First Look – Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch Demo

Hello all! Megan Highwind reporting in back from the land of work and no fun. Worry not though, I am going to try to start being more active and not fall off the planet again. My first order of business is to give you all my take on the demo for the new Japanese RPG from Namco Bandai Games,  Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch.

What?! This yellow bug with a lamp coming out of its nose is supposed to help me see my mom again? I quit!

What?! This yellow bug with a lamp coming out of its nose is supposed to help me see my mom again? I quit!

The first very noticeable thing about this game its art style. It’s very much in the spirit of Hayao Miyazaki’s amazing animated films like Howl’s Moving Castle, Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away to name a few. The music, characters, and even the gameplay lead to a sense of playing through one of these fantastic movies rather than a traditional game, which is a good thing. There are elements that remind the player  that this is of course a game, but the story and the gameplay do not seem to suffer from a lack of attention that sometimes occurs when movies and games mix. The game is about a boy named Oliver whose mother passes away. A doll that he is given by his mother comes to life and allows Oliver to use magic and visit to the Ni No Kuni world in order to find his mother. Although I did not get a true sense of the storyline just yet, the little I did get was promising.

From what I gathered, the gameplay is a real-time system that allows the player to attack and defend and awards the player more points if the player is able to defend or attack at the precise moment that the game wants you to. Basically, if the player can defend when the enemy is preparing a large attack or attack while the enemy is attacking causing a counter to their attack, the game rewards power ups and health. One thing I must say that I noticed is that this does not seem like it will be an easy game. Even from the demo, especially the lava themed level, the bosses that I fought against were not easy to beat. This could possibly be due to the fact that the demo does not really give the player a clear sense of how the gameplay works so much as just throwing the player in and letting them figure it out on their own.

Nothing is more intimidating than three small, angry children.

Nothing is more intimidating than three small, angry children.

Overall, I am excited for this game. I am curious to see how the coming together of two companies such as Studio Ghibli and Level-5 goes but so far I am impressed. I have been a fan of Miyazaki’s films for a while, which is originally why I was so excited for this game, but after playing the demo I am excited for many more reasons. From what I’ve learned so far, the graphics, music, and gameplay all seem to be on par with what make a game great. If the storyline turns out to be as good as these other elements, I see no reason where Ni No Kuni would not fall into one of the great games of 2013. Look for this title when it drops on January 22, 2013!

— Megan Highwind has left the party.


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