A few months back, I had the opportunity to play Level-5 and Millennium Kitchen's title, Attack of the Friday Monsters! A Tokyo Tale, and it really left an impression on me. There are a lot of reasons why this is, but as it's been so long since I played, I don't think I could really describe them in a way that gives them justice.
that, I'll say this to start: This isn't really a review of the game. I
don't think I could give the game a fair review at this point, and it's
not just because it's been months. With Attack of the Friday Monsters!, I
only played the game the one time. I sat down and played it and I
didn't stop until I had finished. I have not picked up the game since,
though I immediately set the game to being my favorite in my 3DS
profile, where it has remained to this day.
All in all, it
was a little over five hours, but I suspect some people could've done it
in less. There was some side content I didn't get to when I finally
closed out of the game, but I was more than satisfied with where I left
I was really taken with this game's little world, drawn in in a way that I can safely say few other games have managed. It wasn't just that the game was charming, with the extent of its gameplay being simple quests, card games with your friends, and the occasional puzzle here and there. It was very... nostalgic. It brought me back to my youth, briefly, even though the game's events weren't particularly reminiscent of my actual childhood.
It captures that innocent time of your life in a way
that doesn't come off as forced or condescending. If you've ever seen
those Persona comics joking around with the text declaring "IT'S LIKE I'M REALLY JAPANESE!" then, well...
I don't know if I can say this made me feel like a kid again exactly,
but it certainly brought me to that whimsical state of mind, if nothing
While being too familiar with them isn't at all necessary to the game, it's probably worth mentioning that the game draws a lot of inspiration from Showa-era tokusatsu series.
If "Showa-era tokusatsu series" means nothing to you, think Ultraman, Kamen Rider, Godzilla, and so on, which are still around today, but in their more iconic, campy forms ranging from 30-50 years ago. You also had a lot of little kids getting involved with the monsters of the week in stuff like Ultraman and Kamen Rider, which is less common these days, but in that respect, having seen plenty of those shows and having grown up watching poorly dubbed Godzilla movies, it also made me feel a little extra connected to its world.
Don't worry though! So long as you have a vague idea of old Godzilla movie tropes, which are mostly referenced in a card game the kids in
the game play, even if you've never actually seen one, you don't need to
worry about not getting anything. And if you've ever played card games with your friends, maybe you can appreciate that all the more too.
Initially, I wanted to draw a comparison to Level-5's Yo-Kai Watch series, but as enjoyable as I'm sure those games are, the feeling I got from the demo was... plastic. Solid enough once I got used to it, yes, but tinged with a cheap aftertaste of obvious marketing and "this is for kids!" that not even Level-5's LBX, a series actually about toys, had going for it. Maybe it was the font? I dunno.
Either way, while that's mostly neither here nor there, I do want to say if you enjoy running around in Yo-Kai Watch's overworlds,
exploring and having fun and just playing around in the towns, this
game is all of that and... well, it's pretty much just that, but it's
almost kind of magical in the way it approaches it.
game's little town looks and sounds really nice, and as far as what it
is? It's literally just you, as a little Japanese boy and his friends,
running around this town on a hot afternoon. That's all, and it is
It's a simple setting and a simple
premise that I don't think I've seen many games outside of visual novels
tackle, and it makes me wish more would. It's unfortunate that in
today's AAA, money driven world, little games or even just ideas
like this may never see the light of day outside of the indie scene and
little bursts of creativity from Japan, but I'm extremely grateful for
when it does happen.
The one thing that really strikes me about this game is that I... really don't want to play it again.
I would probably get some enjoyment out of it, no doubt, but it wouldn't be the same as my first time through. To compare to what is probably my favorite game of recent years, I'll occasionally still pick up Soul Sacrifice Delta , nuke my character's stats, put on some bad equipment, and then go through parts of the story mode as through I'm rereading favorite parts of a well read, well loved novel. It isn't exactly the same as my first time through, but I enjoy it quite a lot.
With Attack of the Friday Monsters! on the other hand... It's not a game I feel as though I can do that. It was an experience that I thoroughly enjoyed, an emotion and thought provoking experience that Nintendo hasn't come close to offering in recent years to me. It's a game where just walking around town was not so much a chore but part of the game; it was a touch of something that I hadn't realized I'd lost. I feel like, for now, I'd rather keep it to fond memories than go back in knowing just what's going to happen.
be honest, I almost feel like I'm ruining it for anyone reading this
who hasn't played it yet, either by giving it too much hype or just by
This leads to what is ultimately the point here: Why am I bringing all of this up now? Kind of random, right?
Well, a game you'll only be playing once, and only for a few hours at that, might seem like a tall order for its normal asking price of $8.
Right now, however, it's on sale on the eShop for a mere $3, and I would be remiss to not suggest this gem of a game to everyone I possibly could at that price.
So while you're doing your Black Friday shopping, if you have a 3DS and maybe find yourself wanting to kill a few hours, to you, whoever you are, I say maybe give Attack of the Friday Monsters! a shot. And if you do, while this is probably obvious here, I hope you like it as much as I did!