Review: Attack of the Friday Monsters! A Tokyo Tale
Reviewer: Olen Bjorgo
Attack of the Friday Monsters! A Tokyo Tale is a quirky little title about a young boy named Sohta who just moved to the quiet little suburb of Fuji no Hana, where his parents opened up a dry cleaning business. However, he learns that every Friday a giant monster appears, and they have appeared ever since the TV station appeared in town. Sohta, along with the rest of the kids in town, set out to solve the mystery of where the monsters come from, but Sohta will soon learn that there’s more to this town than meets the eye…
“Mama, what’s a red light district?”
Visually speaking, the game is pretty simple, with nice looking character models, colorful scenery, but fits its overall feel of a time long ago. The character models have very awkward looking animations when walking up and down stairs, a fact that most apparent when you see Sohta walking down the stairs from his room at the beginning of the game, but thankfully a vast majority of the game doesn’t use this animation. The colors of the characters are bright and vivid and, thanks to the small cast, there’s no one who looks exactly like another, so there’s no generic bunch of nameless NPCs you regularly interact with. The environments that you walk around in and interact with are full of life, with nice little touches here and there to make it look like you really are in a small town from days gone by.
The game’s most notable track is the opening and closing theme which is basically telling the story of the game: you live in Fuji no Hana, your father is a dry cleaner, your mother works hard, it’s basically a short and simple song that you would learn in a music class… if you could speak Japanese. There’s no English dialogue spoken, and all the Japanese spoken in the audio is the same female voice, but most of what you’ll be doing is reading so it’s not really that big of a deal. Beyond that, the audio is pretty meh, with nothing too outstanding or memorable.
But don’t worry; the rest of the game leaves more of…an impression!
…I’ll show myself out.
The controls on the overworld are decent, but require a bit of getting used to due to the camera changing directions radically in some transitions, but it’s far from broken. For example, leaving one area to the left may have you suddenly looking at the camera, and requires you to immediately stop pressing left and pressing forward as opposed to keeping it consistent like you would expect from any modern game. The main attraction is the collectible card game that you play. You need to collect what are called Monster Glims, which are shiny bits that are on the ground throughout the town or won by winning against your friends. When seven glims of the same color are collected, you gain a new Monster Card, which can then be used by itself or be combined with a double to make it stronger. The game works like roshambo, where each card literally has a rock, paper, or scissors icon, using the hand gestures for each. Each person plays five cards facedown, and you need to win at least three rounds or two rounds and one draw. Between your cards and your opponent’s cards are tokens that tell you if a certain match will win, lose, or draw. The one who is winning by how the cards are originally set up then goes first by moving two cards around, which then allows the loser to move cards and they battle. However, the game is made a bit more challenging with Dual Cards that can defeat two of the symbols but not the other. For example, one card allows you to beat paper and scissors but is beaten by rock. Draws are handled by the numerical strength each monster possesses, so upgrading them to become stronger is not a wasted effort. Beyond this, the game is simple to master.
The game is charming with its setting of 1970s Japan, and captures a simpler time
that can be understood by a lot of people, especially if you grew up in a small town
I initially bought the game during a holiday sale since it is regularly $8.00 on the eShop but, keeping the regular price in mind, the game is not too bad. You’ll get maybe three hours out of it, so it’s a nice gem to play if you’re traveling or maybe stuck somewhere. Beyond maybe the cute story and interesting take on a familiar game older than dirt, there’s not a whole lot to this title. If you wanna kill a few hours for a few dollars, go for it. If you want to wait until it’s on sale again, it’s worth a decent wait. But if you want something with a lot of replayability, unfortunately this title is lacking and more of a play once and you’re done. Still, it’s a pleasant experience worth playing through even if it’s as fleeting as childhood.
Controls & Mechanics: 5
Atmosphere & Experience: 8
Entertainment Value: 6
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Consoles: Nintendo 3DS
Developer: Millenium Kitchen
Release Date (U.S.): July 18, 2013
Release Date (U.K.): July 18, 2013
Release Date (JP): July 18, 2013