Easter Eggs: Majin and the Forsaken Kingdom

By Marc Hollinshead, 2 years ago
Welcome to Easter Eggs, where the TA Team shines the spotlight on games that many gamers might have missed, perhaps hidden away behind the millionth copy of Call of Duty or FIFA. Much like a gamer who finds an Easter Egg hidden away in a game and proceeds to trumpet it from the highest hills and forums, the TA Team is going to be featuring these Easter Egg games on the front page for all to see.
Usually, when a game is released or is near the point of release, it receives some sort of attention. It may not be to everyone's taste, but gamers take a look to see if it is for them anyway. In an age packed full to the brim with social media and immediate availability to whatever information you require, the gaming community doesn't need to look far to find out about another game announcement.

In the year of 2010, we got some huge releases, including Red Dead Redemption and Call of Duty: Black Ops and, needless to say, they took the world of gaming by storm. So much so, that other releases immediately got pushed to the sidelines. One such game is Majin and the Forsaken Kingdom. Released only a few weeks after Black Ops, it managed to slip under the radar before many people even knew of its existence. Our "Easter Egg" feature helps to shine a spotlight on these hidden games and this one may be one of the most fitting games of the feature. Some of you may not have even heard of it before reading this, but let me enlighten you on an intriguing adventure about a friendship between man and... a mythical monster thing.

Majin 1

The Basics

When we look at the story of Majin and the Forsaken Kingdom, it's not going to get any awards, but it's the way it's actually told that's interesting. It's a rather clichéd tale involving a kingdom overtaken by a sinister force of darkness and, of course, the character you play as seems to be the one who needs to fix it. That character is Tepeu, a thief who has the gift of talking to animals to aid him on his quest and, after a short tutorial, Tepeu eventually releases the Majin, the true star of the game. Unlike conventional action-adventure games where the protagonist is mostly alone throughout their journey, Tepeu and the Majin are together for the whole of this game and it's that partnership that causes this particular journey to become unique.

The Majin does have an actual name (which won't be spoiled here) and he is the guardian of the kingdom of Q'umarkaj. As the story progresses, you will learn why this guardian was imprisoned and also why he was drained of all his powers. With the combined power of Tepeu and the Majin, you will need to reclaim powerful fruit (yes, fruit) that holds the Majin's power and take on the leader of this dark rebellion once and for all. Through puzzle solving, combat and general sprinting from place to place, we have Majin and the Forsaken Kingdom.

Majin 4

The Hook

Majin is set in a fairytale-like world where animals can talk and a hero is needed to save the day. Once you escape the dark castle, you are presented with a bright and vibrant looking area that immediately indicates the overall mood of the game. Although the story concerns a sinister entity, everything about Majin is child-friendly to say the least. From a charming main menu theme to humorous characters, nothing is particularly serious. As Tepeu and the Majin begin to get to know each other more and more, you will start to see the Majin as a big, friendly, huggable child. Intelligence isn't really his strong point, so he makes up for it in strength and magic instead. With that strength initially gone at first, the Majin is nowhere near as strong as legends tell. Throughout the game, miniature cutscenes will play, showing of the Majin's former life and friends, and how he became the imprisoned guardian he is now. It is touching to see the Majin get upset and reminisce, and it causes the game to shift focus on him. Tepeu only really acts as a vehicle to move the game forward, so if you're after interesting characters, it's the Majin that brings that quality through. He is no doubt a caring fellow and it can be heartwarming to see the growing friendship between Tepeu and the Majin.

Majin 2

As previously mentioned, one area that makes Majin interesting is that you're playing through the game as a duo. You will only be able to physically control Tepeu, but you will quickly discover that the Majin is sorely needed when engaging in combat. Sure, we've seen a number of other games take the party-based approach in combat, but Tepeu and the Majin are closely linked in their attacks and the way in which they vanquish their foes. As you attack, you will eventually be prompted to do a finisher with the B button. If you are in close proximity to the Majin when you initiate one of these attacks, the two heroes will perform a combination attack and smash nearby enemies into oblivion. To make things even more devastating, the Majin can use his gained abilities to increase the effectiveness of the attack. You will be able to give orders to the Majin throughout the game to help solve puzzles, walk somewhere, or use a certain ability on an enemy. When activating finishers, a gauge will fill up, and once it is full after two or three finishers, performing a combination attack at that precise moment will cause the Majin to sling Tepeu into the enemies in an acrobatic fashion. If one of the Majin's abilities are active as well, it's quite the sight to watch fire, lightning or crystals fly everywhere. As you can tell, it can seem like an odd combat system at first and it took me a while to fully understand how you achieve the best possible finisher but, when you manage it, it feels and looks awesome.

