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.
Much of the success of a role-playing game hinges on its world, its people, and its story, and Ni no Kuni is thankfully rich in all of those areas. But generally, interacting with the game is as joyous as watching and hearing it. Structurally, the game is much like many RPGs to come before it. Towns and dungeons are linked together by a massive overworld that you first navigate on foot, then by boat. Even later, you navigate by dragon, soaring through the skies with ease from one locale to the next. You also unlock the ability to quick travel to and from places you've already been, but in this world, such conveniences must be earned by dedicating a couple dozen hours first.
You spend a lot of time in combat. Connecting with enemies initiates battle, and Oliver is joined by two other party members on the field. But Oliver and his buddies don't have to do the fighting on their own, though they certainly can if you wish them to. Instead, they usually deploy creatures to do it for them, Pokemon-style. Each party member can equip up to three familiars, which means you have as many as 12 combatants at your disposal during battle, though only three at any given time. You gather creatures by fighting them: every so often, Esther gets the random chance to lull one into submission. You can then name the creature and add it to your stable
The action is typically a lot of fun. During combat, you control only one character/familiar at a time; the AI handles the other two participants. The action isn't exactly real-time, but you still maintain direct control, maneuvering into effective position to attack, defend, or unleash magic or other special skills. In the most challenging skirmishes, you must pay close attention to visual indicators to take a defensive position at just the right time, or to interrupt a creature's attack with a well-timed strike.
Later hours can have you flipping back and forth between characters madly, trying to maintain a proper balance of healing, offense, and defense, all the while being aware of your opponent's weaknesses, and trying to nab the healing and mana orbs they occasionally drop. Such battles are highly entertaining, and once all the systems are in place, you can rarely afford to be complacent.
Familiars level separately from their handlers, so the majority of battles end with a pronouncement that at least one pet or another has gained a level. (Fortunately, your 9 active pets gain experience even if you don't order them into combat.) The constant notifications give you a great sense of progress, which is important given the amount of grinding needed to keep a decent number of creatures ready for battle. Newly-captured familiars are weaklings, and it takes time to get them in tip-top shape. And even after spending significant time with them, some familiars just aren't that effective, rarely (if ever) getting used because there are battle-ready creatures that you've already leveled up. As a result, you'll probably have a number of reliable pets you keep with you at all times, and will switch out a few other slots here and there to take advantage of particular magical skills--or just for the thrill of seeing a new pet in action.
You can set basic behaviors for the AI party members during combat, but you don't have as many options as you do in the Tales game series, whose combat system bears a passing resemblance to Ni no Kuni's. It would have been nice if the game allowed you to set these behaviors outside of combat, but at least you have the option to do so during a fight. Given how quick the AI is to waste its magical energy when given the chance, nudging them in the right direction is crucial to success. Combat exhibits other quirks too: familiars getting stuck against each other or monsters, for instance, or party members whacking on baddies with their puny weapons when a familiar would be the better choice.
The possibility of bringing along an ineffective familiar might lead to frustration if you aren't careful (and sometimes, even if you are). There are some notable difficulty spikes which are compounded by potentially imbalanced parties. Yet even at its most challenging, it's hard not to appreciate the grotesqueries you face, and the possibility of getting to nab one for yourself. You won't add boss creatures to your pen, but that hardly makes the boss battles less rewarding. Bosses require the most party micromanagement, and are often a wonder to look at to boot. Among them are a slithering snake in Egyptian garb, hissing at you with its menacing purple tongue; a horned demon, its obese figure belted by gnarled branches; and a rubbery invertebrate with blinking lights rimming its bell and tentacles, giving it the look of a carnival ride.
Outside of the story quests are seemingly infinite side tasks to pursue, many of them focused on Oliver's ability to siphon excess amounts of emotions like love and ambition from passersby and offer them to brokenhearted citizens needing a pick-me-up. It's a cute and pervasive activity that makes perfect thematic sense within the narrative, though you aren't limited to such simple tasks. You can take down monsters to earn rewards, help a street vendor assemble the most delicious curry you ever did taste, and collect a sun-shaped creature in order to help a plant grow. Throw in a battle arena, an alchemy system, and hidden caves to explore, and you have more than enough to keep you busy for a while to come.
Ni no Kuni is a stupendous game because there's so much to do in it, and because all of it is just so good. The hallmark of the greatest RPGs is that you don't want to stop playing them, and Ni no Kuni proudly joins that elite group of games providing such an enticing world that you can't imagine never having visited it. The only problem, of course, is that you may never want to leave.
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 =)