Parable recently had the opportunity to not only visit Namco’s HQ within London, Hammersmith; but to also check out and play its latest and upcoming RPG Series: Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch.
Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch follows the story of a young boy named Oliver, who is overcome with grief during the death of his mother. Unable to cope with the events that have taken place in his life, Oliver locks himself away in his room and begins to cry into a doll that his mother had previous given to him as a gift, which suddenly bursts to life! Managing to calm down Oliver, the doll named Drippy informs Oliver that not only about information of another world existing in an alternative dimension of our own, but everyone who lives in it is an inhabitant of our reality; making them interconnected via their actions taken. Drippy then states that Oliver’s mother was a powerful figure in the alternative world and if saved there, can be brought back to life in Oliver’s. It’s from here that Drippy helps guide Oliver in a journey thought the Ni No Kuni – The Alternative world.
It’s certainly a storyline in which has some cliches that have become more apparent and used in recent years for the RPG genre, however it works. Sure that very paragraph is a lot to take in for a game plot, but it’s merely a summary of what I witnessed during my time playing the game. It’s difficult to put down into words the rich and well written dialogue and pacing for these events to take place without either stealing the games script or providing game play footage; neither of which I can do.
Game play wise, Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch keeps to a traditional RPG style, having you travel across large fields, icy cliff sides and barren deserts whilst visiting towns to obtain more missions and locations to explore. The over world in which is used when traveling is very simplistic to follow when traveling from location to location and are very reminiscent of the early Final Fantasy or Chrono Trigger titles.
Instead of the traditional spontaneous encounters that are well known within RPG’s, Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch has the enemies you encounter walking about on the in-game map and world; allowing you to evade any battles you like or sneak behind your potential victim and get a clean and cheap swing in first.
In-combat you can either focus on traditional melee attacks, magic spells or unique character based attacks; however it’s not just Oliver who fights. As you progress through the game, you obtain small companions called “Familiars” which can also engage in combat for you. In essence they are Wrath of the White Witches own Persona’s or Aeon’s, but share your health and magic bars. The Familiars true strength comes from dealing with enemies in which has a direct weakness. In the woods and haven’t learn any fire spells? Engage battles with your Familiar which can shoot fireballs.
Straight up from the get go it is obvious that Studio Ghibli’s history with animation has had a direct influence on how this game is displayed visually, with an immensely detailed world yet filled with simplistic coloured characters with rich personalities. This becomes clear with the localised voice acting providing players a variety of accents including your very own sidekick, Drippy originating from Wales.
Overall: Ni no Kuni – Wrath of the White Witch is set to start 2013 off with a huge burst of life in the gaming world, with a delightfully charming and witty adventure that is worthy enough to feature animation and influence from Studio Ghibli. Ni no Kuni – Wrath of the White Witch launches January 25, 2013
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