Ni no Kuni

Sunday, April 15th, 2012

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Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch is an adventure game from Professor Layton creators Level 5 and the anime company Studio Ghibli. It is set to be released for the PS3 in North America for Q1 2013, and by the end of March 2013 in Europe. It has been confirmed to be including both English and Japanese dialogue. The DS version of the game will not be hitting Western shores.

The game focuses on Oliver, a young boy whose mother has just passed away. Before her death she had given Oliver a doll, which is brought to life by his tears. The doll introduces itself as Shizuku and gives the young boy a book, telling him that he can use it to travel between his world and the parallel world known as Ni no Kuni. He travels to Ni no Kuni, in the hopes of finding his mother.

People and even animals Oliver knows in his own world are completely different in the Ni no Kuni world; his ordinary pet cat Frank, for example, is now the lazy king of the country of Goronel. Lyla, the elderly lady running the local coffee shop, is now an overweight queen who is constantly eating.

One of the most interesting things about this game is that every copy will come with a free book. This book contains short stories and verses which must be read, as they carry clues that will help you to progress in the game. It also acts as a bestiary, and features each of the spells you will learn along the way. It’s quite large too; the book for the DS version in Japan was 352 pages long! Difficult to believe it comes free with the game.

Ni no Kuni has a large overworld map which connects each location. While on the map, you can see enemies roaming it which will give chase if they spot you. You can choose to either engage in a fight or avoid it. In battle, Oliver himself can fight, or he can send out creatures to fight on his behalf. Oliver befriends others on his journey throughout the stunning world of Ni no Kuni, who help him in his quest.

The world of Ni no Kuni has been brilliantly brought to life by the artists at Studio Ghibli. With Level 5 working on the development as well, it’s almost bound to have some excellent puzzles accompanying it as well.

This is one game for the Japanese gamer that is not to be missed.


Sources: IGN DS articleIGN PS3 article, & Siliconera