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Gurumin: A Monstrous Adventure (PSP) artwork

Gurumin: A Monstrous Adventure (PSP) review

"Welcome to Tiese. "

Welcome to Tiese.

A quick glance around this quaint mining town will offer little excitement. There's only a handful of small shacks and stores and a minor helping of people serving as a dismal excuse of a population. There's not a lot to be found in this hole in the wall.

It's a relief to know that's exactly how my new friend Parin felt, too. Once she got sent to Tiese Village by her explorer parents, one of her very first reactions was disgust at how boring this town is. For a twelve-year old girl like her, this is pretty understandable. With nobody her age around for miles, she was expecting her brief stay in Tiese to be a pretty crappy one.

Until she saw a monster. It wasn't your typical monster--it was a cute little girl monster with a little flower on her head--and it's all for the better. This little being, introducing herself as Pino, was the ticket.

Tiese would finally be an exciting place.

Together with Pino, Parin and I leaped into a portal and were whisked away into the world of monsters--a world filled with the most adorable creatures you'll ever see. From beasts like Rocko the golem and a French ghost named Pierre, to the dancing blue blob Poco, you'll never be at a loss for quirky and entertaining characters.

But of course, like all happy introductions in a video game, everything came crashing to a bitter end.

As soon as you're brought to the monster world, it's wiped out. The peaceful inhabitants of this land are monsternapped by the evil Phantoms, and only Parin--who conveniently pulls out a magical drill--can save them. But she'll need my help. As she looks out of the PSP's little screen with her huge, determined eyes, I can't help but go along.

"Let's kick some ass," I say. Probably the first time I'd ever spoken to a video game.

It would not be the last. As Parin and I fought our way through the dungeons strewn throughout the monster's world, I'd often find myself shouting words of encouragement at my crimson-haired comrade. I would grimace in pain with her when she'd get hit, falling backwards and occasionally letting out a whimper of "Owie!" I would even smile with her when she'd defeat a boss and release one of her monster friends from captivity.

All that work's gotta make a girl tired, though. Pausing our game to rest a bit and heal up would find Parin yelling "Wait up!" in a speech bubble to the monsters, a touching little oddity that other games simply lack. We'd return to her new home of Tiese, filled with just as many quirky characters as the land of monsters. It was just a few steps from the entrance to town to visit her grandfather Hyperbolic, who suffers from quite the case of senility. Giving him medals earned after completing each dungeon, he would reward us with various items and money. Afterwards, it would be time to meet Pan, the owner of the cake store, who would curb our sweet tooth what Parin named health-restoring yummies. Going next door, we'd enter Disk's headgear shop. Strapping one on and modeling it with a wink, Parin would see her abilities change. Not pleased with the effects of our headgears, we had Disk upgrade them, giving them even more effects in the same charming item.

We'd even talk to Cylinder as he walked around the town, and although he was a bit of a pedophile, he'd always have something good to sell us for our drill. Always trying to take Parin on dates to the cake shop, he would constantly find himself being rejected. Being shot down by Parin yet again, he'd finally offer to sell us some of his wares--which include new special attacks for Parin as well as Oil to increase the power of her drill--after his exaggerated reaction of despair at having his dreams of dating a pre-teen crushed yet again. Running back to Parin's house and grabbing a quick change of clothes (and a large assortment of costumes for Parin are available), we set off to our next dungeon.

Together, Parin and I tore through our foes with devastating moves and aerial combos. Rarely have I seen a little twelve-year old girl fight with such ferocity. Leaping into the air, we'd unleash a flying attack only to bounce even higher into the atmosphere with a subsequent jump. With a quick rotation of the control pad and a press of the attack button, Parin would drop to the ground, unleashing a huge, explosive blast from the tip of her drill. With a multitude of other vicious attacks at our disposal, we were an unstoppable force against the fools that would dare defy us. With our foes falling before our feet, rescuing all of Parin's friends was well within our grasp. We were happy.

That was until she tried jumping across certain ledges. The annoying camera made the various platforming sections needlessly tedious, as I had to rearrange the it into the perfect position to help Parin with her jumps... only to have it move right back to where it was. It was very rarely an issue, but it did cause some spats between my little ally and me. She'd dive into water that mysteriously harms her even though she's an able swimmer, fall off the edge of an icy cliffside, or plummet into the black depths of the Phantoms' lair, accompanied by an "Owie" and my subsequent apology.

I'm not really the type to apologize--especially not to a video game character--but Gurumin has that sort of hold on me. It has something that even big-name titles lack: charm. Every part of Parin's world is filled with so much rich detail and humour that you can't help but fall in love with her story, despite its few faults like the faulty camera. I always find myself leaping into Parin's vivid world again and again, unlocking more and more of its many secrets each time. Though my time with her is never long, it's always a pleasure. And should you ever find yourselves digging into this story, you may find me standing near a cute, red-haired, drill-wielding girl. We'll have but one thing to say:

Welcome to Tiese.

espiga's avatar
Featured community review by espiga (August 07, 2007)

Espiga likes big butts, and cannot lie.

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