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Jinsai
01-21-2013, 04:09 PM
anyone else picking this up tomorrow? It's a JRPG collaboration between Studio Ghibli (the makers of the movies Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away) and Level 5 (Dragon Quest VIII and Rogue Galaxy, to name the best). I've been waiting forever for this to come out in the US.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5aAs-vZ4rZE

There's also a demo on PSN

liquidcalm
01-21-2013, 04:56 PM
have to wait til 2nd Feb for it over here, have the Wizards edition on pre-order. Loved the demo, but tried to ignore most of the trailers/press as I just want to jump in and enjoy without too many preconceptions.. other than my brain pounding with "Level 5 + Ghibli?! ZOMG AWESOME"

Wretchedest
01-21-2013, 08:36 PM
yes and im fuckin sooooo stoked!

darktemplar007
01-21-2013, 09:58 PM
I want to play this so fucking bad. I need to get myself a PS3 one of these days.

Jinsai
01-21-2013, 10:38 PM
have to wait til 2nd Feb for it over here, have the Wizards edition on pre-order. Loved the demo, but tried to ignore most of the trailers/press as I just want to jump in and enjoy without too many preconceptions.. other than my brain pounding with "Level 5 + Ghibli?! ZOMG AWESOME"

Even though you have to wait, you're lucky. Take good care of that collector's edition. Unlike most, the "wizard's edition" of Ni No Kuni is going to be worth a (small) fortune in the future, especially because that book is supposed to be integrated into the gaming experience (and everyone else will have to deal with it digitally). Namco/Bandai cut off the pre-orders earlier than expected, so a lot of people (like me) missed out, even though we were planning on buying it.

But yea, I'm incredibly excited, and anticipate that this will be all I'll be playing for quite some time after I pick it up tomorrow morning. For almost a year I was tempted to buy the Japanese version, but kept holding out despite delays, and I'm satisfied that they're providing both the English dub (which I'm sure will be top notch) and the original dialogue with subtitles.

I can't remember the last time I was this excited for a game.

EDIT: Can you still preorder the EU english-language version of the Wizard's Edition?


I want to play this so fucking bad. I need to get myself a PS3 one of these days.

The next generation of consoles will be announced soon, and that means a huge price cut on PS3s, and also (unless Sony are complete morons) backwards compatibility with the previous generation and the 2 before that.

Wretchedest
01-21-2013, 10:44 PM
Yeah i wanted that wizards edition badly, i was watching like a hawk for the preorder period and then got distracted....

liquidcalm
01-22-2013, 03:30 AM
EDIT: Can you still preorder the EU english-language version of the Wizard's Edition?



I think a *few* places still have it... I preordered mine from Zavvi, Amazon had sold out.. I think ShopTo had some stock last week.. Now reviews are out, I see it drying up quickly though..

Jinsai
01-22-2013, 02:46 PM
hmmmm, in the US, the "wizard's edition" was only being sold by Namco/Bandai, and they were really quiet about it.

Wretchedest
01-22-2013, 05:30 PM
the fact that the real wizard book is so rare is kind of criminal, since it seems so essential to the game....

Jinsai
01-22-2013, 05:45 PM
the fact that the real wizard book is so rare is kind of criminal, since it seems so essential to the game....

I picked up the strategy guide, which has a section dedicated to the alchemy formulas and all that, the main map, the list of creatures and familiars, and equipment and item lists... so it's sort of like having the actual book (though the cost of the hardcover guide + game already exceeds the wizard's edition cost).

Wretchedest
01-23-2013, 02:56 AM
I got that too! It's very nice.... apparently in Japan the book also came with the DS version of the game... and you can see throughout this where DS mechanics would fit in, very cleverly.

In the mean time I love the fuck out of this game. It's really perfect. The presentation is insane, the sights, sounds, music, story. The gameplay is fun and interesting. I had high expectations for this game and I'm pleased to see that they are being outdone somehow.

