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Ni No Kuni

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The Elder Scrolls Online & Electronic Child Molesters!


The Destructoid Show would never touch you like that
Jan 22
// Max Scoville
Here's today's Destructoid Show! Lots of cool stuff today, and some stupid crappy stuff. Sounds like a regular ol' Tuesday, huh? The Elder Scrolls Online has started beta signups, Ralph Nader called video games a mean name, Resident Evil Revelations is coming to consoles and PC, and Ni No Kuni got reviewed! Also, Dead Space 3 has some smelly little microtransactions in it.
Mash Tactics photo
Mash Tactics

Live show: Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch


All it's hyped up to be?
Jan 22
// Rick KingFoom Olson
[Mash Tactics airs Monday through Friday at 4p.m. Pacific on Dtoid.TV. Watch King Foom play a variety of games, each day with its own theme. With a heavy focus on community and viewer interaction, you can be as m...

C'mon, Level-5! Localize Ni no Kuni DS already!

Jan 21 // Tony Ponce
[embed]242714:46443[/embed] The original Ni no Kuni was announced way back in 2008. It would be nearly two years, mere months before the DS game's release, before any mention was made of a PS3 version. Wrath of the White Witch is no mere update of the DS version, subtitled The Jet-Black Mage. From what I've gathered, both games were developed separately and feature several elements that differ in significant ways, even though the general framework is the same. Even if Mage and Witch were identical save for the graphics, I still believe there would be strong interest in the former. The large library of quality RPGs on the DS and PSP indicates that the genre has found a cozy home on handheld devices. It's ironic that a genre infamous for demanding massive time investments would adapt so well to the style of bite-sized gameplay fostered by portable hardware. Level-5 envisioned Ni no Kuni as a franchise, thus there is no reason why anyone ought to picture Mage and Witch as anything but complementary experiences. I understand that the big draw of Witch is how closely the in-game assets resemble the original artwork, but it's not like Mage is a slouch in the art department either. [embed]242714:46442:0[/embed] It doesn't end there! In order for Ghibli composer Joe Hisaishi's score to sound as crystal clear as possible, Level-5 opted to use a 512 MB game card, the largest of any DS game. "Compromised," The Jet-Black Mage is not. More important than graphics and card space is the fact that Ni no Kuni is a major milestone for an animation studio that has historically avoided getting involved with videogames. Ni no Kuni is technically not the first time Ghibli had a hand in a game's art direction -- Magic Pengel on the PS2 holds that distinction -- but the level of involvement here is unprecedented. Why would you not want to experience such an event firsthand? But Wrath of the White Witch was announced for the West, while The Jet-Black Mage wasn't. Localization for Mage was definitely considered, but according to Level-5 CEO Akihiro Hino, the big spanner in those plans was the book bundled with every copy of the game. For those unaware, the 352-page Magic Master book is a companion guide that details in-game lore, creatures, and magic runes that can be drawn on the touchscreen to cast spells. This book is a crucial element of the game, and its existence as a physical object was intended to add an extra layer of immersion. Apparently it was too expensive to translate, and even if it were translated, there would be the issue of printing enough copies for each game and expecting consumers to pay a premium for the bundle. I'm sure Level-5 