Review: Ni No Kuni remastered

Six years after its original release, Ni No Kuni returns in the form of a remaster. The game that was made in collaboration with studio Ghibli is still beautiful with its excellent world building and animation. But this time in slightly higher resolutions.

The story, of course, has remained the same. This isn't a director's cut, it's simply a remaster. There are therefore no new features. Anyone who played the game six years ago will enjoy the remaster just as much. The Ni No Kuni remaster may be better suited for people who haven't been able to play the original game.

Story

Players take on the role of Oliver and start out in the quiet village of Motorville. When Oliver's mother dies, he must make the journey to another world in hopes of getting her back one day. He is accompanied by Drippy, a strange fairy-like creature with a lantern on his nose. The voice acting that was used for Drippy makes the game perhaps the best in the English dub. Drippy is one of the most enjoyable partners a JRPG can offer you. Although he can sometimes talk a little too much, he always remains very capable.
However, Ni No Kuni will take you by the hand. Drippy plays a major role in this. During your journey you will learn new games and tricks that can help you solve puzzles. But whether you're up against a huge boss or facing a big puzzle, Drippy will always tell you what to do. Those who expect a big challenge will not feel at home in this game. Ni No Kuni therefore does not like the challenge. The story and the beautiful animations that come with it ensure that this is a game that will stay with you.

Gameplay

Ni No Kuni plays like a typical JRPG with slightly different combat systems. Players will have to walk over a world map in a top down like view and can enter an area every now and then. Whether it's cities, caves, forests or mountains, the camera will change and show more detail. In these areas, many NPCs are waiting with their own problems and quests for you to solve for them. The completionist will therefore be busy for hours with Ni No Kuni.

On the large world map you will be given different options to move around. So you will eventually have to leave for other islands to continue the story. Enemies you will encounter in the form of blob-like creatures or one of the familiars. An enemy encounter with familiars will usually consist of a fight against several of the creatures. So it will not be the case that you only compete against the enemy that you have seen on the map. If you have a lower level than the enemies they will run towards you when they see you. If you've made it to a higher level than the enemies in an area, they will run away in fear. Sometimes, though, it's worth going after the enemies because they give you a lot of EXP or items every now and then.
However, you will also be able to obtain items through alchemy. Players can mix a certain number of items to achieve new results. In it you will have the choice to follow recipes or to choose a mix and match option.
The combat in Ni No Kuni consists of a turn-based construction in which you can move freely. This adds a strategic element as you can position yourself to avoid enemy attacks. During the battles you will use familiars. These are creatures you'll be up against more often. If you manage to impress these creatures, they will make themselves available to be added to your team.
This will also give you the opportunity to build a diverse team in addition to the characters you encounter with familiars that all have their own strengths and can also make a metamorphosis to change into a stronger form.
This system gives the combat a slightly more dynamic feel than most turn based games can offer you.

Playtime

Ni No Kuni is a really long game. The storyline alone will keep you busy for many hours. Whoever still goes out to complete all errands, side quests and missions will be busy for weeks. You can also choose to collect all spells, familiars and weapons.
However, Ni No Kuni is not a game where you will need that. Depending on which difficulty you choose, that will of course be slightly more or less, but it is not a game in which you will have to grind a lot. If you don't make too much effort to avoid enemy encounters, you will never be below the level that is recommended for an area.

 Conclusion

Anyone who is a true JRPG enthusiast will enjoy Ni No Kuni. Those who love compelling stories will also be deeply impressed by the game. However, keep in mind that this is a heavy text based game with a low difficulty level in which almost everything will be told to you. Despite a number of minor flaws, the combat, side missions, errands and extras will keep you busy for a long time. Those who have played the original Ni No Kuni will not find anything new here other than improved graphics. However, if you miss the game because you have left the PS3, this is a great way to play the game again.
For those who are not yet familiar with the game, the remaster is the perfect opportunity to start on a beautiful game with animations that are guaranteed to stay with you.


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