I've dabbled with JRPG's in the past and what I have experienced has always left me feeling as if the genre held games that if only I had given the chance I am sure that I would have loved them. Unlike run of the mill shooters, many of these titles give me the feeling that what I am playing is in itself a unique and special experience. Ni No Kuni is the latest of these games that I have had the pleasure of playing and I can only say that within the first few minutes alone I had already known that this adventure was going to be special.
It's a game that has the power to put you in position to experience a nightmare of an episode for a young child, then within minutes, hints at giving you the power to change all of that. Who wouldn't want to stick around to see if the young hero has what it takes to reverse the dire situation that opens the game? It's a compelling narrative that any child in the same situation could only dream of having the chance to manipulate the outcome and return to his youth unscathed, all the while assisting others in saving themselves from an equally dire consequence.
I only have a couple of hours invested in this game so far and what I have played is already a memorable gaming experience for myself. It's a game that is so far off the normal path that I take, others in my household can walk by the TV and know this is not what usually is playing on the big screen. They can tell from the voices, and the wonderful and memorable music score that this game is far different than anything they have seen this old man sit and enjoy for hours on end. They notice the conspicuous absence of gunfire and grenade explosions and "Oscar Mike" being yelled at my protagonist. And I couldn't be any happier to explain to them, hell, anyone, what it is that has me glued to the screen and wasting time jotting down this tidbit on my blog.
In keeping with my tradition of not spoiling story for fellow gamers, I can only hope that even my little four paragraph notation here helps gamers that are either totally unaware or even those on the fence about Ni No Kuni that it is indeed worth at least a rental! If you are biased toward what types of games you play, granted, this will be a step far off the normal route you may take towards valuable entertainment. But if you open up just a bit and take in this beautifully animated adventure, you will be in for a treat seldom found in western developed games.