First look: Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch (PlayStation 3)

We play test the anime themed RPG from Level-5

While a lot of Japanese developers seem uncertain about whether their games should retain their local design sensibility or target a global market, Ni no Kuni embraces its Japanese heritage wholeheartedly without any hesitation. From the game’s name and art style to its presentation and storyline, Ni no Kuni is a welcome return to the days when Japanese developers made games they would enjoy and hope that other overseas markets would also enjoy them.

Fluid animation

Studio Ghibli’s art style adds a level of innocence and accessibility that the production house is renowned for, and the visual art style is done justice by the game’s graphical engine. Cel shaded graphics have come a long way since the days of Jet Set Radio, Cel Demage and Auto Modellista, but most modern games still fail to do justice to the art style.

Ni no Kuni is likely the first game that has changed my stance on this, as the graphics are the closest I have seen to a game looking like it was animated. Character movement is fluid, models have high polygon counts, and the surrounding environments are done in a complementary style.

Helpful and handy

The game itself is a joy to play and contains a balance between accessibility and challenge, ensuring that players of different ages will be able to enjoy it. The game also features a helpful sidekick called Mr Lumpy Drippy, who explains the various features of the game and combat to the protagonist, Oliver, during the advanture. Sometimes the character can be a bit too helpful, bringing back memories of Clippy the paperclip from Microsoft Office, but it never gets in the way of enjoying the game.

A memorable soundtrack rounds off the already high quality presentation of the game, and publisher Namco Bandai was kind enough to include both the Japanese and English audio tracks with the Western release of the game.

Pros

- Impressive cel shaded graphics

- Fun battle system and responsive controls.

- Great presentation and story

Cons

- Menu system could have been more intuitive.

- Characters can sometimes be too talkative and helpful.

Bottom Line

Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch shows that a Japanese RPG can be both technically impressive and immersive without sacrificing fun in the process.

Follow PC World Games on Twitter at @GameProAu or become a fan of the Facebook page.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags Playstation 3Namco BandaiLevel-5

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Patrick Budmar

Patrick Budmar

PC World
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?