Ni no Kuni is a Japanese game currently in development at the hands of Level-5 and Studio Ghibli. Level-5 is probably best known for their work on the extremely successful DS puzzle-crime solving series, Professor Layton. Studio Ghibli is the Japanese collosus in feature-length animation films. Americans may know their work from flicks like Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, My Neighbor Totoro or Howl’s Moving Castle.
Studio Ghibli’s animation is synonymous with two things: stunning beauty and creativity. Ni no Kuni, according to the folks from Level-5, seeks to bring the Studio Ghibli standard for visual quality to the PlayStation 3. According to Akihiro Hino, CEO of Level-5, they want to “let players experience the feeling of being in a Studio Ghibli movie.” The video above is of actual gameplay; it looks like Level-5 is doing a great job.
Japanese people are typically completely enamored with work from Studio Ghibli. My Neighbor Totoro, the flick that makes up the studio’s logo seen to the right, is widely regarded as one of the greatest children’s movies to see release throughout Japanese film history. There are entire stores in mini-malls dedicated to the retail goods that roll out of Studio Ghibli’s masterworks.
It’s no surprise, then, that both the PS3 and DS versions of the game are arriving in such high regard.
There is no word on plans for an American release. However, Studio Ghibli’s works over recent decades have all been picked up by Disney and produced for release in the States. There’s a strong chance that this series will eventually see the light of day in the Western world.
Ni no Kuni is due out in Japan sometime during 2011. The DS version of the game released this past December and has been selling very well. Let’s hope some of that success makes it to American shores. Until then, keep it locked to TechnoBuffalo as we bring you more gorgeous gameplay videos to lust over.