Ghibli games masterpost
Did you know that studio Ghibli made games that WEREN’T NI NO KUNI? Well they did! They worked on most of them uncredited, though so lets break it down:
JADE COCOON (PSX)
Jade cocoon is a weird game. On one hand I’m not entirely sure it’s technically ‘playable’. On the other hand, it has a fantastically haunting sense of atmosphere. The backgrounds are all prerendered and the music is mostly atmospheric. You catch monsters like in pokemon, except you can merge them together and they all end up looking like clumps of low res polygons. The characters that HAVE designs, though, are very much reminiscent of like, a beta version of Princess Mononoke. If you’re a fan and have some patience, it is very much worth a look!
JADE COCOON 2 (PS2)
The designs still rock, but the environments feel sterilized, less dangerous than before. There’s also a bunch of grating anime stereotypes added in- I didn’t get to far with this one, maybe you can!
MAGIC PENGEL: THE QUEST FOR COLOR (PS2)
If you play one game on this list, make it Magic Pengel. The game’s claim to fame is that you can draw your own characters in 3 dimensions, and they come to life. And it works! Then you battle them turn based rock-paper-scissors style at one of the local arenas.
What makes this game for me is that its the only game on the list that actually feels like playing through a ghibli movie. The town feels alive, the characters are all fun and unique, the music sounds great, and the game even has that weird longing for the sky. It’s first person, too, so it’s really the closest you can get to being in a ghibli movie.
GRAFFITI KINGDOM (PS2)
I don’t like this game. Ostensibly it’s the sequel to Magic Pengel, and the drawing system is the same (improved) but the game itself is a really generic action/platformer. Apparently miyazaki directed some of the cutscenes himself but they all look like garbage and so does this game
Lostmagic is a fun little game- sort of a combination monster catching RTS. You also cast spells by drawing symbols, and you can combine symbols for combination spells, it’s pretty cool! The story is charming enough and all the designs are neat, so this is one I’d actually recommend. There’s a split midway through the story though, and I think I kind of got hung up there and never finished the game. There’s a wii sequel, but honestly I don’t know much about it, or if ghibli’s designers were even involved.
NI NO KUNI (PS3)
Ni No Kuni is okay, I guess. It mimics the aesthetic of studio Ghibli, but not the soul. Honestly, it’s basically Blue Dragon if Blue Dragon was good. Don’t play Blue Dragon. I think I stopped playing the game after me and a friend spent an hour scouring the spellbook for a magic word that ended up being “Open Says-a-me”. The game was originally going to be DS exclusive, and was going to include a real spellbook- I wonder if that version was closer to the original vision?
Let me know if I missed anything, homies!
greetings from the future (present) ((2016))
since this list I learned that Nintendo actually got help from some of Ghibli’s artists on Mole Mania for the original Gameboy!
MOLEE MANIA (GB)
The stage– a desperate father, willing to do ANYTHING(terrorism) to save his children (i havent played mole mania)
Miyamoto (not yet a talentless idiot) directed this game, and it shared an engine with Zelda: Link to the Past, I think their workers were spread so thin between these projects that they managed to strike a deal with Ghibli, to borrow some guys to help with art assets. Odds are it was mainly concept and promo stuff, but Mole mania’s art is a notch above usual for the time. I can’t seem to find my source- it’s probably an out of print magazine??? but i’m absolutely sure on this one guys, i’d stake my reputation as a JOURNALIST and a CONMAN on it.
not a videogame, but i dont have enough material for a whole article on this… people kept talkin bout that shitty show goro made, but Miyazaki’s actual, REAL protege (asst. director of Spirited Away) already made a show with the eureka seven guys. it’s called Xam’d: Lost Memories ! It’s very grown up-violence, relationships, worth of life- not really anime bullshit. the art is top notch, ghibli lookin, and the monsters all look like kyogre from pokemon sapphire
its a good thing they released it for viewing on Playstation 3s to make sure everybody saw it!!!