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PS4 Game Review

Ni no Kuni
Wrath of the White Witch


Format: PS4
Publisher: Bandai Namco Entertainment Europe
Developer: Level-5
RRP: £49.99
Click here to buy from PlayStation Store
Age Restrictions: 12+
Release Date: 20 September 2019

Journey back to the other world in Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch: Remastered. Level-5's classic tale returns better than ever, with improved graphics and performance. Join Oliver as he embarks on an adventure through a world inhabited by new friends and ferocious foes alike in the hopes of bringing back his mother after a tragic incident. This charming tale unfolds through the use of animation storyboarded and created by the legendary Studio Ghibli with music composed by the renowned Joe Hisaishi. Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch combines beautiful animated visuals, masterful storytelling, and a sweeping score to create an epic role-playing adventure like no other...

Game imageNi no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch is a remastered edition of the 2011 Japanese (2013 for the Western version) game for the PS3. With animation by the famed Japanese anime film studio Studio Ghibli and an original score co-written by beloved Japanese composer Joe Hisaishi, the game's credentials already make it appealing before you've even fired it up for the first time.

In truth, it's like any one of a thousand role-playing games to arrive out of the Japanese market, but what drives this game is the touching storyline and engaging characters that you encounter (obviously the gorgeous animation and score help greatly too). There's also plenty of humour injected into the narrative, mostly coming from Mr Drippy, but characters like King Tom XIV (who likes to be called "your meowjesty") have plenty of feline related puns lined up.

The game was originally designed to appeal to children, who would be able to relate to the main child character of Oliver, as well as drawing in adults who would it brought back nostalgic feelings from their own youth.

Game imageYou play as Oliver, a typical young boy who, after his mother's sudden death, finds himself conversing with a talking doll. Oliver's tears freed the trapped spirit of a fairy who had been imprisoned in the doll. Going by the name of Mr Drippy, the fairy explains to Oliver that there are other universes out there. Drippy is from a parallel world, a world that also has alternate versions of people from Oliver's world. In Drippy's world, Oliver's mother is still alive. After much persuading Oliver agrees to go with Drippy to his world in order to free the people there from a terrible curse, but mainly to see his mother once again.

The gameplay sees you travelling around the world. Outside of the towns are environments which are inhabited by numerous vicious monsters. As you travel you'll be forced into battles which if you win will see you earning money and other random artefacts. However should you die in the game you will have to start from the beginning, or go back to the last save point - but if you do that you have to forfeit money that you have in your inventory.

Once in the towns, you can interact with the townsfolk and help some of the locals complete quests in exchange for rewards. Some of the quests may lead you back to your original world to track down the doppelganger of the individual in the other realm. You learn magic spells as you progress, which helps complete certain tasks. For anyone whose played games like Zelda, this is all familiar territory.

Game imageFans of role-playing games will feel right at home here, as will followers of anime (especially Studio Ghibli's output). However, unlike a lot of games in this genre, the battles aren't annoying when you're trying to get somewhere, as they're not overly long and cumbersome. And the inclusion of familiars (your character's fighting pets) is fun allowing you to level them up and equip them with items you find or buy from the town stores.

The story unfolds at a decent pace, keeping you hooked as you traverse the worlds. You'll spend many hours engrossed in the gameplay. If you've never played this before then you'll totally fall in love with it. It's perfect for the novice to the experienced role-play gamer, as well as young or seasoned gamers. This is one game that the entire family will be captivated by.


Darren Rea

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