Ni Ko Kuni Returns to the Spotlight


Teagan Burns

Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the Witch on the Nintendo Switch

Teagan Burns, Staff Writer

After 8 long years in the waiting, Studio Ghibli’s Ni No Kuni: Wrath Of The White Witch makes its way back to the limelight in it’s port to the Nintendo Switch, PS4, and PC.

Ever since its initial release on the PS3, Ni No Kuni has been a standout in the Japanese role playing genre (JRPG), and with its re-release, many fans can relive the initial charm that sparked them when they first played. Additionally, new fans now have the opportunity to see why this game has stuck with so many people.

Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch takes place in the humble town of Motorville where the player is introduced to a young boy named Oliver, as well as other residents in the town. However, tragedy falls when Oliver unexpectedly loses his mother. Heartbroken, Oliver embraces a plush doll his mother had gifted him only to witness the plush come to life, and reveal himself as a fairy named Mr. Drippy. He then explains how he is from another world in which he had been cursed by an evil mage named Shadar. The mage declared, since Oliver lifted his curse, that must mean he is the pure-hearted one, or the one destined to defeat Shadar and return peace to the other world. Although Oliver initially declines, he becomes convinced when Mr. Drippy explains there is a chance it could bring back his mom. Thus begins Oliver’s journey to stop Shadar and restore peace to the otherworld.

When first entering the otherworld, Oliver receives a magic wand, which is where the main gameplay comes in. With the addition of the wand, Oliver can cast various spells allowing him to solve complex puzzles littered throughout the world. Where the wand really comes in handy, though, is in combat. When using the wand to cast spells in battle, a small timer appears indicating when the player can cast their next  spell.

Taken by Teagan Burns
Screenshot of gameplay

Additionally, Oliver can summon a familiar magic-based creature. Once tamed, it is able to fight alongside the player in battle. The player will eventually receive two other party members who can also carry around familiars.

Where the development team Level-5 really hits home is in Ni No Kuni’s animation, with the game being animated and developed by the beloved Studio Ghibli. Ghibli is known for their various films such as My Neighbor Totoro, Ponyo, and Howls Moving Castle, just to name a few.

“The animation is the visual equivalent of getting into a warm blanket when the heating does not work and it is cold outside,” said senior Storm Travis.

Along with Ni No Kuni’s stellar animation, the game also shines in its music; Composed by Joe Hisaishi who has worked on many Studio Ghibli films. He decided to compose the game after witnessing the teams dedication and passion.

“The music is great at creating a sense of mood and emotion, while not becoming dull or repetitive,” said senior Weston Hirvela.

Overall, Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch is an absolute treat to play. The game truly shows the amount of love Level-5 put into the game. It is filled to the brink with as much charm and whimsy from any Studio Ghibli film.