Game Demo of the Week: Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch

Categories: Gaming

Game: Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch

Platform: PS3

Publisher/Developer: Namco Bandai/Level-5/Studio Ghibli

Genre: RPG

Release Date: January 22, 2013

Welcome to a new regular weekly video game feature where I'll be taking brief looks at upcoming games available for demo on console systems. This week we start with one I have been on pins and needles for since I first heard about it, Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch.

The game is Studio Ghibli's first foray into gaming. If you don't know what Studio Ghibli is, they are a Japanese animation studio responsible for the greatest children's movies in the entire world. My Neighbor Totoro alone is worth everything Disney has ever put out, and Grave of the Fireflies should be required viewing upon being elected to high office. The question is, could they do for gaming what they did for film?

Ni no Kuni is a turn-based RPG of the very old school. Random encounters on the world map send you into a different battle screen exactly like a pre-X Final Fantasy. Once there, though, things are a little bit more modern. You can summon Pokémon-like fairy warriors to fight on your behalf, or you can use your main protagonist and his magic abilities. You need to be reactive, as bosses will build up big attacks that you need to defend against. Where every other RPG these days leans toward pulling turn-based systems more toward real-time action, Ni no Kuni does the opposite, with pleasant results.

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