[E3] Ni No Kuni Hands-On Preview


Ni No Kuni is an upcoming cell-shaded JRPG by Level-5 Studios for the Playstation 3 system. The art was done by Studio Ghibli, famed Japanese studio responsible for movies like My Neighbor Totoro, Ponyo, and Howl’s Moving Castle. Their signature art style is very visible in Ni No Kuni.

IGN has this to say about the game:

“Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch is an epic tale of a young boy, Oliver, who embarks on a journey to become a master magician and bring back his dead mother from the parallel world of Ni no Kuni. Along the way he encounters some extraordinary characters, many of whom become helpful allies. They guide Oliver as he explores the vast world and learns the magical skills that will make him strong enough to face his most deadly foes, and ultimately survive an encounter with the White Witch herself.

The world of Ni no Kuni actually runs parallel to the real world. Players will be able to travel between the two. Characters who appear in one world appear in the other as well, but with different roles in this unique RPG experience.”

We had a chance to play it at the event and it seemed very fun, especially if you like Studio Ghibli movies. The story seemed engrossing, and hopefully it will be up to par with the full-feature films that they make. The best part of the game was the graphics and art; the cell-shading is flawlessly executed, and the game actually looks like an interactive Ghibli movie. The combat was interesting- the different characters seemed to procure tiny monsters that battled the enemies. Their regular attacks and special abilities were based on available stamina. The combat seemed to have a bit of a learning curve which is hard to immediately grasp, but some online sample videos imply that it becomes much easier to manage. Although the part we played seemed extremely polished, the game will be released in January 2013.

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