I played and enjoyed most final fantasy series, with the exception of FF-XIII. I have played many other RPG and enjoyed them. While this game in the genre, it is very different than other RPGs in both style and story telling. The style is very similar to Howl's moving castle, Poyo, etc and in deed the game was collaborated on by the same studio that worked on the anime. Best JRPG in a LONG LONG time.
The magic of Studio Ghibli and the masterful skill of Level 5 have come together to make a masterpiece in: Ni No Kuni.
The game combines old school RPG roots (level grinding, an overworld map, a pure but interesting story) with new conventions and amazing graphics and visual flare. (Not to mention the amazing orchestral soundtrack by Joe Hisaishi.)
Gameplay is split between battle and exploration. While the exploration is basic and rather lite on puzzles, it is visually stunning and exciting. Battle is in real time, mixing action gameplay with some typical RPG elements. Catching, leveling up, and evolving creatures is the main focus of the game. As your journey progresses, you'll have to continue to add new monsters to your team and use them in a variety of ways to ensure victory. While the game's themes and exploration are fine for all ages, the battles can be a bit difficult for younger children even on the easier mode. For older players this is fine, and even encouraged, but it is worth mentioning.
Overall this is a gem of a game, and everyone of all ages should play and enjoy it.