Review: Attack of the Friday Monsters! A Tokyo Tale (Nintendo 3DS)

Definitely worth the wait, I was using the build up to New Year’s Eve to finish some loose ends on my 3DS desktop. Pullblox, I cast you out! This delayed gratification ended up making my new eShop purchases all the sweeter, particularly kitschy Japanese RPG “Attack of the Friday Monsters! A Tokyo Tale”. I’m not sure RPG quite explains how it all works though so don’t be put off by that. Maybe an interactive Manga is closer to the mark.

attack of the friday monstersYou control a little boy, Sohta, recently moved to the idyllic Tokyo suburb of Fuji no Hana in 1970’s Japan. His light-hearted interactions with his oddball parents & neighbours set the tone for an adorably sweet investigation into a string of bizarre events in the town.

Every Friday evening, a giant monster – a Kaiju, did you see “Pacific Rim”? – appears outside the town, leaving deep footprints along the countryside. How is the local TV station involved, currently trying to make a success of their tokusatsu show (a popular genre of monsters vs heroes show)? Where does mysterious gentleman Frank fit into it?

It’s a bit too short for the story to get predictable, lurching from one bizarre situation to another. After just over 2 1/2 hours I had completed nearly everything, including the main storyline, but it was addictive stuff. It’s not especially difficult, the game leads you around from location to location without much thought needed, but it was still a joy to play.

attack of the friday monsters 2A core component to the game is the Monster Card game, a tactical variation on Rock, Paper, Scissors played with collectable cards created by collecting glowing ‘glims’ around the town. Only once is it a compulsory point of the game, but despite being a fun side-quest that compulsory match was so much harder than any others I’d played, and it was an aggravating roadblock to a game I could have easily have blasted through in a few hours of blissful gaming.

I just fell in love with it, you know I’m a Japanophile anyway, but the static backdrops were gorgeous with just enough animated content to bring it alive. But I wouldn’t expect anything less from producing studio Level5 (see also Professor Layton). The cheerful Japanese commentary (fully subtitled) ensured the energy and humour of the dialogue was never lost.

I’ve seen some complaints online that for such a short game, how on Earth could it justify the price-tag on the eShop? It’s about £7, or $8, or about 7 Euro. Actually I got it on sale, it’s only £4.49 at the moment. Just think how much you would pay for a movie ticket, I don’t see how this is any different really, so whatever. You aren’t going to get every great game for 79p on the App Store, deal with it! I enjoyed it anyway, and you might too.

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