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Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Ni no Kuni: Shiroki Seihai no Joou(二ノ国 白き聖灰の女王)

The whole idea behind Ni no Kuni was like a dream come true when it came out like 10 years ago. An RPG by Level-5 and Studio Ghibli with music from Joe Hisashi? Finally, the technology had advanced to where you can play a game that looks and sounds just like a Ghibli movie!!

In 2011, this was some god damn amazing shit

Yes, of course, I'm skipping the first DS game with the not so high definition graphics far from cinematic quality. At the time, I was just starting my journey as a Jhipster gamer. In fact, one of my first import buys for my collection (aka bad financial spending habits) was for the Japanese Magic Master that came with the limited edition of the DS game. Fortunately, you can still pick this up for a reasonable price unlike the false scarcity shit they pulled with the non-Jhipster Wizard Edition.

Way better than getting a stupid plushie imo

It's hard to believe that almost a decade has gone by since this game was released. Gaming has sure come a long ways since then. There's like WAY more frames per second and look at all dem pixels and shit. Oh and don't forget all that lazer ray tracing shiznits!! You can stare for hours at the reflection in the water as you go from one mission to the next, exactly like very other mind numbingly bland and unoriginal AAA game. Hell yeah!!!

Yet another grumpy old man rant but all I see these days is racist censorship, pay to play online, shit gacha games that last maybe a year at best, and everybody trying to move suckers into some sort of subscription service. And now PS5 is going X for confirm and O for cancel with no option to switch?? Jesus fucking Christ (not the brown one)!

So glad 'Merica is pushing superior moral values onto depraved Japanese gamers

The fact is, Ni no Kuni looks exactly as good as it needs to be for a Ghibli style video game. I mean honestly, it probably would have even worked on a PS2, like Rogue Galaxy (also Level-5). The game looks gorgeous and I really enjoyed the intro and the whole premise for your adventure. I especially loved watching you eat your mom's delicious looking eggs and bacon in fine Ghibli style.

There's nothing that says Ghibli like some eggs and bacon

Unfortunately, perhaps my hype for this game was a little too high as the gameplay definitely has that Level-5 feel to it. Though I've only played a few of Level-5 games so far, there's just something about them that seems super mainstream. While I don't dislike Level-5 games, the gameplay never seems very original and feels super safe. It's almost like marketing research comes up with what's supposed to be fun and you end up with a game that's well... supposed to be fun. You know what I mean? All I'm saying is, I was all into the game until they introduced Imagens and oh hey look, it's a fucking Pokemon clone. Bleh.

I just used the pink punch guy for like 95% of the time

I never played a Pokemon game for more than a couple hours and I don't know if I ever will but I'm not into this collect 'em all shit. I got the All-in-one edition so I used the special DLC or whatever that was included for the bulk of the game. Sure, you can recruit enemies, level up the little buggers, and feed them shit to evolve but yeah, not my thing.

I did spend a good 40 hours to beat the game and then some for trophies and I'm still probably far from getting the platinum. Out of all that time, I feel like most of it was spent doing those side quests primarily getting those heart pieces from here to there. Oh, and playing fetch for that fucker who kept losing his damn notebook everywhere.

Now, it may sound like I didn't like the game but overall, I have to say it's a solid title. While the battle system wasn't my favorite, it was good enough to keep my interest even though I probably spent most of the time just punching the shit out of everybody with the pink guy.

I really, really wanted to love this game. I mean, just look at it!

Score: 3.5 git off my lawn with your Cross Worlds mobile MMO crap!! out of 5 (38 hours to beat)

I was really on the fence on whether to score this as an above-average or a great game. While the graphics, cutscenes, and music were undoubtedly great, I went with a 3.5 above-average. I liked the story but I feel like it didn't quite have the impact of a good Ghibli film. Certainly, the characters development could have been better. I mean, geesh, the 3 characters from Koudelka had better chemistry than Oliver, Jairo, and Maru. As for the gameplay, it was I dunno... polished I suppose. Your party's AI isn't great but good enough. You gotta level up your Pokemon err Imagens and switch them out during battles etc. Plus, you got all them fetch side quests, alchemy, etc., etc. It's a good game but just not quite a great game for me. But I'm sure we can all agree, Joe Hisashi is da bomb yo!

I mean it's a bit heavy for gaming BGM but still.

0 - Awful
1 - Bad and not worth your time
2 - Has some flaws but still enjoyable
3 - An average enjoyable experience
4 - A great game
5 - Masterpiece of a caliber only found very rarely