I Only Have Eyes For Ni no Kuni

I’m an old fashioned girl at heart. I try to move with the times, or should I say try to at least be aware of the times. I know which films are in the cinema and a little about some of the latest music. I also know about the latest developments and trends in gaming. I’m aware of all the big games that are due out and I’ll of course play them, just as I’ll go to see Sin City 2 and I admit to dancing on the couch to Will Smith’s nine year old daughter’s song when there’s no one around. No one could accuse me of not knowing how to whip my hair. These aren’t the things that really stir me though. While most people feel the need to commune with their friends and wider community using our shared interests, whether it be going to a festival or discussing the votes on TV talent shows, we all have our niche tastes that few around us share. Personally I’d prefer to listen to The Flamingos “I Only Have Eyes for You” (1959) and watch Jimmy Stewart in Rear Window (1954) than just about anything else.

I’m not sure when exactly it was that traditional Japanese fantasy role playing games stopped being popular. I suspect that people who were into doo wop and suspense films shot on sound stages also didn’t notice the moment that their genres started to fall out of fashion. One day they just realised that no one was talking about them any more. Now as the year turns over we’re all looking forward to shiny new games and most are high octane, technologically cutting edge wonders that are going to blow our minds. I’ve joined in chatting about all these new titles but in truth I’m most excited about Ni no Kuni: Queen of the White Sacred Ash. It’s a Level 5 game so I already know it’s going to be a warm, quaint, lovely role playing experience, very much in the long established tradition of the Japanese genre. Development, however, will be shared with Studio Ghibli, the animation studio behind eye-wateringly beautiful movies like Spirited Away and Ponyo. Ni no Kuni looks absolutely exquisite, a colourful, pretty world that actually manages to put Eternal Sonata in the shade. The battle system reminds me a little of Pokemon, since your party direct little cute creatures to fight on their behalf against only slightly less cute enemies. Games like these are becoming rarer and don’t offer the untold wonders of new gaming concepts we can barely grasp. It’s not surprising that Ni no Kuni isn’t on the lists of highly anticipated games coming in 2011, but it’s the one I’m most looking forward to.








2 responses to “I Only Have Eyes For Ni no Kuni”

  1. Celeste avatar

    Looks good – beautifully Japanese.

  2. Dean avatar

    Right with you on this one. My jaw dropped when i saw the trailer. I cannot wait. Incidentally i just watched Pom Poko again last night. Possibly Studio Ghibli’s most surreal and little known film and possibly my favourite, if only for the fact that it features Tanuki with giant scrotums.

    I’m also right with you on Rear Window – Jimmy Stewart is a god amongst actors.

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