Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch
Publisher: Namco Bandai
Developer: Level-5, Studio Ghibli
Platforms: DS, PS3
Genre: Role Playing
Release Date: NA: January 22, 2013, EU: January 25, 2013, JP: November 17, 2011
Ni No Kuni has been currently released for the Nintendo DS and Playstation 3. The Nintendo DS version (Ni no Kuni: Shikkoku no Madōshi) was released in 2010 and was met with great critical acclaim, and later the PS3 version (Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch) was announced scheduled for release in November 2011 in Japan and January 2013 in the west.
It’s an RPG developed by Level 5 which is a Japanese studio and in collaboration with Studio Ghibli which is an anime studio.
The combination of these two resulted in some stellar visuals on the DS, and it is regarded as one of the best DS games of all time.
The PS3 version of the game includes both Japanese and English voices and also featured a lot of changes to the graphics make it more impressive to look at. The art design always stood out and it’s one of the reasons for the game’s special look. The PS3 version launched on January 22nd 2013 in North America and January 25th, 2013 in the UK.
The game was published by Namco Bandai in the West. They have been doing a pretty good job promoting it, and the Japanses reviews have been quite positive too.[reference]
The game features a 13 year old kid called Oliver whose mother just died. He is understandably very sad and his tears animates his toy and brings it to life. The toy is known as Drippy and it gives Oliver a magic book using which he can learn magic and teleport into a magical world called Ni No Kuni.
The reason he goes there is because Drippy tells him he can find his mother Arie in that magical world. The story is pretty emotional and has been known to make people cry early on, and based on the great visual design on offer, it really makes the game something special.
The game was originally in development for the Nintendo DS and two studios Level 5 and Studio Ghibli collaborated together to bring this epic RPG to life on Nintendo’s system. The game did not sell all that well on the Nintendo DS and an eventual PS3 port was announced by Level 5. The announcement came in 2010 and the game was released on the PS3 in November 2011 in Japan and is scheduled for a January 2013 release for NA and EU for the PS3.
The PS3 version of the game features a lot of visual improvements and has been specially recreated to bring a more realistic flavour to the game. In the developer diary released by Level 5, they mention how they have carefully created all the environments to provide a great experience on the PS3.
The company’s headquarters is based in Fukuoka, Japan.
“Ni no Kuni will be a representative JRPG, and for the quality it provides,” Level-5 boss Akihiro Hino said. “That said, we never really intended to kind of protect in a sense the JRPG genre that’s been known to [the] Western audience.
“It’s very Japanese and that’s what we’re keeping – but in terms of the game system, it doesn’t necessarily follow the formula of past JRPGs. In that sense, it keeps a Japanese feel but it’s still a new type of RPG – or a new type of game.” [reference]
A demo for the game was released featuring two different levels, each featuring their own bosses, namely the Guardian of the Woods and Moltaan. [reference]
The music is one of the reasons why this game is regarded so highly. It is composed by Joe Hisaishi, who has mostly worked on other Ghibli games before. While possessing a stylistically distinct sound, Hisaishi’s music has been known to explore and incorporate different genres, including minimalist, experimental electronic, European classical, and Japanese classical. Lesser known are the other musical roles he plays; he is also a typesetter, author, arranger, and head of an orchestra. (Imdb)
The DS version had a bigger focus on puzzles and used the stylus for a variety of commands. The PS3 version, however, is quite different and is built around exploration. It has a real time battle system compared to the turn based one of the DS version. You can also cancel attacks and command AI companions. The PS3 version features puzzles and boss battles too and can be described as a really enhanced version of the vanilla DS one.
It’s a JRPG to the core which means you will be collecting a lot of things and also playing strategically. The entire visuals of the PS3 version do a good job in immersing the player into the game.
Wizard Edition: The Wizard’s Edition contains hardback copy of The Wizard’s Companion, a 300+ page version of the spellbook Oliver uses throughout the game; a full-colour Wizard’s Companion detailing all of the creatures, items, spells and history of the ‘other’ world. The very limited edition also contains an exclusive plush doll of Oliver’s guide, Drippy, as well as some exclusive in-game DLC. Pre-ordering at select retailers unlocked two more familiars, Flutterby and Griffy. [reference]
We previewed the game and were full of praises: “Even with but a brief encounter with Ni No Kuni, it looks poised to deliver the Ghibli sensation of the films, with dialogue positively swelling with charm and glee, undoubtable one of the brightest looking titles of 2013.” [reference]
This wiki was last updated on December 29th, 2014.