When Ni no Kuni was revealed back in 2009 for the Nintendo DS, most of us were completely blown away at the potential that could come from a partnership between Level-5 and Studio Ghibli. Studio Ghibli's heartwarming storytelling coupled with Level-5's unique take on game design showed tons of promise, and many of us questioned the possibilities of the game ever being localized. In 2010, a PlayStation 3 version titled Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch surfaced and many RPGamers cheered when Namco Bandai took the reins in announcing it for North American and European release.
Ni No Kuni is an experience that is all about imagination and childhood wonder. It's easy to see the appeal of traversing though lavish worlds and meeting unique creatures. Ni no Kuni wants to bring out the child in all of us and share an imaginative way of seeing something that perhaps most adults have forgotten. It's not often that we see RPGs tailored toward our sense of childlike innocence, and this aspect of creating an emotional and thoughtful journey is what makes Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch our most wanted release of 2012.
How can we not want to see how Shepard's adventure to save the universe ends? While it might not take the top spot, there are still many RPGamers out there who are dying to play Mass Effect 3. We're still very interested to see if BioWare's decisions to streamline Mass Effect 2 bled over into the third game and how it affects the final role-playing experience. Regardless, we're ready to battle it out to see how the series ends. On the opposite end of the RPG universe is Namco Bandai's latest North American entry in an oft-ignored series with Tales of Graces f for PlayStation 3. Will this entry sell well enough to show Namco that Americans really do love and want to support this series? In a year like 2012, so packed with RPGs, only time and cold, unfeeling sales data will tell.
by Sam Marchello and Michael Cunningham