could have found a decent workaround, but I do understand the cost concerns. Disappointing news, but that's the way the world turns, right? By the way, Witch also requires the use of the Magic Master book, but instead of being a physical object, it's an in-game item accessible from the menu. And oh yeah, US publisher Namco Bandai is selling a limited "Wizard's Edition" bundle that includes a physical version of the book, now called the Wizard's Companion. WHAT. THE. FUCK. So all that talk about expense and translation hurdles was just bullshit? I'm trying to be as rational as I can, but the only conclusion I can draw is that neither Namco nor Level-5 thought Ni no Kuni would have been able to sell on the DS. I don't see how it wouldn't unless Namco wasn't planning on advertising the game at all. Look, I'm glad that Ni no Kuni is coming out for PS3, but we are still being robbed of delicious Ghibli goodness! There has got to be a way for the DS game to make it out here somehow. Here's what to do The DS is a lame duck. There might be a studio or two still releasing new DS software, but most have moved on to its successor. Therefore Level-5 should port Ni no Kuni: The Jet-Black Mage directly to the 3DS. The team won't really need to touch it up too much -- as you saw in the footage above, its a very beautiful game, I would say even by 3DS standards. With this platform transition, Mage would benefit from the larger game card capacity -- cards at the 3DS' launch could already hold 2 GB, four times the size of the DS' largest. I'm going to take an educated guess and assume that Mage's card was fairly packed, thereby preventing Level-5 from -- oh, I don't know -- including a digital version of the Wizard's Companion. Because 3DS game cards are much roomier, the already translated book ought to fit in nice and neatly. There you have it! Players now have in-game access to the book, just as PS3 players do, and they won't be prevented from casting spells be drawing the runes. And for those who desire the original experience as intended, there could be a 3DS version of the "Wizard's Edition" as well. [DS version unboxing by Espelancer] But what of the argument that a currently two-year-old game from a previous generation platform would be a hard sell no matter the pedigree of the parties behind it? If Namco doesn't want to play ball, Level-5 should take its business to a progressive company like XSEED, which has recently shown great willingness in taking chances on niche but highly demanded RPGs on Nintendo consoles. XSEED has already been rewarded for localizing The Last Story, and even Xenoblade Chronicles, which Nintendo of America itself published two years after its Japanese release, has done "quite well" by the company's expectations. If Wrath of the White Witch performs to Namco's satisfaction, there ought to be no reason to hold off on localizing The Jet-Black Mage any longer. But if Witch does not meet its goal, Mage should nonetheless be given a shot for the sake of sharing one of the most beautiful-looking games in recent memory with the rest of the world. We have evidence that low-print software runs can pay off handsomely, just as long as the parties involved keep modest expectations. I just want some Level-5 / Studio Ghibli magic on the go. Is that so much to ask? Am I asking for the sun and the moon? Am I being naive in regards to the nature of big business?
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And here's how to do it
Tomorrow, January 22, Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch finally arrives on US shelves. The PlayStation 3 role-playing game is a collaboration between developer Level-5, and animation house Studio Ghibli -- two companies th...

