“There’s Marvelous!”

Well if you didn’t fancy dusting off your PS3 to play Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch, now there is no need to as PS4, Switch and PC players can all revel in its beauty. This remastered version contains everything the PS3 version while adding 4k support although the switch version will be more like the original.

Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch is one of the greatest JRPG’s to come out this decade and ended up with a sequel which had a lot to live up to which sadly for me it didn’t. Fortunately, the game has seen a re-release meaning new and old fans can play the original game again on modern consoles. Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch is a team effort from Studio Ghibli and Level-5 where the game offers a unique style using great character design of what you would expect of Studio Ghibli with great cel-shaded graphical enhancements and game design from Level-5.

The village of Motorville is just one of many picturesque places in Ni No Kuni

Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch follows the story of Oliver who finds himself travelling between two worlds after tragedy strikes in his small town of Motorville, soon you become acquainted with a talking fairy doll that has come to life, Drippy talks in a heavy Welsh accent and has a lantern dangling from his nose. He is so unique as a character as he always stays true and serious to the situation but can be seen in the background fumbling about with hats or falling over himself in emotional cut-scenes. His constant overuse of phrases such as “there’s tidy” and “ent it” never gets old. Oliver is a young boy who at first appears emotional but hardens up to what is happening and Drippy supports him throughout the game.

The charm of Ni No Kuni makes it unique and it does contain the tropes of your typical JRPG, go find the sages of the world and restore order but it does it in a way that hasn’t been done before, this is because of how child-friendly Ni No Kuni is. There is an abundance of charming dialogue and while this is typical of something you would see in a children’s cartoon, to see it in a JRPG is unique. There are many types of inhabitants too such as walking felines, birds and owls which creates a new level of dialogue as they all talk in puns depending on their race.

Combat is a blend of real-time and using commands, Oliver takes control of familiars which are the monsters of the world, while he can initially battle by himself Oliver is very weak so using familiars is a necessity once you acquire them. In battle you can send a familiar into the fray to attack, you can pick optional commands based on what they have learned but this will use MP. On occasion enemies will drop green and blue glims which will heal your familiars HP and MP respectively should you go for them, this usually happens when you counter an enemies attack, should you get lucky a golden glim will appear allowing whoever collects it to use their signature special move which can really turn the tide of battle. Once the story progresses enough you will be able to recruit more familiars into your party, almost all in the game besides bosses can join your party and once strong enough can change into bigger, stronger familiars, this is done by levelling them and feeding them treats based on their strongest attributes. Getting a familiar to join you is not as easy as it sounds, any attack that would otherwise defeat an enemy has a chance that will make a familiar fall in love, you could attack and defeat them or serenade them to join your party meaning they are yours to keep, this can take some time as I have spent a good while without getting any opportunity to get familiars while other times I have had many, so recruiting all will certainly take some time.

As you progress through Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch you will come across many troubled citizens who are all heartbroken. Fixing their hearts requires a dose of what it is they are missing be it Courage or Kindness, by taking a sample from someone bursting with too much of it you can heal the people’s hearts and obtain some very helpful rewards, this is a big part not only for the games main scenario but for the side quests also. Ni No Kunis world is vast and initially will take you hours getting through most of the game until you, of course, find faster transport and also the magic spell allowing you to instantly teleport to previously explored isles. The vast world is vibrant and nothing ever feels the same, Motorville is a 1950s style town completely different from the other world which contains many forests, gloomy swamps and uncharted seas and islands to explore. The music also has a grand emphasis on adventure and each track compliments the environment perfectly.

Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch remastered is essentially a re-issue of the PS3 game bought to modern consoles. While no new content has been added it is still one of the best JRPGs to date and an experience that many will enjoy.

A PlayStation 4 Review Code was provided by Bandai Namco