The map of Majin is essentially open world and you are able to go wherever you please as more of it opens up to you. Although this is the case, without certain abilities of the Majin, you are restricted to certain areas until you defeat a boss or find another fruit containing a new power. You may come across an area with switches to charge up, but without the lightning ability they are completely useless. Once you progress further in the story, you can backtrack to that area and unlock more secrets. In this sense, the whole world is your oyster once the Majin has all his powers. The game is rife with collectibles and so this open-world method of play is definitely welcome. Basically, the Majin becomes more and more useful up to the point that he does the majority of the work and you mop up afterwards. He even acts as the form of healing in the game. Low on health? Simpy stand next to the Majin and let him eat away the darkness that sticks to you. Because of this, it's actually the Majin's health you'll be watching out for in combat. If he dies, it's game over, but if Tepeu loses all his health, he will reach out to the Majin for help until he's fully healed again. Like I said, the game is all about this big friendly guardian and helping him reclaim what's rightfully his.

Majin 3

The Achievements

If you want to go for the full completion, Majin shouldn't pose too much of a threat. A few story related achievements are littered throughout the game but you'll also need to collect and upgrade everything if you want to get the full 1000G. The list also encourages you to explore all aspects of combat to the point of practically mastering it. However, there may be one achievement that could frustrate some from a grinding perspective. Brave One requires both Tepeu's own level and the "Friendship" level to be completely maxed out. Even after doing everything in the game, you will not have this and so plenty of combination attacks will be needed on countless enemies until you reach the magic numbers. The game isn't too challenging though and it doesn't actually seem to have a difficulty either so what you see is what you get with this one.

The Stats

Just under 6,190 TA'ers have journeyed with the Majin and 1,619 of those gamers have completed it, which makes for a whopping total of 26.17%. The TA score is sitting at a not too high 1,592 currently so it certainly isn't mind-bending difficulty wise.

The community has given the game 3.7, whereas Metacritic ratings are sitting at a relatively healthy 74.

The Price

Grabbing Majin now will definitely not set you back that much cash. If you reside in the States, you can grab a brand new copy from Amazon for just over $13. Cheap new copies from Amazon seem to be harder to come by in the UK, but a used copy from CeX is only £10 so not too much to spend there either.

The Verdict

Majin and the Forsaken Kingdom is hardly going to re-write the gaming history books, but it's a great little title nonetheless. Because the story is something we've seen a hundred times over, you aren't going to be playing it for that. Instead, you'll come for the interesting character of the Majin and what his own story entails. He has led a sad life and you will genuinely grow fond of him despite his dimwitted nature. Whether that's saving him from a swarm of enemies or simply roaming the sunny planes alongside him, he's a charming creature. It may get a little annoying hearing him say "Fly away!" to an enemy for the millionth time but besides that he is a memorable character in what has become a not so memorable game in this day and age. It's rare to see a character overshadow who you physically control in a game, but the Majin is the star of the show and he wants to be your friend. We're almost drowning in big franchises like Call of Duty and FIFA in gaming of today, so Majin is a delightful change of pace. Fancy making a new, magical friend?

Majin 5

If there's a game you'd like to see featured in Easter Eggs, be sure to let us know in the comments!
Marc Hollinshead
Written by Marc Hollinshead
To summarize Marc in two words, it would be "Christian Gamer." You will usually find him getting stuck into story heavy action-adventure games, RPG's and the odd quirky title when he isn't raving about Dark Souls and Mass Effect. Outside the world of gaming, Marc attends and helps out in his church on a regular basis and has a not-so thrilling job in a supermarket.