Phatmac Talks About: Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch.

Posted by Phatmac (5724 posts) -

  

 

Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch. 

Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch  is lost potential to me in many ways. I don't think that both the story and characters are given enough to time to evolve. I never really felt much of a connection with any of the characters besides Oliver and Drippy. After 50+ hours of being with my party, I didn't ever feel much of a connection with anyone. I still love Drippy, but the rest of the cast isn't that memorable to me. Ni No Kuni is best described as a traditional JRPG. It reminds me of the halcyon days that these types of games used to have. It's made by Level-5 Inc. so it makes sense that I'd think this way. I'm not a big JRPG guy, though I have played many JRPG's like the Tales series and more. I fairly enjoyed this game but I feel that it has some major flaws that kept it from being a truly special JRPG for this generation. 

They're on a boat. 

  

  

  The most impressive aspect of this game is the look of it. The art style, the colors, the environment, and all of it look fascinating. It really does look like a Studio Ghibli film. Speaking of that, most people should know is that this game is being worked on with Studio Ghibli. It's evident in the 2D cutscenes that are mostly in the beginning of the game. It kind of feels like a way to sell people on the game by attaching such a prolific animation studio, but it works for the most part. The overall presentation of the game is incredible. The music, the english cast, and more are well done that it makes the lacking parts of the presentation that more disappointing. There just isn't enough voice acting in the game overall. I want to hear Drippy's voice in most lines but that isn't the case in most situations. The game has a few proper cut scenes that are jam packed into a long JRPG journey. Unfortunatley, most of the story is conveyed in text boxes without any voice acting. This is even done in end game content with some important story being told without a voice. I wouldn't normally complain about this as the logistics of VO work and the amount of effort but into it is beyond me but I would at least expect voice acting to be present in the end of the game. 

So the combat…. Uh, I like it. If it wasn't for the awful team AI, I'd probably like it a lot more. At first you can't even defend your whole team that well. Also you need to grind a whole lot or else your whole party will die easily to any enemy. I didn't want to deal with grinding so I beat this game on easy as I realized that you had to grind in order to win. I'm personally not a fan of grinding for hours, but I don't hate it. I just chose to not partake in it anymore. I just find the whole process to be mundane and a waste of time. Your allies also tend to just hit enemies for 1 damage instead of doing magic or using stronger familiars which can be annoying. The ally AI isn't the worst I've seen but their incompetence has lost me a few matches. Other than that, I'm a fan of the Pokemon-like familiar system. Collecting different monsters and trying to make a great party certainly took a chunk of my playtime with this game. I liked the monster design in general as I kept catching them all. The combat in general which is active yet turn-based(think Xenoblade) is fairly enjoyable. 

I really liked Ni No Kuni overall as it does remind me of the great era of JRPG games that used to be in the gaming industry back in the PS1 and PS2 era to an extent. It's a beautiful game that has a ton of fantastic things that make it stand out from many other JRPG's. One of the most impressive things about it is the english localization and how well done it actually is. I like the story and some of the characters but it certainly could be better. Most of my problems stem from my own gaming experiences and dealing with a genre that I don't have much experience in. I also don't think the AI is all that good generally. I feel that this game could have been something better but overall I had a good time with it. I'd highly recommend that you play it as you may enjoy it more than I did. 

Be sure to watch the video at the top of this post as I talk about Ni No Kuni in video vlog form. At least watch it to hear how I pronounce Studio Ghibli.
#1 Edited by Phatmac (5724 posts) -

  

 

Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch. 

Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch  is lost potential to me in many ways. I don't think that both the story and characters are given enough to time to evolve. I never really felt much of a connection with any of the characters besides Oliver and Drippy. After 50+ hours of being with my party, I didn't ever feel much of a connection with anyone. I still love Drippy, but the rest of the cast isn't that memorable to me. Ni No Kuni is best described as a traditional JRPG. It reminds me of the halcyon days that these types of games used to have. It's made by Level-5 Inc. so it makes sense that I'd think this way. I'm not a big JRPG guy, though I have played many JRPG's like the Tales series and more. I fairly enjoyed this game but I feel that it has some major flaws that kept it from being a truly special JRPG for this generation. 

They're on a boat. 

  

  

  The most impressive aspect of this game is the look of it. The art style, the colors, the environment, and all of it look fascinating. It really does look like a Studio Ghibli film. Speaking of that, most people should know is that this game is being worked on with Studio Ghibli. It's evident in the 2D cutscenes that are mostly in the beginning of the game. It kind of feels like a way to sell people on the game by attaching such a prolific animation studio, but it works for the most part. The overall presentation of the game is incredible. The music, the english cast, and more are well done that it makes the lacking parts of the presentation that more disappointing. There just isn't enough voice acting in the game overall. I want to hear Drippy's voice in most lines but that isn't the case in most situations. The game has a few proper cut scenes that are jam packed into a long JRPG journey. Unfortunatley, most of the story is conveyed in text boxes without any voice acting. This is even done in end game content with some important story being told without a voice. I wouldn't normally complain about this as the logistics of VO work and the amount of effort but into it is beyond me but I would at least expect voice acting to be present in the end of the game. 