Self.Destructive.Pattern
01-27-2013, 12:39 AM
Well, here is the debacle with the Wizards Edition... http://www.kotaku.com.au/2013/01/ni-no-kuni-makers-respond-to-wizards-edition-fiasco-debunk-conspiracy-theories/

Jinsai
01-27-2013, 02:17 AM
Well, here is the debacle with the Wizards Edition... http://www.kotaku.com.au/2013/01/ni-no-kuni-makers-respond-to-wizards-edition-fiasco-debunk-conspiracy-theories/

well, it's official, the "wizard's edition" of this game is going to be worth ridiculous amounts.

I'm loving the game, but I think I'm going much slower than most people. I really don't want it to end.

Wretchedest
01-27-2013, 02:10 PM
i feel the same way.... its quickly becomin one of my favorite games. it requires a LOT of grinding though, and it took me while to figure out how to get the ally AI to not be stupid.

Jinsai
01-28-2013, 08:28 PM
My only big complaint so far is that I wish there was some way to feed your familiars faster. After a while it can drive you sort of nuts.

Also, does anyone have the hang of the counterattacking thing? I don't quite get it

Wretchedest
01-28-2013, 09:03 PM
I havent managed to get the hang f it.... but i havent really tried. I ended up power leveling on some tokos for a whille and now i just plow through everything. Im almost fifty hours deep and not sure when it will end, but ive been doing a lot of sidequests and grinding...

liquidcalm
02-05-2013, 12:17 PM
my wizards edition just arrived in the post, after I had an email from Zavvi saying "errr we didn't get as many as we were told" on Friday (launch day... cue many frustrated emails.. but ITS HERE.. joy! now, if only I had some time to sit down and play it...

Jinsai
03-10-2013, 07:23 PM
So I liked this game a lot, but it could have been so much better. A lot of the writing was just obnoxious, especially from Drippy. The combat system is also seriously flawed, and not just because your friendly AI is completely moronic and you're stuck with limited access to control your characters. You'll be trying to steal an item, and while Swaine is doing the long animation to pull it off, one of your other characters does a special attack that cancels it. For NO reason. The flow of combat is just ruined by moments like this, and the sad truth is that it doesn't really matter for 90% of the game because most of the fights are incredibly easy. It's only when you're playing the arena or one of the bosses that the issues become obvious.

and the "tactics" portion of your customizable controls is completely baffling in its limitations. I don't need something as complex as the gambit system in Final Fantasy XII (which was great actually), but if you can't quickly swap between your characters at will, you need to be able to give them better commands. Also, what the hell is up with me saying "attack all!!!" and having my characters just stand there doing nothing. You'd think "ATTACK ALL!" would make them, I dunno... attack?

The plot also had a lot more potential. I kept expecting some kind of revelation where Oliver is forced to realize that the other world is just his childish imagination coping with the death of his mother. That is somewhat hinted at as a possibility at the end of the game, but not in any kind of concrete way. Maybe I was just reading into it? Either way, something really powerful and interesting could have been accomplished there, and instead it just went with this literal presentation of the silly fantasy world, with Oliver constantly chirping in with comments like "gee golly jeepers Mr Drippy, that sure is a strange way for fairies to sing!" or some shit.

Another problem with the game is that it encourages you to collect as many familiars as you can, but the leveling system requires you to constantly reset them. Figuring out which familiars you want to stick with is a frustrating and vague process, and once you figure it out you're basically grinding away to get them up to speed. There's a surprising amount of micromanaging going on in this game, and you don't really even take full advantage of a lot of these things until it's too late and you've already beaten the damn game. Some of these alchemy formulas for ultimate weapons take HOURS to collect the items for, and by the time you are even able to get the materials you've already beaten the game and practically all the side missions too. So, great, I've got some super awesome weapon now, and nothing to kill with it.

The side missions are also somewhat of a bummer, and they really overextend the length of the game with fetch quests. You'll run down to the secret forest, talk to the bunny guy, then have to go back into town to check that you accept the bounty hunt, and THEN you go out looking for it. It doesn't help that your character walks incredibly slow, or that to complete some of these missions you'll be treading through unskippable areas that you've already been through with underleveled enemies that still for some reason attack you.

I loved the game on a whole, but there's some really criminal flaws here.

