March 4, 2019 4:51 AM   Subscribe

posted by Fizz at 4:53 AM on March 4, 2019 [6 favorites]

"... explore the Japanese countryside as a part-time postman while delivering letters and interacting with the local residents, spirits, and yokai."

OK fine, you've got me. I'm in.
posted by mhoye at 5:03 AM on March 4, 2019 [12 favorites]

"... explore the Japanese countryside as a part-time postman while delivering letters and interacting with the local residents, spirits, and yokai."

I mean this is basically Witcher III, only Geralt has more swords.
posted by Fizz at 5:20 AM on March 4, 2019 [3 favorites]

Need I say more?

Followed the link, seems quite pretty, googled the the words, do say more, is it some kind of pokeman with better graphics?
posted by sammyo at 5:57 AM on March 4, 2019

I mean, there's the extant Ni No Kuni games, which even have music by Joe Hisaishi... Not to knock this project, which looks lovely and is I'm sure a far less stressful experience than not-quite-pokemonning not-quite-pikminning through a huge fantasy realm.

Actually right now I'm replaying the Witcher 3 (on account of how it was so wicked cheap on PS4 last week) and it's great and often beautiful but there is not a single npc in that game other than Dandelion with whom I'd wish to pass the time, and god knows Dandelion is insufferable as they get. Also, I'm nearing the part where you have to meet the bog witches and I get the oogies just thinking about them. I'm a big fan of this wave of kind and beautiful games and look forward to a whole generation of open world experiences where the oogies in no way factor into my feelings of playability.
posted by Mizu at 5:58 AM on March 4, 2019 [5 favorites]

Sammyo, I believe the big deal will be interacting with the Japanese countryside (and spirits?) as if you're in a Studio Ghibli movie. These movies are amazing and very atmospheric, and being able to play in it is bound to make more than a few fans happy.
posted by frecklefaerie at 6:13 AM on March 4, 2019 [3 favorites]

@sammyo Well, if you aren't familiar with Ghibli movies or specifically My Neighbor Totoro, I was using that as a shorthand to describe the aesthetic. As for how it will play, I don't know, but the description the game designer gives that mhoye echoes above doesn't suggest Pokemonish gameplay to me.
posted by domdib at 6:17 AM on March 4, 2019 [2 favorites]

Xenoblade Chronicles 2 has a very Ghibli feel, well a Ghibli feel with regards to it's settings. The ability to just run around in the open world on a grassy green field inside of a giant space-whale where other animals and humans co-exist is pretty special. The gameplay is not very Ghibli because you're basically battling with spirits/blades you've bonded with (kind of Pokemon-esque). But the setting of Xenoblade feels very much in this kind of genre.
posted by Fizz at 6:28 AM on March 4, 2019 [1 favorite]

I haven't played a video game seriously in 20 years. I'd play this. (Big Totoro fan.)

It feels like mind zen. And brings me back to the few times I'd actually wandered around the Japanese countryside.
posted by Jubal Kessler at 6:37 AM on March 4, 2019 [1 favorite]

This probably deserves its own post but it feels appropriate here because we're discussing zen-like games that are chill and calm in the way that Ghibli films can sometimes be.

In Open-World Fantasy Eastshade, You Don't Kill, You Paint [Kotaku][YouTube Trailer]
“Eastshade, coming to PC later this year, is an open-world exploration game that takes overt cues from the likes of Skyrim and The Witcher 3, but you never harm a hair on its strange inhabitants’ furry little heads. Instead, you paint your way across the countryside—crafting canvases, angling your point-of-view just right, and then capturing an image of whatever you see. Think of it as the aforementioned fantasy RPGs with a dash of Pokemon Snap. Instead of beating people up or stealing all of their cheese wheels, you paint them.”
posted by Fizz at 6:42 AM on March 4, 2019 [6 favorites]

Would also buy in a heartbeat. Seems like it's quite early in development, so I wish the student making this the best of luck.

I'm still waiting on Sable, the game that puts you into a Moebius comic. Supposed to be out this year.
posted by gwint at 7:24 AM on March 4, 2019 [2 favorites]

If it's on a platform I have, I'm totally in.

(For the first six months of The Kid's TV watching time, the TV "somehow" only got one channel, the one that showed Totoro. We still watch it every so often.)
posted by Quasirandom at 7:55 AM on March 4, 2019 [2 favorites]

Not sure I'd compare it visually to Ghibli necessarily, but it looks beautiful and charming and I'm in.
posted by GoblinHoney at 9:14 AM on March 4, 2019 [1 favorite]

Oh, since we're recommending games that vaguely evoke a Ghibli-like atmosphere: Attack of the Friday Monsters, a short and sweet 3DS game where you play a kid in a suburb of 70s Tokyo. You go around battling other kids in a kaiju card game, while in the background something bigger brews.

It's the only English-localized game from Millennium Kitchen, who is better known for their Japanese-only series Boku no Natsuyasumi, roughly translated as My Summer Vacation, and similarly follows a young boy on summer vacation in the Japanese countryside.
posted by chrominance at 12:25 PM on March 4, 2019 [1 favorite]

If you pine for Ghibliesque imagery and watch anime, your should consider Made in Abyss. It's a manga/anime that hits all the Ghibli high points: world building, (the Abyss), characters (a young girl and her robot friend), a perilous quest (looking for her lost mother), fantastic scenery and creatures, action, plot and character development.

However, the story has very disturbing elements. Despite the obvious cartoonish look there is a fair amount of graphic violence. Some plot points are extremely unsettling. I'm not going to reveal any spoilers, but I think it's too strong for young and perhaps even some mid-teen viewers.

Having done due diligence on the plot issues, I recommend it very highly. I haven't read the manga, I only watched the first anime season. The second part, which I think will be distributed as a feature film, will preview mid March in Los Angeles. I have no idea how widely it will be distributed or if it will be available on any non-Japanese streaming platform.
posted by Metacircular at 3:32 AM on March 5, 2019

If we're reccing anime and you want that small town pleasantness with magical charm, I suggest Flying Witch. Way way too short but perfect, gentle small town witch and local spirits integrate with the "real world", there's cats, it's lovely. Also there's the outstanding Uchouten Kazoku, which is sort of a supernatural family dramedy and left me, a very very jaded person when it comes to anime especially, emotionally overwhelmed and also it's really funny with a great style.
posted by Mizu at 4:48 AM on March 5, 2019 [1 favorite]

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