great game, great review, but would it hurt them to have more voice acting instead of text for almost the entire game.
Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch Review
The witty, beautiful, and endlessly creative Ni no Kuni is a treasure not to be missed.
- Gorgeous world stuffed with inventive places and characters
- Imaginative scenarios and monsters keep you looking ahead
- Funny dialogue and heartfelt themes get you invested in the story
- Phenomenal orchestral soundtrack
- Drippy is one of the best RPG sidekicks ever.
- Combat and leveling mechanics give rise to some frustrations.
What a delight Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch is! It's charming but never cloying, complementing its vibrant cel-shaded art and good-natured child star with plentiful doses of wit and joy. The clever dialogue dips into a bottomless well of puns, keeping you grinning wide, if not laughing out loud at the constant goofiness. More importantly, this Japanese role-playing game possesses great soul, exploring a son's love for his mother, and the vast expanses he's prepared to cross in the hopes of a reunion. Hearts are broken and restored, hidden motives are revealed, and lost relationships again blossom, even after great evil has torn them asunder. This is a wonderful world that you will be eager to lose countless hours in as you adventure through its enticing realms.
Oliver is the cherry-cheeked center of Ni no Kuni--the boy who would save the world, as so many youngsters do in RPGs. But the world he saves isn't his own. Oliver lives in Motorville, an Anytown, U.S.A. sort of place--the kind you might see depicted in a Norman Rockwell painting. Children laugh and play, cars drive slowly along the shrubbery-lined streets, and mothers shop for bottles of milk and sacks of foodstuffs. On the occasions you visit Motorville throughout the game, your travels are accompanied by slurring violins and trilling flutes and oboes. The music tells you all you must know in just a few notes: Oliver's world is idyllic, and his childhood untroubled by cares of the adult world.
This all changes drastically when Oliver's mother dies, saving his life after his reckless motorcar antics. But there is a whisper of hope amid the grief: mom has a soul twin--a great sage living in a fantasy world, currently trapped by a villainous fiend called Shadar. For Oliver, Shadar's defeat means the possible liberation of his mother from death itself. For the denizens of the parallel world, it means liberation from his magical tyranny--or so their story goes.
Thus begins your journey alongside a heartbroken young boy desperate to restore order to his life and his world. Oliver is the soul of the adventure--and his companion Drippy is the wit. Drippy is hardly mere comic relief, but his enthusiasm is infectious. He frequently refers to himself as High Lord of the Fairies in a delightful Welsh accent, egging Oliver on during moments of uncertainty. It's in Ni no Kuni's most surreal scenarios that Drippy's dialogue tickles the most--places where lines like "These littlies are nowhere near as fragile as they are egg-looking!" make a silly sort of sense. His follow-up line: "When I was their age, I ate squid for breakfast! Proper hard I was!" Drippy's a wonderful sidekick (though Drippy sees you as his sidekick, to be fair), and remains a joy, even 60 or more hours in.
As you traverse the overworld and its various cities and dungeons, the squat Drippy skips merrily along, a lantern pierced through his nose. His boundless energy occasionally causes him to stumble, but he bounces right back into gear without ever losing his goofy smile. He's an instant classic of a character, brought to life by fantastic voice acting, a trait the character shares with the entire cast. Oliver's young actor hits just the right balance: endearing and gung-ho, but rarely sickeningly sweet. Fantastical characters like Ding Dong Dell's King Tom--a feline ruler referred to as His Meowjesty--are uplifted by fun, sincere line readings that never cross over into self-parody.
The result is a world you love to be in, which is just as well: even as the game seems to wrap up its story with an emotionally satisfying conclusion, it presses forward, refusing to let plot threads dangle, and uprooting any sense of complacency. The whimsy of the writing is matched by the whimsy of the world and the situations you encounter. This is a game in which you explore the pastel-colored innards of a giant wobbling mother before she fancifully erupts and you experience a second birth of sorts. Unusual? Yes--but also utterly enchanting. Even the smallest moments deliver glee. A llama with a gourmet appetite wants yummies. A traveler keeps misplacing his diary. A wannabe diva of a molten monster warbles a few notes that could break a champagne glass. This is a world of wild imagination, and so you pursue every side quest and peek into every nook, knowing that a surprise lies in wait.
