With the world-renowned development prowess of Level-5 and the much loved artistic stylings of Studio Ghibli, Ni no Kuni has long been poised to challenge every other JRPG of the generation upon release. After more than a year of waiting, it finally has a release date: November 17th in Japan.
If I sound gushy, it’s because I believe this has an excellent chance of surpassing pretty much every non-tactical JRPG released in the last five years. I played through two different demos at the Tokyo Game Show last year, and the game just kept blowing me away. The visuals were absolutely astounding, and Ghibli’s signature style made everything feel so beautifully familiar, yet powerfully intriguing. Exploration was therefore pure, unfiltered fun. Battles begin somewhat similar to a 3D Tales title, but the lead character himself isn’t the one fighting: he sends in the orange guy in overalls you’ve seen in screenshots. The demo fights were on the easy side, but not so much that they were a cake walk. I saw some people getting killed by the boss, but luckily I didn’t suffer the same fate.
This is not the same game as the DS version that released in Japan in December. There are obvious similarities, but this has different systems and a whole new story. Like the DS game, it will ship with a big honkin’ spell book.