Friday, 25 October 2019

Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch Remastered ★★★☆☆


‘Ni No Kuni: Wrath Of The White Witch’ is a faithful remaster of one of the most beloved JRPGs from the last generation, oozing style and cuteness. Looking at the game, you might not be surprised to realise that Studio Ghibli was involved in the development of the original – the design and musical score is very reminiscent of many of their films.

Of course, this remaster comes out a few years after the quite well-received ‘Ni No Kuni 2’ - unfortunately, it didn't have Studio Ghibli involved but was still an excellent experience, although I would say that it never really lived up to what made the first game so intriguing and fun to play. Now with the remaster coming out (and the game being released on PS4, Switch and PC), so many people will get to experience the game for the first time in all its beauty.


Throughout the story, you play as Oliver, a boy whose mother has recently passed away. Struck with grief, he travels to a fantastical world with his partner Drippy to try and find a way to bring her back to life.

There is a whole cast of loveable characters to meet on your journey and some incredible places to visit… Lush forests, ice caverns, and much more. There’s an attention to detail that features in all locations that aren't all that common in games of this nature, It really makes you feel like you’re living in one of Studio Ghibli’s movies, completely pulled into the experience.

Some of the characters or familiars will join you on your journey and these familiars are the main weapon you have at your disposal in the game’s action-style combat. Although you are involved, Oliver at the start of game is quite weak, meaning that you will need to rely on your familiars quite heavily. You can tell them directly what to do during fights and, although it starts off simple, it becomes fairly complicated once more characters join your side.

Unlike the second ‘Ni No Kuni’ game, which was fairly easy on release, (leading to boredom at times during the combat), this game has some difficulty to it and tactics are definitely needed. There’s a certain amount of grinding required in the world in between big fights, but not to the point where it becomes tiresome.

I just wish that the storyline wasn’t so unimaginative, with it pretty much boiling down to the protagonist trying to save the world. I had this same complaint when the original game was released, and I’d say it was even more noticeable this time around as I’d lost that sense of wonder I had from first playing – I’d done it all before with the original, so second-time around the story really felt like it was lacking. Of course, this won’t affect newcomers to the game, but it’s still a shame as the story isn’t as exciting as it could have been… It starts so well, and you expect a little bit more when Studio Ghibli is involved.


For a game that is now several years old, ‘Ni No Kuni: Wrath Of The White Witch’ is still beautiful and feels great and intuitive to play. Although I’d liked to have seen a few more improvements given that it’s on a next-gen console, it’s still a good 50+ hour JRPG with entrancing art design and music from Studio Ghibli. For new players, it’s a great choice of the game with a lot of offer, but if you’ve played the original then the only real reason to move onto this one is for that sense of nostalgia. 3/5

★★★☆☆
Hannah Read

Ni no Kuni at CeX


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