Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch

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Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch

FEATURED Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch

  • All-Star Production – LEVEL-5’s mastery of the RPG genre is combined with Studio Ghibli’s world-class animation and music composed by the renowned Joe Hisaishi
  • Another World – Stunning visuals, made possible by utilizing the full capabilities of the hardware, create the world of Ni no Kuni and immerses players into Oliver’s journey within this vibrant, animated world
  • Captivating Story – A charming and tragic tale unfolds including animation storyboarded and created by Studio Ghibli with English and Japanese voice overs
  • Role Playing Mastery – New and traditional RPG elements expertly crafted and designed featuring dozens of locations to explore, hundreds of creatures to battle and a wealth of quests and secrets to uncover throughout the sweeping journey
  • Dynamic Fights – Freely switch control of characters and familiars in an exciting battle system that combines real-time and turn-based tactical elements

Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch for PS3, a heart-warming tale of a young boy named Oliver, who embarks on a journey into a parallel world in an attempt to bring his mother back from the dead. Along the way, Oliver makes new friends and adopts many of the wonderful creatures that inhabit the world, raising them to battle other creatures on his behalf as he takes on formidable enemies. Developed by LEVEL-5 with animation by the legendary Studio Ghibli, Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch combines beautiful animated visuals, masterful storytelling and a sweeping score into an epic role-playing adventure like no other.

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3 thoughts on “Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch

  1. 123 of 141 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    So Awesome, January 22, 2013
    By 
    Graham Swearingen “Graham1138” (Stockton, CA USA) –
    (REAL NAME)
      

    = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
    Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
    This review is from: Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch (Video Game)

    I am a fan of Studio Ghibli. More of a fan of Hayao Miyazaki (Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, Howl’s Moving Castle) but he has had a hand in selecting animators for Studio Ghibli over the years and is himself an exceptional animator. So for that reason alone I have been anxiously awaiting to see the great animation cut scenes for this game. Not to mention music by Joe Hisaishi, composer for Howl’s Moving Castle and Ponyo.

    I am by no means a fan of RPG’s or JRPG’s. I am just a fan of art and video games are one medium I really enjoy. Mainly because a big team of people make an entire world for us to explore and play in. LEVEL 5 is a master at this. This is the closest I have seen a game come to looking like an animated film. Although I do have to note that the Namco’s game Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm blew my mind with its cell shading and anime look, as well as Rayman Origins with it’s wonderful 2D side scrolling animations. This LEVEL 5 production takes playing in the world of animation to a whole other level. Side note, like Naruto you can choose to have the English dubbed track or the Japanese audio with English subtitles which I think is great.

    I am not very far into this game and will update as I venture further into it. As of now, I have had no glitches or problems, load times are as expected. The controls are tight and responsive, the visuals are stunning of course.

    The inner kid in me wishes that they had released a game this massive and epic and cartoony when I was a kid. The main character Oliver and his guide Mr. Drippy are very classic Studio Ghibli styled characters and the animation cut scenes have been most impressive so far. The learning curve is pretty nice for this style of RPG. As my only familiarity with RPG’s are Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy VII, and Eternal Sonata, and in that order, I can’t really compare this to many other RPG’s. I have read some things online comparing this game to Pokemon for the Gameboy (mainly because you capture creatures or “familiars” who help you in your battles), I can’t speak to that. What I really like about the battle system is that it is not just button mashing or the regular RPG style pick and choose how to attack and then watch it happen, but being in real time and an open battleground, it is to your advantage to stay moving when attacking the enemy. So far I haven’t found the errands (side quests) to be repetitive. Compared to the aforementioned games however, this will undoubtedly go down as a classic among them. I have heard this game can be beaten in about 40 hours if you don’t do any errands and just stick to the story. Something tells me you can squeeze a good 65 hours out of this at least.

    Any fan of Studio Ghibli films, classic RPG’s like Chrono Trigger and any fan of solid game design need to get this. Highly Recommended. If you are a huge nerd like me, you should try and get your hands on the Wizard Edition, it comes with a physical copy of the Wizard’s companion that you use in the game.

    *UPDATE*

    I am a big fan of what they have done with the familiars in this game. There are a lot, 14 different genuses and each genuses (Arcana, Dracones, and Vermes to name a few) has countless different familiars within their respective class. Each with their own unique abilites which makes gameplay very deep when doing battle with enemies who’s weakness may be exploited with a particular familiar.

