Super Space Chick

Ni No Kuni Video Game Review

When I heard that Ni No Kuni, a new video game with animation by Studio Ghibli, was being released, I knew I had to pick up my copy on the day it came out.  And considering that so far, the game is only for PS3 (my game system of choice), I seemed destined to own this game.  (If you haven’t already, you can pick up a copy on Amazon). The game itself is more like a movie than a game, but in the best way possible.  It tells the story of the cutest little animated boy ever, Oliver, whose mom passes away just after saving his life.  Shortly after his mom passes, Oliver’s tears break a curse that was placed on his toy, Drippy.  Drippy, who turns out to be a fairy with a fun accent from the parallel reality of Ni No Kuni, comes to life and gifts him with a book all about the wonders, rules, and techniques of magic.  Since the parallel reality is a sort of alternate version of Oliver’s current reality, he (reluctantly at first), decides to venture to Ni No Kuni, help Drippy free his world from the White Witch, and save his alternate mother.  Below are some brief character bios from a site that my friend Dan (@Darkflight) was kind enough to send to me before I purchased my game!

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Screen Shot 2013-01-28 at 10.31.34 PM Screen Shot 2013-01-28 at 10.31.45 PM

The site also includes a link to all of the games trailers, but the one below is my favorite.  The other trailer is a bit on the sadder side, and while that part really did get me in the beginning (don’t judge me for crying OKAY?!), the game overall is much more upbeat and fun!

Obviously notable is the Studio Ghibli animation.  The game is gorgeous and movie-like and overall the scenery and characters are very enchanting.  Adding to whimsy is the serene soundtrack performed by the Tokyo Philharmonic Chorus.  I particularly enjoy reading The Wizard’s Companion that Drippy gives you immediately prior to the commencement of your quest.  The companion is full of magical guides, information, how-to’s, and a language decoder.  If you take the time to decode the language throughout the game you will find a bunch of easter eggs hidden within.

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Kotaku put together a very helpful post with tips about Ni No Kuni before you delve into the game.  So far, the most helpful that I’ve found are to 1) use L2 and R2 in combat, 2) don’t get too attached to your starters, 3) do side quests, and my own personal addition to their list would be to utilize the map in the top right corner if you’re unsure where you’re going.

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One thing I haven’t yet done, but I think I may once I complete the game for the first time, is to play it again but set the language to Japanese.  Studio Ghibli films are meant to viewed in Japanese with subtitles, but for my first time around I wanted to focus on all of the images without having to worry about reading subtitles. Overall, I’d say that picking this game up was a win-win situation.  If you’re on the fence about buying a copy, I would encourage to you to take the plunge because it is well worth the money.  In case I’ve convinced you that you need this game, the link to Amazon is below :o) I can definitely see myself coming back to this game after I’ve completed it, the same way I am drawn back to certain movies.  The story is heartfelt and resonates in a way that only Studio Ghibli films can.

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8 Responses to “Ni No Kuni Video Game Review”

  1. Jen says:

    I am so, so, so excited to get my hands on this game!

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  3. Perfect just what I was looking for! .

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  5. […] by hitting up St. Mark’s Comics, GameStop (I helped confirm Jamila’s need to buy Ni No Kuni for PS3 and I myself picked up the Adventure Time game for Nintendo DS that I had been lusting […]

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