Gurumin: A Monstrous Adventure Comes Our Way

Just the other day I was talking about another action-RPG from Japanese developers Nihon Falcom coming our way (Ys VI, there), when lawks a lummy look! Another one’s already here, as an English translation of Gurumin: A Monstrous Adventure [official site] launched yesterday.

It’s a cutesy adventure about a girl, her monster friends (who are invisible to adults, obvs), and her magical drill. Together, they fight evil spirits and save the village. Adventure! It looks all cutey-cute, but I have heard some fairly good things about the old PSP port.

Underneath the cartoony style are buckets of stats and items and secrets and minigames and endings and whatnot. See, here’s Eurogamer’s review, which I would crudely condense down to “not amazing but yeah, it’s pretty nice!”

A 10% launch discount brings this new release to £6.09 on GOG and £6.29 on Steam, where it also has cloud saves, trading cards, and whatnot.

Nihon Falcom first released Gurumin on PC in Japan in 2004, but its only translated release was a PSP port in 2007. This translation seems to be based on that, with the same voice cast and all. Curiously it only seems to support resolutions up to 1080p, though. Anywho, have a trailer:

14 Comments

  1. Cantisque says:

    If I remember correctly, this was one of those Greenlight games where they promised a free copy to everyone who voted.

    • lomaxgnome says:

      It was, though even at the time it seemed strange they would do it, since it undoubtedly would have gotten through Greenlight without it (and it got through very fast). They did make good on the free keys though.

      That said, the distribution of free keys is probably also a portent for the game being heavily bundled sooner rather than later, so if you missed out on a free key, it will probably be available cheap before long.

  2. Eight Rooks says:

    Yeah, this is the PSP version ported, and while I appreciate the thought the godawful dub (trailer makes me cringe) is the one thing putting me off. I played it way back when on the PC and it’s an utterly lovely little thing – not remotely as tough as the Ys games when they get going, but it’s a pleasure to play, absolutely charming and surprisingly deep at times (combos, air dashes, lunges, wallrunning… it’s hardly DMC but it’s still fun to mess around with rather than just thoughtless click-click-clicking). Now if only someone would port the Zwei!! games (and yes, Pratchett fans, the exclamation marks are part of the title, so nyah).

    • Mokinokaro says:

      It’s a shame this was brought over by Mastiff and not someone like xseed who put far more effort into dubbing/translation.

      The voice work is mediocre but the script isn’t great either. Thankfully it’s a very gameplay heavy game and the voices can likely be muted.

      • Eichigoya says:

        It’s not a port of the PSP. The PSP was a port of the PC game, and a little different. This version is a port of the original PC game but with full Steam support.
        Also, the dub is amazing. Have you even played it? Tara Strong, Amber Hood, Dee Bradley Baker. The script itself also feels really tight to me. Someone put some love into the translation.
        I’m maybe three hours into the game and loving it!

        • Eight Rooks says:

          I’ve watched the trailer. Those voices are dreadful. And please, stop wheeling out the names of the same tiny pool of American VAs as if it means anything? I watched a whole lot of anime, back before I got fed up of the never-ending hell of the medium pandering to a dwindling market of truly obsessive fans, and I’m pretty sure I could count the number of English dubs I felt were worth my time on the fingers of one hand. Other than the Prince from the original Prince of Persia games I don’t think I’ve ever heard Yuri Lowenthal give anything I’d call a really good performance.

          • Mokinokaro says:

            You just sound extremely fussy. You do realize those voices are pretty close to par with most Japanese voice acting right? Japan uses a hilariously melodramatic style that sounds terrible translated directly and is often mistaken for being “more emotional” when it’s pure camp.

          • Yglorba says:

            Of course it uses a hilarious melodramatic style, but the thing is, games like these are generally designed around that style. It feels ridiculous to have the characters on screen making exaggerated faces or responses while their VA speaks in a laden, “realistic” tone. Some people like melodramatic over-the-top stuff, especially when everything other than the voice acting was clearly put together under the assumption that that’s what you’d be hearing. (Including the dialog — stripping out the melodrama and having them read their lines in a casual tone just seems silly when the stuff they’re saying was clearly written to be over-the-top.)

    • pepperfez says:

      It’s totally unacceptable and inexplicable to me that PC games not include the original voices as an option. You have them already! There are no space limitations! YOU’RE NOT EVEN PROVIDING THE BANDWIDTH.

      • Eight Rooks says:

        Well, to be fair to Mastiff, I’m assuming licensing voiceovers costs money, and that their PSP port didn’t come with automatic rights to them on all other formats in perpetuity. Much as I loved the game I’m not kidding myself, it’s a niche release which probably doesn’t stand to make a whole lot of money. They have apparently said they might add them after release if it sells enough (though I don’t think giving away keys for Greenlight votes was necessarily the best way to go about that, but eh…).

        • Mokinokaro says:

          Licensing voice overs can cost a ridiculous amount of money. Voices have set contract fees in Japan dictated by the union but when those voices leave Japan the VA sets a non-negotiable price and many set that price far above reasonable. Some even dictate in their contracts that the voice work won’t leave Japan period.

          Some localization companies have built up enough rapport to get the international rights included in the initial contract negotiations but not all have that luxury.

          • pepperfez says:

            Some even dictate in their contracts that the voice work won’t leave Japan period.
            This sort of thing is what baffles me. Shouldn’t it be relatively cheap to license Japanese voices overseas, seeing as how no one outside of Japan can understand it? What value are the actors holding on to? There are clearly motivations at work here that I just don’t understand.

          • Mokinokaro says:

            There’s a streak of xenophobia in Japanese culture that could make the VAs feel that foreigners are unworthy of their work.

            However I think it mostly comes from the VAs being confused at why foreigners would want to listen to a language they don’t understand.

            I was in Japan during the summer Avengers was released. I had to really search to find a theater that kept the original voices (With Japanese subtitles) as everywhere had it playing with a hilariously bad sounding Japanese dub. For them everything must be dubbed into their own language.

            The folks who demand original voices, in general, are Europeans used to subtitled films (and who deal with dubs that make the worst English ones seem refined) and hardcore anime fans who got used to Japan’s exaggerated acting style through downloading fansubs to the point the somewhat more realistic acting most dubs use seems wrong (And dubs faithful to the original seem ridiculous and campy because you 100% understand them.)

  3. ArtyFishal says:

    This was a lot of fun on the PSP. It has a ton of charm.