Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch

Studio Ghibli lends its animation know-how to this stunning role-playing game

Outside of the ubiquitous Final Fantasy series, there are very few Japanese role-playing games that have ever managed to find mainstream success in the West. But Namco Bandai's latest has done just that – thanks largely to the game's connections to the legendary Japanese animation powerhouse Studio Ghibli, who co-developed Ni No Kuni… with RPG specialist Level-5 (creators of the phenomenally popular Professor Layton handheld games).

Indeed, with its narrative about an orphaned child guided through a parallel universe and countless gorgeously animated cut-scenes, the early part of the game feels at lot like sitting through a brand new Studio Ghibli movie – albeit one that requires you to press 'X' on your DualShock controller every so often.

But once the game has brought you up to speed with the Pokémon-esque nature of its combat mechanics (there are hundreds of wild creatures for you to tame and battle with) Ni No Kuni… reveals itself to be a much richer and more versatile gaming experience that you might have initially expected. And with Studio Ghibli involved, it's hardly surprising that it's also looks and sounds spectacular. The animation is flawless and packed with character, while the script localisation is some of the best (and funniest) we've ever encountered in an RPG.

Namco Bandai, PS3, £50 Approx, On sale now