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Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch Review

Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch Review

We're now heading towards the end of this console generation and despite some initial reservations, we've ended up with a ton of great JRPGs to keep fans of the genre satisfied. They've come in all shapes and sizes, but one thing that none of them have so far had is direct input from one of the world's most famous animation studios, Studio Ghibli. It's for this reason that Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch has made people sit up and take notice and it's with good reason too - this one of the generation's best JRPGs.

Ni No Kuni focusses on the story of a rather slight young man called Oliver. He hails from the town of Motorville, but before long he finds himself in a rather different world. After learning of his existence, the White Witch tries to prevent the arrival of "the chosen one" by causing what should have been a fatal accident. It's not Oliver who ends up suffering though, as his mother ends up sacrificing her life to save him.

Oliver mourns the loss of his mother, but soon after his tears awake Drippy, his faithful doll who turns out to be Lord High Lord of the Fairies. Without wasting any time, Drippy tells Oliver of his world's plight, but Oliver refuses to help until he realises there's a chance he can save his mother's life in Drippy's world.

The story plays with some interesting concepts, but the central theme is about the hearts of people. One of the game's antagonists, Shadar, steals pieces of people's hearts and because of this, you have to spend a lot of time fixing them up. It helps to show why people might act in certain ways and the message here is clearly that people sometimes aren't themselves. But it's not because they want to be, it's because they're lacking in something. It might be that they're lacking belief, courage or enthusiasm, but once it's restored they will become the people that others once knew and loved.

Despite the White Witch being the overall antagonist, Shadar is the one who you'll encounter most often throughout the game. He perhaps isn't the most menacing of people due to the art style employed, but it's interesting that his evil doesn't come from rampant destruction. There have been many antagonists through history, but you might struggle to find one who will destroy a city by stealing the hearts of all the citizens and it's a nice deviation from the norm.

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