Ni No Kuni: The Wrath Of The White Witch Review

When I heard that a new anime style RPG was on the way I was excited. When I heard that Studio Ghilbi, Namco and Level 5 was apart of this project I immediately said give me the game! Now Ni No Kuni: The White Witch is finally here, but is this the game the Otakus have been waiting for? Does it do well to please the RPG crowd and the gamers in general?

Story - The story of Ni no Kuni revolves around thirteen-year-old Oliver, a resident of Motorville, whose mother, Allie,... ... (no spoilers) after rescuing him from drowning. A doll, given to Oliver by his mother, is brought to life from his tears and reveals itself to be a male fairy named Drippy who gives Oliver a book that allows him to use the power of magic and enter the world of "Ni no Kuni," a reality parallel to his own.

That is the story synopsis and what a story Ni no Kuni is. If this was just an anime movie released by Studio Ghibli and had Disney to distribute it this would be Oscar worthy. Ni no Kuni story is phenomenal and a great way to kick off the RPG's for 2013. This is a fun, emotional, lighthearted and touching story. Oliver is a wonderful, likable protagonist and you will feel really invested in his journey. When his mother sacrifices herself for him, you will really feel for Oliver and want to play the whole game through to see how the story plays out. As great of a character Oliver is, his supporting cast is a blast to see. His sidekick Drippy is a great mentor when it comes to Oliver's quest and is used well for the comedy relief throughout the story. I won't go into more details for the sake of spoilers, just know that this is truly an experience.

Gameplay - The gameplay is a mix of RPG style mechanics. It has a little bit of turn based which you will be able to control your character freely during battle. The battles you control Oliver who attacks are based on melee, defend and magic since he's a wizard. He also has the aid of of his friends called Familiars. These are creatures that are created from Oliver's pure heart. They each  have they own attacks, require upgrades and need to be taken care of. You can control Oliver or the Familiars at any time. However the Familiars have a time limit which they will then need to be given a break to regain they stamina  This gives a great element of strategy and you will have to be careful how they are used, because if they get harmed, so does Oliver.  The element of Familiars is very well welcomed, you will be spending a lot of time trying to match what upgrade, weapon, accessory and food that your Familiar would like. The side missions are not the typical tedious side missions that you see in JRPG. Even though you run the typical get this item, bounty hunter an enemy the side missions you want to do because you would care for everyone in this story. Even if it's a cat person looking for her red earrings, or a bird man looking for you take an enemy out, because the world is so likable and characters you care for you might do every side mission big or small and they give some pretty good rewards. 

Graphics - Stunning does not describe Ni No Kuni. This game is truly amazing to see, from the worlds, towns and character designs you can really see the influence Studio Ghibli had in this game. Level 5 did a amazing job capturing the anime spirit and otakus will be proud of this game. It gives you such an nostalgia feeling of the old days of Studio Ghilbi and it truly has this magic feel to it. 

Sound - The cast both English and Japanese does a stellar job. The voice acting is top notch. The music is composed by Studio Ghilbi's go to guy Joe Hisashi and it's such a delight. The tone of themes range from emotional, happy and sometimes dark. The uses of strings and his signature piano is a welcome addition and brings the world truly to life.

Replay Value - There is tons to do in this game, the side missions will keep you busy and there is even stuff to do once the main story is finish. Getting a platinum trophy will take a very long time. It will take 40 hours to beat the main story and about more to get a full completion.

Final Grade A+/9.5/10 - Ni No Kuni: The Wrath Of The White Witch has brought JRPG's back! Dare we call this game a classic but it's the only way to describe it. This is an anime game you must buy, this is an experience from the story, the characters, the music and the presentations. The gameplay is solid, addictive and challenging. The only complaint would be the camera sometimes is too far out when traveling through the lands. This is something you must play.