Hey gang, Valkor here. And I'm back with another GameView treat with this one more on the mellow side. Sure I love a good beat em up, shoot em up, zombie bustin, and bad guy punchin titles. But once in awhile you just wanna chill and play something that's simple and fun. And the folks at Level-5 – creators of all things Ni No Kuni and Starship Damrey, have give us just that in the form of "Attack of the Friday Monsters: A Tokyo Tale" for the Nintendo 3DS.
Taking place in the 70's in a small town called Fuji no Hana, Attack of the Friday Monsters puts you in the role of young Sohta, who he and his family have just moved into their small, quiet town, with the father working as the town's dry cleaner. Sohta learns that every Friday night, the town is plagued by giant monster attacks. Where the monsters come from and why are they here are the questions that need answers. And as you control Sohta through this short journey, you'll explore the town, examine evidence of the giant creatures, make new friends and battle your friends in a fierce game of monster card battle. Each event in Sohta's day plays out like an episode; some will finish rather quickly and others will be completed over time. And after you complete an episode, you'll be showered with monster glims as a reward. What are these monster glims? Shiny gems that you can collect in order to form a card. Once you've created at least five cards, then you're ready to challenge your newfound friends in a match.
OK maybe the game isn't all that "fierce" as I described above, but it's a definite distraction and helps to expand the game's playtime. Sohta starts the game with no cards and there are even characters who won't reveal information to him unless he's defeated them in a match. But once you have five you can do battle paper, rock, and scissor style. If you win, you'll be the boss of your opponent and they'll have to do what you say - and that includes revealing what they know. The same goes for them if you lose, then you'll be their servant (until you win). If you collect a number of the same card then you can combine them to increase the strength of that monster.
Attack of the Friday Monsters is a short journey, but one that has a lot of heart. The trick is, will hardcore gamers or even casual gamers invest in a title that actually plays out like an interactive story rather than bang-bang shoot em up or fantasy quest adventure?
I really hope they do, because Attack of the Friday Monsters is a charming, innocent and fun game that's very simple to play and as you play through, you start to become immersed into the story. It's very quirky and at times off the wall. But make no mistake you're in for a treat with this one. The mechanics are simple and easy to get into - even the monster card game is easy (but it also has its quirks). You can tell Attack comes from the heart, with all the attention to detail such as the sound effects, the locales, everything just speaks about that period, while not dumping you into a history lesson. In short – it feels authentic without being preachy. The graphics are solid; again that attention to detail is stunning with bright, bold colors and smooth animation. One of my favorite bits of animation is the training running in the background. I'm a huge fan of trains and I thought this was a nice touch. The music works well against the backdrop and each piece fits perfectly with each event Sohta faces – from lighthearted and bouncy to fearsome and menacing. There's also voice in the form of a Japanese narrator who'll also guide you through some of the game's mechanics and events. It's odd that the same voice is used for the kids when they do their chant after they become the "boss". In the end I really enjoyed my time with Attack of the Friday Monsters and it made for the perfect game for my daily commute.
My only issue is with the card game. And really it isn't that much of an issue. There were a few instances where I'd start up a match and at the first round the anouncer would reveal that all my cards are winners. But there has to be a second round, and if I switch two cards and they lose - I still win? So do we need the second round since it's best 3 out of 5?
Attack of the Friday Monsters: A Tokyo Tale is available now and if you're looking for a game that you can mellow out with, then snag a copy over at the 3DS eShop today. It's quirky, charming, and a lot of fun. I highly recommend it. And out of TOV 5 stars, I give Attack of the Friday Monsters 4.5. And it's been Valkor tested, TOV Approved.