PS3 Previews: Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch Preview

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Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch Preview

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Scheduled release date:

TBA 2012

Publisher:

Namco Bandai

Developer:

Level-5, Studio Ghibli

Number Of Players:

1

Genre:

RPG

Release Date:

January 22, 2013

It has taken some time, but JRPG fans are finally getting their just due. With everything from the Atelier titles to White Knight Chronicles II, followers of the role-playing sub-genre have several options on store shelves, and another drops early next year: Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch. It’s beautiful and compelling and quite traditional, despite the real-time combat.

You will step into the shoes of Oliver, who misses his deceased mother. Strangely enough, a childhood toy springs to life and Oliver learns he can resurrect his mother…but only in a different dimension called “Ni no Kuni,” which translates to “Second Country.” It’s like his very own wonderland. Everything he encounters in reality gets a fantastical version in Ni no Kuni so Oliver really is experiencing two separate dimensions. Along for the ride are friends Marle and Jairo.

Oliver and his allies can bring the helpful imajinns into battle. The imajinns can be raised and fed; their performance depends on your treatment of them. In the Nurturing Cage screen, imajinns will receive their nourishment, which seems to focus on junk food and candy of various kinds. If they get what they want and they’re happy, the imajinns are more potent in battle, which means more critical hits and greater strength and agility. Sorta like keeping pets, I guess.

Combat does happen in real-time and you have to select the imajinn you wish to accompany you; your summoned helper can only stick around for a certain amount of time, though, so it’ll be necessary to switch between imajinns using the L1 button. The triangle button switches between an offensive and defensive focus for your team, and Oliver has a bunch of spells at his disposal, too. Marle is more of a healer (and she can even turn enemies to your side) and support character.

One interesting combat feature involves the orbs that are dropped from enemies when you cause damage. The green restores health while the blue restores mana, and I have a feeling they’ll be essential for survival in tough situations. Big golden orbs will occasionally pop up, too; these let Oliver cast a super powerful spell that could end a battle instantly. So obviously, we’ll have an interesting mix of strategic and real-time elements that should prove engaging.

And above all else, that art style is absolutely stunning. Some will accuse it of being kiddie or cartoony but in truth, it’s just damn pretty. For some reason, I’m reminded of all the hand-drawn artistry in Legend of Mana. As for the White Witch, well…she’s sort of in hiding but I’m sure she’ll pop up at exactly the wrong time. They always do. Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch could end up being an RPG lover’s dream in early 2012.

11/29/2011 Ben Dutka

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Comments (27 posts)

firesoul453
Wednesday, November 30, 2011 @ 3:37:16 PM
Reply

Never been a huge fan of JRPGs but might have to try this

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Geobaldi
Wednesday, November 30, 2011 @ 3:44:51 PM
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Studio Ghibli is involved so just that fact alone is enough for me to try it.

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Sogi_Otsa
Wednesday, November 30, 2011 @ 4:15:24 PM
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REALLY want this but i have like 3 games January and February so it depends when it comes out.

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Douchebaguette
Wednesday, November 30, 2011 @ 4:17:32 PM
Reply

Omg! I'm throwing money at the screen but nothing's happening!

Meme aside, Studio Ghibli should be a name alone to attract you into buying this game. All of his work is known for being...graciously bizzare. A fantasy you won't regret.


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Vivi_Gamer
Wednesday, November 30, 2011 @ 4:17:38 PM
Reply

Hugh hopes for this game, I hope ot puts RPG's back on the map.

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Arvis
Thursday, December 01, 2011 @ 10:02:52 AM

"Hugh hopes for this game..."

Referring to yourself in the the 3rd person now? ;)

-Arvis

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Lotusflow3r
Wednesday, November 30, 2011 @ 4:27:49 PM
Reply

Big ol' traditional but updated Worldmap that can be traversed via foot, boat or dragon is a major draw.

The amount of people i speak to about RPGs who say they wish for that Worldmap but in this gen form is major. Look! It's finally back!

There's features galore in this game and the gameplay is known to change multiple times throughout, whether it's the characters all being turned into Frogs thus changing the battles and exploration considerably or whether it's the game switching to a side scroller at points or the many mini games and puzzles included, for me, Ni No Kuni is shaping up to be the RPG of the generation and the only true competitor to FFVll i have seen in it's 14 year reign as my ultimate RPG.

