Fans of giant, friendly monsters, this one’s for you.  Namco Bandai has announced an American release for Game Republic’s Majin and the Forsaken Kingdom.  From the press release:

In Majin and the Forsaken Kingdom… a cunning young outsider… encounters and befriends Majin, a mysterious monster-like being with incredible strength. Now in an effort to restore the empire, the two set out to uncover Majin’s forgotten past and the secrets that lie within the ancient land.

Yes, this is an AI co-op game, with Majin able to either follow your orders or figure things out for himself.  Over the course of the game, Majin’s abilities evolve, secrets are discovered, and relationships deepen. Gameplay is a careful mix of stealth, action, platforming, and combat.

Look, there is no point in beating around the bush. Majin and the Forsaken Kingdom bears more than a passing resemblance to the collected works of Fumito Ueda. This is Ico if Yorda was a Colossus. Screenshots suggest The Last Guardian by way of the Jim Henson company, though the jury is still out on whether Majin and the Forsaken Kingdom will be more Dark Crystal or Fraggle Rock.

That said, Game Republic is overseen by Yoshiki Okamoto, an old-school game design master who’s had a hand in everything from Gyruss to Street Fighter to Resident Evil.  With that kind of experience, it’s hard to think that Majin is going to be a flat-out copy of anything. Besides, if we’ve learned anything from Darksiders, it’s that derivative doesn’t necessarily mean bad.

For myself, Ico and Shadow of the Colossus are two of my absolute favorites. That kind of design, plus the input of Okamoto, adds up to a game that sounds awfully interesting to me. How about you? Ready for a new take on this kind of material, or will nothing but The Last Guardian do?

Maijin and the Forsaken Kingdom come to the PS3 and Xbox 360 this summer.

Source: Namco Bandai Games, Scrawl

tags: Namco Bandai, PS3