Having never owned a PlayStation 3, I never had a chance to enjoy Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the trắng Witch when it was first released in 2013. Earlier this year, I got a chance to play through about half of the original Japanese Ni no Kuni: Dominion of the Dark Djinn for Nintendo DS và after throughly enjoying it, I eagerly awaited the release of the White Witch version on the Nintendo Switch. While the game has some issues that affect gameplay, overall it was a worthwhile experience.

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Developed by Level-5 & joined in production by Studio Ghibli, the opening to Ni no Kuni plays out with an emotional gut punch. Oliver, the young child protagonist, and his friend sneak out of their 1950s small-town homes at night to lớn drive a race oto they’ve been building. An accident occurs and both Oliver và the oto end up in the river. Having woken up sensing something wrong, Oliver’s mother races outside và jumps into the river, saving her son. Sadly, this is all her weak heart can take, và she passes away after the rescue. A few days later while crying in his bedroom, Oliver’s tears transform a small doll his mother had given him into the fairy, Mr. Drippy. Mr. Drippy believes Oliver is the answer lớn his alternate world’s problems and encourages Oliver to travel between worlds with him with the promise that a way to lớn save his mother still exists.


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It is said a picture is worth a thousand words; in this case all of those words are “beautiful.”


At this point, Wrath of the white Witch becomes somewhat a prototypical JRPG. Young Oliver travels lớn a new world, filled with alternate-reality versions of many people he knows back trang chủ in Motorville. He learns lớn cast spells and befriend monsters called familiars while building a small team of similar humans that travel the world solving problems in town after town as the inevitable battle with an oppresive dark djinn, Shadar, looms large. While the trò chơi checks nearly every JRPG trope box from “young child saves the world” to lớn “walk around until you get a ship và then sail until you can fly” khổng lồ “the expected final quái vật isn’t really the final boss,” it does it in such a beautiful way that shows that these story beats became timeless tropes for a reason. Each one is handled very well and there are plenty of uplifting, heartwarming, and heartbreaking moments throughout that keep the adventure memorable.

Also very well done are a couple of other RPG staples: alchemy and sidequests. The alchemy system allows for creation of equipment, healing supplies, & familiar evolution items from materials dropped by enemies or found at shiny spots while traversing the world map. Recipes are given by NPCs, found during story beats, or can be discovered while exploring the voluminous Wizard’s Companion book located in the game menu. This beautiful book was a physical collector’s edition thành công six years ago, but is easily navigated in-game & contains not just useful & necessary information, but a wealth of other just fun nội dung to spend time reading. Sidequests are also abundantly present, and extremely worth players’ time khổng lồ complete. While most are simple fetch quests or involve Oliver repairing pieces of NPC’s broken hearts, rewards stretch beyond mere items and money lớn new spells & important merit stamps. These stamps can be traded in for permanent in-game bonuses such as increased EXP, better stat growth, or increased chance of familiar recruitment. These bonuses are extremely important due lớn Ni no Kuni’s greatest weakness: the battle system.


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Much goes on in the battle system, most of it without players input đầu vào or control.


Simply put, Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the trắng Witch’s battle system doesn’t know what it wants lớn be. At first glance it looks to lớn be action-based as neither enemies nor allies ever stop moving around the battle field attacking, defending, or casting spells. But it ends up as a menu-based, semi-turn-based affair as the player must select their actions from menus và submenus while at the same time running around the battle field trying lớn dodge attacks và pick up restorative items dropped by enemies. An active time battle system with dodge mechanics may be an appropriate descriptor, but so too is an unbalanced mix of far too many mechanics. Each playable human character can have up khổng lồ three familiars with them in a battle, & can freely switch between the ones battling or choose to lớn fight as themselves. Players can only control one at a time, leaving the others to lớn the whims of a painful AI. Spells và skills have high MP costs & all familiars assigned to a character chia sẻ the same MP pool. It’s not uncommon for MP pools lớn become depleted after a random encounter or two, or within the first minute of a long quái nhân fight, leaving normal physical attacks as by far the most common tactic. A deep menu-based system degrades khổng lồ simply running from attacks and pressing X lớn attack far too often.

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Collecting familiars, another gameplay aspect related to lớn the combat system, is frustrating as well. Lượt thích in most monster-collecting games, the desire in players to lớn catch them all likely will be triggered by the wide variety of available familiars wandering the world. The game unfortunately squashes this urge quite early on since there’s no mechanic other than randomness that decides if a familiar will join the party. At the kết thúc of each battle there’s a chance one will join, but there are no actions or items that affect the chance outside of passive increases earned from leveling up or through sidequests. Conveniently included for không tính tiền in the Switch version of Wrath of the trắng Witch are former PlayStation 3 DLC golden versions of some good familiars, so if players don’t wish to lớn spend countless hours waiting to lớn recruit statistically superior familiars, they have access to great ones early on.

Two areas where there are few, if any, caveats are the art and sound direction of Wrath of the white Witch. Whether in handheld mode or docked and connected to lớn a 50″ screen, the game is visually stunning. Clouds lazily cross the sky, spreading shadows over the varied terrain on the overworld. Cities come alive with detailed NPCs going about their lives, and so many seemingly minor graphical details make each house, street, boat, & doorway seem unique. Cutscenes look straight out of a Studio Ghibli movie, và battle animations và familiars are colorful and pleasing khổng lồ the eye even after the hundredth time they appear. Matching the visuals is an impressive soundtrack composed by Joe Hisaishi và performed by the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra. Everything pleasing seen on the screen is brought khổng lồ an even deeper cấp độ of artistic appreciation by a soundtrack worthy of the view. The town themes fit well lớn the various locations, making wandering around and enjoying each lưu ý a treat. The score also hits emotional notes during certain cutscenes, adding a depth of emotion khổng lồ the story.


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The trắng Witch in her visually impressive và beautifully lit chamber.


A couple of final aspects worthy of praise are the casino in Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the trắng Witch and the overall localization. Accessed somewhat towards the middle of the game, the casino has the typical chance-based games like slot machines và blackjack, but also contains two entertaining chất lượng mini-games. The first is an enjoyably difficult, skill-based balancing act similar to lớn a gameplay mechanic found earlier in the Temple of Trials where you must simultaneously move two buổi tiệc ngọt members along a path using the two analog sticks on the joy-cons. The second is a surprisingly deep card card game called Platoon where players can strategically build five piles of cards to outscore their opponents a best three out of five. Casino rewards include the best healing items in the trò chơi as well as high-powered familiars, making a worthwhile diversion from the main story. The localization for Wrath of the trắng Witch was completed by Schloc Ltd, the same company who recently worked on Dragon Quest XI. Their pun game is on point throughout the game and small nuances such as noticeable speech mannerisms that change by thành phố or region help lớn bring the large, diverse world of Ni no Kuni to life. Their most impressive work is on the Wizard’s Companion tome, which is accessed through the menu and has thirteen beautiful fairy tales included in its sixth chapter that despite only being tangentially related khổng lồ the game are worthy of a read on their own.

Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the white Witch is a good JRPG held back by the poor design decisions made for the battle system. Straddling the line between the turn-based system of its DS forefather Ni no Kuni: Dominion of the Dark Djinn & the full action-based system of its PS4 sequel Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom does the trò chơi no favors, but for those that can successfully battle the familiars more than the system, there’s a great khuyến mãi of fun lớn have with this game. With a solid story & an amazing, beautiful world lớn explore, the White Witch on Switch is a port that many JRPG fans will enjoy, especially those like me who are getting to lớn play this for the first time.

Disclosure: This reviews is based on a không tính tiền copy of the trò chơi provided by the publisher.