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Thread: Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch - Staff Review

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    That Guy You Hate RPGamer Staff omegabyte's Avatar
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    Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch - Staff Review

    North American RPGamers have been waiting for almost 3 years to get their hands on some form of Ni no Kuni, Level-5 and Studio Ghibli's joint project. Now that it's available, how does it hold up to the hype?

    Read the review here
    Last edited by Ocelot; 02-12-2013 at 11:14 AM.
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    Member retrodragon's Avatar
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    Judging strictly by your own comments, I felt like a 3.5 was on the low end, but I appreciate the honesty. I know a lot of us are hoping this will finally be the "Uber JRPG" we have been waiting for on the current console gen, but it looks like this is not going to be the case. Although I have read some other reviews that were in the 4.0-4.5 range. Not disagreeing with you though, as I haven't played it myself yet. I will be picking it up soon, however, as story tends to be what really elevates a game for me, so I'm very much looking forward to it. Thanks for the review!
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  3. #3
    My question is- is this game worth getting a PS3 for? When it came out, it sounded like the answer was Yes. But now that its been out for a few weeks and people are playing through it, I'm starting to hear a lot of "it's pretty, but meh".

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    Member Ryumoau's Avatar
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    I really enjoyed the game, but its definetly not perfect. I think your review is very fair. I wish they handled catching familiars in a better manner than they did. Even with the item you get in the Swift reward shop that increases odds of taming a creature, it still only puts it at around 30% chance it seems.

    Btw, i had no idea the last story arc was added to this version. Was the White Witch not involved in the DS version at all? I would kinda be alittle pissed if the game ended with just the primary Goal. The ending was disappointing though but i never expect great endings in videogames anymore sadly.
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  5. #5
    I'm playing on the easy setting (by the way you should probably change "moderate" to "adjustable" since difficulty is, after all, adjustable, and little things like this can easily hurt a reviewer's credibility), but I think that even on that mode, mashing the button to have monsters constantly attack is in many instances a bad idea and a surefire path to defeat, and I've found myself using Oliver's healing spell quite often, and have ironically found boss fights to be a little easier than many normal encounters.

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    Member Ryumoau's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by smacd View Post
    My question is- is this game worth getting a PS3 for? When it came out, it sounded like the answer was Yes. But now that its been out for a few weeks and people are playing through it, I'm starting to hear a lot of "it's pretty, but meh".
    i'm not sure any one game is ever worth buying a console for it alone. But there are other good jrpgs you can also play on the system like Tales of Graces F, Eternal Sonata, and Tales of Xilia coming in a few months. Not too mention you can get free games of various genres if you get PS Plus (most of the time a month trial is included in new PS3s). I think the system is great overall.
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    Ysy St. Administrator Macstorm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Simba B View Post
    by the way you should probably change "moderate" to "adjustable" since difficulty is, after all, adjustable, and little things like this can easily hurt a reviewer's credibility
    Unless difficulty is something you can drastically change as you go, we don't use adjustable. If we did, we'd have to list adjustable on any game with a selectable difficulty. So what we do is just list how it stacks up on standard difficulty.
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    The "White Witch" arc cheapens the story
    I actually felt that exact sentiment at the time I finished the game. In my opinion, it would have been much better to end the game with defeating Shadar.

    Still, it's a solid 4 for me. I was in love with the world map, especially collecting hidden items.
    Last edited by Raza; 02-12-2013 at 01:17 PM.
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    is not declawed RPGamer Staff Ocelot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by retrodragon View Post
    Judging strictly by your own comments, I felt like a 3.5 was on the low end, but I appreciate the honesty. I know a lot of us are hoping this will finally be the "Uber JRPG" we have been waiting for on the current console gen, but it looks like this is not going to be the case. Although I have read some other reviews that were in the 4.0-4.5 range. Not disagreeing with you though, as I haven't played it myself yet. I will be picking it up soon, however, as story tends to be what really elevates a game for me, so I'm very much looking forward to it. Thanks for the review!
    I don't think there's such as thing as an "Uber JRPG" that everyone in the world will love. Ni No Kuni is that RPG for those of us who love fairy tale worlds and aren't picky about combat systems. For others like Adriaan who place a higher priority on combat systems, Ni No's has some definite weaknesses that are going to knock it down a few points.

    I think the game is a classic that many of us will remember fondly for years, and it's completely worth experiencing. A lot of its weaknesses are more apparent if you're doing a completionist runthrough, so at the very least the main campaign is going to be enjoyable to most RPGamers. I definitely want to see Studio Ghibli get involved in more RPG projects. My absolute dream RPG would involve a Miyazaki story with one of his wonderful heroines at the helm, though I have no idea if he's interested in such a project.

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    Tactic's Ogre I choose u! scorpio_7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by smacd View Post
    My question is- is this game worth getting a PS3 for? When it came out, it sounded like the answer was Yes. But now that its been out for a few weeks and people are playing through it, I'm starting to hear a lot of "it's pretty, but meh".
    I agree more with this review and the 3.5 score more so than the kinder scores from other sites. This game is pretty with some nice elements... but definitely not "great". And no I would not recommend buying a system for it.... if these are 2-3 other games you want to buy on the system then go for it... but not just for this game. Good game... but not great.

  11. #11
    New Member Member Heidegger's Avatar
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    I totally disagree that the "White Witch Arc" drags the story down, especially since it was carefully integrated into the game from the beginning, such that the PS3 version of the game wouldn't make sense if all elements of it were removed. Furthermore, without wanting to spoil anything, I found the close of the White Witch Arc to be a much better ending for the game, especially since the conclusion of and revelations in the previous arc made absolutely no sense.

    Other than that, the review is certainly fair. Combat is a point which many other sites have simply glossed over, and it deserves more than a little criticism. Not having any way for all of your characters to defend against a boss's big wind-up attack for half the game is frustrating on a level that is toxic.

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    Member Slayer's Avatar
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    Thanks for your detailed review. I almost went to buy it on day 1 but replayed the demo instead. The battle system just does not give me what I need. However, I love almost everything else about the game.

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    RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff GaijinMonogatari's Avatar
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    I didn't want to mention it before the overseas release, but I was disappointed with how much material was cut out of the PS3 version. There were two whole islands (with accompanying storyline) missing, and the addition of the Fairygrounds was cute but not quite enough to stretch over the holes in the game's second act. And then there was all the material left out of the ice cave and ghost pirate sections as well, not to mention the entire Haven section.... I really got the feeling that the developers were forced to make some hard choices in the name of expediency, and a lot of minor details were lost at the same time.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by omegabyte View Post
    ...it was literally over before I could even finish tweeting that it had started
    So true, and so unfortunate. I’ll never understand why 50+ hour games can find a way to screw that part up so often. As for the WW arc, without it there would have been many unanswered questions. However the answers it provided (and the execution) left much to be desired.

    All that said, I still enjoyed the game overall. Most of it seemed to capture a bit of magic missing in the more ‘modern’ rpg.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ocelot View Post
    My absolute dream RPG would involve a Miyazaki story with one of his wonderful heroines at the helm...
    Yes, please.

  15. #15
    Overdosing Heavenly Bliss Moderator ChickenGod's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heidegger View Post
    I totally disagree that the "White Witch Arc" drags the story down, especially since it was carefully integrated into the game from the beginning, such that the PS3 version of the game wouldn't make sense if all elements of it were removed.
    I agree with you and Reality, Heidegger. The White Witch Arc seemed to be integrated from the very beginning, and as Reality points out, important questions like who Pea was, Horace's story, and the kingdom of Nazcaa would have left plenty of loose ends hanging in the air. Neither ending was particularly incredible, but I'm glad the first took the direction it did. The whole game went down this path of lets take out the evil big bad in a very straight laced, no nonsense traditional fashion. It was pleasant to see some of those plot twists, even though I expected them. At one point, I suspected that the whole world of Ni No Kuni was the overactive imagination of Oliver trying to cope with the loss of his mother (and clear lack of a father) at such a young age.

    Other than that the review does touch on some negative aspects I didn't like, such as the crappy monster catching mechanic, and how easy most random encounters can be. Agreed with the weird spells that were given to the player only to see no use. Also interesting to see that the Ghost Ship was actually explorable in another version too, Gaijin. To be honest though I'm pretty patient when it comes to dull turn-based battles, especially if they are avoidable as they usually are, dungeons withstanding, in Ni No Kuni. Clearly a certain crowd is going to love this game, especially the Dragon Quest and Monster Catching lovers, but even as someone who doesn't particularly care for either of those, the good still outweighed the bad enough that I felt it was a 4.0 experience.
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  16. #16
    Member Jitawa's Avatar
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    The most annoying part of this game (to me) is how the use of a skill cancels your choices... there's no "queue" to speak of. So, I can switch to character C, and try to use a steal move.... only to be interrupted seconds after selecting it with Oliver's Mite using "Cut Loose". Being forced to watch the animation isn't a big deal, but your previous command with a completely separate character is voided and the skill wheel resets sort of - so when you get control back you're not even still on the same part of your menu... and the game has basically forced you to reselect your command - it's pure tedium.

    This dovetails particularly badly with the AI. You get choices like "Heal us/Support us/ Do whatever/ Do NOTHING". Choosing anything but "do nothing" resulted in Oliver interrupting me... EVERY. TIME. The tactics menu also appears to be inaccessible (unless I missed it) outside of the actual command wheel inside battle - which seems like a gross oversight (you also can't access it when you're using a familiar).

    The "no-use" spell thing bothered me as well - as well as spells that would seem to have obvious uses in some situation not being usable. I guess having DnD level freedom to solve problems with your spells would be out of character for a jrpg, but it was still a bit sad. I found the stories of some of the side quests mildly amusing, but I also felt talked down to by the tone in the game. Every broken-heart quest made me feel like I was watching Blue's Clues or something with Drippy explaining exactly what I had to find and exactly what to do both at the beginning and end of the quest. Maybe the game was intended for a much younger audience? It made me feel like it anyway.

  17. #17
    Member Cidolfas's Avatar
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    I'm about 10 hours in now and the game seems to be hovering around the "okay" mark. In particular they just opened up familiar collecting and I am almost certain I am going to hate the gameplay from here on in. I was hoping there'd be a bit of direction. The main reason I detest monster collecting is that there's simply no way of knowing ahead of time which monsters are worth training and which ones aren't without the help of an FAQ. I am not sinking dozens of hours into trying to use a monster effectively which, unbeknownst to me, the developers have decided isn't worth doing.

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    RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff GaijinMonogatari's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChickenGod View Post
    Also interesting to see that the Ghost Ship was actually explorable in another version too, Gaijin.
    Oh, the ship wasn't explorable, mainly because it had never been launched in the DS version. The skeleton sailors were stuck in a cavern (the same one they put the sky pirate captain in the PS3 version, actually), building the darn battleship for the last thousand years or so. The compulsion put on them to get it finished was so strong that they came back from the dead just to keep working on it. They even had skeletal families there to support them. The only problem was, they never at any time had enough materials to finish the ship, so they kept stealing from each other and effectively sabotaging themselves for an entire millenium.

  19. #19
    Thank you, thank you for mentioning the last arc hurt the story. I could not agree more. While some of it was integrated throughout the rest of the game, the actual content itself (ie, battles and events) felt tacked on and lazy. I wish I hadn't played through that part because it weakened the overall presentation.

    The AI issues are certainly ridiculous. It's pretty much all or nothing. Even if you choose for the game to moderate skill use, it seems to have no effect at all, unless you choose "no skills at all."

  20. #20
    Member pcaballe's Avatar
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    I'm about 50 hours in and I have to say the combat IS a bit underwhelming. It feels like an enhanced version of White Knight Chronicles with a little Pokemon thrown in (I hate the combat in WKC). I do believe he was a little harsh with the score but hey, we each have our own opinion.
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