So the combat…. Uh, I like it. If it wasn't for the awful team AI, I'd probably like it a lot more. At first you can't even defend your whole team that well. Also you need to grind a whole lot or else your whole party will die easily to any enemy. I didn't want to deal with grinding so I beat this game on easy as I realized that you had to grind in order to win. I'm personally not a fan of grinding for hours, but I don't hate it. I just chose to not partake in it anymore. I just find the whole process to be mundane and a waste of time. Your allies also tend to just hit enemies for 1 damage instead of doing magic or using stronger familiars which can be annoying. The ally AI isn't the worst I've seen but their incompetence has lost me a few matches. Other than that, I'm a fan of the Pokemon-like familiar system. Collecting different monsters and trying to make a great party certainly took a chunk of my playtime with this game. I liked the monster design in general as I kept catching them all. The combat in general which is active yet turn-based(think Xenoblade) is fairly enjoyable. 

I really liked Ni No Kuni overall as it does remind me of the great era of JRPG games that used to be in the gaming industry back in the PS1 and PS2 era to an extent. It's a beautiful game that has a ton of fantastic things that make it stand out from many other JRPG's. One of the most impressive things about it is the english localization and how well done it actually is. I like the story and some of the characters but it certainly could be better. Most of my problems stem from my own gaming experiences and dealing with a genre that I don't have much experience in. I also don't think the AI is all that good generally. I feel that this game could have been something better but overall I had a good time with it. I'd highly recommend that you play it as you may enjoy it more than I did. 

Be sure to watch the video at the top of this post as I talk about Ni No Kuni in video vlog form. At least watch it to hear how I pronounce Studio Ghibli.
#2 Posted by TohruAdachi (261 posts) -

I feel you on AI,I wish it was similars to Final Fantasy where it switches everytime to different character since spells take time to load p,but doesn't do that only for pell that take a whole animation on the other hand the game can get boring,it's. more of a JROG to st beat and replay in future in my opinion although its a generally nice game like you said,great artwork,artwork,a nd epic soundtrack,The only characters I truly loved we're Oliver and Drippy too.

#3 Posted by Phatmac (5724 posts) -
@TohruAdachi said:
I feel you on AI,I wish it was similars to Final Fantasy where it switches everytime to different character since spells take time to load p,but doesn't do that only for pell that take a whole animation on the other hand the game can get boring,it's. more of a JROG to st beat and replay in future in my opinion although its a generally nice game like you said,great artwork,artwork,a nd epic soundtrack,The only characters I truly loved we're Oliver and Drippy too.
Yeah same here. 
#4 Edited by Mistzero (301 posts) -

This game seems like a collaboration between a lot of pokemon, traditional jrpg story, a little bit of Harry Potter, and studio Ghibli. Which I am fine with because none of those bother me too much. Combat is interesting because the way each monster play off each

other weakness. Also collecting said monsters can get very addicting like pokemon. I would say this game is for people who have a appetite for jrpg games and don't mind pokemon. Want to relive nostalgia of ps1 and ps2 era of jrpg games? Then this is for you.

#5 Edited by TohruAdachi (261 posts) -

Sorry for bad grammar,freaking hate iPad.

#6 Posted by Phatmac (5724 posts) -
@Mistzero said:

This game seems like a collaboration between a lot of pokemon, traditional jrpg story, a little bit of Harry Potter, and studio Ghibli. Which I am fine with because none of those bother me too much. Combat is interesting because the way each monster play off each

other weakness. Also collecting said monsters can get very addicting like pokemon. I would say this game is for people who have a appetite for jrpg games and don't mind pokemon. Want to relive nostalgia of ps1 and ps2 era of jrpg games? Then this is for you.

Pretty much. 
#7 Posted by Rayeth (1031 posts) -

Yep this game really scratches the DQ8-flavor itch (I wonder why? Hint: Level 5 made that game too). Lots of great stuff in there, but the companion AI really weighs it down. Esther in particular really really hates her MP. Luckily for me, most of the bosses can eventually be soloed with Oliver/1 familiar if you take enough time and consumables. Sad that it comes to that though.

#8 Posted by ExplodeMode (852 posts) -

Ni No Kuni is so good in so many ways that you will put up with weird combat AI and balance issues, but it shouldn't be that way.

