I just finished Ni No Kuni. I loved it and I truly think it's a fantastic game in almost every aspect but I can't help but feel that a few important things could have been much better. This small article might give the wrong idea that I didn't like the game, but that isn't the case so I'll start by mentioning the good things I liked the most about it.
First is the art style. I can only remember a similar game to this back in the PS2: Dragon Quest VIII which, coincidentially, is made by the same development team but it uses the character design of Akira Toriyama instead of the Ghibli Studio one. Both are fantastic. Ni No Kuni has tons of details in the world, it avoids haing plain and boring-looking places to visit and that is extremely important.
The voice-acting and music are fantastic too, I almost cried with the credit's song. But I probably didn't appreciate it as I should have because Persona 4 is still very fresh in my memory. Still, I truly recommend the soundtrack in Ni No Kuni, it's very touching and excellently done.
To those, I could add a few more but the truth is that there are some aspects I didn't like. First, the familiar system, while good, requires the use of too much grinding to see the real potential of a creature. I spend too many hours of trial and error testing different Familiars to see if they were powerful enough until I found a final team to go.
Then there's a problem with a fourth party member that joins when the game is about to be over. This changes things a lot because you really have the opportunity to use another character with an extra set of familiars. To me, personally, the fourth party member, named Marcassin was a blessing because I had tons of problems with Esther being used by the AI. No matter what configuration I used, all she did was waste MP on support spells when normal fighter were less than 3 seconds away from being over. So having Marcassin joind earlier would have been much better.
But, in overall, Ni No Kuni is a fantastic video game like no other. While I personally don't praise the Familiar system, I think it's a good alternative over the usual systems other JRPG use sometimes. That mixed with a superb art style, graphics, plot and soundtrack make for a really great game. I'll be reviewing it very soon.