Wednesday, January 23, 2013

NI NO KUNI first impressions (video)

I have been playing videogames since Pong. Yea, THAT long.

First person shooters and strategy (turn-based and real-time) are my usual favorites but I have loved Role Playing Games (RPGs) since pen & paper Dungeons & Dragons.   The Elder Scrolls series is my favorite example of modern RPGs. 

Being an early fan of anime, I have always had a soft spot for Japanese Role Playing Games (JRPGs).Although there have only been a few noteworthy imports over the last few years, it looks like the drought is over.

The creator of fine RPGs, Level-5, teamed up with the "Disney of Japan" animation house, Studio Ghibli, and have come up with a near perfect blend of old-school JRPG fun with modern advances and truly beautiful art design in a PS3 exclusive game called, Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch. After finishing the demo the night before, I dove into this adventure yesterday, it's day of release in North America. 

After less than two hours, I am hooked. (and I am still finishing an older JRPG on Xbox360!)  I usually prefer turn-based combat, which this mostly is, but it's wrapped in a semi real-time environment. The story gets going quicker than most JRPGs and the graphics are extremely colorful and fluid; it feels like I am playing an animated movie.

I will post an update or two during the 40-80 hours I will eventually play the game, but do not wait on me to decide to pick this up.  IGN gave it a 9.4/10, calling it a game all fans of RPGs should play. 

Check this out: