Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch Remastered – Review
Follow Genre: Action, Adventure, JRPG
Developer: LEVEL-5, Studio Ghibli
Publisher: BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment
Platform: PC, PS4
Tested on: PS4

Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch Remastered – Review

Site Score
9.0
Good: Incredible art style and music
Bad: Allies drain all their mana quickly
User Score
9.0
(2 votes)
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VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.0/10 (2 votes cast)

It’s already been nine years since Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch made its way to the west. Since then a sequel has also been released and now a remastered version is here from Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch. Ni No Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom was the first of the series to be released for the PC and the remastered version of the original has now followed. Besides being released on PC, Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch Remastered is of course also being released for the PS4. So, this is the perfect opportunity for die-hard fans to replay the game or for people who missed out to finally try the game.

Story

Oliver lives with his mom alone in a nice calm town where everybody knows everybody. His friend Philip loves tinkering and has managed to tinker together a sort of car. He wants to show Oliver but of course, it has to be a secret that he made a car since their parents wouldn’t agree with them playing with it. So, Oliver manages to sneak out without his mom knowing to go try out Philip’s car.

Unfortunately, an accident happens which leaves Oliver devastated. He gets quite depressed until his tears manage to awake a fairy called Drippy, however, Drippy isn’t just any fairy, he is the fairy king. He explains to Oliver that he was actually cursed and locked in plushie form until Oliver got him out. An evil wizard is actually causing quite the Havoc in Drippy’s world and he needs help from none other than Oliver. It seems that Oliver is the “pure-hearted” one who is spoken about in legends and he is the only one who would be able to help. After a lot of convincing, Oliver finally agrees to help out Drippy and go to his world to defeat the evil wizard.

As you continue the story, you start to meet more and more characters, both friendly and evil. The story is really amazing with great character design. Not only will you get the story in the gameplay, but your Wizard’s handbook also has a bunch of stories and cool information for you to read. Most of the stories you will unlock while playing, or even receive from characters. There can be quite a lot of grinding happening between story pieces, but it is still mostly a story game where everything gets told at a nice pace.

Graphics

Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch was already a beautiful game, but the remastered version has certainly improved the graphics even more. With Ni No Kuni now also being available for PC and PS4 Pro, the graphics did need some polishing. The game did originally come out for the Nintendo DS and was already a remake when it came out for the PS3, the only difference is that the DS version was only available in Japan. The polished effects are of course, the clearest on the PS4 Pro and PC but even on a regular PS4, you can see that everything has got some refining. Certainly, Shadows and motions blur got an upgrade.

A famous animation studio has helped a lot with the development from Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch, every anime fan has certainly heard about them before: Studio Ghibli. The fully animated cutscenes could just as well been taken from a Ghibli movie. A lot of the background scenes are also clearly made or inspired by the typical art style. Characters and enemies are 3D-models and lose some detail from the flat 2D graphics.

Sound

The music in Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch is amazing and might also sound familiar to Ghibli fans as Joe Hisashi, who did a lot of composing for Ghibli movies, also made most of the tracks for Ni No Kuni. The tracks are magical and make it sound like you are really on an adventure. The composer Joe Hisashi was really a great choice because his music just fits incredibly well together with the theme of the game. Since the soundtrack is pretty ageless, not much has changed in the remastered version.

Gameplay

Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch is an Action Adventure JRPG where you take on the role of Oliver, an ordinary boy who is pure-hearted. Oliver Learns that he wasn’t so ordinary when he manages to get Drippy out of his cursed puppet form. Drippy tells him about the world he comes from and that Oliver, who is pure of heart, is the only one who can help. To help Oliver out on his journey, Drippy gives him the wizard’s handbook which he managed to grab before he got fully cursed. This book sadly lost some pages in the journey to Oliver’s world and for spells only contains the spell “Gateway”. Luckily this is the most important spell as it allows Oliver to travel to Drippy’s world.

As you play the game further, you will get more spells either as a present or find them randomly on the ground. Not only will you recover spells for the Handbook, but you will also get more stories as well as information about legendary Beasts. Ni No Kuni works mostly with quests as do most RPG’s. You will start out needing something and then keep on going wherever you get sent. You start out only fighting as Oliver, who quite clearly is not meant to be on the frontline like an actual Wizard. The Battle system of Ni No Kuni is quite special as you will unlock a familiar quite quickly in the game. Familiars are quite similar to Pokémon, they also fight for you and have the ability to have special moves. However, unlike in Pokémon, you actually can only maintain a familiar for a limited time before you have to switch back to the person or another familiar. The combat itself isn’t turn-based as it is in Pokémon, which means you can free roam during battle sequences.

The first Familiar you get is actually summoned from Oliver himself but the other familiars that you collect are either given to you or just found along the way. Familiars are not the only thing that will join Oliver in his fight as he will also get allies who fight along with him. Once you get an ally, you can choose who you want to start the battle with, even though you can still switch later on. It’s quite clear from the start however that the A.I. takes every enemy quite seriously because they will use a lot of their abilities and become quite low on mana quickly. You can work around this with the tactics option, as you can make them not use abilities at all but just putting them as your back up also lessens the ability use.

When you fight an enemy, there will be little orbs that drop. These orbs are glims and depending on the color they have, they do different things; green glims give you health, blue glims give you mana and gold glims let you do an incredibly powerful special move. Golden glims are quite rare and mostly only appear in boss fights. You have to be quite quick to get one when an ally has joined you, since they can also use them. Familiars and monsters all have a sign and this sign will tell you its weakness similar to a Pokémon’s type. In your handbook, you will see what type a monster is, as well as a diagram of which sign is weak to what. This way you can select the right familiar against the right enemy even though you will be able to figure it out on your own after a while. Enemies are based in an area and since you will be located in the areas for a pretty long time if you also do side quests, you will fight a lot of the same enemies. Luckily the game switches it up with different enemy pairs or even trios.

Side quests are usually from inside of Swift Solutions, which is a shop decorated with a swallow. Swift Solutions offers Bounty hunts and rewards for filling up Merit cards. There is also a board where you can find Errands for NPCs. Bounty Hunts lets you fight a tougher enemy together with lower enemies. Once you complete a Bounty Hunt and turn it in, you will get stamps as a reward. When you finish an errand, you will get random items as a reward as well as a certain number of stamps. In Swift Solutions you can also exchange filled Merit cards for Merit Awards. The awards can vary from a jump to being able to sneak up to enemies more easily and more.

Conclusion

Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch is an incredibly fun game. The battle system takes some time getting used to, but it surely is more fun than the static RPG battle system. Familiars are reminiscent of Pokémon and what is not to love about cute or tough little creatures you can take care of. The story of Ni No Kuni is absolutely marvelous and drags you along with Oliver on an adventure. The Graphics and Music take Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch to another level thanks to Studio Ghibli’s wonderful style. This remaster is a must-have for anyone who hasn’t played the game yet or for die-hard fans who want to replay the game.

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Rating: 9.0/10 (2 votes cast)
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Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch Remastered - Review, 9.0 out of 10 based on 2 ratings
Theotakutem


The one and only slowqueen! -student multimedia-

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