Dan Silver – Online Mirror


With its cutscenes, characters and animation, it might have won the Oscar for best game of this generation.

Hero: Oliver in the magical world of Ni No Kuni

Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch

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(12+)

PlayStation 3. Released Friday

This collaboration between one of Japan’s biggest video game studios, Level-5, and its famous animation house Studio Ghibli is even more lavish than you might have imagined.

With its cutscenes, characters and animation, Ni no Kuni could well have won the Oscar for best game of this generation.

There are also brains to match beauty. Ni no Kuni is a characteristically complex Japanese role-playing game (JRPG). The combat is both real-time and strategic Рthe collection of companions and the training sections alone could fuel a Pok̩mon-style game Рand the alchemy-making system will have you experimenting endlessly to discover the right ones. spell recipes.

If this all sounds too good to be true, know that Ni no Kuni has all of the usual JRPG caveats – and more.

The story of a boy, Oliver, coming to terms with his mother’s death while saving a fantasy kingdom from destruction is painstakingly drawn, yet exhaustingly told.

Even by tireless standards like this, there is an eternity of explanation to be enjoyed / endured.

And while the game was clearly designed to appeal to players of all ages, some of its childish characters, fairytale backdrops, and overly twee styles could alienate adults.

Level 5 also takes the lead in punishing new extremes by refusing to allow you full gameplay control until around 3pm.

Connoisseurs of the JRPG genre and Studio Ghibli fans won’t be canceling pre-orders, but more traditional gamers may well find this more difficult to sell.

That said, if you can handle the sentimentality and have some time to spare, this beautiful epic will give you a nice comeback.






Deep: levels are too high



The cave

(12+)

Xbox 360. PlayStation 3. Wii U. PC. Outside now

This mid-priced, download-only version of the mind of Monkey Island creator Ron Gilbert is a noble attempt to combine point-and-click adventure with console-friendly platformer play.

Choose to guide three of the seven distinct (and distinctly delusional) potential adventurers through a surreal and sensitive underground playground. Each character has their own thematic section in the cave and a unique ability to overcome obstacles.

But the sprawling levels mean an otherwise awesome trip is crippled by a tedious flashback. This is nothing compared to the insane repetition of subsequent races, however. To see all the game has to offer, it will take at least three trips through the cave, but only the most masochistic will make it.

Rating: 3/5







The Wii can sing: pass the microphone



Wii U Sing Party

(3+)

Wii U. Released Now

We’re still waiting for the Wii U’s second screen to transform the game, but there’s no denying the positive effect it has on social media like Sing Party.

The ability to queue tracks on the gamepad while someone is in full flow means the fun never stops.

It offers a good dose of pleasure. In addition to a “stand up and sing” mode, there are team games with “mike” rounds and a party mode that encourages song, dance and wimotes to shake like maracas.

But all karaoke games rocket or fall depending on their songlists. The 50 tracks encompass everyone from Sinatra to Bieber, but you suspect that trying to please everyone can end up thrilling no one.

DLC will fix that, however, and more often than not, it hits the right note.

Rating: 3/5


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