After months of procrastination I finally pulled out Ni No Kuni for a quick run as it had been sitting on the self for months and I’m getting ready to box everything up for trade ins for the holiday season.
Visually the game is stunning. Studio Ghibli was used in the animation of the game and the flow from cinematic to game play is as smooth as it can possibly be for the PS3 generation. The foreground is incredibly rich and lush, especially in the forests. The small creatures are all cute and adorable as you would expect from Ghibli and it really had a feeling reminiscent of Spirited Away and Howl’s Moving Castle. My favorite place on the map is where you first stop at, Ding Dong Dell, a kingdom ruled over by a Cat and inhabited by humans and cat people who purr. The intricate detailing that went into the design is just heart breaking.
Story-line wise, it felt very familiar, as if I had played this game before. It had elements of The Legend of Zelda, Final Fantasy (X to be exact), and just about every heart breaking Ghibli move you’d ever seen. I saw every plot twist coming a mile away, though it helped that they came at an incredibly slow pace. I mean mind numbingly dull and slow pace. The very beginning is tedious and it doesnt get much better from there on out. What I’m trying to say is that this game is tedious.
The battle-systems are again reminiscent of Final Fantasy though the familiar mechanism is pretty cool. This means that not only do you have your own powers, but three other creatures’ powers at your disposal to use in real time and fast. The downside to this is that what ever HP your familiar loses, you lose as well which is pretty frustrating, but seeing as the story-line places the familiar as something from your heart or our soul, it makes a lot of sense. As you fight, you level up, gain items and accumulate currency to use in shops. Some of the creatures are based off of an element chart as well (fire against plant etc) making some fights last but a few seconds. You can dodge and cancel attacks as well as pick up health and magic orbs that are dropped by your foes. The creatures’ designs are pretty great too. The smaller ones are cute and seem non-threatening but the larger ones, say the Guardian of the Deep Dark Forest, are rather frightening if not beautiful in its own, big teeth and sharp claws way.
I have to say that I really do love this game. I could spend hours just staring at the scenery in the forests or looking at the bodies of water (as I tend to like greenery and water, and not so much deserts). However, I cant say that the replay value for me is very high. Of course, this is coming from someone who rarely plays a game again after completing it a first time, so take my word for what it is and make your own decision. Due to the cinematic nature of the game it is great to play with other people in the room and even better for children as the game’s story carry with it very good morals, the kind of morals I grew up with with all my Studio Ghibli movies and fairytale books.
This game is rated E 10+ for alcohol and tobacco reference, comic mischief, fantasy violence (you know the whole beating up beasties with magic and swords), mild language (very mild), and simulated gambling. Its a great game for kids to play with their parents as the story-line and animation is engrossing (just repetitive for me) and slow paced. But be warned that it is not a co-op game so siblings cannot share in the controller wielding experience.
If you were considering picking the game up, I suggest you do as you can never guess if you’ll like a game or not until you actually pick it up and play it. The slow paced nature is too tedious for my liking but does make a relaxing gaming experience. If you’re a fan of Studio Ghibli I totally suggest you go out and try this game, especially if you’re a fan of Howl’s Moving Castle. I picked my copy up at Game Stop for $17.09 at the Pro Member Price which makes the value versus game not too bad all things considering.
If you’re going to play Battlefield 4 and you havent picked it up yet
PLEASE UNDERSTAND THAT YOU NEED LIKE 14GIGS OF HARD DRIVE SPACE BECAUSE THIS GAME IS MASSIVE!!!!!!!!!!!
I work in a video game store and we got calls about this ALL. DAY.
THAT EXPRESSION PEOPLE MAKE WHEN THEY’RE ABOUT TO FALL OFF A CHAIR