All right, guys, I’ll do my best to contain my excitement for this game, but MY GOSH NI NO KUNI IS AMAZING. I’m trying not to shout, but WHO AM I KIDDING IF ANY GAME DESERVES ALL CAPS IT’S THIS ONE.
Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch is a PlayStation 3 game: an RPG (Role-Playing Game) about a little boy named Oliver who tries to save his mother by rescuing a parallel world from an evil jinn. (Ni No Kuni means Second Country in Japanese.) After Oliver’s mum dies, the heartbroken boy meets Drippy, the “Lord High Lord of the Fairies,” a little fellow with a winning Welsh accent and a lantern dangling from his nose.
Drippy explains that he comes from a parallel world: a fairy-tale realm threatened by a dark wizard named Shadar. If Oliver defeats Shadar, he may be able to rescue his mum. Oliver and Drippy set out to save the world, meeting all sorts of colorful characters along the way.
The first thing that stands out about the Ni No Kuni is its visuals. Most blockbuster video games these days are drenched in drab colors: gray, brown, black, white, and occasionally dark green. By contrast, Ni No Kuni boasts bright colors and a cartoony aesthetic.
This brings me to my next point: The cutscenes in Ni No Kuni are animated by Studio Ghibli. Yes, I mean the Studio Ghibli: the legendary filmmaker behind such masterpieces as My Neighbor Totoro and Spirited Away. Besides the cutscenes, all of the visual designs in Ni No Kuni are influenced by Ghibli’s distinctive style.
Much of the game’s music was written by Joe Hisaishi, the renowned film composer, and performed by the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra. Needless to say, the music is fantastic.
Of course, none of this would matter if the game were not fun to play. It is. I’ll spare my dear readers all of the technical details, but Ni No Kuni is easily one of the best RPGs I’ve ever played. It’s in the same league as masterpieces like Final Fantasy VI, Chrono Trigger, and Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door. I hardly ever play RPGs these days because they demand so much time, but I’ve cheerfully made an exception for this one.
The last thing I love about Ni No Kuni is that it is so darn charming. It has so many silly puns and funny moments. A cat king is addressed as “Your Meowjesty,” except by Drippy, who prefers to call him “Kingface.” Speaking of the Lord High Lord of the Fairies, Drippy uses all sorts of adorable colloquialisms, saying things like, “That’s flipping fantastic, mun, en’t it? It’s proper tidy!”
Ni No Kuni is colorful, beautiful, heartwarming, charming, and just a little bonkers. It’s easily one of the finest games I’ve ever played. If you have a PS3, like RPGs, or have a soul, I give it my highest recommendation.
I feel like the juxtaposition of the 3D in-game cutscenes next to the Ghibli frame by frame work just points out glaringly how terrible the animation is in the 3D stuff. Bah! They should have made it all 2D. 😛
That would have been fantastic, but I doubt it was in the game’s budget. 😛 The cel-shaded graphics are actually pretty good, and strongly reminiscent of The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker. In the end, of course, the fully animated cutscenes are by far the prettiest bits of the game. 😀