Ni no Kuni photo
Ni no Kuni

New releases: Ni no Kuni arrives at last


Plus The Cave, ShootMania Storm, and more
Jan 21
// Fraser Brown
It's Monday, and that can only mean one thing: it's the beginning of another week of new releases! And what a great week it is, most notably containing the release of the long awaited Ni no Kuni, Level-5 and Studio Ghibli's ...

Review: Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch

Jan 21 // Jim Sterling
Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch (PlayStation 3)Developer: Level-5Publisher: Namco BandaiReleased: January 22, 2013MSRP: $59.99 Wrath of the White Witch tells the tale of Oliver, a boy from Motor City who, through a tragic family event, finds himself alone and grieving. His misery, however, has the fortunate side effect of lifting the curse on a fairy from another world, the rambunctious Mr. Drippy, who convinces him to become a wizard in an alternative mirror universe where all the important people coincidentally share souls with everybody Oliver knows in his small city block. As is often the way!  The story, afflicted though it is with plot holes, a little creep of a protagonist who says "Jeepers" and "Neato" without a trace of irony, and some of the most passive-aggressive villains in videogame history, is actually quite good. It suffers from a slow start, but once it gets going, the supporting cast and charming world of Ni no Kuni make suffering through Oliver's simpering (and inexplicable American accent in a world of British ones) worth it. Mr. Drippy, while constantly running the risk of being irritating, is actually quite affable, helped in no small part by the relative rarity of hearing a Welshman in a videogame, while the plot twists toward the end are smartly executed, even if they're made a bit obvious before the grand unveiling.  [embed]242794:46466[/embed] As a wizard, Oliver naturally has access to a whole range of spells, for use both within battle and without. The most useful non-combat spells come in the form of the "Take Heart" and "Give Heart" skills, which Oliver employs to undo the work of the villainous Dark Djinn Shadar. Various characters around the world are missing pieces of their heart, lacking qualities such as courage, enthusiasm, and ambition. Fortunately, other inhabitants of the world have an abundance of such qualities, so Oliver must grab a piece of their excess heart and give it to Shadar's victims. While there are many important "Brokenhearted" characters, many incidental NPCs also require help, and visiting towns to collect emotions can become a huge game in its own right. Not the most exciting game, maybe, but helping out the Brokenhearted can be rewarded with merit stamps, which one can trade for a number of helpful passive abilities.  Other spells grant players the power to build bridges, open locks, light dark tunnels, and even float. Some of them don't have much practical use at all, while others have specific uses that you may not even discover while playing the first time. Oliver's magical wizard book, accessible in the main menu, contains details on all these spells, as well as summaries of equipment, lore, monsters, and even a heaping of fairy tales if you ever get too bored. The amount of effort poured into realizing the world of Ni no Kuni is extraordinary, and it's a good thing too, because Ni no Kuni's is a very nice world to be in.  Of course, getting into battles is the main draw of Ni no Kuni, and fans of grinding, leveling, and hectic combat will be served more than their fair share of pleasure. Combat is reminiscent of the Tales series of games, with real-time movement of the battle arena and skills that cool down after use. During the game's plodding opening hours, this system at first looks rather brainless, but eventually opens up to become astonishingly tactical, with the player eventually learning how to command the party, initiate synchronized blocks in time to weather powerful boss attacks, and -- of course -- make good use of familiars.  While Oliver and his eventual party of allies all boast a range of combat skills, one quickly finds they're not quite strong enough to handle the creatures of the world. However, they possess the ability to capture and train the very monsters they're fighting as friendly familiars, with up to three creatures per party member used in battle. These familiars can be swapped in and out at will, and each one has its own strengths, weaknesses, and attacks. With three party members boasting three familiars each, one can have a party of twelve in any given fight, though familiars all share the same health meter as their master. Utilizing the right familiars, swapping them out before they get too tired, and keeping everybody healthy is no small task, and the battles are paced quickly enough to where the combat can feel like total chaos. However, it's a carefully controlled chaos, and a player with a clear mind will be able to swap between allies, switch out familiars, and know when to use the human characters' abilities at just the right time. Once you realize that it's a game about using everything you have, rather than trying to rely on one tactic and one familiar, you start to truly appreciate the depth on display. Each human hero and familiar is leveled up independently, gaining stat boosts and new skills as they rack up experience points. Once familiars reach certain levels, they can be "metamorphosed" into new and powerful forms, though they will lose all their experience and begin anew at level one. So it is that Ni no Kuni becomes a game all about leveling. You level up your familiar to get it to the point where it has to start again from scratch, then level it up some more so it can start from scratch again. Every familiar has three forms (the final form being one of two unique variants selected by the player), and if you aim to have a strong party, ready to face the sudden difficulty jumps presented by boss encounters, you better be prepared to grind like a workhorse.  