The basic outline of the game is this – one boy sets off on an adventure in an attempt to save his mum… who died… because another version of her in another world has gotten herself in a spot of bother. Sound confusing? Throw in fairies (who are for some unknown reason, Welsh, and REALLY annoying) and magic, and familiars; and you’ve actually got a rather awesome little game.
So, I must admit, when Ni No Kuni landed on my desk, my first impressions were similar to my impressions of most Japanese RPGs;
• It won’t be as good as the last final fantasy I truly enjoyed – which was FFX
• It will be cute and charming, but that will wear thin rather quick
• The gameplay will be fiddly and annoy the tits off me
How. Wrong. Can. One. Man. Be?
Ok, the first hour or two was waaaay too much dialogue and not enough play, and the play that there was had little to no action. I was really struggling to enjoy it. I wanted nothing more than to reach into the screen, slap Oliver in the face (I know people need to grieve, but he’s just a whiney little so-and-so) I also wanted to drop-kick Mr. Drippy off the nearest cliff (and I still do).
Seriously, someone get me this plushie so I can kick it off a cliff. I need to do it. For therapeutic reasons.
Once you’ve suffered past the HUGE intro though, the game is actually very enjoyable. The battle system is interesting and different. The concept is fresh, and the story (unlike a lot of Japanese RPGs) DIDN’T make me want to pull my eyes out in repetitive madness – I’m not saying there were NO repetitive elements to the game, but they were spaced out enough that I don’t mind.
Now, I know I’ve had a moan about the characters being annoying, and the intro being too long, but I really don’t want to put anyone off buying Ni No Kuni and giving it an honest chance. The game really is very nice. In fact, I’ve somehow managed to clock up over 20 hours on it already. Now, I know it’s been out a while and that’s not a lot compared to some people (and even what I would have done myself a year or two ago) but for someone who is out of the house 50+ hours a week, I’ve somehow managed to lose an entire day to this game!?!
Platform: PlayStation 3
Developer: Level 5
Rated: PEGI 12
Release Date: OUT NOW