Game Republic is a studio led by ex-Capcom designer Kihaji Okamoto. One of the games that they demoed at E3, Majin and the Forsaken Kingdom, takes ideas that will be familiar to fans of recent Legend of Zelda games and handles them in a simple, effective fashion, with an emphasis on variety of options.
The game casts the hero as a humble thief who happens to get a giant, colossal, simple-speaking Majin as an ally and friend. Together, they seek the mysteries of a fallen empire. There are more mysteries to be had, but the basic gameplay should be clear.
Gameplay is based mostly around level-to-level play, taking advantage of the partner system that uses all the basic commands. For example, you need to use the Majin to open some doors. The gameplay starts off looking like basic, Prince of Persia-like action with a partner, but the devil is in the details. Not only is Majin actually a decently efficient smasher who can be a massive help in battle, but the game also doesn't force a simple fight or platforming every time. Instead, there are usually at least two paths the player can take, with no punishment or reward for consistently favoring one or another.
Gameplay mixes up stealth action, free-run platforming, problem-solving and combat. You'll also have the option to send in Majin first or go in headlong. Usually, one option will be clearly easier than the others — sending Majin first is usually preferable to bolting in on your own — but the other options remain there each time.
The graphics are lush and beautiful, with artistic cut scene drawings and expressive character designs. Overall, Majin and the Forsaken Kingdom looks like a decently strong, original game. Development on Majin and the Forsaken Kingdom is being directed by Yoshiki Okamoto of Resident Evil and Street Fighter II fame, so we should be in for quite the treat.
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