While not quite as ludicrously involved as games like Disgaea, it's fair to say that Ni no Kuni is certainly on the high end of the time demanding ratio. You'll be needing to maintain a party of twelve fighters, and most players will be swapping familiars out of the stable as they discover new and better ones, so the game is a constant struggle to keep fighting fit. Familiars gain experience whether they're in battle or not, so they can be taken into a fight against tough monsters to jump a few levels, but even so, this is a game about constant training, and no small amount of patience. Each boss assumes you've spent an hour or so building up your skills specifically for that one fight, and wastes no time in demolishing you if you've not done so. For some, this is going to be a real chore, but for others, I dare say I've just described Heaven.  I'm somewhere in the middle. I can appreciate a good grindfest, but I find Ni no Kuni sometimes takes it to extremes. This is already a long game, and when every new area of the map requires a few hours of training to survive, progression slows to a crawl and threatens to become an excruciating bore. It's a good job the world is so adorable, the monsters original and amusing, and the actual payoff for the hard work feeling like a true reward. Not to mention, there's plenty of additional content to break up the monotony and keep one invested.  Still, this is a game that thrashes and bites when you try to hug it, fighting your love every step of the way. Just saving up enough gold to have an acceptable level of revival items and equipment is a grind in and of itself. You don't unlock the power to fast travel until twenty hours in, and it takes even longer than that to get the dragon and fly across the map. Wrath of the White Witch's grind-heavy structure can feel imbalanced and overzealous, its demands on the player's time occasional disrespectful. At times, I got so sick of the game, and of hearing Oliver screaming "Neato," that I was furiously criticizing the protagonist's gormless face. Such is the maddening nature of Ni no Kuni -- compelling its victims to hurl insults at a digital thirteen-year-old.  Fight it does, but loving I remain. It's one of those games you always start playing enthusiastically, and leave feeling broken and drained. You'll be cursing, you'll be tired, but even though you shut down the game in a bedraggled, dejected state, it'll only take a few minutes before you realize how much of a blast you were actually having, and after a break from the slog, you'll be chomping at the bit for more. Never has a game made me so tired and so excited at the same time. It is a strange, perverse ambivalence, to say the least. While sharing many similarities with the likes of Tales, Pokémon, and Persona, White Witch reminds me most evocatively of Dragon Quest VIII: Journey of the Cursed King, a comparison I mean as one of the highest possible compliments. From its gorgeous cel-shading, involved alchemy system, delightfully awful love of puns ("Your Meowjesty!"), and time-sink capabilities, playing Ni no Kuni regularly feels like one of my favorite JRPGs has come back from the dead. Of course, it's hardly surprising when you know Level-5 worked on both games, but seeing so much of DQ VIII living on through this title is something very special indeed.  The aforementioned cel-shading alone is enough to draw accolades, and any review not dedicating at least a paragraph to its beauty would be performing a disservice. Featuring artwork from the beloved Studio Ghibli, Ni no Kuni is an absolute treasure for the eyes, with fluid animations, amazing creature designs, and some of the most gorgeous, colorful environments you could hope to see in a game. While many games have been praised for looking like an actual cartoon, few titles can hope to come as close as this. It really does feel like you're wandering around in a living, breathing cartoon, and even thirty hours into the adventure, I was still having my breath taken away by its visual splendor.  This is to say nothing of the music, brought to us by Joe Hisaishi and the Tokyo Philharmonic. Packed with memorable tunes (the world map theme is stuck in my head as I type this) and elegant arrangements, there is a reason why expectant fans have been talking up the soundtrack in the weeks leading to launch. As with so much of the game, its orchestral qualities and sense of fun really put me in mind of Dragon Quest VIII, and that will never be a bad thing.  Wrath of the White Witch is a love letter to the classic Japanese role-playing game. It draws its elements from the best and the brightest of the genre, mimicking everything from Pokémon to Grandia with a knowing wink and no small amount of affection. It takes all these inspirations and blends them in a way entirely unique to itself, giving fans of traditional RPGs -- a rarity in the modern world -- something they've been starved of for a very long time.  It has its problems, of course. The abrupt difficulty spikes can feel like an ambush, and the amount of time it absorbs borders on the imposing. Yet, as annoying as it can be, it can never be said that Ni no Kuni is badly put together. It's as structurally sound as a game can get, something made all the more impressive by how messy and sloppy the combat looks before you start to realize quite how clever it actually is. And even those negatives can be intense positives to the right person in the right mood.  If you're a lover of games that require you to put in before you get out, and you recall the glory days of the Eastern RPG, where experience points were the lifeblood and the grind was king, you have literally no decent excuse for not finding a way to play Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch. A classic of the modern age, built entirely from classics of the past, it's advised you get comfortable, cancel all your plans, and prepare to enjoy a game that will dominate your life for the next few months. 
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Put your Ni Nos to the grindstone
Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch could have easily been called Japanese Role-Playing Games: The Official Videogame, for it plays out like an overview of the entire genre as much as it does a game in its own right.  I...