Wretchedest
03-10-2013, 08:47 PM
Actually, the combat system isn't as flawed as a lot of people think, it requires a kind of concrete understanding of it. I tried to go in and just take in everything at face value and I failed pretty hard. When I started to figure out how it worked I started kicking ass, and the secondary characters stopped dumping all their mp, etc. Once you figure out how to keep everyone in check, the combat takes off. I did find it too easy to overgrind on Tokotoko, and for the last quarter or so of the game my party was way overpowered. I agree that combat could have been improved overall, but it wasn't as badly handled as I initially thought. As a whole I enjoyed the combat system.

I also had a different experience choosing familiars. The Wizard's Companion gives you a good idea of what to look for, so I picked twelve I thought were cool and made it work. I actually never got the impression that it wanted me to "catch 'em all" or catch very many of them for that matter, which helped set it apart from pokemon. Although I thought that the typing of them very rarely mattered, so that's a thing. I also felt like the game largely grounds you with most of the familiars you start with, since it can be hard to get newcomers to catch up.

As for the story I still think it was all his imagination. The coping mechanism theory is still strong, and there's still loads of evidence. but they kept it subtle. I liked that. I get what you're saying about him realizing its a fantasy though... I thought the "White Witch" bit was kind of tacked on. The story could have ended strongly after the Dark Djinn. maybe it was one more passage to show how Oliver had grown? I feel like it was SUPPOSED to be some kind of rudimentary fantasy story. Almost meta-archetypal, and at that it succeeded.

I agree about the extra steps with the bunny guy, but I liked the his section and story... A few extra minutes of navigation didn't ruin it for me. i still think its the best RPG in years and years. One of my favorite games.

Jinsai
03-10-2013, 09:33 PM
yeah, I mean, don't get me wrong. It's my favorite game of the year so far, and I've clocked a crazy amount of time into playing it. This is my favorite kind of game, and on a whole, I think it's one of the most original and beautifully realized games I've ever played. I may be coming across as bitchy here, but it's a list of shortcomings. I still loved the game.

That being said, I have to disagree about the way the game encourages you to collect and transform your familiars. Maybe it's the trophy whore in me, but I've been constantly trying to reserve my third familiar slot for characters I'm just trying to morph. Throughout the game I've always been unsure of what the best ones are, and even following some guides online I was disappointed in the end result. I'm sure there was a better way to go about it, but leveling up a creature in its third form takes a long time, even if you're hunting those toko creatures.

And I don't agree about the combat system. I think on a whole it's fine, and trust me, I've been playing the game for over 90 hours now, I have a pretty deep understanding of how it works. It's just got some lame quirks. Like, okay, I see the attack coming, but I can't cancel the spell I'm casting and go to block for some reason, or I see that I'm about to get hit with a huge attack and here let me navigate the menu bubbles quick enough to get to defennnnnnnnnnnnnnnn... too late. It's not like the L2 and R2 trigger buttons are being used during battle. Why not have those = attack and defend? That would have been a huge improvement for me. And why do some ally attacks cancel my current action? It seems almost completely random there. The "cut loose" attack will stop any attack or ability you're prepping. It makes no sense.

I can see the value in keeping the story ambiguous. I didn't need it to take a sudden dark turn (though I guess I probably would have appreciated it?). I just was hoping it would make a more profound statement, because the opportunity was definitely there.

I mean, I offer all these complaints, but I'm playing the game right now. I still like it. Maybe my biggest frustration is that I can see how this easily could have been one of my favorite games ever, but it's got these nagging (and in my opinion blatant) issues.

On a side note, the Zero Punctuation review makes some good (if exaggerated) points about some of the game's shortcomings (http://www.escapistmagazine.com/videos/view/zero-punctuation/6830-Ni-No-Kuni-Wrath-Of-The-White-Witch)

Wretchedest
03-10-2013, 10:24 PM
Yeah. with games this good, I often get more nitpicky than usual.

