I was almost certain, before playing Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch, that I wouldn't like this game. It's a JRPG that is stylized to look amazingly like a well-crafted anime cartoon, and neither one of those genres of entertainment do anything for me. They aren't my cup of tea, if you will.
Yet the reviews for the game were unbelievable. I never thought I could be talked into having interest in a game like this, yet I here I sit, a couple of hours into it, and I love it. And I hate that I love it.
I didn't want to like this game because I don't have time to love this game. And yet this is a game that demands and commands you to dump many, many hours into it to experience everything it has to offer. And that's the scary part. I think I really do like this game a lot, but there isn't any chance I will be able to spend the amount of time it deserves with it any time soon. I have one game I am in the middle of, one sitting on the shelf ready to be enjoyed, this daily blog, and that little thing called "life." Oh, and the endless run of huge and amazing games coming down the pipeline in the next few months means I will already be sacrificing play time for one or another, for another.
This game is anime with a great story smashed together with a pokemon-type of collecting/battling system. The game runs smoothly, the dialogue is crisp and refreshing and the story is mesmerizing already. The art style is flat-out beautiful, and the sheer enormous size of the game and the complexity of the systems (battling, magic, crafting, collecting, leveling, etc.) is overwhelming.
Like I said, I am shocked that I enjoyed this game this much already. And while I want nothing more than to keep playing, I simply can't do it to myself just yet. Maybe in the lull of the gaming wasteland known as summer? That seems more reasonable. Of course, I say that now. I might end up spending the next week playing nothing but this game.
I would go back to it tonight - like right now - but alas, I desperately need some sleep. Hopefully my enjoyment of this awesome experience that is Ni No Kuni wasn't derived from being sleep-deprived. It wouldn't be the first time, though.
See you in the summer, Ni No Kuni. Hopefully...