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4th February
written by Splash

Title: Ni no Kuni
Platform: PSP
Genre: Monster raising, RPG
Language: Japanese
Company: Bandai Namco
Summary: It took me a long time to realize, but the fact that they’re releasing the game internationally under the Japanese title instead of something like “Kingdom of Ni” is stating something in itself. Dual audio, I am ready for you.

I’ve beaten the game at under 35 hours, including a lot of sidetracking for doing as many sidequests I could do without going too far out of my way just to complete the sidequest list.
Sound: Music is solid but there really isn’t that large of a library of music in this game. The final end dungeon doesn’t have any particularly epic music to go with it; it’s the same dungeon music as every other one in the game, which was quite anti-climatic. The ending credits music was good however, since it’s the (at-last) vocal version of the theme played throughout the game.
Replay Value:
Overall: 8/10.
I’m certain a ghibli fan would think much better of this game, but I’m pretty neutral on ghibli in general.
It’s a solid PS3 RPG for the English market. Some plus points for the dual audio, but a bit of a minus for the dubtitles/random name changes. SOME of the name changes are obviously nicer, but most other ones are pointless, and I suppose they changed them for the sake of making them something different from the Japanese version. Oliver is pretty much literally the only name kept in both versions.
Score is also brought down for the slow start (about 5 hours of gameplay before the 2nd character comes in).
The level grinding system unfortunately involves a whole ton of repetitive X button pressing. More points down for that.

The familiars grew on me. I liked them much better than when I first started out the game.
Also, the world traveling on dragon is awesome~ So much more interesting than the typical skycraft.
Overall, this is a good RPG for gathering up people of any age/type when most other games can only speak to very specific crowds. It’s a solid collab with Studio Ghibli from screen in to screen out, and there’s something for any kind of gamer to enjoy. Unfortunately, that means that at the same time that it doesn’t excel in any certain crowd attraction… it’s an all-rounder that didn’t knock the complete socks off me in any particular aspect. Nonetheless, the utter fact of its all-roundedness is its main redeeming factor. There’s something this RPG can do that no other RPG in English can do for now.

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