Hands-on at gamescom: Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch

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Hands-on at gamescom: Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch

Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch gamescom screens

While waiting to get hands-on with Dishonored here at gamescom (impressions shared in this week’s PlayStation.Blogcast), I ran into an acquaintance from Namco Bandai. He invited me to their booth to experience the two new demos for Ni no kuni: Wrath of the White Witch being shown. I didn’t pass on the opportunity, if nothing else, as an excuse to share beautiful new screens and video with you. Parts of what I saw are showcased in this new gamescom trailer, so do your eyes a favor and roll the video:

When launching the first demo, the demonstrator made a point of showing that the game features a Japanese language voiceover selection option. This is a frequent request from JRPG fans, so rest assured that matter is settled.

The first demo, “An Errand for Father Oak,” takes place very early in the game as diminutive hero-in-training Oliver is trying to get to the Ding Dong Dell, the Cat King’s Castle. When the downtrodden gate guard won’t let you in, you’ll have to venture into the forest to capture “vigor” from forest denizens in a special jar to pep him up and let you in. While this all sounds ridiculous, Ni no Kuni comes off as incredibly charming in person, due in no small part to its stunning visuals.

Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch gamescom screensNi No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch gamescom screens

The second demo, “Eruption Interruption,” takes place further into the game, and shows off a somewhat more serious side to Ni no Kuni. This volcano setting is a far cry from the verdant fields we’ve seen from the game thus far – it’s closer to Mount Doom. The visual effects here look great, with flowing lava and heat wave effects blurring the scenery. The scene has players performing some mild platforming actions, such as shimmying along a cliff face, avoiding erupting steam vents.

At the peak of the caldera, the plucky team is pitted against a big boss: Moltaan, Lord of Lava. This is where it became clear that despite the cutesy visuals, this is a real, challenging game. Moltaan looms so large that he doesn’t always fit on screen, and the battle was suitably epic, lasting nearly 10 minutes and pushing the heroes to the brink of defeat.

The more I’ve seen of Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch, the tougher the wait until its Western release on January 22nd is becoming.

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  • AHHHH I’m so excited!

  • We need the Wizard’s Edition in Canada.

  • This freaking game looks so damn awesome!!!! I’m going to get the Wizard’s Edition!

  • Will this gave have a demo or something?

  • looks amazing!!

  • a level 5 game = buy from me, this game looks really good , im not an rpg kinda guy but i have played level 5 games for over 2 almost 3 generations already, love them.

  • Can’t wait for this game. Thank you so much for having dual audio on this release. I really wish more JRPGs had the original japanese voice track included *looking at you Persona series*. So thanks again.

    @2 completely agree. I cannot get it through namco/bandai club due to it only shipping to US. Bring the wizard’s edition to Canada. “…hangs like the sleeve of a wizard…” :D

  • i want it now!!! lol

  • Trailer isn’t new, it’s the exact same one from E3. =\ Only real difference is the European rating and showing the different editions at the end…

    Anyway, been looking forward to this game for awhile and have had it pre-ordered since Amazon allowed it, thankfully I have a ton of other things (including a backlog that keeps expanding faster than I can get through the games) to keep me busy in my free time.

  • I still can’t over how stupid that name is.
    Besides the fact that Ni No Kuni actually translates into Another World in english, they actually say another world in the game!
    Nothing against the actual game itself, it looks great and I’m a big fan of Studio Ghibli, but it’s almost as if Namco Bandai doesn’t want it to sell! Imagine if the Tales games were called the ‘Teiruzu’ series.

    It just doesn’t make sense.

    Also; Wizard’s Edition for Canada.

  • Can’t wait!!! This generation has been horrible for JRPG’s… but I think Ni no Kuni can make up for it.

  • Wow… stunning! I’m not usually into lengthy RPGs, but this will definitely be an exception. Excellent job Namco, Ghiblii, & Level-5!!!

  • I agree with the others above. Canada needs a way to get the Wizard’s edition. I would pre-order in a heartbeat if they made that available here.

  • Underrated GOTY of 2013!

  • I played this a bit at E3 and loved it. The visuals were amazing, and I really enjoyed the battle system. The world map was gorgeous. I’ve always been a fan of Level 5’s games, and I love the old school JRPG feel of this one. It’s one of my top game purchases for next year for sure.

    I just wish I had more time to play RPGs these days. Between work and wife, I don’t have as much game time as I like. Most of my gaming has been on the bus to and from work on the Vita. I’d kill for a Vita port of Ni No Kuni!

  • I am overly disappointed with Level 5, and will not be purchasing this due to the fact they and other affiliated companies denied North American and Europe the same treatment as Japan by making a game Japan exclusive only yet it’s on our game disc. White Knight chronicles 2, was Level 5’s production of a great online game and yet now they do more RPG’s. I was going to buy this but noticed it was Level 5 based, and reading some comments that now Canada doesn’t get the special edition? This isn’t the first time of them not giving everyone equal treatment. Overall just very sad by this company and the publishers affiliated with it.

    Want this game it looks great, good graphics and everything was a big fan of DragonQuest of theirs, but it makes me wonder if Japan has a better version of The White Witch and we get half a game like last time. Buy at your own risk.

  • ‘When launching the first demo, the demonstrator made a point of showing that the game features a Japanese language voiceover selection option. This is a frequent request from JRPG fans, so rest assured that matter is settled.’

    And that’s one of the reason why this game is a day one purchase. God bless whoever responsible for that decision :)

  • Hopefully it sells well. I’ve heard that they want to do a sequel but it will depend entirely on sales.

  • I’ve had this pre-ordered on Amazon for as long as it’s been possible but I am also thinking about changing to the Wizard’s Edition from club Bandai. We have until Aug 31st.

