Saturday, February 16, 2013

Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch Review

Ni No Kuni is an RPG from the famed Level 5, they have done excellent work on titles such as:

Dark Cloud, Rogue Galaxy, Dragon Quest VIII, Professor Layton and the Curious Village, White Knight Chronicles, and many others.

They know how to put together a very excellent RPG and NNK is no different.

The Story of Ni No Kuni is you play a Oliver, a boy who since losing his mother will travel to a far away place (another world) in order to save that world and hopefully bring his mother back. Along the way you gain the friends and develop Oliver both in a physical sense and on an emotional sense with learning to deal with his loss. You will learn how both world are connected, they are parallel worlds and you can travel back and fourth between them.

This game reminds me of Chrono Cross in the sense that you can see how peoples lives on the parallel worlds are different but connected all at the same time.

There are many mechanics in this game, spells like fireball, healing magic, spring locks, etc. You also get to micromanage yourself and all of your followers/helpers, you learn about the history of the world that you are in through pages of your wizardry book that you obtain from the different places that you travel to.

The graphics in Ni No Kuni is not what you would expect from normal RPG's. They don't look ├╝ber realistic, they are like Dragon Quest VIII only more advanced and better. Level 5 chose to go with a Cell Shaded approach, but not the horrible kind that Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker used, the graphics in this game is quite seamless. They look freaking gorgeous, more so than other games.

There are some people who say that games are not art, well PSN game Journey and Ni No Kuni beg to differ. If these are not art, then I don't know what is. This is what poeple mean when they mention how artful games can be.

The soundtrack in NNK is also one of the best, it's funny when you think that top teir game developers choose to use great music but they don't have a clue where and when to use it. Not with this game, the music in this game (and the sound effects which is often overlooked as well) is not only perfect for this style of game, but it also fits the situations that the music is trying to represent.

Here is an example of the music, this is the Main Theme:

They really took the time to make sure that all aspects of this game were melded together as they should be, and as they do with their other games.

This game does have a hindrance though, and that is in their battles. Now there are some people that don't like a big part of the battle mechanics, I onl;y have problems with one. Along the way you get "familiars" they are tamed creatures (people don compare this game to pokemon) the problem with this is that when any of those creatures are out if it takes damage or uses MP you lose damage and lose MP. That's a freaking huge problem. If you give use creatures to use in battle, they should have their own HP and MP and not take it from youself.

A slight problem for me and a big problem for others is that you don't really feel free. The game does hold your hand, but then again this game is probably targeted towards a younger audience, but I wish that they didn't some much hold your hand with a death grip, but more like a slight squeeze.

In the end this is one of my top 3 RPG's, probably my favorite one that I've ever played. TO take the role of an average person (in this case a boy) and take and follow him through a journey of magic and a journey of the heart in order to stop evil and hopefully save your mother.

I give this game whopping 9.9 out of 10.

My only problem with this game is that the familiars (not sure about human counterparts since I am about to get one) share your HP and MP. Not a big fan of that, and wish that each creatures gets it's own set of complete stats. However since I always over level in games this is not a huge issue for me.

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