DQ8, to me, is the only time L5 really nailed it in every aspect, but it's DQ. There isn't a lot to mess up in the gameplay areas. And I'm sure there were Enix people hanging around with a firm hand. NNK comes so close, even beating DQ8 in a lot of areas, but ultimately it's a design I slowly lost confidence or trust in as I progressed through the game.

It's really amazing that the game could live up to my high expectations in so many areas. But I suppose that is what makes the smaller problems so frustrating.

#9 Posted by Hunkulese (2694 posts) -
@Phatmac People who talk in the third person are almost always d-bags.
#10 Posted by Demoskinos (14722 posts) -

I dunno man, personally this is one of my favorite RPG's of this generation. I think were we differ is this is the first JRPG where grinding isnt a issue for me. I enjoy it. The combat is fun and I just enjoy being in the world any excuse to do so and I'll gladly do it. Grinding is just part of the deal here especially with how the focus on familiars resets you to level 1 every time you evolve them. I can agree with you on the A.I. though as early on before you get the Attack/Defend commands early battles can be frustrating. Once I got that I rarely have had issues and haven't seen a game over screen for a good long while. I'm er...60+ hours in and getting to end game stuff. Really really really enjoying it. I'll most likely be doing my own write up after I finish the game proper.

#11 Posted by Phatmac (5724 posts) -

@Hunkulese said:

@Phatmac People who talk in the third person are almost always d-bags.

How is using "I" being in third person? Am I missing something?

#12 Posted by Hunkulese (2694 posts) -
@Phatmac

@Hunkulese said:

@Phatmac People who talk in the third person are almost always d-bags.

How is using "I" being in third person? Am I missing something?

Phatmac talks about .... By Phatmac.

Maybe you don't know what the third person is.
#13 Posted by Deathpooky (1385 posts) -

Pretty much how I came down in my review. I liked it a lot for what it was, but just a ton of little issues and potential they do nothing with. The Wizard's Companion and the world, Oliver and Drippy, the opening story, parts of the combat. All dragged down by other issues and missing a ton of voice acting, character development, and cutscenes. I realized how bad it was when I saw that nearly all of Studio Ghibli's animated scenes appear in the first few hours of the game. For a 40+ hour game, it's inexcusable to have that little for the vast majority of the game. The grinding I don't mind as much, and I felt like I didn't have to do that much out of main path grinding, but you need to have some payoff for lots of combat.

As off-track as the Final Fantasy series has gotten, at least you can say they never go cheap making their games, which it felt like happened here after a while.

#14 Posted by Petiew (1341 posts) -

Yeah, usually I'm fine with little voice acting but like you said it was really jarring in this game. The good English voice cast seemed to be one of the big selling points of the game as well. Normally I switch straight to Japanese, but I've played the whole thing through with the English track.
I think I'm getting near to the endgame now, and the majority of cutscenes have been a 5 second clip with maybe 1 or two words max. I think there was even a scene where Oliver and Drippy just make a surprised noise, and then it finished.
 
The world map is another of my big gripes. The world seemed so huge to start with. The summer continent has three towns, and a bunch of dungeons. Whereas the autumn and winter continents have much less to offer. 
I wonder if they just ran out of budget as the game went on. I still think Ding Dong Dell is the best looking town out of all of them.

#15 Posted by fragilenin (43 posts) -

@Hunkulese: Maybe you should know that insinuating that the OP is d-bag actually adds nothing to this thread. Maybe you should know who the d-bag is in this situation. (Here is a hint: it's you.)

Online
#16 Posted by Phatmac (5724 posts) -
@Hunkulese
@Phatmac People who talk in the third person are almost always d-bags.
@Hunkulese
@Phatmac

@Hunkulese said:

@Phatmac People who talk in the third person are almost always d-bags.

How is using "I" being in third person? Am I missing something?

Phatmac talks about .... By Phatmac.

Maybe you don't know what the third person is.
It's just a title. No reason to be hostile.
#17 Posted by Phatmac (5724 posts) -

@Petiew said:

Yeah, usually I'm fine with little voice acting but like you said it was really jarring in this game. The good English voice cast seemed to be one of the big selling points of the game as well. Normally I switch straight to Japanese, but I've played the whole thing through with the English track. I think I'm getting near to the endgame now, and the majority of cutscenes have been a 5 second clip with maybe 1 or two words max. I think there was even a scene where Oliver and Drippy just make a surprised noise, and then it finished. The world map is another of my big gripes. The world seemed so huge to start with. The summer continent has three towns, and a bunch of dungeons. Whereas the autumn and winter continents have much less to offer. I wonder if they just ran out of budget as the game went on. I still think Ding Dong Dell is the best looking town out of all of them.

Good points all around. I really do like DDD's look the most. Motorville is a close second though.

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