Ni No Kuni deals with the mature theme of the death of a young boy's mother. Oliver is the main character that travels to an alternate world in hopes of bringing his mother back to life while saving the alternate world from destruction.
These concepts are nothing new to RPG's and Ni No Kuni does nothing to add to the genre. At its core, you will be grinding for countless hours and enduring countless pages of text because the developers have not learned the art of subtly. The repetitive dialogue becomes such a nuisance that it will ultimately frustrate players and you will find yourself mashing buttons just to get through it.
The saving grace for this particular RPG is its stylized format. The animation is breath-taking, the colors are bold and vivid and the voice dialogue although at times awkward lends a human element that will eventually draw the player in.
Game play is typically the same; battle after battle, boss after boss, find the treasure, level up, buy new equipment, talk to towns people, go on quests, etc...
On the whole it is a decent game with stunning graphics but the over abundance of text dialogue, repetitive action, typical grinding and familiar plot make Ni No Kuni a definite rent with an option to buy when it seriously decreases in value.
I wish someone would take these graphics and apply them to a mature themed game. This game is aimed at 10 year olds story wise. I played maybe 7 hours into the game and had to return it as it has already gotten too repetitive with the battle system and side quests. Those who said that AI is dumb was not kidding. Your team does not really help you at all and constantly die. More often than not I had to rely on the main character to finish the battle.
posted by Existence (SALT LAKE CITY, UT) Mar 25, 2013
Member since Jul 2011
I love RPGs, I really do. Ni No Kuni certainly feels like a bit of a throwback to older generations with its animation, and I wish we had more of it.
Studio Ghibli presents this game in a manner much like their movies some may be familiar with (Howl's Moving Castle, Secret World of Arrietty). Playing a child as the main character may deter some, but I felt it doesn't really change much; if you can ignore that, I felt the story was pretty similar to most other RPGs, albeit slightly convoluted at times. It's how they presented it with the stunning animation and quirky characters that I enjoyed the most.
Unfortunately, I felt they didn't do a very good job designing combat. It's an interesting blend between real-time combat and turn-based; you can move freely about the battle field but there are timers on your actions. Your ultimate party consists of 3 members, but you can only manually control 1 at a time, and the AI controls the others.
It's the AI intelligence that really hinders combat; most of the time they seem very confused at what to do. I have seen the AI literally stand and stare at any enemy while I do all the work. It's not efficient whatsoever at using MP (and using MP is the main function of combat) and they generally use up all their mana within a few battles.
Speaking of battles, expect to see a lot of combat. Combat is initiated while making contact with an enemy on the field, and most areas are littered with enemies. Enemies also respawn fairly quickly (less than a minute I estimate). Dungeons are fairly linear and usually consist of narrow corridors, making it hard to avoid battles. The plus side is that if you are at the right level, most battles only take about a minute, and if you are overleveled things will run away from you on the field, allowing you to avoid contact.
Overall, it's a good game, but combat seems to drag it down a lot. It is fairly long (~40+ hours) and the platinum is not too difficult, if you can tolerate the AI