If you’ve ever wanted a game that’s inspired by Studio Ghibli films like My Neighbor Totoro or Spirited Away then Ni no Kuni is your answer. It’s a Japanese RPG game developed by Level-5 with animated sequences and an art-direction produced by none other than Studio Ghibli themselves.
Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch was the first release which came out on 17th November 2011 in Japan exclusively for PlayStation 3. The story follows Oliver alongside his sidekick and former doll Drippy as he traverses his hometown Motorville and the alternate world where he tries to find his mother’s soulmate Alicia. Ollie recruits a team of adorable and silly characters to help him fight some gigantic enemies.
This world is affected by the evil wizard Shadar who can manipulate and break the hearts of many inhabitants. Oliver uses his new abilities to heal the hearts of the people.
I don’t want to give away too much of the game, but the game is highly acclaimed for its emotional and heart-warming story as well as incredible art. There are also no turn-based battles!
Now we can look forward to the second installment in the series known as Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom due 10th November 2017. The game boasts all of its original influences as well as the original open-world in Wrath of the White Witch.
The new protagonist is a kid called Evan who loses his job after his subjects consider him to be “too nice” for the job. A middle-aged leader from the real world is transported to the fantasy realm on a quest to find himself and become a true leader. The overworld is rumoured to be huge and some new critters should be available for combat.