Imajin, if you will, the Pokemon joy of finding a rare Imajin-pet via getting to that location that only the airborne Dragon can reach, unlocking that seal via obtaining that rare item off that secret boss encounter and then, that last strive, obtaining a rare spell from hitting the high score on one of the mini games, in which said new spell frees your new Imajin from it's imprisonment...and upon doing all that and obtaining the Imajin, you now have that satisfaction from the knowledge that you are going to destroy mothaz with this! It's old school joy not found today, this is Knights Of The Round Materia satisfaction.

Coupled with this games unbelievable sense of adventure, this is just a dream. With Ghibli, author of some of the deepest works of art in film, at the helm of the story too, i'm thinking a game we'll never forget and one old school RPG lovers will shed tears over.

I have seen many in game cut scenes and i can tell you now, they're unbelievable. Unbelievable. Emotional, incredibly detailed, focus on the little things, full of life and charm, funny, instantly iconic, gorgeous, character development is always at the helm (something not apparent in so many games and films today) and spellbounding.

The battle system, which i have seen an awful lot now, is absolutely fine. It can be paused for strategic thinking at anytime and from 1st hand reports, it's a blast when it evolves.

When this game gets it's full english unveiling, those unbeknownst will see the hype.

Did i mention there's a city entirely dedicated to entertainment and minigames ala Golden Saucer? Did i mention that there's a city INSIDE a giant trademark Ghibli esq creature that you can only reach via launching your party from afar to shoot through it's high up mouth?

This. Is. It.

Level 5, i salute you fearless, know-what-we-want, talented people!


Last edited by Lotusflow3r on 11/30/2011 4:33:05 PM

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Highlander
Wednesday, November 30, 2011 @ 4:33:39 PM

Thanks, that's all great information and leaves me wanting the game even more now.

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Clamedeus
Wednesday, November 30, 2011 @ 6:09:12 PM

Wow, I agree 100%. Very well said, I enjoyed reading that. Just reading that made me shed a tear, I can't wait to get this game! :D

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Wednesday, November 30, 2011 @ 6:26:47 PM

I'll be perfectly honest. The whole Pokemon-like mechanic turns me off.

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Lotusflow3r
Wednesday, November 30, 2011 @ 8:03:08 PM

Thank you guys.

@Ben
No different to the summon command in another JRPG, really. Taking care of GF's on FF8 was something i wanted expanded on. I dislike Pokemon, but the games were classic JRPG....They're going all out with Ni No Kuni by getting the best of other RPGs into it, if you ask me.
Plus, closer inspection of the battle system to Ni No Kuni should progress such a train of thought to areas outside of just a Pokemon mechanic.

Ni No Kuni will be my 2nd User review here, but posted in the forums instead.

Last edited by Lotusflow3r on 11/30/2011 8:07:02 PM

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Pandacastro
Wednesday, November 30, 2011 @ 8:33:42 PM

So its like pokemon but we could capture monsters?

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Yukian
Wednesday, November 30, 2011 @ 9:48:03 PM

I wish they had made the imajins more summon-like a la FFX.

@Ben, you don't find appealing the Pokémon-like mechanic because you don't like relying on another to do the fight for you or just because you don't like Pokémon? If it's the former then I understand what you mean. I wish to be assisted but not protected all the time. I wanna fight, damn it!

But w/e, this is the most traditional RPG (i.e old school) of all the generation!... that I remember. lol

Now if I could get my hands on one limited edition white and golden Ni No Kuni PS3... *drools*

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Lotusflow3r
Thursday, December 01, 2011 @ 5:37:36 AM

Remember the Monster Team you could create on Dragon Quest Vlll? It was one of the best features on that fantastic game, Level 5 have seemingly made a game whose battle system revolves around such a mechanic.

You have full control over anything you summon into battle in Ni No Kuni, you fight.

Last edited by Lotusflow3r on 12/1/2011 5:37:54 AM

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Liquidus319
Thursday, December 01, 2011 @ 6:17:57 AM

Ah, aren't we all in for a delightful taste of ol' skool company?

