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In 2008, Level-5 was about to celebrate its tenth anniversary and wanted to produce a project where its employees were passionate about how well it would sell and where the world was introduced Ni No Kuni: The other world, A two-pronged project, one of which was available for the Nintendo DS for Japan only Ni No Kuni: Reign of the Dark Genie and the second version came as an extended to the PS3 international Ni No Kuni: The White Witch's Wrath,

Ni No Kuni, a love letter to the golden era of the JRPGs, has been widely praised for being closely related to the famous art style of the Japanese studio Ghibli, which has produced outstanding collaborators in both animation and music, and the title was both considerable successes in Japan and overseas. Now, six years after the release of the PS3 title, Level-5 has decided to port Ni No Kuni: The White Witch's Wrath For the first time, Nintendo players have access to the full, enhanced version of the original vision for this project. Ni No Kuni: The Wrath of the White Witch proves to be an unforgettable and imaginative variant of the RPG and deserves a home on your switch.

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After a brief chill hinting at the upcoming magical adventures, Ni No Kuni begins the story of a young and slightly naive boy named Oliver, who lives in a small town in the 1950s in America called Motorville. What begins as a heartwarming story of innocence in childhood, however, is quickly turning around when an accident caused by Oliver causes his mother to do so to die, make him an orphan overnight.

Distraught and damaged by his loss, Oliver cries over a toy that his mother has made for him and is shocked when the tears bring it to life. Suddenly, he encounters a strange, fast-talking creature named Drippy, who speaks with a thick Welsh accent and claims to be the "Lord High Lord of the Fairies." Drippy tells Oliver how there is a parallel world that is being terrorized by an evil being called Shadar and you guessed it, Oliver is the one just one who can hope to defeat Shadar. One thing leads to another, and the duo sets off for the races, exploring the weird other world Drippy is coming from, and building his team as it prepares for the final confrontation.

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Although the entire plot is clichéed in many parts, how many times have we heard the Song and the Dance of the Chosen? – Ni No Kuni's greatest strength in storytelling lies in the excellent writing and heartwarming messages. As can be seen from this disarmingly tragic opening, Ni No Kuni is not a title that shies from agreeing dark Places where it's needed, but it's ultimately an uplifting story that keeps coming back to the central idea of ​​getting better with the support of others.

While Oliver, Drippy, and the various allies who recruit them are moving toward this Shadar fight, one can not help but feel a sense of connectedness with this team, seeing them dropping off repeatedly, which they do to help them around them. Parallel to this, Ni No Kuni also skilfully captures the concept of the childlike miracle as it presents you with this strange and wonderful new world that is similar to ours, but not quite. Whether you are being scolded by an old wizard for the look and behavior of a toddler or rummaging through a monster-infested sewer in search of the lost cat king, you will rarely be able to guess what strange new creature or care you like yourself to experience next. Even with many modern role-playing games, telling story-telling and building the world of Ni No Kuni is uniquely charming, and we found that his narrative is fantastically insistent.

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The typical gameplay loop of a classic JRPG is alive and well here. Your team travels through the open world to different cities, as the plot requires. Of course, every city has a problem (or a person with a problem) that can only be solved by Oliver and friends, and their efforts inevitably lead them to enter a dungeon-like area and end up fighting something big and bad.

Ni No Kuni breaks the mold of genre conventions in many ways, but its structure is certainly not one of them, which may be a disadvantage for some of you. In fact, along with this familiar structure, Ni No Kuni is also very much what would be called slow burning, with many parts of the story feeling like they are drawing a little longer than necessary. It is a testament to the excellent writing and intriguing details of the world that this tedious pace is so easily accepted. Keep in mind that Ni No Kuni may prove to be an unnecessarily time-consuming experience if you are not easily enchanted by the beautiful graphics and sound. The investment is worth it, but still requires a substantial Time for you to really "understand" it.

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This time commitment also extends to the combat system, which proves to be equally frustrating and exciting. Not quite real-time and not fully turn-based, Ni No Kuni uses a unique system that leverages many of the strengths of both combat styles. Although you can control every party member directly, the flesh of your experience is used to control familiars (more on that in a moment) to do the dirty work for you.

Although they all share their owner's health and magic pool, family members have the additional limitation of an endurance knife that limits their time on the field to about thirty (ish) seconds. Then you need to train another confidant or teammate. Whoever controls you, you have access to a mix of standard attacks, special moves, spells, and defensive maneuvers, all depending on cooldowns. For example, if you use the default attack option, your character will automatically attack your opponent while a display on the side of the screen slowly descends. Once it's empty, you'll need to wait for an additional, faster ad to clear before you can use the Attack command again.

