Studio Ghibli and Level-5’s JRPG Ni No Kuni: Wrath Of The White Witch is the next console game of yesteryear to see a remastered PC release. Due September 20th, it seems that publisher Bandai Namco aren’t changing much from the PS3 original beyond a boost in resolution and frame rate. Not there’s much that needs changing, as the game’s real-time art was almost as pretty in motion as its gorgeous, traditionally animated cutscenes. Overly padded combat aside, it’s a lovely game, and Ghibli’s influence shines through in its heartwarming but oft-tragic fairytale story. Below, a trailer.
For those with memories not completely obliterated by the E3 news-deluge, us PC folks have already been blessed with Ni No Kuni 2: Revenant Kingdom. While the sequel had faster, more refined combat and a similar art style, Ghibli (of Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away and other animated greats) weren’t involved, and it showed in its less deft handling of heavier plot points. Ni No Kuni’s young protagonist Oliver loses his mother after a tragic accident, but is told by a strange-looking and extremely Welsh fairy that he can save her, as her soul is lost in another world. So it’s off to the land of fairytales to save the day. It’s not hard to see the gut-punches coming.
As with the sequel, the game has pauseable real-time combat where much of the heavy lifting is done by the magical familiars summoned by your party, and a lot of reliance on AI behaving itself. While not bad, I feel there were far too many fights, and I’m hoping that we’re given some option to cut down on the padding for the PC version. Few managed to finish the original game, despite its much more compelling story, because there was so much fighting between major plot beats. It’s become common for JRPG remasters to offer some kind of turbo mode or assists to speed through the dull bits. Fingers crossed.
Ni No Kuni: Wrath of The White Witch arrives on September 20th, although no price has been announced, and no store pages are up yet.
See our E3 2019 tag for more news, previews, opinions, and increasingly surreal liveblogs.