    Like other reviewers have said, the world map is stellar and detailed and harkens back to old school RPG’s. This game does take a while to get going, but if you played Assassins Creed III, then this game in comparison seems like it gets going immediately. So far I have not had to use the Prima Guide I ordered for this game. The in game Wizard companion book is very helpful. I can’t wait to get my Wizard Edition to have the physical copy that will make it much easier to reference. The more I play the more I love this game. Unfortunately I am stuck at work, otherwise I probably would have played all night and would still be playing now.

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  2. 101 of 116 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Worth buying a PS3 to play!, January 22, 2013
    By 
    Steve Z (Ann Arbor, MI) –

    = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
    Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
    This review is from: Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch (Video Game)

    With the recent announcement of the PS4, you might think that the era of the PS3 is over. But it isn’t – yet. I hadn’t owned a gaming console for several years when I found out about Ni no Kuni. Now, I played my fair share of games back in the day, but the video game market in recent years has just seemed… dull. In large part that’s because I don’t care for first-person shooters or fantasy sports games. I don’t begrudge anyone who does, but I play games for the same reason I read books: to escape into a story. Online shootouts with trigger-happy 14-year olds just doesn’t do it for me.

    Of course, the gaming studios mainly make games for those 14-year olds, not me. So instead of original content and new stories, we get Call of Duty sequels. So when I found out Studio Ghibli was involved in production of a video game, I was only cautiously optimistic. It seemed too good to be true, and it was hard to imagine that their first video game collaboration would be a resounding success. Then I saw the screenshots… and that was when I started poking around eBay for a second-hand PS3.

    Because, you see, the game art is astounding. It’s really a step above any video game world you’ve ever seen. Ni no Kuni is simply a Studio Ghibli anime rendered as an entire walk-through world. As you play, you’ll come across a scene and think it’s the best-looking shot in the game. And then, a few minutes later, you’ll come across something better. One of my favorite visuals comes late in the game: a character’s backstory told with haunting, comic book-style sketches. It should go without saying that this isn’t a game you want to play on an old CRT TV: an HD screen is the way to go, the larger the better (mine is a 100-inch projection system – I was worried about quality, but the game looks great.) Also, turn up the volume: I’d be denying the skill of Joe Hisaishi if I didn’t mention the music. In my opinion, it’s the best score he’s done since Spirited Away.

    Now, if the game just looked and sounded great, it would still be worth playing. But the other half of the game’s development was done by Level 5. Level 5 has been building critically-acclaimed JRPG’s for over a decade. And they’ve been getting better at it. The story builds throughout the game, is clever and amusing, and seems to make an effort to avoid cliches while also making fun of them (your first major objective in the game is to find the king’s red herring). As a resident of southeast Michigan, I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out that this is certainly the first time Detroit (or a throwback to a 50’s era Detroit suburb, rather) has been featured in a JRPG! There’s even a “To I-75 North” sign on one of the streets in the neighborhood.

    The battle system in Ni no Kuni is the best and most fun I’ve ever used – a clever hybrid of live-action and turn-based attacks. Basically, most actions have a time-out period after you use them, but you’re still free to move around the arena, or cancel an in-progress attack if you suddenly need to cast a spell instead. But that’s not all – like most games involving physical battle, there are defensive moves (usually overlooked in favor of repeatedly pressing the attack button!) In Ni no Kuni, you must learn when to defend, when to attack, and when to use provisions/spells if you’re going to beat the game.

    I played the game all the way through and completed all the side-quests. In the end, it took me just over 100 hours spread across January to April, but you could certainly do it in less, and I could have easily spent more. A big factor in this game is how many familiars you want to collect and battle with – I only had about 30 total. There’s also an entire in-game book (the Wizard’s Companion), of which I’ve read only bits-and-pieces. If you think the game is expensive, think of it this way: if you buy the game at full price and a used PS3 for, say, $200 total, you’re paying $2/hour for entertainment for a few months. My only real complaints are the click-through dialog text, which gets to be repetitive, and that most of the side-quests weren’t very hard. But really, these are small complaints in a masterpiece game. Quite frankly, if you’re on the edge about playing the game, you should go do it. You won’t regret it.

