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  1. #1
    Lesser Hivemind Node Drinking with Skeletons's Avatar
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    Ni No Kune Discussion

    I guess this wasn't delayed for the US, since I got my copy yesterday. I've put in about 4 hours and I have to say it seems like it's going to live up to the hype. Extremely strong visuals, great soundtrack, and an engaging (and challenging) battle system. I've heard some differing opinions on the amount of grind the game demands, but so far it's been pretty straightforward: do every side-quest available and don't run from any fights and you'll be OK. There's also an Easy difficulty available from the menu, so I'm sure that even someone who loathes JRPG grinding could probably blast through it. However, if you don't like JRPGs, I don't think this is the game for you.

    Having said that, the game features an entire spellbook absolutely brimming with flavor text (and genuinely useful information). If that excites you, then this might be exactly the game for you.

    Anyone else playing this?

  2. #2
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Sketch's Avatar
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    How is the tutorial? I picked up the demo having read little about the game and was a bit knocked off my feet because I had no idea what I was doing. It seemed lovely though.
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  3. #3
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Ravelle's Avatar
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    I have it on pre-order and it's suppose to arrive next week here in Europe.

    But I can't wait for it, I'm already a huge fan of anything monster taiming/collecting and add that with Studio Ghibli and you have the perfect game.
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  4. #4
    Lesser Hivemind Node fiddlesticks's Avatar
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    I do have somewhat of a soft spot for the occasional JRPG and I'm a huge fan of Studio Ghibli, so I'd love to play this game. Unfortunately I don't own a PS3. Curse you and your aversion to PC gaming, Japan!

  5. #5
    Network Hub Splynter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fiddlesticks View Post
    ...I'm a huge fan of Studio Ghibli...
    With Nausicaa as your avatar? You DON'T SAY! :) Picked this up the other day, haven't had a whole lot of time to play, but it's pretty great so far. It's almost worth it for the in-game lore book alone, that thing is amazing. Regarding Sketch's question about the tutorial, it's much easier going in the full game than it is in the demo. You'll have time to familiarize yourself with the way the battle system works before you get to any hard fights.
    I take photos of space and talk about it sometimes: http://ofspaceandthings.tumblr.com Also, I am making a game for which there is a development log: http://elegythegame.tumblr.com/

  6. #6
    Lesser Hivemind Node Drinking with Skeletons's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sketch View Post
    How is the tutorial? I picked up the demo having read little about the game and was a bit knocked off my feet because I had no idea what I was doing. It seemed lovely though.
    It starts off a little slow overall (though I'd say it's not too bad compared to other JRPGs), but it's clearly holding back on the complexity of the battle system. I'm now about 6 hours in and still only have one party member and three familiars, don't have the ability to recruit new familiars or upgrade existing ones, and haven't been introduced to crafting. The game compensates for this by A) having each new area offer a very noticeable uptick in difficulty and by B) clearly possessing a complex battle system that would likely be overwhelming if it wasn't drip-feeding new concepts.

    Also, to be fair, I've probably spent the better part of an hour just reading stuff in the Wizard's Compendium (the in-game spellbook) and I keep getting distracted by having to babysit my nephew, so my perceptions may be off.

  7. #7
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Ravelle's Avatar
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    At least it's voiced these days, remember those old JRPGS where you spent first two-three hours reading walls upon walls of text dialogues. But yeah, slow starts are common in JRPGs.
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  8. #8
    Lesser Hivemind Node Drinking with Skeletons's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ravelle View Post
    At least it's voiced these days, remember those old JRPGS where you spent first two-three hours reading walls upon walls of text dialogues. But yeah, slow starts are common in JRPGs.
    Alright, I'm nearing 40 hours in and no end in sight, and I want to emphasize that the game is most assuredly not fully voiced. Voices are reserved for major cutscenes and the occasional, seemingly arbitrary point (seriously, it's sometimes baffling when the game is and isn't voiced). If you don't like to read, then you should brace yourself.

    Past that, the game has retained it's charm. It does become grindier as you increase the number of familiars you can use, and the game doesn't have a big enough variety of sidequests to completely mask it. I honestly would prefer five "Kill X monsters" over one "Bring me these three different familiars," which is frustrating because the likelihood that a given familiar will be willing to join you is relatively low. Fortunately, the Merit Rewards are exactly the kind of thing you want, so you won't feel like the game has completely robbed your time, and the extra XP will make the next section easier (but not necessarily dull; the game has some sharp jumps in difficulty from one major area to the next).

    Also, the game deserves praise for not making any of the familiars feel like garbage. I honestly think Pokemon is a pretty brilliant formula for a game, but I've never liked how so many of the creatures in that series are just not worth a damn. In Ni No Kuni, I've never felt like I had to change familiars because one had become obsolete or was clearly inferior.

    So my initial recommendation stands: this is a true JRPG masterpiece, and fans of the genre shouldn't hesitate to pick it up.

  9. #9
    Network Hub Hanban's Avatar
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    I managed to play for about an hour before I had to leave town over the weekend and what I got to experience was really wonderful. Also got the collector's edition which gets you the Compendium in actual book format. The quality of the book was great and I probably spent an hour just reading. Really looking forward to spending more time in the game!
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  10. #10
    Lesser Hivemind Node Drinking with Skeletons's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hanban View Post
    I managed to play for about an hour before I had to leave town over the weekend and what I got to experience was really wonderful. Also got the collector's edition which gets you the Compendium in actual book format. The quality of the book was great and I probably spent an hour just reading. Really looking forward to spending more time in the game!
    If I had realized how good this game would be, and had I understood how cool the Wizard's Companion would be (300+ pages!), I would've jumped on the collector's edition. I only just put the game to bed yesterday at over 60 hours, and I still had a few post-game (it has hours of sidequests that only become accessible after beating the game) quests left.