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To be successful, it is necessary to effectively manage all cooldowns and to consider a character's position. For example, if you attempt to attack a distant target with a melee attack, you waste some of the precious casting time while your character overruns the attack. It sounds like a lot of things to manage, but everything snaps in after a little experimenting and seeing how the fight turns out to be flexible and engaging. That is, if you are not busy mitigating the mistakes of your teammates.

Do not be fooled by the cute graphics. Ni No Kuni can be one ruthless Relentless experience in many places, even meeting enemies together in new areas, requires the dedicated efforts of all team members if you hope to stay ahead of the game. No matter how much you invest in optimizing your team's equipment and statistics, much of that effort is driven by the half-witted AI into the abyss. For example, if an enemy performs a fireball attack that burns the ground around the impact zone, your teammates are often happy to stand in the inferno as they are slowly being burned to death. Or, in a particularly egregious and recurrent example, many bosses have heavily executed telegraphed superattacks that hit everyone on the field, regardless of their position. You must use the command & # 39; defend & # 39; Use only when you see this and there will be plenty of time to do so. Normally, however, your teammates are happy to eat only the full force of the attack, either dying or consuming valuable remedies to reverse the damage.

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In our experience, in many boss battles it was as much a fight against AI as against the enemy attacking us, which in many places leads to a rather frustrating experience. The problem of suicidal teammates is somewhat resolved if you unlock a manual team-wide defense order over a dozen hours, but the problem of using limited resources and generally easing your efforts remains as a whole. Ni No Kuni is so generous with its checkpointing system that you can force yourself through the harder sections with enough stamina, but by and large many segments will be much harder than expected due to the need for your lackluster partners to participate.

If you are not worried about the performance of your partners, you will undoubtedly focus on finding or training another confidant, who is without doubt one of the most addictive and comprehensive side-pieces in Ni No Kuni. Apart from boss monsters, you have the ability to recruit enemy creatures after you defeat them, and you are often asked to do so to keep up with the ever-increasing difficulty. Familiar can evolve, transformed After you have upgraded them enough, you can convert them into stronger variants. In this way, you also learn a variety of special movements that you can use to specialize in the role of each familiar in the team.

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There are literally hundreds This loop of recruiting, leveling and metamorphosis provides a fantastic feeling of forward movement throughout the game. There is almost always someone who has reached a new level or learned a new move after your last victory, and experimenting with new Familiars and Movesets shows that the fight remains fresh, whether you are a dozen or forty.

If you're not trying to filter out levels or catch an elusive familiar, much of your time between the main story beats is spent doing errands for the various city dwellers in the places you visit. There are over a hundred minor tasks that need to be done throughout the story, and although they tend to use a variant of the standard retrieval task or monster hunt for the most part, these little tasks are crucial to building that warm and blurry tone, Ni No Kuni such a nice experience.

Even if it is so common to track down the missing children of a woman in the city or to search a tree for the missing diary of a man, these side quests are rewarded by themselves. Then, of course, there is the raw reward offered by completing. In addition to promising extra money and additional equipment for your group, these missions also serve the purpose of granting you stamps that are collected on multiple punch cards in ten steps. Once filled out, these cards can be exchanged for special Boons in a special store, such as: For example, faster travel in the Overworld or increased drop rates of certain collectibles. With the occasional steep spikes in Ni No Kuni, it's almost necessary for you to do a good deal of sideline work when you reach a new area, but Level-5 has done a great job in many ways to make it worthwhile.

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We absolutely do not want to mention that incredible Presentation that Ni No Kuni nails so effortlessly through the whole experience. The contributions from Studio Ghibili to the Art Direction can be seen in virtually every image, but we were particularly impressed by the lack of attention to seemingly unimportant details in the animation. Things like how NPCs subtly move their heads to look at Oliver as he approaches them, or how Oliver almost imperceptibly moves to a more cautious pace as he walks down a flight of stairs to show how much the Art Directors are attached to it are interested in really delivering something transcendent experience.

Ni No Kuni is also characterized by an almost unparalleled environmental design, with each driveable area featuring a masterful mix of uneven terrain and slightly claustrophobic decorations that truly sells the idea that these places are real. Best of all, performance remains constant in docked or handheld mode. Although the resolution is limited to 720p in docked mode, art style makes it one of the most visually striking releases available on the Nintendo Switch.

The soundtrack was composed by Joe Hisaishi and performed by none other than the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra in full. The quality of this creative power is reflected in virtually every track that pops up. The majesty of the colorful visuals is complemented by a suitably curved musical performance, each capturing a sense of humor or curiosity that permeates almost every facet of Ni No Kuni. Although the main battle theme may be irritating in longer sessions, we were always impressed with the depth and range the soundtrack offers, and we highly recommend that you experience this theme with headphones if you frequently play in handheld mode.