Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch Review

OuendanCyrus

New member
Jun 16, 2010
250
0
0
I have to wait til February to get this game, can't wait, it looks brilliant. Guess, I'll occupy myself with more Xillia 2 in the meantime.
 

Elamdri

New member
Nov 19, 2009
1,481
0
0
Our young hero is Oliver, a brainless gorp of a child who lacks the deductive reasoning skill of your average sandwich bag.
...DAAAAMN Susan. That's harsh.
 

Mamzelle_Kat

New member
Aug 23, 2010
70
0
0
Elamdri said:
Our young hero is Oliver, a brainless gorp of a child who lacks the deductive reasoning skill of your average sandwich bag.
...DAAAAMN Susan. That's harsh.
That was my favourite quote from the whole review xD

OT: this is pretty much what I expected: beautiful landscapes/artstyle, but tedious gameplay. I'm glad Susan's review draws a different picture from Kotaku's hyped up articles.
 

Susan Arendt

Nerd Queen
Jan 9, 2007
7,222
0
0
Eeesh. I like the art style and the familiars stuff sounds fun, and it's already more interesting than most of the stuff on the market by the virtue of not taking place behind a gun barrel, but it also sounds like it includes everything I hate about JRPGs. Maybe I'll wait for a price cut or two before checking this one out...
 

Crimson_Dragoon

Biologist Supreme
Jul 29, 2009
795
0
0
Wow, really not expecting this review. Every other one I've read has been nothing but how perfect the game is (including talking about how great the main character is). I'm not saying this review is wrong (a. haven't played it yet, b. knowing Susan, this is probably the most dead on and honest one out there), just surprising.

Still, I've had my eye on this game a long time, and the positives, particularly that art, are enough to warrant a purchase.
 

Eclipse Dragon

Lusty Argonian Maid
Legacy
Jul 7, 2020
4,259
12
13
Country
United States
I've played so many jrpgs that grinding just comes naturally anyway.
Judging by the demo, I might have to grind 20 or so battles right off the bat, just to get a handle on the battle system.

For those looking to compare/contrast I suggest reading Jim's review here. [http://www.destructoid.com/review-ni-no-kuni-wrath-of-the-white-witch-242794.phtml]
Also 3.5 out of 5 is not a bad score... it's above average.
 

Susan Arendt

Nerd Queen
Jan 9, 2007
7,222
0
0
Elamdri said:
I kinda wish this was a video review.
We'll be following up with a video!

Eclipse Dragon said:
I've played so many jrpgs that grinding just comes naturally anyway.
Judging by the demo, I might have to grind 20 or so battles right off the bat, just to get a handle on the battle system.
So here's the problem with that. You don't get multiple familiars for yonks, and adding companions takes even longer. So you won't really begin getting the hang of the combat's potential until, oh...I'd say a good 15 or so hours in.
 

Kuredan

Hingle McCringleberry
Dec 4, 2012
166
0
0
Susan, thank you for saving me $60. It looked pretty, but I was hoping it would divert from and not adhere to JRPG tropes. Back to Professor Layton and waiting for the next Miyazaki movie.
 

Eclipse Dragon

Lusty Argonian Maid
Legacy
Jul 7, 2020
4,259
12
13
Country
United States
Susan Arendt said:
So here's the problem with that. You don't get multiple familiars for yonks, and adding companions takes even longer. So you won't really begin getting the hang of the combat's potential until, oh...I'd say a good 15 or so hours in.
I wasn't really talking about using the battle system to it's full potential immediately, I was just thinking about knowing it enough to not get my arse handed to me tooooo often... Did you at any point want to break your controller?
 

Susan Arendt

Nerd Queen
Jan 9, 2007
7,222
0
0
Eclipse Dragon said:
Susan Arendt said:
So here's the problem with that. You don't get multiple familiars for yonks, and adding companions takes even longer. So you won't really begin getting the hang of the combat's potential until, oh...I'd say a good 15 or so hours in.
I wasn't really talking about using the battle system to it's full potential immediately, I was just thinking about knowing it enough to not get my arse handed to me tooooo often... Did you at any point want to break your controller?
Oh god. So many times. All the time. You will, in all seriousness, handle yourself well in a boss fight and then get one-shotted by the first random monster you run into in the next area. The little fantasy squirrel is more lethal than the enormous boss you just killed? I'm sorry, WHAT?

Mechanically, the battle system is easy to understand and use - but once you start getting more options, and, say, want to switch between familiars so one can cast a buff before another does his attack, or you want to switch to your companion so you can heal the party or recruit a new familiar...that's when it gets clunky.
 

StriderShinryu

New member
Dec 8, 2009
4,987
0
0
That difficulty cliff.. I mean curve sounds a lot like 7th Saga on the SNES. I really wanted to like that game, the characters and mechanics were really cool, but the extremely forced grind elements literally had you stuck for hours fighting random mobs just so you were strong enough to cross a bridge or pass a cave into the next area. Fight a boss? Great! Now get killed by the next random mosquito you run into! It killed any enjoyment the game offered and even after repeated play attempts I never made it more than maybe 20 hours into the game.
 

axlryder

victim of VR
Jul 29, 2011
1,862
0
0
I'm far more partial to Jim's review on this, having played a Japanese copy of the game myself for a bit (not beaten it though). I simply don't agree with Susan here. I think she's just mentally approaching the game with a different mindset than what it was trying to deliver. Nothing wrong with that, of course. Though I also personally don't think the battle system is as clunky as she makes it out to be.
 

