'Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch'
Sony PlayStation 3
ESRB rating: Teen
Review rating: 4.0 stars
It's not surprising that Japanese Role-Playing Games (JRPGs) were eclipsed by action RPGs soon after Japan lost its worldwide domination of game development. Nowadays it's difficult to find a good old-school JRPG on any console. Fortunately, the PS3-exclusive title, "Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch" is just as enjoyable to watch as it is to play!
This lengthy game centers on a young boy named Oliver who is in despair after the tragic death of his mother. He meets an unusual fairy who whisks him away to a fantasy realm, teaches him magic and helps him prepare to save the day. For some reason, saving this magical realm might also bring Oliver's mother back to life, and that's all the motivation he needs.
One cool feature is that this daunting journey takes the wizard-in-training all over both the new-found fantasy realm and also his familiar Earthly neighborhood. Both areas, as well as every aspect of the game, are so beautifully rendered that they also motivate players to explore every inch possible!
Exploration will inevitably lead to countless combat encounters, which are the highlight of the game. Players form traditional small parties for combat out of their characters, but they can also utilize Familiars. These are small creatures found throughout the game that are highly effective in combat, and they can even learn new moves. Unlike a certain other game, players don't "gotta catch 'em all" to win or even enjoy playing.
Anyone who doesn't like the combat might as well stop playing because it takes a lot of "grinding" (fighting monsters just to level up) to defeat tough enemies. Grinding is common among JRPGs, but newcomers to the genre may find that it becomes monotonous.
"Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch" has a few small hurdles to overcome, but the overall game is fun and delightful!'Devil May Cry'