Ni no Kuni photo
Ni no Kuni

Ni no Kuni arrives on PSN next week as a digital release


Level-5 on your hard drive
Jan 19
// Kyle MacGregor
Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch is almost finally here. The long-awaited game may be arriving exclusively on PlayStation 3 next week, but that doesn't mean players won't have a choice of where to grab it. The PlaySt...
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Behind the music of Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch


Composer Joe Hisaishi discusses his involvement with the project
Jan 09
// Kyle MacGregor
Now that Ni no Kuni is just weeks away from release, Level-5 is back with the third in its series of behind-the-scenes developer diaries. This time around they've sat down with composer Joe Hisaishi to discuss the ...
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Ni no Kuni hit with week-long delay in Europe


You'll get a freebie for your trouble
Jan 08
// Jordan Devore
One of the year's first big games, Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch, has been pushed back a week in Europe and Australasia due to logistical reasons. Originally scheduled to release on January 25, 2013, Level-5's lovely R...
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Xmas Cards

Check out several sites and companies' Christmas cards


From Ronimo, LEVEL-5, Shinesparkers, and Team Bobo
Dec 25
// Tony Ponce
Every year, game companies and other game sites like to send out holiday cards to their various contacts -- not that out of the ordinary. Sometimes these cards are your basic season's greetings, but other times they go above ...
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Ni no Kuni dev endeavors for games to transcend film


A deeper look at Studio Ghibli's involvement with Ni No Kuni
Dec 19
// Kyle MacGregor
It appears that Level-5 has some pretty lofty aspirations with Ni no Kuni. In this follow-up to the title's initial developer diary, Animation Director Yoshiuki Momose discusses the collaborative effort behind...
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Go behind the scenes of Ni no Kuni at Level-5's HQ


Can it be January 25 yet?
Dec 06
// Jordan Devore
Level-5 and Namco Bandai have a new behind-the-scenes video covering development on Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch, which shows off the former's lovely office. This doesn't get as in-depth as you might like, but it is ...
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The DTOID Show: Hitman, Tomb Raider & Writer Rumble!


Plus: I want to play Ni No Kuni let me play it now please
Dec 05
// Max Scoville
Okay, secret confession -- today's Destructoid Show was actually shot yesterday. Because today, we have to go on a field trip to preview a bunch of games. If the news seems a little less fresh than usual, that's probably why....
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Demos

Ni no Kuni gets a demo on December 4


Europe follows Dec 5
Dec 03
// Dale North
Upcoming Namco Bandai and Level-5 game Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch gets a PlayStation Network demo this week, December 4. Europe follows with the same demo dropping on December 5.  The demo takes you through two...

TGS: Level-5 discuss its partnership with Studio Ghibli

Sep 20 // Allistair Pinsof
Akihiro Hino, Level-5 president and general director of Ni no Kuni, said he looks up to Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli. Even as a creative partner, he couldn’t keep himself from geeking out when they met. “I met him a couple times over the course of the project and even asked to take pictures for a keepsake,” Hino said. When he first approached Ghibli, the animation studio was still working on Howl’s Moving Castle. The stars wouldn’t align for a partnership until years later, after Level-5 made a blueprint for the story and game. “Regardless, we talked on a very casual basis and were very friendly,” Hino said. “Miyazaki can seem tough as a director, but as a person he is a very nice man. As a creator, [working on the game] was a very emotional experience that I treasure very much.” After Ni no Kuni came out on the DS in late 2010, many RPG fans in the West expected it was only a matter of time until it came overseas. Yet, that day never came. Some assumed it was due to it not having an audience or Level-5 being too busy localizing other games -- they are, after all, always years behind on bringing the Layton games over. But, nope, it was none of these things. It was because of the darn book that came with the game. “It was too difficult to package it with the book and sell it overseas. That was the biggest reason why it wasn’t brought overseas,” Hino said, adding that translating the virtual book for the PlayStation 3 entry wasn’t a cakewalk. “In all honesty there are instances where I regret including the book but it’s a bridge connecting the imaginary world to the real world in Ni no Kuni. It did take a lot of time to localize because we put a lot of care into it, but reading the book itself will help you grasp the world of Ni no Kuni.” Studio Ghibli didn’t simply dump assets into Level-5’s FTP folder and call it a day. Game director Ken Motomura said he worked with Ghibli every day, swapping storyboards, directing motion capture, and reviewing how things turned out in post-production. Hino worked with Ghibli on the staging and theatrical direction of the game’s dialog and animated sequences. “We couldn’t have reached this universe on our own,” Hino said. The staging and artistic elements of the project brought the most hardship to the project, from Level-5’s side. It was a learning experience, according to Hino. The small elements Level-5 often ignored in a scene suddenly were examined with an animator’s eye by Ghibli. A pristine stack of dishes in the background of one scene suddenly became a more detailed, messy background element that made the world feel more realistic and lived-in. If given a chance, Level-5 would love to make Laputa: Castle in the Sky into a videogame. Wouldn’t that be something? Too bad it’s not their call. “Personally, I’d love to work on bringing existing Ghibli properties to games but it’s up to them,” Hino said. “I’d personally like to pursue and hopefully negotiate over the course of years [to come].” Here's hoping that Ni no Kuni does well enough internationally so that day may come soon rather than not at all.
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Despite being one of the biggest influences on Japanese game development, we are only now getting a videogame out of Studio Ghibli. I am grateful that Ghibli chose to partner with Level-5, but I am also curious as to why a...

