Studio Ghibli is a beloved franchise for its outstanding anime movies that capture a sense of peculiar wonder. They have given us many faces that we know and love, which is why many of us would love to see some variation of them in a video game. There are a few games out there that may spark the interest of a Studio Ghibli fan. Let’s take a look.
This arcade game uses scenes from the animated films: Mystery of Mamo and The Castle of Cagliostro. The characters in the game do not go by the same name as the characters in the films but they have many similarities. Now Studio Ghibli may have not been involved in the creation of the game, but Miyazaki did play a directing role in the Cagliostro series, which also gave him the notoriety he needed to start Studio Ghibli. So while the game may be an odd mashup of these two films, it does take many of the most iconic scenes and use them for its story. Unfortunately, Cliff Hanger isn’t available to play because it’s an arcade game.
Lynn and the Spirits of Inao
Another game that may entice Studio Ghibli fans is Lynn and the Spirits of Inao. This game is not made by the studio but it is a Kickstarter that is inspired by the films and has parallels to some of the films like Spirited Away and Princess Mononoke. It is a 2D platformer game that sees the main character Lynn trying to bring peace back to her land of Inao. She must learn the secrets of the evil spirits and encounter some demons along the way. So while this is not a Studio Ghibli project the art style and story elements are reminiscent of Miyazaki.
Unfortunately, this game is not available to play because the game’s Kickstarter was canceled after hitting 1695 backers due to allegations against Bloomylight Studio. The allegations are from interns that worked on the game, who claimed that the studio had not paid them for months of work. After the cancellation, the game was put in to a developmental stalemate due to conflict within the team. It is sad that we may never see what could have been a great Studio Ghibli inspired game.
Ni No Kuni
The other games that fans need to have a look at is the Playstation exclusive franchise, Ni No Kuni. Many are familiar with the popular Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch that received enormous critical praise and has a sequel on the way. The game was directly made with Studio Ghibli and even though Miyazaki was not involved, the game managed to capture everything Studio Ghibli is in one unforgettable gaming experience.
It has a fantastic JRPG combat system and more than 100 hours of content to satisfy even the most hardcore fans. The story focuses on a young boy, Oliver, who is forced to deal with the burden of his dying mother when he is sucked into a fantasy universe. He must stop the lurking evil and save his mother at the same time. The game is available on PS3 here.
The game’s sequel Ni No Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom offers everything that made the first game great with a whole new story. Taking place several years after the events of the first game, King Evan Pettiwhisker Tildrum must reclaim his kingdom from the mouse kingdom. The game comes out January 18th, 2018 and you can pre-order it for PS4.
This game is a platforming puzzle experience that offers a unique cinematic experience. The game centers around Anne, an enforcer in the Forgotten Lands, where she works to quell an ongoing rebellion. The game’s art style provides a beautiful anime appearance and is very reminiscent of Studio Ghibli movies like Howl’s Moving Castle.
Choice is a driving factor of the game and part of what makes the game an interactive adventure. Rather than only using big decisions to affect the game’s course, they also include numerous decisions that involve player emotion. The aspect of emotion is very much a theme of Studio Ghibli and allowing players to make decisions that are emotionally based promises to provide a Studio Ghibli experience. The game has no release date but the game is expected to be out soon for PS4, Xbox One and PC.
Jade Cocoon: Story of the Tamamayu
Jade Cocoon is a JRPG with a unique pet system that uses the game’s environment. This game was developed with collaboration from Studio Ghibli’s Katsuya Kondō, who worked on Kiki’s Delivery Service and I Can Hear the See. The game follows the protagonist who wants to follow in his father’s footsteps and become a Cocoon Master. As a Cocoon Master, he purifies the game’s monsters called Minions, who can then fight for him. Jade Cocoon is available for PS1.
These games are sure to provide some sense of joy for any Studio Ghibli fans. Let us in the comments what game reminds you the most of Studio Ghibli’s iconic work.