Ni No Kuni: Wrath Of The White Witch$29.50
Core Gameplay (Combat, Action, etc)9.0/10
Story & Characters10.0/10
- Very interesting characters and world, it feels like playing a Studio Ghibli movie
- Entertaining battle system, mixing Pokemon with co-op action RPG elements
- Very interesting characters for the most part
- A highly memorable gameplay experience. Feels like playing a classic SNES RPG for the first time (i.e. Chrono Trigger, Secret of Mana, etc.)
- Overall the music is excellent
- Uneven difficulty. The game is usually pretty easy, with occasional massive spikes of very challenging battles
- Although the voice acting is very good, there isn't enough of it
- Questionable teammate AI, shallow tactics system so you can't really tweak it
- My wife finds the main combat theme annoying
- If you prefer less-cartoonish games like the Witcher, Dark Souls, etc., the art style might not work for you
My long term fondness for certain games is often driven by memories associated with them. For example, some of the old SNES RPGs like Final Fantasy III and Secret of Mana trigger positive memories from my childhood. Wrath of the White Which reminds me of some tough life events I worked through, so it’s a rare modern game that has similar nostalgia power for me. It’s also a really great game and successfully brings some of that 1990s-style SNES RPG flavor back.
Here are the basics on this game: You’re a kid who goes to a fantasy world populated by entertaining and interesting creatures, and you’re out to clobber some spooky bad guy. It really feels like you’re playing in a Studio Ghibli movie (Spirited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle, etc. – much better than Disney’s stuff in my opinion). Everything in this game is well-crafted and implemented smoothly. The battle system is very fun and surprisingly deep. Battles involve sort of a Pokemon/Secret of Mana/Chrono Trigger hybrid, which turns out to be difficult enough to keep you on your toes.
It has vibrant, interesting characters and world. The characters themselves are quite unique and entertaining – especially Drippy, he is hilarious. The battle system is deep and multifaceted, although the difficulty can be pretty uneven. You capturing pets (“familiars”) to battle for you, mixing in a paper/rock/scissors power system along with elemental weaknesses, plus you can switch characters in battle. It’s very engaging.
Overall, a great musical score. My understanding is that it’s performed by the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra. The voice acting is mysteriously inconsistent though. Large amounts of the game are text only, one interaction literally had one word of voice-acted dialogue, book-ended by text only.
The overarching experience is highly memorable. It feels like you are experiencing one of those classic games of the SNES era for the first time. Definitely on my list of all time greats.
Wrath of the White Witch was originally released for PS3 way back at the end of 2011. It has since had a remastered version released for current consoles and on the PC via Steam (my preferred method).
From the developers:
- Journey back to the other world in Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch. LEVEL 5’s classic tale is now available on multiple platforms.
- Join Oliver as he embarks on an adventure through a world inhabited by new friends and ferocious foes alike in the hopes of bringing back his mother after a tragic incident.
- This charming tale unfolds through the use of animation storyboarded and created by the legendary Studio Ghibli and music composed by the renowned Joe Hisaishi.
- Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch combines beautiful animated visuals, masterful storytelling, and a sweeping score to create an epic role playing adventure like no other.
- A rich mixture of familiar RPG elements, expertly crafted and designed, and featuring dozens of locations to explore, hundreds of creatures to battle, and a wealth of quests and secrets to uncover.