gamescom: Charming, challenging new Ni no Kuni gameplay

Aug 18 // Dale North
Given that the two demos I'd been seeing over and over were pretty close to introductory training missions, I thought we started off on the wrong foot with the first of the new two, called "An Errand for Father Oak." Boiled down, this demo was a fetch quest and a couple of smaller battle encounters, but leaving it at that would be discounting the game's beautiful art, animation, and crazy voice and localization work. A down-and-out city gate guard looked like he needed a slap to the face, but the good-hearted Oliver and his lantern-nosed friend, Mr. Drippy, are far too kind to do such a thing. Instead, they spoke to a huge talking tree with a creepy face, named Father Oak (no relation to the Good Professor), to get the lowdown on a how to snap this guy out of it using some magic. And as these things usually go, a quest for an item was involved. Early on, I took a huge, green, tree-backed guy named Guardian of the Woods, who also seemed to be a bit out of it. But instead of being a brain dead zombie like our gate guard, he began attacking my party in some kind of daze, forcing me to fight back. I found that fire magic was his weakness, but in my spamming of a fire spell, I also found that he had a charge attack that also required defending, as a couple of undefended hits would take me down. Incidentally, Oliver has the cutest defense stance I've ever seen in a role-playing game. Late in the battle, Mr. Drippy let me know that the "big lump has gone and knackered himself" and that I should give him a "proper walloping" to finish him off. I busted off one final special attack in which Oliver pulled a wand out as flames encircled him. A huge fireball bomb defeated the Guardian and snapped him out of his blind attacking rage, sending him shuffling off into the forest. Weird? Yeah, but also insanely delightful and almost unbearably cute. Most of the rest of this short quest was spent walking around the storybook-like overworld, occasionally running into a wandering enemy, and then jumping into the free-roaming, Familiar-summoning battle system. When I finally made it back to the city, I took a locket that Father Oak gave me, used it to borrow some of the excess enthusiasm of one of the city gate guards, and then pumped it into the down-and-out guard. Once he snapped out of it, I was permitted to enter the city. The voice work in this game is adorable. Oliver, played by a young boy, is sweet and kind-sounding. But I really love that Mr. Drippy is Welsh. He has a regional dialect in the Japanese version, so given that a British studio worked on the translation and localization of Ni no Kuni, it's fitting that Drippy would speak with a Welsh accent. Even his text is Welsh, using words like "ouer" and "youer" in the place words that might make more sense to an American. He also says "flipping" often, which is always fun. A second demo, called "Eruption Interruption," was a nice change of pace. Up until now, every battle in Ni no Kuni has been on the easy side, but this section, set a bit later in the game, let me know that challenging encounters are also in the mix. By this point in the game, Oliver has a larger party, traveling with his friend Esther, and each have three Familiars. This gave me the equivalent of eight party members at my command in battle, which was more than enough for some random encounters as I made my way up a fiery volcano but just barely sufficient for an encounter with the area's boss. After shimmying along narrow pathways around this volcano, dodging lava hazards, my party finally encountered Moltaan, the Lord of Lava. This was a massive, screen-filling boss that literally set the battle stage on fire, creating hazards for my party as they ran around, trying to stay alive. This guy was not easy to hit, and when I did hit him, attacks barely did anything. At the height of my tension, I found myself frantically running around to dodge attacks, narrowly squeezing out counterattacks of my own to slowly chip away at Moltaan's lifebar. I had previously assigned Esther, a support-type character, to an auto tactic that would keep Oliver and his Familiars healed up, leaving me to concentrate on dealing damage. But by now, things were looking desperate; I manually switched to control of each of my Familiars, dealing out ice-type spells as fast as I could, continually rechecking their cooldown timers in the hopes that we might barely outlive the boss. Esther kept using all of her magic points, so I was also dumping all of my item resources (and wasting my attack turns!) to keeping her topped off. And... I died. I didn't beat Moltaan. But my failure means good things for Ni no Kuni. Some were concerned that its cute looks and simple-looking battle system would never provide a decent challenge. From the looks of the latter demo, it seems that the challenge will ramp up nicely. The takeaway here is that this RPG has gameplay to match its good looks. I look forward to taking Moltaan down early next year when Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch launches in North America on January 22.
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It's been a long, hard wait for Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch, hasn't it? I first saw and played the game at Tokyo Game Show 2011, where I promptly fell in love it it. We were a bit iffy on whether it would be localize...

