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Teamwork is a big part of Majin and the Forsaken Kingdom. You take the control of a young thief who has managed to befriend a mythical beast named Majin in order to exterminate a blight called the darkness from the land. Majin is an intimating giant that looks like a cross between a rock golem and a tree. Enlisting Majin to your quest not only provides you with an intense bodyguard, it also opens up new possibilities for puzzle solving or exploration.
On your own, the thief is an agile sneak that can easily get the drop on enemies before they see him and assassinate them with one hit. The thief is a lot smaller than Majin, so getting through tight spaces is more his forte.
Majin on the other hand is your rough tumbler. When you have a wall that needs smashing or a group of enemies standing between yourself in the exit—Majin is who you call on to get the grunt work done. While intimidating in size in strength, Majin actually possesses the personality of a Sesame Street character and his loveable look seems like something straight out of Jim Henson’s workshop.
Combat is generally a balance of issuing orders to Majin while navigating the battlefield and slashing enemies up yourself. The player must manage both the thief’s health bar as well as Majin’s, so when one dips down it may effect the kinds of orders you give out. The thief is a far more fragile combatant that the Majin so expect his health to drop quicker and more often, however out of combat Majin will channel a spell that restores health to the thief so sometimes it may be worth it to take one for the team if Majin is being overtaken. Majin restores his own health by eating a magic fruit that the thief can find at various parts of the level, so there is a real dependency on one another to make it through the level.
Commands to Majin are easily directed by holding down right trigger. You can issue attack commands, order him to stay or follow you, or even special actions like opening a door or taking cover behind a wall. This especially comes in handy if you and Majin come across a large group of enemies. You can order Majin over behind a wall and then command him to topple it over onto the enemies.
One of Majin’s most useful strengths is that his blows will often knock enemies back and stun them, allowing you to dash in and finish them off without danger. This also feeds into a pretty interesting combo system. As you wail on the enemies you can incapacitate them and activate a stellar combination attack where you and Majin take them out. Doing enough of these combination moves builds up toward a devastating finishing move that can dominate even the toughest foe.
Defeating enemies awards you with special experience shards. Some boost your friendship level with Majin, which in turn unlocks new abilities and powers. Then there are other shards that boost your overall health so you can stay in the fight longer.
Majin and the Forsaken Kingdom is shaping up to a truly enjoyable experience. While the hands on time was somewhat limited, there is a lot of potential here for it to be one of the last sleeper hits of 2010. Managing each character in combat was simple due to tight controls and the tag team style combos were really fun to pull off. Majin and the Forsaken Kingdom lands on store shelves on November 30th and make sure to look for the official Player Affinity review as well.