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Studio Ghibli's "Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch" for the PS3 - Page 3

post #61 of 160
I can't wait for the English version to hit the UK next year. This looks like it might at least be a deserved return to form for Level 5 that can match or maybe even surpass Dark Chronicle.
post #62 of 160
Originally Posted by THE_FORCE View Post

I can't wait for the English version to hit the UK next year. This looks like it might at least be a deserved return to form for Level 5 that can match or maybe even surpass Dark Chronicle.

Yeah, I sure hope so. Dark Chronicle (Dark Cloud 2 in NA) was one of my favorite PS2 games. I also loved DQVIII -- it was almost like playing a Dragonball RPG.

Though I had heard that White Knight Chronicles was mediocre, I managed to pick it up for 5 bucks new this summer as a door crasher at EB. It's pretty bad and I can't believe that they made a sequel.
post #63 of 160
Originally Posted by Mikazaru View Post

Yeah, I sure hope so. Dark Chronicle (Dark Cloud 2 in NA) was one of my favorite PS2 games. I also loved DQVIII -- it was almost like playing a Dragonball RPG.

Yea DQVIII was tops and graphically impressive for the PS2 ! I can't understand why there hasn't been any more Dragon Quests on the Playstation brand? I've completed all of the series on the DS, and loved them, but the PS3 is crying out for another.

I also enjoyed Rogue Galaxy - Level 5's cel shading stylizing was fantastic in that too.

I'm still yet to play WKCI & II, and your comment about it being cack has just confirmed why even more lol. Shame....
post #64 of 160
Originally Posted by THE_FORCE View Post

Yea DQVIII was tops and graphically impressive for the PS2 ! I can't understand why there hasn't been any more Dragon Quests on the Playstation brand? I've completed all of the series on the DS, and loved them, but the PS3 is crying out for another.

They're following the money on that one. When they started work on DQ IX, they went after the DS market, which was vast compared to the PS3. Likewise the Wii (which seems more of a gamble, now...but they may transition to the Wii U). DQX being an MMO is shooting for the bleachers and could majorly backfire.

But the days of console-exclusivity are pretty much done for most third-party developers. I don't know what motivates their choices...supposedly neither Sony nor Nintendo will pay for exclusives (though they both will 'pay' in terms of promotion and marketing). I would love to see a PS3/360 DQ game...but I think SQ-E probably thinks they can make more money on the Wii, simply due to market penetration (or maybe lower dev costs?).
post #65 of 160
Thread Starter 
*** April 2012 Update ***

The game has been delayed and won't release out internationally until Q1 of 2013. Still, here's an english trailer for it:

post #66 of 160
This news makes me sad.
post #67 of 160
New trailer, and a release date of Jan 22, 2013:

post #68 of 160
Thread Starter 
That's not too bad of a delay, all things considered. Probably the right choice for a niche title to avoid getting lost during the blockbuster Christmas season. I'm still looking forward to playing it.
post #69 of 160
Originally Posted by joeblow View Post

That's not too bad of a delay, all things considered. Probably the right choice for a niche title to avoid getting lost during the blockbuster Christmas season. I'm still looking forward to playing it.

That Monster book is probably causing some delays as well.
post #70 of 160
Thread Starter 
The Wizard Edition of this game can be pre-ordered directly from Namco for $100. Here are the details:

Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch, an epic tale of a boy name Oliver travelling between two worlds on a quest to save his mother, is developed by the critically acclaimed Japanese development studio, LEVEL-5. The game features animations and cut-scenes produced and supervised by the legendary Japanese animation company, Studio Ghibli, and features music scored by the world-renowned composer Joe Hisaishi.

The Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch – Wizard’s Edition will include a 300+ page hardback physical copy of the Wizard’s Companion, the spellbook Oliver uses throughout his journey in the game. The full-color Wizard’s Companion contains a bestiary of all the creatures found in the game along with in-depth item descriptions, spells and history of the other world. The limited-run Wizard’s Edition will also contain a plush doll of Drippy, Oliver’s guide through his adventures, as well as exclusive “golden mite” and “golden drongo” DLC familiars.

Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch is a heart-warming tale of a young boy named Oliver, who embarks on a journey into another world to become a wizard in an attempt to bring his mother back from the dead. Along the way Oliver makes new friends and tames many of the wonderful creatures that inhabit the world, raising them to battle other creatures on his behalf as he takes on formidable enemies. Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch will be available January 22, 2013 in North America and will include both English and Japanese voiceovers.

Edited by joeblow - 6/29/12 at 5:17pm
post #71 of 160
$12 for 2 day shipping and even with 1 day shipping I may not get it on release day... Why Namco? Why not let other retailers have this?

I really want to get it, but I also want to play the game on release, I've been following news of the game since the DS version was announced, and I really want to play it ASAP.
post #72 of 160
I caved.

$120 total after 2 day shipping (only $3 more than the base) and about $8 in taxes, so twice the normal cost of the game.
post #73 of 160
Thread Starter 
Namco is giving away bonuses for all who pre-order the Collector's edition from them. So far the first perks are a CD with some of the music, 6"x9" art prints, and a gold coin with art design based on the game. The more people who pre-order by Monday night, the more free stuff they will add. Keep in mind it already comes with a physical copy of The Wizard’s Companion, a plush Drippy doll, and exclusive “golden drongo” and “golden mite” DLC familiars.
post #74 of 160
Thread Starter 
Here's a recent review of the Japanese import:
Import Review (Click to show)
Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch has gained most of its attention by being an exceedingly pretty collaboration between forward-thinking developer Level 5 and animation powerhouse Studio Ghibli. That attention to its presentation is well-deserved, but the level of polish is actually the least interesting thing about Ni no Kuni. Were it not for the high-tech Ghibli gloss, one could play Wrath of the White Witch and mistake it for a 16-bit RPG classic. It recaptures that intangible spirit of the SNES-era RPG — that perfect blend of story, characters, environment, mechanics and design that drew so many people to the genre in the first place. If you have decried the state of the modern RPG and long for an experience reminiscent of Chrono Trigger, Earthbound or Final Fantasy IV, you owe it to yourself to try Ni no Kuni.

The game has very strong mechanics at its core, carefully balanced, that make it a ton of fun. Its pacing is impeccable, because it’s not just fun, but consistently fun. Most RPGs tend to have at least one area of drag — you know, “that one dungeon” or “that one part” where either progress slows to a crawl or the difficulty spikes into the heavens, but Ni no Kuni isn’t dragged down by that usual bane of JRPGs. The mechanics stay entertaining the whole game long; the battle system is engaging and doesn’t require any grinding, there are plenty of options for managing your party, and stepping out onto the vast world map never loses its impact. It’s extremely easy to get caught up doing “just one more” quest or exploring islands or finding treasure chests.

Many will undoubtedly name the world map as the best place to spend time in Ni no Kuni. Longtime JRPG fans will be be delighted to explore a “real” world map — the kind that has gradually become an endangered species over the last two generations. Ni no Kuni‘s take on the old staple is grand, three-dimensional, and lush, with every kind of landscape imaginable, and a perfect scale. Mountains tower over the party, and forests shield characters and monsters from view, while roads and rivers snake across the landscape. If you don’t want to explore it for its beauty, the world comes with plenty of trimmings, from buried treasure, to hidden villages, to areas to catch advanced monsters. It does a great job of instilling childlike glee and a sense of adventure, and you want to explore it just for the sake of exploring.

Battles in Ni no Kuni don’t feel like an interruption to the game because they bring their own brand of excitement to the game. Monsters appear on the world map and can be dodged with clever footwork, but sneaking up behind monsters provides a window of opportunity when the battles start. Fights flow in real time, and characters can be freely moved while the player selects actions from a rotating menu. All actions, like magic or using an item, require a certain amount of cooldown time before they can be used again, but different actions can be used consecutively with no delay.