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Ni no Kuni 'Ninostarter' adds extras to Wizard's Edition


Jul 19
// Jordan Devore
Taking a page from the success of crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter, Namco Bandai is going to expand the scope of Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch - Wizard's Edition for the United States based on the number of pre-...
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The DTOID Show: Assassin's Creed, Gaikai, Ni No Kuni


Jul 02
// Max Scoville
Hey guys! Tara and I are back from the scorched wasteland of Southern California, where we were for VidCon. I'd like to thank you guys for putting up for Friday's canned rehash episode. I promise we don't do any more of thos...
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Namco Bandai announces Ni no Kuni special edition


Jun 29
// Allistair Pinsof
Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch - Wizard's Edition includes a 300+ page book, a plush doll, and two exclusive DLC characters that will fight beside you in the game. Well, I'm sold! It's available in Africa, Europe, New Z...
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Ni no Kuni now set for January 22 in the US


Jun 01
// Chris Carter
According to the latest trailer, the PS3 version of Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch will hit Western shores on January 22, 2013 in the US, and January 25 in Europe. In case you're wondering what the big deal is, the game...
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The DTOID Show: Halo 4 Vs Conan, Dishonored, & Ni No Kuni


Apr 18
// Max Scoville
Surprise, everybody! Here's another episode of the sensual guitar-shredding tri-weekly wonder that is The Destructoid Show.  Last episode got a bajillion views because we put "Skyrim DLC?" in the title, and since writin...
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All our Namco Bandai Gamers Day news in one spot


Apr 17
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Namco Bandai's new annual Global Gamers Day event brings together press from all around the world to play them videogames. Destructoid was in attendance where got to check out some of Namco's upcoming lineup and talk to the p...
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This Ni no Kuni trailer eases the pain of a long wait


Apr 13
// Jordan Devore
It was disappointing to hear that Level-5's Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch won't be launching this year in North America and Europe, instead opting for a first-quarter 2013 release. We recently got another opportunity ...
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The DTOID Show: Capcom, Namco Bandai, and FEZ!


Apr 12
// Tara Long
It's been a while since we had a show as jam-packed as today's, so go ahead and break out that poncho, because it's about to rain hyperlinks in here! On the first half of the show, we cover all the news to come out of Capcom...
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Ni no Kuni set for winter 2012 in North America


Feb 15
// Jordan Devore
Namco Bandai has given us a more specific time frame for the North American release of Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch. The PlayStation 3-exclusive RPG has gone from "this year" to "winter 2012." At least they were kind ...
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Das Racist? Call of Duty outsells Ni No Kuni in Japan


Nov 27
// Jonathan Holmes
Once again, Japan has proven that that it is racist against Japanese games, animation, people, and everything. Ni No Kuni, the collaboration between premiere animated filmmakers Studio Ghibli and Professor Layton developers L...
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Ni no Kuni PS3 is coming to the West


Sep 18
// Tony Ponce
So, that there Ni no Kuni... looks pretty good, right guys? I bet you'd love to play it in English, huh? How badly do you want it? Do you want it? Yes, you do! Oooooh, yes, you do! Good boy! Now, fetch the ball! Go get it! Th...
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Biggest DS cart yet: 4Gb, for Ghibli/Level 5 RPG


Oct 06
// Dale North
[Update: GigaBITS, not GigaBYTES. Sorry about the confusion!] Level 5's upcoming collaboration with Studio Ghibli is called Ninokuni (Another World), and when it hits the Nintendo DS, it will be hitting in the biggest way. Th...

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