Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch Review

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Thanks to spring break(which went by far too quickly) I was finally able to get through some of my games in my backlog, one of which is Ni no Kuni which I originally pre-ordered. Ni No Kuni is as JRPG as it gets, there’s a world map you can explore, grinding, monster catching(familiar taming in this case). All in all it takes elements found in many of the greatest JRPG games and puts them all in one game. The game begins with Oliver, our hero, also known as the one with the pure heart in his hometown Motorville. It’s a quite little town, which to be quite honest was quite boring, but don’t fret as you don’t spend much time here before you finally arrive in the other world, where the true game starts.

I don’t want to get too much into the story, but without entering spoiler territory it was quite annoying for me as the gamer to completely understand what was going on while the characters themselves don’t have a clue and takes them quite a while to figure out. This wouldn’t be a problem if it only happened once or twice, but it happens quite a lot throughout the game.

Now if you’ve ever watched a Studio Ghibli movie you know just how creative they are, and it truly shines in this game with its Pokemon like monster system. Also, let me just mention I adore the familiar names(one, off the top of my head is Girlfiend who is a ghost that carries her tombstone, and was also someone’s girlfriend when she was alive.) The English voice acting cast is also quite amazing, the only one that falls a little short is the lead, Oliver. It’s not that his voice actor did a bad job, it’s just that sometimes he sounds dead compared to the rest of the cast.

Now for the gameplay, like i mentioned earlier, the game has a Pokemon capturing like mechanic where Esther can tame a familiar after defeating it. I had some issues with this though, since it’s all based on chance I would often find myself grinding on a familiar that i wanted for myself; this becomes even more frustrating for certain side quest which has you capturing certain familiars. Though, the good thing about it was that I did little to no grinding because I was always either over leveled or just there where the game wasn’t too easy or too hard.

I should also mention that there are also some other odd design choices as well. But, let me first mention that the AI in the game is in my opinion, complete trash; Esther being the worse. Esther will eat through her MP like there’s no tomorrow. Now sure, you can change her tactic to lets say, “don’t use skills,” but by doing this she’ll become the punching bag to your opponent; which for some odd reason the enemy ALWAYS goes after the poor girl, no matter what tactic i had her in. This is a huge problem because she’s the only character that can tame familiars. So be prepared to not only fight monsters, but keep Esther healthy just in case a familiar wants to be tamed.

Overall, this is a love letter and a must have for any JRPG lovers and Studio Ghibli fans, and if you’re both like myself you should already have this amazing game! It has fantastic music, character progression, a fun battle system, and is a quite longer than most games in the market these days; it took me 46 hours to beat the main story.

9/10

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Finally beat Ni No Kuni!

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Woo, took my a while with school and all but after 46 hours of playtime I finally beat it. The ending was definitely underwhelming but overall it was a fantastic jrpg, I’ll be posting a review sometime this week. Next game to beat after this will most likely be God Of War Ascension.

Dragon’s Dogma Review

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Dragon’s Dogma is one of Capcom’s better games of 2012, and a new IP to boot. You’re a fishermen who lives in a small village in Gransys. One day an almighty dragon attacks your small village, you act hastily and pick up a sword and start attacking the dragon, doing no effect. He then just brushes you off and takes your heart. Yes, he took your heart, and that’s where the game begins. With the dragon now in possession of your heart you have become the Arisen, and so you set out on an adventure to retrieve your heart. As the Arisen you have the ability to hire soulless humans known as pawns, they only answer to the Arisen.

Instead of having a multiplayer like say Monster Hunter instead you can hire other player’s pawns. While this is pretty disappointing as sometimes the AI for the pawns don’t do exactly what their supposed to it works well for the game’s lore, which I’ll get into a bit farther down. You can create your own pawn and have total control of its equipment and skills, and may hire up to two pawns at a time so its four of you versus the world! Now don’t get too attached to your pawn as they dont level with you and your pawn, you’ll have to switch them out for new pawns every few hours. Hope someone in you buddy list has played the game because I found the first three hours or so to be quite difficult, I felt as weak as a fly, even the newbie globins killed me a couple of times. But don’t fret because once you find a better weapon things become much more manageable. The game has many different classes to choose from known as vocations, I enjoy playing a character with a lot of speed so i went with the Strider(think thief).

In the beginning you only have access to three vocations; Fighter, mage, and strider. But There are also hybrid classes as well such as Magik Archer(mage and strider) and Assassin(Fighter and Strider). The best thing in this game is without question the combat. Nothing feels better than climbing on top of a Cyclops and beating the crap out of it till it falls to its death. The Magic is also rewarding as well, I highly recommend making sure one of your pawns(or you) have fire boon or a spell that enchants your weapons in fire, many of the enemies have that weakness. The game also features a variety of enemies, from goblins to griffins, however it doesn’t do a good job of showing this. While the game is open world the same enemies respawn at the same place. Its okay at first but after having to go from point A to point B, only to immediately return to point A again, fighting the same chimera and wolves becomes tedious. There is no point of killing a group of bandits at a camp site(besides for exp.) because they will only return in a matter of hours, your actions don’t have much effect to the world and this becomes obvious and a little frustrating when you witness something you weren’t supposed to and sent to jail. Once you break out of jail everyone acts as if nothing even happened, even the guard that arrested you!

While there isn’t much i found the lore of the game to be quite interesting, but at the same time it felt under used. It’s as if it was only used to show you around Gransys and introduce new monsters. Some things to note is that the game suffers from terrible frame rate drops in some fights, not a deal breaker but it can sometimes break you away from the action. Also there are annoying black bars on the top and bottom of the screen, This was really annoying to me as i couldn’t help but notice it all the time. And in typical Capcom fashion it also features locked content, and while none of them are important the game always notifies you that you can purchase new armor, weapons and quest.

Dragons Dogma is undoubtedly one of the best action rpgs to come out of late. With it being a new IP some of its short comings could be forgiven and can be corrected in a sequel that hopefully gets made. And after a few hours of playing you start to feel overpowered, but enjoy it while it last. The game gets much more challenging soon.

8.7/10