Review: ‘Attack of the Friday Monsters! A Tokyo Tale’
Spend your real afternoon playing a fictional oneon August 1, 2013 at 8:00 am
I won’t lament over the fact that you probably haven’t heard of “Attack of the Friday Monsters! A Tokyo Tale”, a new 3DS title available on the Nintendo eShop. It’s a shame that Nintendo doesn’t do a better job promoting games there; there’s a lot of good stuff, AotFM one included.
“Attack of the Friday Monsters” is actually part of a collection of games called Guild02. While sold as a package in Japan, these are released separately for the West. The two other games that accompany this are “Bugs vs. Tanks”, designed by Keiji Inafune of “Mega Man” fame, and “The Starship Damrey”, which is a horror game.
While every game in the Guild series is interesting, especially “Crimson Shroud” from Guild01, AotFM is probably my favorite. Which makes it even harder to review and recommend, because it barely even qualifies as a game.
See, AotFM is actually a mini spin-off of a series that has never seen Western shores, “My Summer Vacation” (Boku no Natsuyasumi). The gist of the series is that you play as a young kid through the 31 days of a typical Japanese summer off. They’re not games designed to be “gamey”. Instead, they’re more relaxing, meant to emulate the nostalgic feeling of lazy summer days spent chasing bugs. lounging about, and playing games with your friends.
AotFM doesn’t attempt to change this, but it does shorten the scope to just one day. Oh, and it adds Kaiju elements to it, as well. The story in AotFM revolves around a new transfer student, Sohta, and the town he moves to, which suffers from giant monster attacks every Friday.
No one seems bothered by this, however. There is a hill everyone runs up on to watch the monsters and no damage is ever done. The only evidence they were ever there are some large footprints that are scattered around the outskirts of town.
Of course, as you play the game, you often wonder whether or not these tales are actually real. After all, a popular television show is filmed in town and it also involves…
Can you guess what it focuses on?
Yup, giant monsters.
All of the kids in town love the show and that love translates into a card game that they all play, which is fueled by the station. See, for whatever logic you want to make up for this, the people behind the show scatter glims around town for the kids to collect. If you collect seven of the same type, you’ll get that card.
This perpetuates AotFM’s only actual “gameplay”, and it’s a shallow one, at that. This card game is Rock, Paper, Scissors and it doesn’t try to hide it. Each card blatantly displays which of the three it is.
Both players lay out five cards and they are pitted against each other. RPS rules apply and if you win more points than your opponent, then you become victorious. In the event of a tie, each card has a number value which will determine the winner.
…and that’s pretty much it.