Team management is essential to victory, and with up to twelve characters deployable in battle, there’s plenty of room for customization. The three human characters can each carry with them three “Imajinns,” monsters created from the depths of human hearts who can fight in their place. This forms three stacks of four characters each, and the stacks share HP and MP across characters. A typical battle will have the fighting member of each stack rotating multiple times, as each Imajinn can only spend a limited time in battle before needing to recharge. Each Imajinn has its own set of equipment, skills and battle commands, and there are over two hundred recruitable or evolvable Imajinn in the game.

Level 5 has created a battle system for Wrath of the White Witch that injects fun into every encounter by making attention a necessary factor in victory. Winning fights is determined much less by a difference of one or two levels or a new piece of equipment than by a deliberate focus by the player and attention to the tide of battle. Guarding at the correct time could mean the difference between a character taking 30 or 180 damage, but constantly trying to avoid damage wears down your resources. Enemies dish out a ton of damage in a very short time, and players must adapt or die a swift death. While the early hours are of course easing the player into things, don’t let that fool you; things ramp up. In-battle healing is a necessity even in many regular fights, and one needs to be prepared, as the leader, to play a variety of rapidly changing roles, from tanking to dodging to buffing to delivering killing blows. It’s frenetic, it’s intense, it’s exciting, and it stays that way the whole game long.

The story begins in the “real world” town of Hotroit, a spot-on interpretation of white picket fence America, where a boy named Oliver lives an idyllic life with friends and his mother, Ally. One day, after an accident, Ally abruptly dies, leaving Oliver orphaned and alone. As he mourns, his tears fall onto a doll, and it transforms into a strange creature. Introducing himself as the Great Fairy Shizuku, he tells Oliver he was cursed by an evil wizard that terrorizes his world, a parallel world called “Ni no Kuni” whose citizens share hearts with people from Oliver’s world. Shizuku tries to convince Oliver to take a magic spellbook and come to Ni no Kuni, but Oliver declines until he learns that Ni no Kuni houses a woman who resembles his mother, the Sage Alicia, who may be the key to saving his mother from her fate.

Dead parents are usually a horrible cliché in game stories, but Ni no Kuni tells what might be the most heartfelt Dead Parent Story out there. All of the scenes with Ally establish her as a loving, caring single mother, and the gaping hole her absence leaves is palpable. Even off screen, her impact on Oliver and the story as a whole is felt throughout the game.

A wonderful rapport is shared by the solid cast. As a kid protagonist, Oliver is likeable and believable. Sometimes he can come off as a bit too perfect, but usually he acts just like a normal kid: innocent, energetic, a bit of a crybaby, polite, gets excited about cool machines, and forgives easily. He’s sweet, and you enjoy cheering for him because he isn’t an annoying little puke. Later he’s joined by the desert girl Marl, who is brimming with optimism, faith and youthful overconfidence, while the reformed (?) thief Gyro’s addition to the team brings both adult experience and insecurity to the group dynamic. The Great Fairy Shizuku is self-important, smartly funny, and just the right amount of genre-savvy. Together, they form an interesting, cohesive team.

The minor characters are still memorable and enjoyable, but weaker than the core ensemble. The two villains have interesting pasts and motivations, but tend to do a lot of plotting and finger-steepling with their time in the spotlight. The leaders of the three major nations are funny but one-note characters, and a late-game addition to the party is cardboard compared to the other playable cast members.

Ni no Kuni isn’t the most intense, dramatic and adult tale on the market, but it takes itself seriously, and comes off as sincere instead of artificial. It puts a higher value on telling a good, holistic story than on spinning a yarn with marketable cutscenes. There are no characters tailor-made for profitable demographics, no loud demonstrations of might, no huge philosophical speeches, no outrageous outfits, no impossibly garish weapons, or any other trappings of the genre that have long since grown stale. Oliver, Shizuku, Marl and Gyro aren’t flashy, outgoing or bombastic, don’t act like Hollywood heroes, and are almost painfully uncool. They are just the humble heroes of a quiet story that is equal parts sweet, sad and refreshing.