    Gamescon has been great. Terrific announcements, which I hope weren’t just for the Euros, & a proper emphasis on Vita. Slam-dunk!

  • The game looks amazing! As a studio ghibli fan I can’t wait for this game to be released. I might pick up a ps3 just to play this game. I wish they were releasing it for my vita though!!!!! :)

  • Already pre-ordered the super fancy Wizard’s Edition. January can’t come soon enough :)

  • This game is incredibly good looking and the voice acting sounds superb :D Cant waiiit!!!

  • Oh yea, I’m looking forward to playing this game when it finally hits NA.

    I even got the Wizards edition booked….Oh wait, they seem to be dragging their feet on getting some copies for Canada. Sorry man, that sorta bites the big one on customer service.

    That’s like saying “Here you go Europe, have a fancy special edition”.
    All the while skipping the heavily demanded US release.
    “Bugger off you”

    But in all seriousness, its something of interest to me.
    I really want to play the game as it was originally intended to be played.

  • Please bring it to the PS Vita!!!!!!

  • Looks good. I’m really digging the art style.

  • “New gamecom trailer”-this is the E3 trailer with the EU rating….

    btw I think January is a better time to release Sly Cooper. Its only got Ni no Kuni. February has BioShock Infinite, MGS Rising, and more.

  • Cannot wait! day 1

  • The protagonist for this game should be in Playstation All-Stars.

  • Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch, Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time & Assassin’s Creed III is my three most anticipated games, I can’t wait!!

  • Please please please make a post with a link to the Ninostarter for the Wizard’s Edition of the game! The more people preorder it, the more extras they pack in the box! So far they’re including a set of 5 Ni no Kuni Prints and the next tier is for an exclusive Ni no Kuni Wizard’s Coin.

  • Why is the White Witch Edition exclusive to their website?!! >:(

  • Amen, I want to Wizard Edition in Canada. Stupid Namco. D:<

  • You know this seriously looks as if miyazaki made the art and graphics for this game. I really like the concept and all. Im sure to buy this on day 1 positively, its just amazing.

  • Anyone that’s planning on getting the Wizard’s Edition should pre-order it from their website. The more pre-orders they get, the more stuff they pack into the Wizard’s Edition at no extra cost.

  • kinda reminds me of The Last Guardian…but this one is real and it’s coming out soon

  • OMG I can’t wait for this to drop on 1/22/13! I have loved and admired everything that Studio Ghibli has put out. They are such a great animation studio. This is the absolute melding of my favorite movies and video games. Brilliant!

  • What happened to Level 5, they’ve seem to have been rather quite for quite a long time? Good to see them make new games, I found out that they don’t make many US games as of late but more so Japanese exclusives. Any word on this coming to the Vita. I kind of despise home consoles, because they’re productivity killers. I can keep my vita by my computer and turn it on and off as I need to and get back to work. Though now that I live on my own and in a small condo it realistically may not pose the same issues as it did when i had the computer and TV in separate rooms.

    Any news about this getting the vita treatment?

  • this is ONE jrpg that I think the English voice overs have a descent cast and audio. Like Final Fantasy XII (12) and a few others from back in the day using British Actors is the key to winning a gamer like me over on the English voice overs

    the game sold me a wild back on the import version and due to the way in which the story carried itself, I can’t see why a lot of rpg fans won’t give this a chance

  • Can not wait to play this! Voice acting sounds really good (looks like I don’t need the Japaneses voice overs for this one.)
    **Note: I absolutely prefer (for a number of reasons) the Japaneses voice overs for the very large majority of the Japaneses imported titles ….. Just in case you’re listening Play-station blog.

  • The game looks great and I cant to see more of it as the mouths go by, I agree with everyone on here about the voice acting. It’s great and I can help to think that art work and style of the anime is the same as anime called howles flying castle and other I know. If so that great add to the fan base.

  • Will the Wizard’s Editioin come to the States too? I hope so. :D

  • I will buy this on day one for sure! The game looks incredible and I always LOVED Studio Ghibli.

    There is NOT ENOUGH JRPGs this generation. I’m also still waiting for FFvs13… Now I’m actually hoping to see it directly on the PS4 next year instead. It would be a great incentive to buy it at launch at least! ^_^

  • @Zezzler

    There already was a game published in the US called “Another World”, recently ported to iOS, which means they need to get permission of the trademark owner to use it, or keep Ni No Kuni.

  • This has just moved to the top of my RPG games watch list.

    Make a Vita Version

    Change it to “Another World: Wrath of the White Witch”

    just the white witch business makes me think of Narnia maybe they could just make a new title for western audiences altogether.

    Even still I’ll likely break down and pickup the game in January looks stunning and it is cute and charming enough that my GF probably wouldn’t object to me making her sit through it. (anything with Level 5 gets my attention)

    All you collectors ed obsessed forget you could just buy more games with that money. Pre order incentives are bad enough.

  • This just in: You can preorder the Wizard’s Edition in Canada! I bitched via email to them which hopefully other people did too, but now you can select it. Apparently shipping to Canada is cheaper than in the US.. Hmm :P One thing that isn’t done is tax so it might be billed separately by a company at customs and billed later. Other than that, everyone should preorder from Canada before the end of the month..

  • Hai i’m really want this game..will it be release on ps Vita?

  • @Zezzler there is already a game in america named “Another World” so they couldn’t get the copyright, so calling it “Ni No Kuni” is actually a bit of a loop hole (as it literally mans Another World) around said copyright while at the same time appealing to otaku’s like us who are already interested in the game.

  • Every time I see something about this game I look at the calendar “So, has this been released yet?”

    Man, I want this game SO MUCH.

  • Wow this game looks amazing!
    It reminds me very much of the studio ghibli films I love
    this is a definetly a game I will get a.s.a.p.

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