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  3. 56 of 63 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    An Instant Classic; Charming, Entertaining, and Timeless, January 29, 2013
    = Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
    This review is from: Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch (Video Game)

    Ever since I saw My Neighbor Totoro as a kid back in the early 1990’s, I had wanted to see what would happen when Studio Ghibli combines their efforts with another developer to create a video game. Now that we have the end result, I couldn’t be more satisfied. P.S., this is going to be one heck of a bias review.

    Ni No Kuni is one of the best JRPG’S I have ever played. Combining Studio Ghibli’s incredible imagination with Level 5’s polished and fun gameplay mechanics, Ni No Kuni feels like the JRPG’S of old while revitalizing a dying genre. It feels like Dragon Quest VIII (a personal favorite), mixing elements of Tales, Star Ocean, and Pokemon into one pot of pure bliss. And man, how I’ve missed an overworld!

    The story and world sucks you in right quick, creating a sense of charm and wonder right from the get go. The opening is a tear-jerker, creating a sense of desperation and sympathy for our hero, Oliver. More than anything, Studio Ghibli’s incredible ability to create such unique and real emotion in such with their animation is one of their strengths, and combining that with Level 5’s sincere approach to the story, it works like magic. Right away, you meet Drippy, one of the most incredibly charismatic and lovable characters to ever grace a video game. The writing and script is top notch, filled with hilarious dialogue and wonderful characters (that feature some of the best English Dubs of any JRPG translation that I’ve played).

    Battles play out like a synthesis of Tales meets Pokemon. You gain control of familiars, small creates that have attributes (sword and shield, tank, fire, etc.) that do your fighting in battles. You can also take control of Oliver to command him to use various tools such as the ability to use items, heal, and run. Battles begin fairly simple with you fighting one to two monsters, but the progression exponentially increases and by no time battles become chaotic affairs that will test your wit and reflexes. The combat is incredibly addicting, rewarding constant interaction and movement on the battlefield. One of the best features is the real time aspect of the battle system. If you command your familiars to attack, defend, and use tricks (or special abilities) at the right time HP and MP orbs fall from your enemies, offering a quick heal. It sounds like a simple mechanic, but it keeps you constantly engaged while in combat, offering a fun, fast paced and exciting tug of war against your enemies.

    Story telling is, to put it simply, reminiscent of Studio Ghibli. A hero going on an epic adventure to save his kingdom, healing the people of the land of their broken-heartedness, all while trying to save your mother sounds, walks, and talks just a Ghibli presentation shoud. NNK can be enjoyed by a younger audience, but the elements here are consistently dark and mature, which comes as a major relief. Keeping it spoiler free, the game engages you quite well. It’s a simple yet emotionally effective story that grabs you right away.

    Also of note is Joe Hisaishi’s majestic, sweeping, and beautiful original score. Frequent collaborator with Studio Ghibli, Joe was (gladly) offered to compose the score, and man is it incredible. The overworld theme is still reverberating in my head as I write this. It captures the moods with gorgeous melodies and memorable themes. It allows you to explore and enjoy an already tremendous achievement all the more. They seriously need to release the PS3 soundtrack, because this is as good as JRPG and video game scores get.

    And speaking of outside influence, Studio Ghibli made a significant contribution in the art department. There are original animated cut scenes produced by Ghibli themselves (namely Momose)which are wonderful (especially in HD!), the monsters are original and cute, and the gorgeous colors used in the backdrops provoke the imagination. Everything is here, and it feels like Ghibli production combined with Level 5’s JRPG mastery in full force.

    If there are any complaints (and these are minor grievances) it’s that the draw distance is nothing to write home about. On the world map you’ll see mountains “peel” in in the distance, and foliage in more graphically intensive areas obviously pops in as you walk through the areas. This is such a minor complaint though, honestly, as it comes from years of playing games and eventually noticing technical “tricks” that developers use to cut corners.

    Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch is sincere, wholesome, and most importantly FUN entertainment that might just be the last push the JRPG genre needs to get its legs again in a predominantly “bald-space-dude-marine-bro” controlled market. Some may ask “why is the title stupid?” or say “it looks like a game for ten year olds!,” which at that point I would say that Ni No Kuni game isn’t appropriate for them. If you aren’t willing to give the game a…

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