It's been a long time coming, but Level 5's lush role-playing game Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch is finally reaching UK shores in just a few weeks. Developed in conjunction with legendary Japanese animation outfit Studio Ghibli, home of Spirited Away, My Neighbor Totoro and more, the game follows a young boy who ventures into a magical land after the death of his mother.
Is there room in our stony cold hearts for a whimsical Japanese RPG in 2013? It would seem so, if the glowing recommendations from the gaming press are anything to go by.
"The perfect storm of adventure, challenge and emotion," gushes GamesMaster magazine's 95% review. "A lesson in what being a JRPG means." IGN's review comes in a hairs breadth beneath, with a 9.4 score. "Ni No Kuni is the best JRPG I've played in years," proclaims the review. "A must-play for an RPG fan with a PlayStation 3", it continues while praising the "gorgeous, lush" graphics and "engrossing" combat.
"Ni no Kuni is rich yet breezy, classic yet modern, exquisitely made and completely sure of itself," says Eurogamer's 9/10 review. "Best of all, Level-5 and Ghibli's artists have worked together to create a gorgeous adventure that feels like it belongs to both of them."
"A gloriously beautiful game by any standard, both visually and emotionally," reckons Metro GameCentral, handing out an 8/10. GamesTM is similarly impressed, also awarding an 8/10 score and declaring: "It's delicious. Coming as it does from two creative teams at the top of their respective fields, we expect nothing less."
Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch is a PlayStation 3 exclusive, and is on sale from February 1st.