Ni No Kuni Review

9.6
Expert Rating

The original Ni No Kuni was a hit when it graced the Nintendo DS, then later released on the PS3. Now, Ni No Kuni comes to the Nintendo Switch, in all its glory. It’s a role playing game with a unique combat system, lovable characters, and art straight from Studio Ghibli. It’s one of the best Nintendo Switch games you need to own.

Why We Like It – Ni no Kuni Review

This love-letter to Studio Ghibli—who helped develop the world—is a must-have on the Nintendo Switch, if you’re a fan of RPGs. It’s beautiful artstyle, music, characters, and world are too good to pass, with a story that’s heartbreaking and endearing.

Pros
  • Beautiful and unique artstyle
  • Can be as easy or as difficult as you want it
  • Kids and adults can enjoy
Cons
  • Battle system has a learning curve
  • Isn’t multiplayer

Performance

As the protagonist, Oliver, you get to experience a world that’s not your own, one that’s full of magic, on a quest to save Oliver’s mother. Fight monsters, capture familiars, and equip yourself and allies with more and more powerful gear. Then there’s the battle system. It’s an interesting combination that, somehow, works well after you warm up to it. You control Oliver and his friends in real time, moving about the map to line up magic spells, heal an ally, dodge attacks, and issue commands. However, each ally has their own familiars, which you can swap out with ones you’ve caught. It feels like Pokemon but in real time, and an emphasis on RPG elements.

Design

Sometimes video games forget that graphical fidelity isn’t everything; Ni No Kuni Wrath of the White Witch proves you can create a game with style, and still be breathtaking. It’s such an endearing fantasy world that Studio Ghibli—famous for Spirited Away, My Neighbor Totoro, and more—helped create. They helped create the wonderful cutscenes in between, while Level-5 recreated that artstyle into a 3D format. It’s more than a game, it’s a love-letter to Studio Ghibli, and it clearly shows, from the creatures that roam around the map, to the loveable cast of characters. We see that same kind of love and care in the Witcher 3 Wild Hunt.

Value

Ni No Kuni was a load of fun. The story is compelling, the characters are great, and the world itself is hard to leave. The battle system is unique, though it can be complex after some time. This game isn’t just for kids, but adults as well. It’s one of many games that bridge the gap between kids and adults. The fact that you can now take it on the go, in an updated format on the Nintendo Switch, is awesome. If you have a Switch, you’re doing yourself a disservice by ignoring this title.

Unfortunately, it isn’t multiplayer, which is a shame. But if co-op is what you’re looking for, Super Smash Bros Ultimate, and Mario and Rabbids Kingdom Battle are available.

Ni no Kuni Review Wrap Up

While the battle system takes some time getting used to, especially for kids, it’s well-worth the effort and adults will love the added complexity with familiars. This is a solo journey, so having multiplayer might lessen the experience. And plus, it gives the player the opportunity to stop, take in the beautiful visuals and lovely music, without holding a friend up.

Performance9.6
Design9.5
Value9.7
Reader Rating0 Votes0
9.6
Expert Rating
Bottom Line

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Brady Meyers

Brady Klinger-Meyers is a writer based in Pennsylvania. He regularly contributes to websites such as Hardcore Droid, Gamepur, and Homebli. His work remains primarily in technology, from video game journalism to consumer technology.

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