Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch is a game I've been excited about since I learnt about its cousin Ni no Kuni: Shikkoku no Madoshi on the Nintendo DS years ago. It's nearly out in America and Europe (and Australia, whoo!) and I've got my Wizard's Edition on pre-order. So Namco Bandai Games released a demo on the PlayStation 3 this week. It has one gigantic flaw: it's not out until next month and I'm extremely frustrated by this. Read on
Level-5 is a game developer and game publisher best known for the Professor Layton series, White Knight Chronicles series and Inazuma Eleven series (in Japan). Named after the highest mark on a Japanese school report card, the developer began with high aims and is now is wholly independent.
- Trading Name
- 株式会社レベルファイブ / Level-5 Inc.
- October, 1998
- Akihiro Hino
- Fukuoka, Japan
- 280 (as of June 2012)
- Key people
- Akihiro Hino (Founder, President & CEO)
- Yasuhiro Akasaka (Technical/Battle Director)
- Yasumi Matsuno (Game Director)
- Akira Tago (Puzzle Master for Professor Layton)
- Major Franchises
- White Knight Chronicles series
- Professor Layton series
- Dark Cloud series
- Inazuma Eleven series
- Official Site
Level-5 had its humble beginning in October of 1998 when formed by Akihiro Hino and a small number of staff left Riverhillsoft. Sceptical his new company would be able to become an indepdendent developer despite his desire for success, Hino therefore formed an alliance with Sony Computer Entertainment to develop titles for the PlayStation 2.
The company's first major title was released to Japan in 2000; Dark Cloud received critical and commercial success. Two years later a sequel Dark Chronicle was similarly well-received. 2004 saw the studio release Dragon Quest VIII, and a year later Rogue Galaxy. These releases cemented Level-5 as a force to be reckoned with.
2007 saw the first fully self-funded release under Professor Layton and the Curious Village which has since spawned a series including four games which have all collectively sold over 13 million copies1 and also had one animated film created for it.
The company released their first entry in the Inazuma Eleven series in August 2008, a soccer RPG which has five subsequent titles. The series has also spawned a manga, as well as an anime series and film. December 2008 saw the release of White Knight Chronicles, a fantasy RPG which began a series of titles; two more have been released.
Ni no Kuni: Shikkoku no Madōshi was relesed on December 9 2010 for the Nintendo DS. The RPG was created alongside animation powerhouse Studio Ghibli (Porco Rosso, Princess Mononoke) and was released along with a magic book (to represent the one in the game) which contained spells that needed to be replicated with the DS stylus. November 2011 saw a re-release of the title under Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch for the PlayStation 3.
On June 2011 it was announced Yasumi Matsuno had joined Level-5. Guild01, a compilation title of four distinct games was released in Japan on May 31, 2012, which contained the first game Matsuno has directed since his departure from Final Fantasy XII.