Ni No Kuni: Review (PS3)

by / Wednesday, 17 April 2013 / Published in Editorials & Reviews

So a couple months ago I decided to purchase a used PS3 from a guy here where I live. The PS3 came with 19 games (most of which were crap) so I decided to research a game to trade in for. I wanted something with a good story, some decent play time (30+ hours), and most of all it had to be FUN! So I found Ni No Kuni, which from reading reviews seemed like a good game. I beat Ni No Kuni earlier today, here is my review.

The game starts you off as a typical child named Oliver. Oliver does things just as any normal kid should, he plays with his friend Phil mainly, as they are developing a racing vehicle in their spare time. Well upon the maiden launch of this rocket car, something goes horribly wrong, the car plunges into a lake and in heroic fashion Oliver’s mom, Allie, jumps in to save her little boy, this feat put a great deal of strain on her heart and as we find out she has a heart condition, sadly she passes away.

Upon this happening you are immersed into this epic storyline that has all of the positives of a good JRPG (Mystic creatures/magic/exploration/boss battles). You start by meeting the “Lord High Lord of the Fairies” whom was your doll until a magic tear awoken him from his nap. He guides you through a parallel dimension which is the world that most of the game takes place.

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Most of the early stages of the game are a little monotonous, where it seems like all you are doing is fixing peoples broken hearts, but this soon turns into a key part of the story line. Eventually you are shown the ability to summon a “familiar” or a pet (think pokemon) these pets can level up alongside of you, learning new skills and eventually evolving into stronger familiars. You “capture” these familiars with a skill learned by a friend that tags along during your quests. You are able to passively increase your familiars skills by feeding them candy along the way, some familiars have a favorite type of candy that will increase the amount they are able to consume.

The battle sequences are fairly similar to some RPG’s in the way that they are all real time and you are able to move about the battle field, dodging attacks. Now here is the one part of the game that I REALLY REALLY dislike, the A.I. is TERRIBLE, for some reason they will toss out familiars that are magic users, but won’t use magic with them, they just melee, which does minimal damage, causing them to usually die. You are able to set “tactics” or give them something to do, but this really doesn’t work very well. This is a major down point to this game in my opinion.

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There are some aspects to the game that make you work, a very immersive “Errand Board” gives you loads of side quests to complete which give you “Merit Points”, these can be used for skills that will make the game a bit easier. Ex. Increased xp after battles, or speed boosts while on the world map. Merit points can also be gained by completing “Bounty Hunts” which give you a hard style monster to kill somewhere on the world map. These monsters usually pack a punch but shouldn’t cause as much grief as a boss battle. There is also a very deep “alchemy” profession that has hundreds of formulas you can earn by doing errands, or you can “Mix and Match” and try to create your own.

The story line is very well plotted and some questions you will be scratching your head about until the very end. The best part is that you almost become attached to the characters since they are just normal people and not your typical RPG heroes.

 

To wrap up:

Pros:

  1. Amazing storyline with very pretty cutscenes
  2. Great character progression
  3. Loads of “extras” to do other than concentrating on the main story

 

Cons:

  1. A.I. is horrible
  2. The game tells you where to go and what to do at all times. There is no real challenge.
  3. Items sometimes disappear when you use them as an enemy is casting a spell.

Caboose gives this game a 7.5/10

3 Responses to “Ni No Kuni: Review (PS3)”

  1. JayRad says : Reply

    Great review Caboose!

  2. Brklyn says : Reply

    Nice review there Caboose.

  3. FaNatic says : Reply

    Good review. Glad to see DG expanding outside of our forums. I’m currently playing this game, and this game is truly reminiscent of the good old JPRGs. I see your point of the AI being limited in battle, but often find myself alternating between them and using certain spells to maximize my damage during engagements. It’s really tricky to master, but when you I get in a battle where I can do this correctly, it’s extremely satisfying. I love the challenge of this game, and love the art style with the world it immerses you in.

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