Ni No Kuni...epitomizes the old-school console RPG; in fact, it feels more like a classic Dragon Quest game than recent Dragon Quest sequels do...Imagine if DQVIII's sequel had appeared on an HD system rather than on the tiny DS, that Akira Toriyama's artwork had been swapped out for image design by Studio Ghibli, and that the combat system added a real-time element and played up the monster-collecting mechanics of Dragon Quest V and Dragon Quest VII...To top off the Dragon Quest vibe, Ni No Kuni's English localization has been spearheaded by Richard Honeywood, the former head of Squaresoft localization who defined the Dragon Quest dialogue style with his work on DQVIII. Ni No Kuni reads and sounds exactly like it was ripped from the DQ world; characters speak with a variety of European dialects (including a persnickety Welsh monster companion) and puns abound. A feline fortune teller is called a "Purrognosticator"; a pig soldier is called a "Boarrior"; and the mechanical pig boss you battle at the demo's end is called "Porco Grosso." That... is Ni No Kuni. And it's endlessly charming.
Dragon Quest (ドラゴンクエスト), published as Dragon Warrior in North America until 2005, is a series of internationally best-selling console role-playing video game (RPG) titles created by Yuji Horii and his studio, Armor Project. The series is published by Square Enix (formerly Enix), with localized versions of later installments for the Nintendo DS (NDS) being published by Nintendo outside of Japan. The first title, Dragon Quest, was published in 1986. The series has had a significant impact on the development of console RPGs, and introduced a number of features to the genre. Installments of the series have appeared on a wide array of platforms, both home console and handheld. Each Dragon Quest video game soundtrack is arranged into an orchestral piece by series maestro Koichi Sugiyama.
Early in the series the Dragon Quest games were released under the title Dragon Warrior in North America to avoid trademark conflict with the pen-and-paper role-playing game DragonQuest. The Dragon Quest trademark was registered for use in the United States in 2002.
The basic premise of most Dragon Quest titles is to play a hero who is out to save the land from peril at the hands of a powerful evil enemy, with the hero usually accompanied by a group of party members. Common elements persist throughout the series and its spinoff titles: turn-based combat; recurring monsters, including the Slime, which became the series' mascot; a text-based menu system; and random encounters (until Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies). The series is one of the few long-running video game series to have a stable key development team; Yuji Horii (creator), Akira Toriyama (artist) and Koichi Sugiyama (composer). The original concepts, used since the first game, took elements from the western RPGs Wizardry and Ultima. A great deal of care was taken to make the gameplay intuitive so that players could easily start to play the game. The series features a number of religious overtones which were heavily censored in the NES versions.