Not only is it one of the best, if not the best, JRPG since the glory days of Final Fantasy VII, Rogue Galaxy, and Disgaea: Hour of Darkness, it is also the most ostentatiously beautiful game of its kind. The orchestral score works nothing short of wondrously when played side by side with the incredibly deep, and intuitive gameplay. All of the games characters are both likeable and pulchritudinously stunning, brought to life by their exquisite hand-drawn character models, courtesy of Studio Ghibli, and some top notch voice acting. There haven’t been many games this generation that have kept me in awe as long as Ni No Kuni has, throughout its 40-hour campaign I never got bored or felt the need to play anything else, and that is one of Ni No Kuni’s greatest triumphs.
Ni No Kuni follows the story of a young boy named Oliver, who in an attempt to bring his mother back to life, travels to another world in order to free her from the grasps of the evil White Witch. Accompanied by his cuddly toy Mr Drippy they set out on a quest that would see him face major adversities, and travel to some of the most gorgeous game locations ever created.
If you are reading this thinking that the story seems incredibly silly and suitably Japanese, you would be right, however Ni No Kuni still manages to uphold an incredibly touching, and emotional narrative, that constantly tugs at your heartstrings.
Much like very character in Ni No Kuni, you fall in love with Oliver very early on in the game, he is a unique protagonist and one that will likely be remembered for years to come.
The thing that struck me about Ni No Kuni
was not just its aesthetic beauty, but its undeniable inner beauty. Sure, the first time that you visit Ding Dong Dell you’ll be blown away by its stunning visuals, however it was the story was kept me engaged, and made me feel warm, whilst restoring my affinity with the JRPG genre. It was Oliver’s journey that I found truly stunning. The heart on display in Ni No Kuni’s story is incredulously enamouring, the theme of looking at how far you would go to save someone that you love stays clear for the duration of the game, never becoming overblown or needlessly over complicated.
Ni No Kuni doesn’t do anything revolutionary in terms of gameplay. In true JRPG fashion the emphasis on battling and grinding is prominent, however isn’t totally necessary. It is perfectly possible to beat the game’s main antagonist without doing any excessive battling, however it will be infinitely more difficult if you decide not to. Unlike a game like Soul Sacrifice you can’t battle the final boss from any point of the game, however this works in Ni No Kuni’s favour as it means that you really do have to experience all that it has to offer, and I really believe that this is how games should be played.
In terms of visuals Ni No Kuni really is a landmark in its genre. Its hand drawn environments and character models are awe inspiringly beautiful, and every little detail that you can think of has been catered to in immense detail. Whilst titles such as Final Fantasy VII do look good to this very day, they just can’t compare to the artwork that is on display in Ni No Kuni, it really does need to be seen to believed, and not just watched on a low quality internet video. Thankfully Ni No Kuni sold incredibly well and this leaves me with hope that Level-5 may decide to create a sequel for the next generation of consoles, which will be every bit as stunning as its predecessor.
Ni No Kuni is also easily accessible to anybody that really appreciates a great, heartwarming story that is also a benchmark in terms of visual fidelity in its genre. Forget Battlefield 4’s stunning, photo realistic visuals, Ni No Kuni the definition of beauty in gaming, a true masterpiece.
So, I urge everybody who has read this article to at least give Ni No Kuni a chance to impress you, you really do owe it to yourself to play this blissfully special title.
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