All of those nooks burst with beauty, and become even more varied as you explore further. When you first arrive in the overworld near Ding Dong Dell, you'll be enthralled by the sun-drenched meadows and glistening waterways. But later, you roam golden deserts, icy plateaus, and misty swamps, where the eyes of crooked trees look upon you in displeasure. Cel-shaded games often sacrifice detail in lieu of bold outlines and primary colors, but Ni no Kuni doesn't use its style as a crutch. Rather, the cartoonish visuals are heightened by extraordinary visual details. In a Motorville shop, each storefront and hanging flower planter is given careful attention, making it the hometown you wish you had grown up in. As you make your way towards a village, your party visibly shivers from the cold. These excellent small touches are crucial in creating a sense of wonder.
The impact of the fantastic soundtrack cannot be overstated. A fairy village in Ni no Kuni isn't like a fairy village in any other game, and the music reflects as much. When you enter, the oom-pa-pas of tubas lend this place the exact right kind of circus atmosphere. Explore a dungeon and you hear a rising scale motif, which in turn raises the tension. And then there comes a moment when Oliver's friend Esther raises a musical instrument in song, warmly intoning the game's main theme without additional accompaniment. And it's here you recognize how much meaning this one tune possesses--and how amazing it is that it never grows tiresome, but rather, gains emotional power over time.
I found the story to be boring and i didn't really like the characters, over all its rad.Look fishes! Look fishes! Look fishes! Look fishes! Look fishes! Look fishes! Look fishes! Look fishes! Look fishes! Look fishes! Look fishes! Look fishes! Look fishes! Look fishes! Look fishes!
The game has good combat settings. It is essentially as good as a pokemon game in 3D. A good RPG game with a cute story.
I recently bought the game on the basis that I'm a fan of studio G. and JRPGs.
I found this game so far captivating and incredibly fun. Story wise is everything I expected and gameplay isn't bad.
For me, a few technical kinks like lip sync and lack of smooth lines to sell the "anime" look can be distracting at times. But the games charm and personality will quickly draw you back in.
The game as an interesting method of presenting maturity. At one point your in wonder land, and then you deal with the death of your mother suspiciously caused from a character of another dimension bent on destroying you.
In my opinion this is a must have game. Buy it.
It's definitely got that "The Neverending Story" feel to it. That's the best way i know how to describe it. Innocent without being too kid-like or cheesy. Storybook fantasy. The story has even tugged on my heartstrings a few times w/ sadness and joy, i admit. Can't think of any games that have done that recently.
Not get me wrong, I'm really enjoying the game so far. It somehow reminds me of what RPGs used to be sometime ago (back in the days of PS1). The story is unique and well structured, gameplay is really fun, music is outstanding, and graphics are simple, but equally beautiful. In fact, the game would've been a masterpiece if it wasn't for it's lack of difficulty. I mean, there's not really a challenge throughout the whole game. You just have to grind with your familiars a certain amount of time, maybe till lvl 60 (which is not hard at all, because of Toko) and you'll beat the game just fine. In addition, you'll never get lost in the game like you used to get in games like Zelda or FFVII. There's always a marker on the map telling you where to go next. That's kind of boring. This are the only reason i wouldn't give this game a 10.
This review nails it
yes the story gets annoying sometimes becasue its so childish, but the best thing about this game is the combat, leveling and boss fights.
The story is ok if overly childish, but you get used to it after a few hours and its only annoying now and then when drippy goes on about things that are obvoius.
For instance after "taking heart" for the 30th time i think i know how to do it, but the stupid dialog keeps displaying,
The game is awesome though even with the little annoyances, best JRPG (other than Dark and Demon Souls) on PS3. Its very similar to the last few dragon Quests on PS2 so if you liked them you will like this as well.
it s not a childish game but after 250+hours on DARK SOULS ....................................................................
over a month and this game is just gettin to #10 in most searched games on this site...#IJS its a good game
A great game overall. They kind of stripped the jrpg style to the basics for a point. Overlooking the fantastic cartoony setting are the challenging good bossfights. A classic.
I'm trying to convince myself to buy this game, but considering that the protagonist is a child, I can't see myself enjoying the story. The story supposedly touches mature themes - depression, abuse, etc., but it's rated E so I can't see how it can possibly delve into these subject matters while appealing to it's targeted audience, which seems to be children.
I just don't know what to make of this game. For anyone whose 18 or older, is this game worth a buy?
@EverydayGamer10 Hard to say; I'm well over 18 and found it to be a good game, but I might be looking for different things from my video games. I find the medium at large to be insufficient for exploring mature themes with any sense of depth or intelligence. This is closer to AA Milne than Fyodor Dostoevsky, though comparisons to either are still too generous. Think Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker and you're on the right track as to what to expect from this game.
