The Ninjabot

Attack of the Friday Monsters Review: Giant Monsters On A Tiny Screen

Posted on January 28, 2014 at 12:47 am by Victor Chaves

aotfm_titleAttack of the Friday Monsters is a game where, as the child Sohta, you investigate why giant monsters attack a Tokyo suburb every Friday. The title is download-only through the Nintendo 3DS eShop, and is part of the Guild series where each Guild release has four games. The Guild games are made by several different companies (think The Animatrix) with the purpose of releasing experimental games. Attack of the Friday Monsters is no different, as the setting, story, and gameplay are extremely unique and coalesces into a very heart-felt game.
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No Guns or Explosions Here

The gameplay is a fun combination of narrative and card-based battles. As Sohta, you run around a neighborhood talking to people to forward the storyline, with some willing to partake in a fun giant monster-themed card battle. Forwarding the plot is extremely simple as the bottom-screen on the 3DS shows a map that literally labels where the next part of the story is. There are small side stories that involve talking to people not clearly labeled on the map, and the reward is usually a collectible that’s useful for the card game.

Card battles use a paper-rock-scissor labeling where each monster card has one of those attributes. After each player chooses five cards, the game gives hints on who won and which cards won, without revealing each others hands. Each opponent then chooses two cards to switch places in order to outguess their opponent. It involves a lot of logic, but is very satisfying to learn. You can power-up your monster cards by combining them, and you can discover more cards by collecting glims scattered throughout town, or by winning battles. It’s very simple, and has an incredibly small learning curve.

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An Incredibly Intriguing Story

The story is something to behold. It starts simple, Sohta just moved to a new neighborhood outside of Tokyo, and after meeting the kids and townsfolk, learns that giant monsters attack the suburb every Friday. When the attack happens, some smoke appears with a silhouette of a giant monster and giant footprints are littered throughout the field outside of town. The weird thing is, as Sohta wanders through the town trying to see how he can help stop the monsters, you the player already know that the monsters don’t exist. At the same time though, the adults in the game act like they exist, and as a player you don’t know whether they are serious or joking with Sohta. The kids are also somewhat into the fantasy as whoever loses a card game is commanded by the winner to fall down using a spell with random words; after the loser falls, the winner then commands them to stand back up. You can’t help think this is a joke, but both kids and adults take the command seriously and leaves one to wonder if this is really another joke.

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The art style is fantastic. The small town is extremely well-realized with picturesque camera placement that dazzles the eyes. It’s not a graphical powerhouse, but the artistic design slams into your eyes and renders lips into a beaming smile. The scenery is warm and familiar, and even though I’ve never been to Tokyo, I couldn’t help but feel nostalgic for when I was a child wandering through the neighborhood hanging out with my friends. The game even presents itself as a nostalgia trip for one of the side characters, where another girl that moved in that same day turns out to be the narrator in the story. As she speaks about specific parts of the plot, only the narrator is given a voice in the game, which lends further credence to the feeling of nostalgia that the art exudes as well.

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Final Thoughts

Attack of the Friday Monsters is a different breed of game; the nostalgia factor, the incredibly intriguing story, and the original card mini-game creates an incredible and unique experience. The game clocks in at a very fun 2-3 hours, and at $7.99 I can really recommend Attack of the Friday Monsters. If you are a fan of Miyazaki and Ghibli movies, this is a story you wouldn’t dare to miss out.

Presentation: 9

Gameplay: 7

Replay: 6.5

Legacy Score: 8

Geek Legacy’s review scores are on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the highest possible score.

Follow Victor on Twitter @fake_brasilian to see him be unnecessarily mad about movies everyone loves.

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