I don’t even know where to start with this review of Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch, because I haven’t written one for some time and I have a deep, profound love for this game, its artistry, and its story. One of the first RPGs I played was Final Fantasy IX, and I was really fond of the way you could travel on the world and find little easter eggs scattered throughout. And, as you know, I am a huge fan of Miyazaki’s storytelling because it’s often challenging (From Up on Poppy Hill) without being dumbed down. Not to mention, the more traditional style of animation is something I prefer given the feel of painted landscapes, etc.
The story is about Oliver, a young boy who’s lost his mother. To rescue her, he travels to another world with the guidance of a fairy named Drippy, to battle alongside his wizard’s familiars. The game mechanics are easy enough to learn and there’s an incentive for leveling, for your familiars grow in power and might alongside you.
Since you have the option of switching out familiars, you can alter how challenging the game is when you explore the world and change your battle style on-the-fly. Learning spells and alchemical formulas, finishing sidequests, and advancing the story is evenly spaced so you don’t “forget” where you are in the story. The animation and world exploration is, by far, one of my favorite parts of this game because playing it is like being immersed into a Studio Ghibli film that lingers on…and it’s quite delicious.
I don’t want to give too many spoilers on this, partly because I’m only a third of the way in, but if you like Studio Ghibli, Kingdom Hearts, or Final Fantasy IX and older games in that franchise I really think you’ll dig this game and enjoy the experience. It just hit a “Greatest Hits” status, too, so the price has dropped considerably.
Level thee well!