Ni No Kuni: Wrath Of The White Witch Review

“What? Lantern nose rings are cool.”

Release Date: 1 February 2013
RRP: £39.99
Format: PS3
Publisher: Namco Bandai

Come again? You want us to suck enthusiasm out of some kid on the street and give it to a massive talking cat so he’ll hand over his magic wand? Yeah, Ni No Kuni is a weird one all right. Happily, this charming RPG from Professor Layton creators Level 5 is every bit as brilliant as it is bonkers, with a deep, tactile battle system, striking art style, and a simple narrative that hides a sharp emotional sting.

You play Oliver, a young lad out to save the world equipped only with a spell book and a talking lantern with a thick Welsh accent. Plough through the genuinely enthralling story, however and Oliver not only forms a gang of three would-be heroes, but also collects and trains a ton of cutesy monsters (think Pokémon, only far less annoying) in order to thwack the evil cartoon pants off arch-baddie Shadar.
For all Ni No Kuni’s child-friendly looks, the battles are fast and strategically demanding, forcing you to really think about which critters you deploy against which enemies. It’s a thoroughly rewarding RPG grind, helped by a massive, diverse and utterly gorgeous world that’s a joy to explore.

The game is stuffed with side quests too, meaning that if you want to suck Ni No Kuni dry you’re looking at a good 80 hours playtime. It’s a worthy investment though; this is an experience packed with magic. Adventure gaming at its finest.

Rob Pearson

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