“Quiet” and “humble” aren’t synonymns for “boring,” though. The story does appear simple and cutesy on the surface, and it is appropriate for children, but there are some dark elements lurking under its surface. The core themes of the game revolve around managing one’s emotions, with a heavy emphasis on dealing with guilt and grief, which means that there’s plenty of tragedy and trauma touched on but not always explicitly detailed.

Large portions of the story revolve around the dark wizard Jabo stealing pieces of humans’s hearts. Throughout the story and in extra quests, Oliver must track down people overflowing with positive emotions — like Kindness, Love, Self-confidence, and Patience — and take those back to people who have lost them. It could have been preachy and trite, if the situations weren’t so realistic. The people with missing hearts don’t behave like zombies or cartoonish villains, but like people that you meet every day. The man who lost Kindness snaps at his wife and convinces his daughter she’s worthless; the woman with no Patience wants to spend all her money on the latest trends; the researcher without Trust can’t work with his colleagues to finish their project, while the man with too much Self-confidence makes terrible business decisions. The NPCs don’t make much impact as individuals, but the population as a whole feels like its full of real people with real problems. Late in the game, a clever interface alteration makes that clearer than ever.

Lines are blurred between interface and story a few times, and while it doesn’t eliminate the separation between story and game, it does do a great job playing with some RPG tropes to convey an extra measure of meaning.

Ni no Kuni‘s presentation is phenomenal, pairing gorgeous graphics with a sweeping orchestral soundtrack and high-quality sound effects. The only thing that mars its image are a few minor sound glitches in battle; everything else is completely enchanting. Graphics on the in-game engine adhere to the Ghibli style so well that they can steal the thunder of the actual hand-drawn animation sequences, which are already beautiful in their own right and of higher quality than animated cutscenes in other games. The draw distance on the world map is very long, and the world looks very lush, while the towns and dungeons are a sea of colorful painted textures and packed with intricate objects. The music was composed by Joe Hisaishi, famous for writing scores for most of the modern Studio Ghibli films, and performed by the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra. Voice performances are cheese-free, and full of life and personality.

It’s not just the horsepower of the graphics or the quality of recorded sound that’s astounding, but the level of consideration and detail that the visuals and sound convey. For example, unlike in many games, stairs in Ni no Kuni are not ramps with stair textures on them, but sets of individual steps, and Oliver will plant his foot on each one as he ascends and can stop in mid-stride with his feet on different steps. Ambient market noises, like talking and clapping, in one town are not just mapped to specific NPCs, but will also match their bodies and lips.

The main story could take anywhere from 25-40 hours to complete, and doing all quests available before the final dungeon pushes the play time well over 60 hours. Even after the main game is finished, there are still 100 hidden treasure chests, seven pirate memorials, and sixteen hidden villages on the world map to discover; an Imajinn battle league to conquer; a magic spell book to complete; a casino with slots, minigames and a cutscene theater; postgame quests and bounties to hunt down; alchemy recipes to find; and Golden Imajinns to catch. Full completion of the game will require at least 100 hours from most people.

Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch feels like the second coming of 16-bit RPG classics, with a breathtaking Studio Ghibli exterior and a sublime orchestral soundtrack. The pacing is impeccable. It never slows down, never waivers in the amount of excellence it packs into its experience. There is no “that one part” or “that one dungeon” that drags it down. It turns on the charm, the entertainment, and the fun from the first hours, and doesn’t turn them off throughout the entire duration of the sixty hours you’ll probably spend finishing it. Exploring the world map never gets old, the battle system stays thrilling, and the characters are lovable. Nothing about this game is phoned in. It contains the same elements and same spirit that made so many of us fall in love with the genre in the first place. It doesn’t have a complicated, emotional, life-changing message or story, but it doesn’t have to. It touches a deep vein of nostalgia and childlike wonder.

-Janelle Hindman

Score Breakdown

Gameplay: Excellent
Story: Good
Graphics: Legendary
Sound/Music: Excellent
Replay Value: Very Good

The Verdict: Legendary

Two videos in english going over the World and Story:

...and the the Battle System:

Edited by joeblow - 10/30/12 at 9:17pm
post #75 of 160
Thread Starter 
If any of you missed out on ordering the limited Wizard's Edition that comes with an actual magic book full of spells to be used in the game, Namco is taking last second orders for it on Thursday just before next week's release.

post #76 of 160
If you missed out on the Wizard's Edition preorder 4+ months ago, Namco says they will be selling a limited number of them starting tomorrow Jan 17th at 10am PST.

