Why You Must Own Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch

Ni-no-Kuni-04-Normal-Resolution-copy
Earlier this week I wrote a promotional article for a JRPG by the name of Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch. This title, originally released in Japan as a PS3 exclusive, is making a huge impression on the western front following it’s release on Tuesday. If you own a PS3 and enjoy a beautiful and engaging experience, then you’re doing yourself a great disservice by not purchasing this game. 

I found myself completely captivated by this game after only a few short seconds of the first cutscene. Immediately I noticed the attention to detail for the characters and environments. It was like watching a really great film. It didn’t hurt that Studio Ghibli worked directly with Level-5 to help shape the game’s overall art style. You will definitely notice that magic spark that kindled your love for so many of Studio Ghibli’s classic productions.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HqX51OBjTDI]

I’ve heard many complaints about Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch looking very childish. While there is an engrossing sense of child-like wonder throughout the game, it is by no means childish. I’m currently 7 to 8 hours into the game and there have already been many adult themes introduced. And no, not necessarily sexual, (you horndogs) but there are moments where character flaws are exaggerated and deconstructed to their most primitive form. The bright backgrounds and colorful characters are simply a cloak, masking the true tone of this game. Shadar (an obvious embodiment of Satan) is corrupting the hearts of mankind. He is stealing enthusiasm, hope, joy, and love from the hearts of the innocent. You are the pure-hearted, the only one who can save our world from utter destruction.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UEPVAeMVyBU]

The combat system is a fresh and exciting take on the classic JRPG formula. It plays shockingly similar to Final Fantasy during some moments and then rapidly shifts in a beautiful fusion of Pokemon and Kingdom Hearts. The game has the beloved, turn-based feel of RPG’s from the glory days, but expands beyond that, with an intense action-based combat system. You can switch between your familiars (your Pokemon) and your main characters on the fly, which provides a truly unique and potentially technical game mechanic (if you know what you’re doing.)

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FzVQJFGAse0]

Not to sound generic or uniformed, but I truly love everything about this game. There are great characters, great storytelling, and most importantly, and something that seems to be lost with the modern RPG, great gameplay. It takes a really great RPG to get me hooked these days and Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch has me hook, line and sinker.

I Mileson I

21 comments

  1. I’ve been waiting for this game for so long! We should be seeing it released in South Africa in the next few days.

  2. My teens had me watch the trailer for this game awhile ago, and I was in awe. I had no idea it had come out already! Our PS3 just died last year. Damn. Time to start saving up!

    Thanks for the “like” on my post by the way.

    1. No problem at all! Thanks for stopping by. If you do get a chance, I would highly recommend it. I watched several videos of the game before it was out and there’s nothing quite like getting your hands on it.

  3. I got a chance to play this back in October. It is such a great game. It is just another reason my life is not complete. Lack of a console on which to play it is a source of much heartache for me now.

      1. I’ve never really had the chance to play on the Xbox 360. I can’t be objective about whether I enjoy the PS3 or Xbox more because I only have one point of reference. At the moment though, if I was going to buy either, it would have to be a PS3 for this game. And Dark Souls

      2. The interface for the Xbox 360, especially for online gameplay, is ages ahead of the PS3. The PS3 is a powerhouse and can do a ton of things, but unfortunately not as well as the Xbox. I still enjoy my PS3, especially with little treats like these.

  4. Honestly I didn’t have a problem with the “childish” storyline. Mine was a problem with the way it treated me like an idiot with the countless tutorials explaining EVERYTHING in detail. I think it kind of bogs the storyline down a bit. I had a few other issues that I will probably save for a review after I have finished the game but that was one of my main problems. The story isn’t childish as much as it is typical Studio Ghibli and tries to appeal to all ages (which in my opinion it does) it’s just that the constant tutorials seem like overkill for someone who has played Final Fantasy or Pokemon and can catch the general similarities and concepts.

    1. I think the major reason the tutorials were so simplistic is because of the game’s appeal towards younger gamers. As with most RPG’s, the tutorials are very heavy-handed and repetitive, but I’ve really enjoyed the pacing of the tutorials so far. They aren’t cramming everything in your face at the same time, so it gives you plenty of time to practice the application of each section of the tutorial. The game is incredibly in-depth and that’s become very apparent to me. I’m over eight hours into the game and I’m still in “tutorial” mode.

      1. Well I mean I don’t think it’s game breaking or terrible but I definitely do think it takes a little bit away from the experience. I want to explore not only the land but I want to go in and figure things out myself. A tutorial here or there doesn’t bother me It’s just that these seem FAR too heavy handed for a game with simple concepts. does definitely get better as the game wears on though, which is good. I don’t want a game that is going to spoon feed me the whole way. When making a game for everyone it’s sort of a fine line you have to walk between not treating your fan base like idiots but also explaining your game enough that children can figure it out.

  5. Long drawn out Tutorials are just a symptom of a game made from Japan imo. I just expect it by now. My friend picked it up on Wednesday and I watched him play for several hours. Seems pretty good, but the combat seemed slightly simplistic to me, at least to the point where he had gotten to. Even with the Familiars it seemed fairly toned down, but its also a long game, and i’m sure it gets more complex. Tone and presentation are solid though.

    1. I totally agree. I just expect ridiculously long tutorials. I would rather have that than end up getting lost later on down the road.

      I have a friend who is a few hours ahead of me in the game and he says the combat starts to pick up. Towards the beginning of the game, you only control one familiar and one hero at a time. As you progress in the game you will eventually control three familiars and three heroes at one time. I’m looking forward to getting to that point.

      1. I am already to the point where I am controlling two party members and their familiars, TRUST me, you won’t have to worry about it after that point because trying to control two players and deal with some fairly smart to ridiculously dumb A.I. is challenging. BUT once you get your second party member and you learn to catch Familiars it’s pretty fun, just don’t expect much out of your secondary party members (or at least I don’t, nothing like your partner’s Familiar, who is built towards casting and magic, running up with their wand and trying to smack the crap out of a giant 4 handed monster with their wand)

      2. I just got to the point where I am controlling tow characters and it definitely spices things up a little bit. I can see what you mean about the AI. They are ridiculous sometimes. Mine has no fear, regardless of the consequences. It’s hilarious, but completely ineffective.

  6. I literally just bought a PS3 just so I could play this game, well that’s not entirely true I also decided to get since it has the built in Blu-Ray and since there are more console exclusive games I like for the PS3 than the Xbox 360……. But still Studio Ghilbi, Level-5 (of Professor Layton fame), and Pokemon-like creatures! Every time I see a trailer for this game I just want to shove my wallet into my computer screen and scream “Take my money! Take it all!”

    1. This is a definitely a must-own RPG. It’s got a great style and a fantastic sense of direction. It reminds of me of the days when I could spend hours lost in the magic of Final Fantasy or Legend of Mana.

      1. Well I guess that just means I made the right decision. I can’t wait till my used PS3 finally arrives and I can at last play it. I’ve even made sure that I don’t see any walkthroughs because I want to discover everything myself!

      2. I’m exactly the same way. I always feel slightly disappointed with myself after reading walkthroughs and strategy guides. It take away from the mystery of discovering all the awesome secrets for yourself.

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