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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.
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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Showing 1-10 of 13 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jan 22, 2013 3:01:04 PM PST
David Bushnell says:
Did you get your preorder bonus code? I can't find mine...
In reply to an earlier post on Jan 22, 2013 3:10:54 PM PST
Graham Swearingen says:
Should be on a loose paper in the game case with a code, similar to how digital down loads for Blu-Ray movies come. Sometimes Amazon emails bonus content for DLC codes. I dont have an email from amazon with the DLC codes or anything. If it's not in the game booklet than I would email Amazon customer service.
In reply to an earlier post on Jan 22, 2013 6:19:22 PM PST
J. Durben says:
If you did not get your bonus code like me then go to amazon's support page and click on general support and select web chat as the support option.
Then when the chat window pops up just tell them that you are missing the pre-order bonus code that was suppose to be sent with your game.
oh and be ready to give them your order # it should be at the top of the email amazon sent you when your package was shipped.
I did this and less than 5 minutes later had my bonus code.
Posted on Jan 22, 2013 6:48:30 PM PST
Classic GameFan1991 says:
Great review! I am very glad that I have this game; this is exceptionally fantastic on every level, and very few RPGs have me feeling this way.
In reply to an earlier post on Jan 22, 2013 8:19:13 PM PST
Graham Swearingen says:
Your review is great as well. 2013 is off to a hell of a start for gaming and I just hope its early year release doesn't keep it from everyone's game of the year list. Here's to playing in "another world".
In reply to an earlier post on Jan 22, 2013 11:40:11 PM PST
Steve Warda says:
Yeah dude. Ni No Kuni is the sleeper hit game of the year. Im looking forward to Castlevania Lords of Shadow 2 as well, the first one is arguably the best Castlevania game ive played and i bought all of them (even the NES games) on launch day.
Posted on Jan 30, 2013 5:13:11 PM PST
Christopher Barrett says:
Fire Emblem Awakening coming out right after this. I need days off from work! (Fire Emblem scored 9.6 from IGN - I'm psyched!)
Posted on Jan 30, 2013 10:24:10 PM PST
Nice review - your obvious affection for this game really comes out nicely in your writing!
I was thinking the same thing when I was reading about this game: man, i wish i was a kid again!
Posted on Jan 31, 2013 9:18:09 PM PST
As far as game comparisons go, Level 5 has a heavy hand in the Dragon Quest franchise these days. If I were to compare this game to any it would be Dragon Quest 8 (highly recommend if you want great acting, story, and gameplay; as well as being cell-shaded.)
Also I would recommend saving frequently when possible as the game does have some problems transitioning between maps. At least for me, I did experience a freeze or two. Strangely it seems to only happen in the Golden Woods. Otherwise, probably one of the best if not the best RPGs that will be released this year.
In reply to an earlier post on Feb 1, 2013 8:40:46 PM PST