I never put too much effort into familiar collecting but I found that Honky Tonker is by far the best one. His stats are off the charts, and he gets abilities that fuck up the entire enemy team in one shot. Lesser Nyad makes the best healer... and there's a dinosaur one that I heard is fairly OP although I was never able to find it and can't remember its name... Really I just picked all the ones that I thought looked the coolest.

I was able to grind them up super quick on TokoTocold (before the white which) and also on the tokotoko in that peruvian valley. It's pretty easy to reset both of those areas to get them to respawn. I was able to max out the level of a new creature, all the way to third stage, level 99 in two hours on tokotocold. It broke the game for me super fast. That's super grindy though... I guess it would be a huge pain if you were trying to do it to ALL of them.

liquidcalm
03-11-2013, 04:28 AM
While I am only about 25 hours into the game I am still really enjoying it. I will say most of the flaws you guys have pointed out are occasional bug bears for me, mostly with the combat system, I hate the clunkiness of switching characters and once you are in command of Oliver and co, selecting actions is actually quite difficult.

I think because where I live I don't find Mr Drippy (and the other fairies) annoying, I live in Wales, and that is exactly what parts of Wales sound like. Aside from Oliver and Esther the voice acting is really strong, not because they are particularly great performances, but but there seems to have been an effort to account for accent and tone, which I really respect. I just wish there was more of it.

Jinsai
03-11-2013, 04:48 AM
I think because where I live I don't fisnd Mr Drippy (and the other fairies) annoying, I live in Wales, and that is exactly what parts of Wales sound like. Aside from Oliver and Esther the voice acting is really strong, not because they are particularly great performances, but but there seems to have been an effort to account for accent and tone, which I really respect. I just wish there was more of it.

Maybe part of my issue is I've been playing it w/ Japanese audio and english subtitles, while I understand a good deal of the JP audio. The translation on this game has been very.... experimental. And maybe it works out as a true localization, but the "dubtitles" have been bothering me a bit. I can't cite this as a fault though. If that translation helps carry the game forward for western players, that can only be a good thing.

I will say I'm sick to death of reading "mr drippy's" intentionally misspelled crap. I don't need the text to spell out his "youer" bullshit. If that's the way he talks in the english translation, then ok, fine, but let's cut the shit on the subtitles please. ALSO, it's about time kids learned the difference between "you're" and "your," so....

I know it's a really minor bitchy complaint, but it really started to irk me after a while.

liquidcalm
03-12-2013, 02:31 PM
I know it's a really minor bitchy complaint, but it really started to irk me after a while.

Ha! That reminds me of the old Star Wars books I used to get from the library where they would spell out R2D2 as AretooDeeToo and CeeThreePeOh. Annoyed my tits off.

It'd be well worth giving the english voices a whirl, I think they really add something to the game, and I don't usually enjoy voice acting in JRPGs at all, be it Japanese or a dub.

Also wanna add (with out rubbing it in to anyone who didn't get a copy) that having the Wizards Companion in front of you while you play is a lovely thing. For some reason it just makes the world and story that much more engaging. If you missed a wizards edition I'm sure there are scans/PDFs. It reminds me of when I went through Demon's Souls with the EU guidebook/wiki.. its like having that extra link with the world.

liquidcalm
05-25-2013, 09:02 AM
FINALY beat this last night.. So nice to have a load of post-game quests etc to venture through too.. looking forward to chasing some more errands and bounty hunts. Take that DLC packs.

Quite liked the simple ending too. No spoilers but it was much preferred over the usual barrage of twists that end most RPGS.

sa_nick
05-28-2013, 04:25 AM
The combat's forgivable. The english voice acting is fucking terrible, but thankfully I'm fine with the Japanese audio and english subtitles. The only thing that is annoying is how much the game holds you hand. Everything is explained to hell and just so long winded and the dramatic irony is drawn out to tedium. Anytime you need to use spells or give/draw heart from people you can't just do it, you need to talk to them first. The animated cut scene's are so rare, which kinda sucks too. So many little things just piss me off so fucking much.

That said, it's the best game i've played in the last year. It's just fun and the locations and everything are awesome. It just shows that japan still makes the best RPG's. USRPGs just lack feeling or something.