NI NO KUNI: WRATH OF THE WHITE WITCH
Stunningly gorgeous, charming, alluring, bewitching, entrancing,
ravishing and many other words our Thesaurus would love us to blurt
upon your screen should it receive commission for each adjectival
spurterance. This is Ni no Kuni.
Visuals are courtesy Studio Ghibli, of captivating animated movie
fame, and the soundtrack comes from the Tokyo Philharmonic
Orchestra. Yep, this puppy’s anything but cheap.
We can’t yabber enough about how stunning this looks – apparent cutscenes have you controlling your wee protagonist. Breathtaking!
Anyway, that wee protagonist is Oliver, a lad from the tres ’50s
burg Motorville who’s quickly rendered motherless. Still, he has his
pointy-nosed cuddly toy, which springs lifewards at the kersplot of
Oli’s tears, and announces that he’s Mr Drippy, Lord High Lord of the
Fairies – thick Welsh accent and all. Imagine Tom Jones, but bigger
than the real thing. We say that with certainty, as we met and
patted him once several years ago.
Drippy prattles on about inextricably linked parallel worlds and
doppelgangers, the gist of which you grasp is that you may find your
mummy again. After procuring a magic enough stick you’re soon
spirited away (ahem) to this world, where adventures unfold tackling
a pirate (well, she has a parrot) bitchywitchypoo determined to stop
you from being the world’s Buffyistic saviour.
Classic JRPGness collides with Pokémon’s Tamagotchi-on-steroids
collect-a-gogo vibe. You progress through an alarmingly lengthy
adventure collecting these ‘familiars’, fighting beasties of
assorted beastliness in real-time battles that increasingly
complicate, levelling-up until you feel you’ve a
snowball’s chance in Melbourne as of February 2013 to get anywhere.
While the main quest will satisfy the most questilogical urges, side
missions and minigames will also captivate.
Sure, there’s much backtracking and frustration if you’re
undercooked for the next levelled-up battle, it isn’t super-original
story-wise and it takes a while to chug to speed, but damn this