Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch

Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch Preview for PS3

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9Out of 10
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Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch screenshot
Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch screenshot

I'd like to think that everybody reading this is familiar with the works of Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli, but as much it pains me to think it, I doubt that's the case. A quick lesson, then: Studio Ghibli is an animation studio based in Tokyo, and is responsible for some of the finest animated films you'll ever lay your eyes on. My Neighbor Totoro, Spirited Away and Princess Mononoke are just three titles you might (and indeed should) have heard of, but its entire catalogue spans nearly 20 titles. If you ever get the chance, I wholeheartedly recommend checking out Grave of the Fireflies, which will make even the burliest of men bawl like a baby.

Before I digress into sentimental babble about my favourite Ghibli works, simply know this: they're weird, they're wonderful, and they're ludicrously imaginative. If you haven't seen a Ghibli film, make it your mission from this moment forth to do so; it'll stand you in good stead for Ni no Kuni - the first interactive Ghibli experience developed by one of my all time favourite developers, Level 5. It was originally intended as just a DS title (which is releasing in Japan this December), but a PS3 version has since been confirmed. Ni no Kuni: Shiroki Seihai no Joō , which literally translates to "Second Land: The Queen of White Sacred Ash", has been causing quite a stir at this year's TGS. Given my love for both Ghibli and Level 5, it won't surprise you to learn that this was the first thing I sought out after arriving on the show floor.

The demo was split into two halves; one which was plot-driven, set in a town, and the other combat-focused, set in a forest. I opted for the latter, presuming my inability to read Kanji would ruin the conversation-heavy first option. After seeing the game in action for the first time, I had to put down the controller in order to scoop my jaw up off the floor. Ni no Kuni is mesmerizingly beautiful. The look and feel of the Ghibli films has been flawlessly translated to a graphical style, and I noticed that anybody walking past the game as I played was compelled to stop and watch it for a few minutes. If you thought the likes of Wind Waker and Tales of Vesperia did a good job of cel-shading, just wait 'til you feast your eyes on this.

The demo takes place in a forest of sorts. Your character, the 13-year-old Oliver, is followed around by a strange little creature that sports a lantern as a nose ring. Shizuku, as he's known, is the epitome of Ghibli. As you progress through the winding path of the forest, he trots along behind you much like Pikachu does with Ash. The Pokemon comparison doesn't end there, with combat itself not entirely dissimilar to Nintendo's critter-battling classic. It's important to note that it's not turn-based, however, and utilises an active time system where each attack requires a waiting period. Oliver stands at the sidelines issuing commands much like a Pokemon trainer would, but I suppose that's where the similarities end.

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User Comments

Ghost_Dog's Avatar


I'm a big Ghibli fan, but not really a fan of JRPGs. Saying that, I think I will still give this a bash, purely on the basis that it's Ghibli.

On the subject of favorite Ghibli film, I have a few that are my favorites;
Nausicaä, My Neighbor Totoro, Laputa and Grave of the Fireflies are probably top of my list, with Grave of the Fireflies being the best non-Miyazaki directed effort. Pom Poko and My Neighbors the Yamadas are an acquired taste and The Cat Returns is probably Ghiblis worst effort.
Posted 09:47 on 20 September 2010
Generic-Username's Avatar

Generic-Username@ cousinwalter

It's my favourite too. :3
Posted 16:23 on 18 September 2010
cousinwalter's Avatar


Princess Mononoke (or Mononoke-hime if you've got your nerd cap on) is my fave
Posted 12:59 on 18 September 2010
Stegosaurus-Guy-II's Avatar


Nausicaä is my favorite because I'm obscure and unique.
Posted 12:33 on 18 September 2010
CheekyLee's Avatar


I like Laputa, but Spirited Away remains my favourite. I haven't actually seen any of the non-Miyazaki movies, so Grave of the Fireflies is still on my 'To watch' list.

The game itself looks pretty spectacular, and here's hoping that it doesn't take years to get a translation and release over here!
Posted 10:42 on 18 September 2010
Jamin's Avatar

Jamin@ scaz2244

Cheers dude!

Yeah, Grave of the Fireflies is awesome, although it's quite unlike the majority of Ghibli films. And only watch it if your emotionally stable; it's pretty hard hitting.
Posted 09:05 on 18 September 2010
cousinwalter's Avatar


YouTube Video
Posted 19:46 on 17 September 2010
scaz2244's Avatar


grave of the fireflies not heard that one before would you say its the best one jamin?
sounds amazing loved spirited and princess monoke, is howls moving castle one aswell?
either way i cannot wait for this to come out in the UK if it ever does
great preview jamin
Posted 18:50 on 17 September 2010
Generic-Username's Avatar


This sounds like an interesting collaboration to say the least. :3
Posted 14:37 on 17 September 2010
cousinwalter's Avatar


this may well be the greatest thing ever
Posted 13:59 on 17 September 2010

Game Stats

Release Date: 25/01/2013
Developer: Level-5
Publisher: Namco Bandai
Genre: RPG
No. Players: One
Rating: TBC
Site Rank: 214 12
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