Ever sat, open-jawed, through a Studio Ghibli movie and thought, “I’d love to play a video game that looked like that”? Well, now you can. The Japanese animation studio behind magical tales such as Ponyo and Spirited Away has teamed up with developer LEVEL-5 for this PS3 adventure, and the results are spellbinding.
Enchanted forests, proud castles, bustling cities and strange creatures bring this fairy tale land to life. Wherever you look, charm and heart-warming detail fizz on-screen thanks to the artists at what many call Japan’s equivalent of The Walt Disney Studios. It’s there in the imps and beasts you befriend, the sense of no horizon being too far away to explore and even the gigantic monsters sent to crush you, not to mention the swirling orchestral score by Studio Ghibli composer Joe Hisaishi.
There’s so much to discover, in fact, that you won’t even notice the hours whizz by. With the promise of a spectacular confrontation with a lava-spewing giant just beyond the next mountain, or a town full of interesting new people to meet – complete with regional accents – a short trek away, you’d be forgiven for ignoring the next inn and spending a few more minutes out on the road.