A boy journeys into another world to save his mother.
Legendary Japanese animation genius Hayao Miyazaki's Studio Ghibli has produced some of the most beloved - and frankly, best - animated features of all time. Developed by Professor Layton and White Knight Chronicles developer Level 5, Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch is the closest we may ever get to experiencing a playable version of one of Studio Ghibli's imaginative worlds - and it's coming out in the West early next year.
In Ni no Kuni (literally "Second Country," sometimes called "The Other World,"), a thirteen-year-old boy named Oliver ventures into a world parallel to his own to try and bring his mother back from death. Presumably there will be lessons learned in ways both heartwarming and tearjerking, because, well, it's Studio Ghibli. That's sort of their schtick.
The cel-shaded style looks great on its own, and is heads-and-tails above any cel-shading we've seen previously, though it stands out when juxtaposed with the gorgeous fully-animated stuff done by the actual Studio Ghibli.
Unfortunately, the dub voice acting doesn't really seem up to par. Rather, the supporting cast seems well-acted, but the main characters and especially Oliver feel like they could get grating over the course of an RPG.
Thankfully, Ni no Kuni will feature the original Japanese voice acting as an option right from the outset.
Look for it on January 22nd in the States, and January 25th in Europe.