The big news is that there's a demo of Ni No Kuni available now on the PlayStation Network. But while you're downloading the 2GB+ file, you can enjoy this brief behind-the-scenes look at Level-5 where CEO Akihiro Hino and Game Director Ken Motomura try to explain why their company is so awesome and makes such awesome games.
The demo has two sections to it, and at first, I was just going to replay the forest demo that I'd played at a Namco Bandai event a while back. Although it turns out that it's not exactly the same demo I played. Instead of exploring the forest and encountering the boss, this demo just throws you right into the boss battle, and then after a cinema, you travel over a bit of the world map as you return to a nearby town to take care of some business.
I nearly didn't want to play the other demo, where you fight your way up a volcano to encounter a fire demon boss, for fear of spoiling too much of the game before it comes out next month. But of course, I couldn't resist, and after playing it, I can't imagine that this would be how it plays out in the game. It's awful brief, with just a handful of battles up the side of the volcano. Unfortunately, as there's no real tutorial in either demo, the fire demon kind of kicked my ass. I'm sure when you do this in the game, you'll have been playing for hours and will have a better handle on the game instead of just winging it after 5 or 10 minutes of a demo.
I didn't even mind the volcano boss kicking my ass because my ass-kicking just looked so spectacularly beautiful. It's almost distracting at times how gorgeous this game looks. It's like actually being in a Studio Ghibli film. I can't get over it. After I played that first demo a while back, I immediately placed my pre-order with Namco Bandai for the collector's edition so I could snag all the extras. I didn't feel like shelling out for the overnight shipping, so hopefully the regular shipping will at least have me playing Ni No Kuni by the end of the week after it releases on January 25!