I've always enjoyed being the "JRPG guy" amongst my gaming buddies, but the last decade hasn't really helped me out on our geek totem pole. Luckily, 2012 seems to be the turn-around year thanks to a handful of fun games without a roman numeral stuck at the end of the title. Many talented teams have stepped up their efforts to dig deep into the heart of the genre and rediscover the magic of what makes a great JRPG so much fun: a grand adventure.

Nobody seems more keen on bringing their genre back from the brink than Level-5 with their latest game Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch.

A caring young man out to save the heart a suffering young woman, a country in despair at he clutches of a heartless witch, a terrifying faceless villain with the voice of a demon, a swashbuckling guide with impressive stubble, wooden boats floating down jungle rivers, flaming creatures climbing from a volcano, pirate skeletons. It's the stuff of dreams we loved as children, the adventure of a lifetime very few have the ability to tell anymore. Only Studio Ghibli and Level-5 could bring such a heartfelt journey to life and put it into a video game.

Now we just need to see how it plays. Level-5 has a lot of street cred with Dark Cloud and Dragon Quest XIII under their belt. I'm sure their genius will carry over into this important game.

All the great original JRPGs we've seen in 2012 seem like practice warming us up for something really special from Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch. The game is due for release on January 22, 2013 exclusively for the PlayStation 3.

[via VG247]

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