challenge it presents and the world, I think, could make it a sleeper hit this year and perhaps in years to come. It has a ton of potential and if it continues in the vein that it started, it looks like it might well deliver.