Posted on July 19, 2013 AT 06:00am
Japanese monsters are making a huge comeback this year, thanks to the likes of the 20th Anniversary of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers and Guillermo del Toro’s recent hit Pacific Rim. But when it comes to really bringing back the old-school nods like Godzilla and Ultraman there hasn’t really been anything that captures the wacky style of year’s past. Fortunately Kaz Ayabe (creator of the Japan-only Boku no Natsuyasumi series) and Millennium Kitchen have made a game that captures the heart and mystery of those Tokusatsu films of yore, in the very lengthy-titled Attack of the Friday Monsters! A Tokyo Tale.
Attack of the Friday Monsters! follows the story of Sohta, a young boy whose family just moved into the neighborhood. They open a dry cleaning shop, which quickly finds itself filled with business, almost to the point where the father cannot handle the tasks. Oh, and every Friday giant monsters attack the city for some strange reason (hence the title).
Players control Sohta as he takes on twenty-five missions, all of which can be completed by chatting with the townsfolk, playing with his new friends, and looking for clues as to why these monsters appear in their small Japanese suburb. Within Attack of the Friday Monsters! is a collectible trading card game known as Monster Cards, which players can collect, combine, and battle with in an effort to become the “boss” of the other children around town. Successfully becoming the “boss” of all the kids in town will unlock secrets that will help find out the truth behind the monsters.
Running at just under three hours Attack of the Friday Monsters! doesn’t feature much strategic gameplay, nor is it the sort of action-packed adventure that one may think a game involving monsters would be. Instead what it winds up being is a sort of point-and-click adventure title featuring enhanced storytelling, great humor, and very likable characters. You find out how your father was once a hopeful “cadet”, why the mysterious Frank speaks as if he’s not of our world, and why two transfer students in one day is stranger than one may think. If anything Attack of the Friday Monsters! is an interactive manga than a game, but a very good manga nonetheless.
It’s very hard to talk more about Attack of the Friday Monsters! without spoiling anything, as every objective you are given opens up a new secret that ties everything together. Even the smallest of tasks like delivering one’s laundry leads toward a surprise twist about Sohta, his family, and those around him. What I can tell you is that the game knows to never take itself seriously, poking fun of the situations at hand and of those monster shows of old. Heck, even the narrator keeps cracking jokes about the events happening on-screen. (The game is in Japanese with English subtitles, so bad news for those looking for a dub of sorts here.)
While it may seem like $7.99 is a lot for a game that’s under the length of the recent Hobbit movie, for a piece of entertainment it is worth almost every penny. Attack of the Friday Monsters! is a game you just might play over and over again, watching Sohta’s little adventure like a good film. Even when you know the twists after repeat playing, it’s still fun to watch how everything in this small part of Tokyo unfolds.
- Inventive, funny story
- Great characters, missions
- Monster Cards in-game is a lot of fun
- Very short for an $8 game
- No English dub for those who don’t like reading
Out of all the games in Level-5′s Guild02 series Attack of the Friday Monsters! A Tokyo Tale is certainly the shining beacon of the selections. Beautiful and heartwarming at every step of the way Ayabe’s American debut shows how to take a tiny game and make it speak volumes with memorable characters and funny dialogue. Here’s hoping this isn’t the only time the US gets to see what sort of magic Millennium Kitchen can bake up in the gaming realm.
FINAL GRADE: 8.0 (out of ten)
Review code provided by Maverick PR
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