A great story within a great world to explore. Charming characters and a charming and sometimes heartbreaking story

User Rating: 9 | Ninokuni: Shiroki Seihai no Joou PS3
Oliver, who is the games' protagonist, is a normal boy with normal issues. When suddenly his mother dies in a tragic accident. Oliver gets lonely, but suddenly his stuffed fairy comes to life. From here the story begins and Olivers journey where he travels to another world and meets the twin souls of everyone in his town. On his journey he mends broken hearts and catches monsters. His journey is to try to save his mother and everyone else in this new world and his own. He soon also finds out he is the pure hearted one to save both of worlds from sadness and darkness.

The gameplay has a more action oriented take on the combat. You take control of either one of the monsters or one of the humans and choose attacks. The character you control can be moved around while choosing to defend or attack. Timing is essential when it comes to the harder enemies. The variety is great and the flow of the game is really well done. The gameplay is solid and can also be addictive when you finally get to catch all these different monsters.
The sidequests aswell give you incentive by finishing them. Where you can choose from bonuses like running faster or getting extra health during battles and so on. The sidequests also have a lot of variety. You can mend people by helping them healing their hearts or other things that make them sad. You also get quests where you have to find things or fight monsters.
The tutorials are the only downside with the gameplay mechanics, because you don't get to use every mechanic in the game until 20 hours in to the game. If you are a patient player, then you won't mind. But it can also be a little annoying when you get your hand held for such a long time. There is little room to find things out on your own and almost everything is told to the player during the first 20 hours. The first 20 or so hours are slow and takes its time. If you aren't the patient type this will get on your nerves.

The story is a charming and heartbreaking story of a boy trying to get over his mother's loss and helping everyone. The story can be seen as a boy just transforming everything he sees to something else to be able to get over his grief. It's also a story of a goodhearted boy saving the world, by being good and naive. The White Witch and her council tries during the whole game to spoil your plans. It's a very well told story with a lot of different characters and they are all well written. The main characters are funny, charming and yet have a darker back story to them. It gives them depth.

The music is also great. It's in the background setting the mood of the game. Depending on the mood of the game. It has quality written all over it and it definitely sets how the game looks like.
The voice acting is also really good. Everyone has their own unique character and it shines through the performances. It's just a shame that a lof of the story comes through scrolling text and there are only a few cutscenes that tell the story. Because the cutscenes have quality written all over them. Studio-5 has really done well creating the story and the cutscenes.

The graphics have a distinct style over it. It looks really good, and i don't think the game will age because of this. From the effects in battle to the thick forest.

It's a really well made game. The combat is well made. The story has depth and is well told. It has a really good voice over and great background music. The tutorial takes a lot of time of the game and slows down the game a lot. The game also has a lot of text instead of cutscenes. But if you can overlook this, it's a great game and worth trying.

+ Great combat system
+ Sidemissions and catching monsters get addictive
+ Great voice over
+ Great story
+ Great characters

- Tutorial is too long
- A lot of text reading