Unboxing video:


Fixed wrong time
Edited by skar - 1/17/13 at 5:46am
post #77 of 160
Sounds like they are selling all the canceled orders from the last several months. Expect these to be gone after 10 minutes...

I just checked the status of my order, no estimated ship date, only that it would ship after the release date.
Edited by PENDRAG0ON - 1/16/13 at 5:58pm
post #78 of 160
Thread Starter 
10:00 A.M. PST is when it will be up.

I checked the store and my original order is still good to go next week (some people had cancellation mixups for some reason). This will be the first RPG I play through with my daughter.
post #79 of 160
This actually looks and sounds like a JRPG I actually want to play. I used to love them back in the 16bit days, but they jumped the shark since then.

Looking forward to more reviews, although that one that was already posted basically has me sold.
post #80 of 160
Thread Starter 
If you'd like to see more reviews...

RPGLand 10
PSN Lifestyle 10
Gamepro Germany 93%
Game Informer 7


OPM UK - 9/10
Just as the best kids movies have adults clasping their hands together in delight, Ni No Kuni is blessed with a surplus of charisma that can hold the most joyless, cynical audience in its charms


They added more goodies to the WIzard's Edition:

• A copy of Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch for PlayStation®3

• A 340 page hardcover copy of The Wizard's Companion, the in-game spellbook containing a full bestiary, in-depth descriptions of the other world's items, spells and background of its rich history

• A plush doll of Drippy, Oliver's guide through his adventure

• Exclusive "golden mite" and "golden drongo" DLC familiars


• An exclusive Wizard's Edition coin

• Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch Wizard's Edition Special Music Selection CD

• A set of 5 Ni no Kuni artwork cards

Also, check out some pics of the 340 page Wizard Book itself that is sold with the Limited Edition:

Edited by joeblow - 1/17/13 at 8:40am
post #81 of 160
Man, that is so cool. Im not quite sold on the level that I'm ready to buy that edition....but I totally want that kind of stuff to come with every game. Imagine if skyrim came with a real book of all the books in the game, instead of a stupid dragon statue?
post #82 of 160
I don't see a way to add it to my cart. I realize it's only 2 minutes after....
post #83 of 160
Thread Starter 
Apparently the site is being hammered by orders, but people at different sites say you can get through to buy it.

If you order, sign up at least for two day shipping since it only adds a couple of bucks over standard shipping.
Edited by joeblow - 1/23/13 at 10:00pm
post #84 of 160
I was able to order it shortly after 10am (1pm here). It looks like it is still available.
post #85 of 160
I tried to order a second one, the add to cart option was missing for me. Oh well, lets someone else get one.
post #86 of 160
I ordered, but because the site was blocked at work I had to order it on my cellphone. I entered the wrong zip code (had my office zip on my mind) so it changed the city/zip for my shipping and billing address. I've emailed them. Hopefully my order isn't cancelled.
post #87 of 160
Thread Starter 
I would call them just to be sure: (952) 392-2057

aaaaaand with that, they are all sold out of the Wizard's Edition.
post #88 of 160
Originally Posted by joeblow View Post

I would call them just to be sure: (952) 392-2057

aaaaaand with that, they are all sold out of the Wizard's Edition.
Traded emails with them last night and spoke with Digital River this morning. The woman I spoke with today seemed to think that they could fix it. If not, I'll save myself $50 and buy it from Amazon.
post #89 of 160
As of this posting, Ni No Kuni is at the top of Amazon's hourly best selling video game list!

post #90 of 160
Thread Starter 
Well deserved attention. The general response and early reviews have been very positive. They were smart to release this during the slow period just after Christmas. It gets a lot of extra spotlight exposure at this time that may have been lost during the onslaught at end of 2012.
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