Just the mere mention of all the elements thrown in to this game makes me want to set up camp in front of my PS3 and TV screen for hours. I just can't wait to explore that map, look after those pets, become charmed by the characters and bewildered by Ghibli's visual touch. It deserves many cups of tea, many calorific munchies and more than anything: countless hours of gaming!

It's a joy that can only be visited on special occasions, albeit very infrequent occasions. It's a huge shame. I think for Ghibly and Level 5 to even contemplate challenging the likes of FFvii in this current gaming climate is worthy of its merit alone.

I think this is one of those games that will make people remember the good old days and those new to gaming aware of what games should be!

It's a huge joy to me to know that these games are not dead and gone. To know that charming games do exist. Games that can warm someone up from the inside, out. A beautiful experience and a blissful journey to be had here, I'm sure.

I await this game with open arms. THE BEST way to open up 2012, for me.

Thanks Lotusflow3r for celebrating this game. It deserves it!

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Highlander
Wednesday, November 30, 2011 @ 4:33:09 PM
Reply

well, this is already on the radar, and the must buy list, but thanks for the preview, it simply makes me want it more.

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Beamboom
Wednesday, November 30, 2011 @ 4:37:31 PM
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I've not been bitten by the jrpg bug yet but this one might bite me. Looks like a wonderful adventure.


Last edited by Beamboom on 11/30/2011 4:37:42 PM

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Neo_Aeon666
Wednesday, November 30, 2011 @ 6:07:03 PM
Reply

Looks like a Miyasaki movie O_O I respect that game for its look and beautiful character animation. At the same time though... I am not sure I will be able to *want to play it*. All the features look sweet, world map and all. I guess it is just the *cast* of characters that is *off* for me. I don't want to judge yet since well I didn't play but it seems to have a big *kiddy* side to it. Not sure I can project myself within the main character lol. Maybe its just me who is too deep about games and like to take the role of a main character when I play. And well if I can't take the role of a main character... The game has to have a sexy girl to conquer to keep me going :P lolll

Think I'll try Hyperdimension Neptunia first. But I am pretty sure my girlfriend would love it. She's a huge Totoro/spirited away fan (well I am too but I think the game is too cute for me)

Last edited by Neo_Aeon666 on 11/30/2011 6:07:50 PM

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Clamedeus
Wednesday, November 30, 2011 @ 6:12:31 PM

If you like JRPG's, you NEED to get this.

Last edited by Clamedeus on 11/30/2011 6:12:59 PM

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Underdog15
Wednesday, November 30, 2011 @ 6:41:25 PM
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This is my number one priority for the entire 2012 year.

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LimitedVertigo
Wednesday, November 30, 2011 @ 7:45:10 PM
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Why is this game not doing very well in Japan? I was surprised to see it did very poorly in its first week.

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Lotusflow3r
Wednesday, November 30, 2011 @ 7:54:35 PM

An alternative version is already available on the DS over there, and that has shifted over 600,000 copies.

Also, the standard PS3 version costs $90 (translated).

And Level 5 must of expected such as they only shipped half of what they did for the DS version.

It's sales are actually good considering.

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Pandacastro
Wednesday, November 30, 2011 @ 8:35:53 PM

A one piece game also came out which is extremely popular in japan. Ill probably buy the one piece game too over NNK since it takes part where the manga is at.

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daus26
Thursday, December 01, 2011 @ 12:12:33 AM
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You say pets, but is it also safe to say imajinns will be like pokemon? If yeah, this will bring me back to the old days. I always loved pokemon, but never did I experience in a 3D world like this.

*edit
Nvm. But personally, I thought pokemon was one of the classic JRPG I really liked back then. To this day, it's still 100% turn-based gameplay.

Last edited by daus26 on 12/1/2011 12:15:29 AM

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Lawless SXE
Thursday, December 01, 2011 @ 12:49:36 AM
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Sounds exciting. Do want!

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Omnipro
Thursday, December 01, 2011 @ 11:47:53 AM
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I'm trading all my Call of Duty games for this.
Can't wait!

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berserk
Saturday, March 17, 2012 @ 5:51:46 AM
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"So obviously, we’ll have an interesting mix of strategic and real-time elements that should prove engaging."

The problem is like most rpg that seem to have strategic combat is that they are so easy that it s pointless to even try using some .

Not enough rpg got multiple difficulty

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