I've grinded my characters, met the Sheikh of Spice, learned quite a few magic spells, and of course perfected the ability to capture and train Familiars. In this short amount of time I have seen gameplay elements from nearly every great role-playing game to date: The Legend of Zelda, Wild Arms, Final Fantasy, and of course Pokemon.
And that's only naming a few. It's been an engrossing, engaging, and epic journey to save the world that I can't wait to continue.
At the ten hour mark my main character is level 21, romping around the desert with his three main Familiars - Turd, Mankey, and Mo Hawken. I have picked up a second character for my party as well, and we are off to the next area. This is going to the third main section of the map and I'm fairly certain I haven't even scratched the surface.
You might be asking yourself why it has taken me ten hours to do virtually nothing, and I completely understand your confusion. When it comes to role-playing games I like to take my time. This genre isn't about button-mashing your way through the next cutscene. It's about finishing NPC errands, touring the world around you, and in the case of Ni No Kuni collecting every freaking creature available.
Each Familiar you have in your party (up to three at this point) levels up two ways: experience points gained from battle and by eating food in the 'Creature Cage'. This is a menu option that lets you feed your Familiars and eventually metamorphose into new, stronger creatures. Just keep in mind that when you decide to upgrade them they will drop to level 1, though once leveled again they are insanely stronger than their previous version.
At the level 10 mark I have 25 percent of the 'Wizards Companion' complete, 13 percent of the 'Creature Compendium' complete, 12 percent 'Task' completion, one 1/100 'Hidden Treasures' found, and still haven't unlocked 2 other categories.
To say Ni No Kuni is a massive game wouldn't be doing it justice. What's pulled me in even stronger than the tight gameplay, side quests, and Familiar capturing however are the graphics. Ni No Kuni is stunning. By far one of the best looking role-playing games I've ever played. Now keep in mind it's a different type of art, not to be compared with other greats like Final Fantasy XIII. If you've ever played Wind Waker you'll understand (and most likely appreciate) the art direction.
I'll hopefully go more into the battle system in the next update. As of right now all I have learned is that it's a combination between active and turn-based, you can switch lead characters by simply pressing 'L1' which is also the same button used to send in another Familiar, HP and MP pick-me-ups drop randomly in battle, and each creature has an elemental weakness. I'm right on the verge of really understanding the ins-and-outs of the system. While I'm not quite there yet, I have managed to finish a few battle flawlessly and when it works it absolutely works.
Until next time my friends!