…and it looks FANTASTIC!
The lush graphics, the interestingly looking battle system, a flying creature in what appears to be the game’s “airship”, and Joe Hisaishi’s soaring score– WOW! Now this is how you make an anime-inspired RPG and not what Square’s doing with the dubious Dragon Quest X. The comparisons are, personally, astronomical.
Funny that Level-5 released this trailer hours after Square Enix’s crazy announcement.
It’s also interesting to know that Dragon Quest X will not be co-developed by Level-5 this time unlike the last 2 entries. Has (L5 bossman) Akihiro Hino finally realized the iffy side of Square, which is why they decided not to join hands in creating one of the biggest RPG franchises out there? And also — I’m just theorizing here so bear with me — why there were able to nab and recruit Ivalice-creator Yasumi Matsuno (Final Fantasy Tactics, XII, Tactics Ogre) earlier this year because SE is totally becoming Japan’s embodiment of Bobby Kotick (of Activision)? Could be, it looks like it.
Ni no Kuni (unofficially translated as “The Another World”) in case you didn’t know is a new IP from Level-5, creators of memorable Japanese-developed titles such as the Professor Layton series and the Dark Cloud games. It’s being developed in cooperation with Studio Ghibli, an anime powerhouse studio commonly treated as the “Disney of Japan”. Ghibli is widely known for making critically acclaimed movies such as Spirited Away, Nausicaa: Valley of the Wind, My Neighbor Totoro and so forth.
There are in fact 2 Ni no Kuni games out there. The first, which came out exclusively in Japan about a year ago, was a DS game and it’s pretty popular for being the only DS game out there that comes with a Bible-looking book. Basically the book serves as your spell book, of some sort, since the game requires you to do a lot of stylus action. Crazy, I know. The second game is for the PlayStation 3 and it’ll be coming out in Japan this November (as you may have noticed in the trailer). No word yet on US and Europe releases for both, but I’ve heard rumblings that the PS3 version will be localized. After all, Level-5 opened up an office here in the US recently, and one of the requested games (when asked by fans via Facebook) was Ni no Kuni for the PS3. You never know.
If you’re wondering if the PS3 version will also come with a humongous book, I have no idea…