  11. #11
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Sketch's Avatar
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    I'm very close to picking it up. Argh, the temptation!
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  12. #12
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Ravelle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drinking with Skeletons View Post
    Alright, I'm nearing 40 hours in and no end in sight, and I want to emphasize that the game is most assuredly not fully voiced. Voices are reserved for major cutscenes and the occasional, seemingly arbitrary point (seriously, it's sometimes baffling when the game is and isn't voiced). If you don't like to read, then you should brace yourself.

    Past that, the game has retained it's charm. It does become grindier as you increase the number of familiars you can use, and the game doesn't have a big enough variety of sidequests to completely mask it. I honestly would prefer five "Kill X monsters" over one "Bring me these three different familiars," which is frustrating because the likelihood that a given familiar will be willing to join you is relatively low. Fortunately, the Merit Rewards are exactly the kind of thing you want, so you won't feel like the game has completely robbed your time, and the extra XP will make the next section easier (but not necessarily dull; the game has some sharp jumps in difficulty from one major area to the next).

    Also, the game deserves praise for not making any of the familiars feel like garbage. I honestly think Pokemon is a pretty brilliant formula for a game, but I've never liked how so many of the creatures in that series are just not worth a damn. In Ni No Kuni, I've never felt like I had to change familiars because one had become obsolete or was clearly inferior.

    So my initial recommendation stands: this is a true JRPG masterpiece, and fans of the genre shouldn't hesitate to pick it up.
    I don't mind the reading but the voice acting and Brrrr brrrr dialogues are also a bit random at points, one moment they're having a full voiced conversation and suddenly it stops in the same scene or there are times when it's all text and suddenly there's like one voiced line out of nowhere.

    I'm 20 hours in so far and I found the text bits of NPC's and Drippy's explaining to be often too obvious. "This person seems to be lacking ___ I believe we have a spell for that!" or sometimes he just spits out answers for requests in a way too obvious and direct way. It's stuff like that which I often click away fast without reading most of it.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ravelle View Post
    I don't mind the reading but the voice acting and Brrrr brrrr dialogues are also a bit random at points, one moment they're having a full voiced conversation and suddenly it stops in the same scene or there are times when it's all text and suddenly there's like one voiced line out of nowhere.

    I'm 20 hours in so far and I found the text bits of NPC's and Drippy's explaining to be often too obvious. "This person seems to be lacking ___ I believe we have a spell for that!" or sometimes he just spits out answers for requests in a way too obvious and direct way. It's stuff like that which I often click away fast without reading most of it.
    Agree 100% about the voicing. It's genuinely baffling. The pre-boss stuff makes a little sense, since any boss that can talk does during battle, so they might as well establish the voice, but everywhere else it's just a crapshoot.

    And yes, the game is a little too quick to point out what to do most of the time and, in fact, often requires you to talk to someone/interact with something and get the obvious hint in order to do what you already figured out. I guess that's the price of a game that is suitable for all ages.

  14. #14
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    At least it's voiced these days, remember those old JRPGS where you spent first two-three hours reading walls upon walls of text dialogues. But yeah, slow starts are common in JRPGs.
    Yeah, and now that three hours expands to five, because you must listen to all dialogues in non-skippable cutscenes (see FF10 for example).

  15. #15
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus sabrage's Avatar
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    The worst part of FFX (besides its monumentally stupid plot) was that someone inevitably walked in the room during that scene.

  16. #16
    Lesser Hivemind Node Drinking with Skeletons's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sabrage View Post
    The worst part of FFX (besides its monumentally stupid plot) was that someone inevitably walked in the room during that scene.
    FFX was worth it for FFX-2. I may be the only person alive who liked the sequel more, but it transforms from a deeply stupid, melodramatic, incomprehensible epic into a fun, silly, surprisingly open, and, well, still kind of stupid (the final boss design is almost awe-inspiringly dumb) game. A lot of people seemed to write it off as Charlie's Angels-meets-Barbie-dress-up-time, but anyone who did missed one of the most fun, most open, and least grindy JRPGs I've ever played.

  17. #17
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus sabrage's Avatar
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    FFX-2 had an amazing battle system, with the trade-off that any scene had the potential for embarrassment and ridicule from onlookers. (Albeit, a decade later, it would likely stem as much from even playing a Final Fantasy game as the content itself)

  18. #18
    Lesser Hivemind Node Drinking with Skeletons's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sabrage View Post
    FFX-2 had an amazing battle system, with the trade-off that any scene had the potential for embarrassment and ridicule from onlookers. (Albeit, a decade later, it would likely stem as much from even playing a Final Fantasy game as the content itself)
    I understand where you're coming from; there are certainly sections of the game that cross the line from "female empowerment" to "girly." I hope that doesn't sound sexist, because I honestly think there's a lot of positive, feminist things that could be said about FF X-2, but there are also some bits that veer into some stereotypically feminine territories that would probably embarrass (and perhaps insult, because stereotypes) many women.

    Luckily, I played it at home, alone, during the summer back in college. No public embarrassment for me!

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