This is the first time I've fealt a disadvantage for not owning a console. I really wish they would just start porting every game to the PC. I don't mind terrible console ports on the PC, sure it can take some minipulation to get them working correctly, but to me it is better than being forced to buy a gaming console that I have no interesting in owning just because a single piece of software wasn't ported to the PC.
i wish they wouldn't port any game to PC and actually make games for the device its for rather than all this "porting" it fucks up teh graphics on PC games, and lowers the quality of the game overall becasue of the different markets and demographics and etc.
You should just buy a Console, they are dirt cheap these days anyway.
@Courtawulf Be at ease -- as good as it is, this game is not worth purchasing a PS3 for. That said, it makes for a decent BluRay player and has the best baseball game available on any platform (The Show), if that matters to you.
@Courtawulf I feel the opposite. PC's are very expensive and become obsolete much sooner than consoles do and I prefer to kick back on the couch and play games on my widescreen than to have to sit at the desk and play.
@Courtawulf Stop complaining and spend the ~300 bucks... it's a good investment imo :)
one of the best looking games i have seen in a while, the graphics looks amazing, the same publishers as the Naruto Ninja(Namco Bandai) series, not really into RPG but this is kind of tempting... :) brilliant stuff
@sugrim I think it is the best JRPG of this generation, even better than Xenoblade Chronicles. This is truly a great game.
This is simply the ONLY must buy game this year so far. Its beautiful , heart warming, funny, fun and rewarding. Soundtrack is mindblowing also. If this was a movie it would have won an oscar. If you dont own a PS3 its worth buying one just to play this.
Really wish this wasn't an exclusive... If the playstation 3 becomes cheaper after the PS4 is released, I'll probably look into getting one just to play this and a handful of other games I've felt I shouldn't ignore.
20 hours in, and it feels like it's just taking off into something greater. The game knows how to build the excitement!
The characters are funny and great. Love the battle, though it can be a tad frustrating at times. It's fun trying to figure out which monsters are going to be the most useful. :)
Awesome review. I must say, Ni no Kuni is probably the best jrpg in quite some time. ( I've yet to play Xenoblade, let alone find one at a legitimate price >.<) It's great to see that many jrpgs are getting praise, like The Last Story. Bring on Pandora's Tower and Tales of Xillia! I'm ready! :P
AAAAARRRRRRGGGGGHHHHH!! WHY ISNT THIS AVAILABLE IN PC.
WHY GHIBLI??? WHY LEVEL 5??? WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY
Im a fan I deserve a chance to buy and play this game, shouldnt I?
@csveiman Seriously buy a cheap PS3, it's so good
@NTenseify @csveiman For me it isn't even the cost of the PS3 that is an impedance. I mean if a game requires a better GPU/CPU/RAM/etc. Then I never have a problem dropping the money (likely much more money than the cost of a PS3). But new computer hardware is a good investment, it ups the overall performance of my main PC, and also allows me to upgrade my work computer/kids computer/mom's computer/etc. with the old parts. Buying a PS3 would only benifit me during the time I'm playing this game. Then once a PS4 comes out the PS3 becomes technically obsolete and useful only as a piece of vintage hardware (similar to a VHS/8-track/record player).
@killdot1335 I'm about 30 hours in, it only gets better the more you play!
@NolanB @killdot1335 This is one of those few rare gems of an rpg that is as good by the end as it was at the beginning. So often rpg's start with amazing promise and I love every minute of it....but then it becomes a grind and a drag and by the end I may not even care if I actually finish. This however.....I felt like I wanted more and thankfully even after the story is finished there is plenty more :)
What a dilemma. The game was sold out in Hong Kong so I couldn't pick up a disc copy. The PSN Asia store only sells the Japanese version. The PSN Australian store has it for $AUS89.95 which is a complete ripoff. Luckily the US PSN store has it and it is selling for $US54.95. Now after four hours of downloading and 1 hour into it, I am a very happy chappy!
@Ergandi insiparations, motherfucking inspirations everywhere.
@Ergandi Dead Space was a blatant rip-off of Event Horizon. But, like Ni No Kuni, it surpassed the mediocre source material.
@Ergandi Well, sleeping dog did the same thing borrows story from Infernal Affairs...Does make it less a game and what is your point?
Thank u Kevin im immediately go and Buying this JRPG game of the year for my PS3 ) i Trusted Kevin 100% if Kevin saying to me JUMP on that! i do it =)