Callate

New member
Dec 5, 2008
5,118
0
0
That's disappointing to hear. Certainly even Studio Ghibli has made its mis-steps, but I'd much rather see them attached to a game that one would willingly play if it wasn't accompanied by their artistic touch- and it sounds like that isn't the case with White Witch.
 

l3o2828

New member
Mar 24, 2011
955
0
0
Sounds absolutely terrible.
And it reminds me of my experience with Dark Cloud 2
'Oh hey, Gamespot says this is the playstation's Zelda, and the game looks absolutely gorgeous'
*Plays it*
'Oh god the gameplay is shit D:...And the characters are fucking idiotic....and the mechanics are poorly implemented...HOW DID THIS GET A 9.0?!'

And after that i never trusted Gamespot on anything, ever.
(That and them giving Silent Hill 2 a 7.2 , jackasses)
 

axlryder

victim of VR
Jul 29, 2011
1,862
0
0
l3o2828 said:
Sounds absolutely terrible.
And it reminds me of my experience with Dark Cloud 2
'Oh hey, Gamespot says this is the playstation's Zelda, and the game looks absolutely gorgeous'
*Plays it*
'Oh god the gameplay is shit D:...And the characters are fucking idiotic....and the mechanics are poorly implemented...HOW DID THIS GET A 9.0?!'

And after that i never trusted Gamespot on anything, ever.
(That and them giving Silent Hill 2 a 7.2 , jackasses)
to be fair, I was extremely excited for Dark Cloud 2 when it came out.

I beat it, and was left wondering what all the fuss was about for its underdeveloped world and only occasional moments of interest.

I enjoyed ni-no-kuni quite a bit more. If anything I found it more genuinely charming.
 

Lvl 64 Klutz

Crowsplosion!
Apr 8, 2008
2,338
0
0
That was a very interesting review. I don't know, maybe I was reading it wrong but most of the review seemed to be loathe and hatred for the game, then it's summed up as "All things considered, not a bad game."

I've also heard from another reviewer I trust that the difficulty can be brutal. Given my experience with the second part of the demo I can see that as believable. I also think the problem with Oliver isn't a problem with him so much as the writers putting in needless hand-holding for the player. Well, hand-holding as far as "where to go next."
 

Fiz_The_Toaster

books, Books, BOOKS
Legacy
Apr 8, 2020
5,498
1
3
Country
United States
I've read a couple other reviews of this game, and I think this one is bit more honest about the grinding. I like grinding and I like to think of of it as going into a zen like state and whatnot. From what I can tell this game won't let me do that, unless I'm reading into that, but I don't think it will be that big of a problem for me.

Still, I was excited when I heard that this was a thing, and I will still get it despite some of the BS difficulty that it seems to pull. Never played a Level 5 game, so why not start here.
 

RandV80

New member
Oct 1, 2009
1,507
0
0
Susan Arendt said:
Elamdri said:
I kinda wish this was a video review.
We'll be following up with a video!
Well good, I was about to suggest the Escapist was short changing this game by not having a video review ;)

Review score is understandable, really depends on whether or not your a fan of the classic JRPG style. Not a lot of people are and JRPG's started streaming these elements out of the genre in the latter SNES days. If you're for it it's probably a 5/5 game, if not 3.5/5 seems about right. I'm definitely for it, for example I just got into a Genesis collection on Steam and have started through the Phantasy Star series, going to beat #2 this time without using a map book. Finding it much better this way actually because I'm spending a lot more time taking multiple attempts to figure out my way through these ridiculous dungeons that I haven't needed to do any mindless grinding to afford new equipment.

...Unfortunately I still need to get a PS3 so can't play Ni No Kuni will have to wait. This is the game to finally sell me on the system though.
 

GundamSentinel

The leading man, who else?
Aug 23, 2009
4,448
0
0
With this one I'm cautious not to let my love of Ghibli get the better or me. Personally, I don't have much against grinding, but I do get easily offput by combat systems that aren't very welcoming from the getgo and silly difficulty fluctuations. I'll just watch a bit before deciding. :)
 

Susan Arendt

Nerd Queen
Jan 9, 2007
7,222
0
0
l3o2828 said:
Sounds absolutely terrible.
And it reminds me of my experience with Dark Cloud 2
'Oh hey, Gamespot says this is the playstation's Zelda, and the game looks absolutely gorgeous'
*Plays it*
'Oh god the gameplay is shit D:...And the characters are fucking idiotic....and the mechanics are poorly implemented...HOW DID THIS GET A 9.0?!'

And after that i never trusted Gamespot on anything, ever.
(That and them giving Silent Hill 2 a 7.2 , jackasses)
Spheda. *shudder*

That said, I actually liked Dark Cloud 2, but then again, I went into it with virtually no expectations. Plus I'm a sucker for anything with photography in it.
 

AldUK

New member
Oct 29, 2010
420
0
0
I haven't played it myself yet, but I have watched quite a few videos. Seems to me that it's more like the older SNES era JRPG and less like the more recent PS2/PS3 offerings, at least in terms of gameplay mechanics. And you know what? I'm totally fine with that, I played those RPGs growing up. Those mechanics, plus Ghibli's amazingly beautiful art? Bring it on.

I think if you have a lot of free time, if you're older than 20 and you appreciate JRPGs and Miyazaki movies, you'll love it. If not... you'll be frustrated. And yes, I get it, that's a lot of ifs.
 

Susan Arendt

Nerd Queen
Jan 9, 2007
7,222
0
0
AldUK said:
I haven't played it myself yet, but I have watched quite a few videos. Seems to me that it's more like the older SNES era JRPG and less like the more recent PS2/PS3 offerings, at least in terms of gameplay mechanics. And you know what? I'm totally fine with that, I played those RPGs growing up. Those mechanics, plus Ghibli's amazingly beautiful art? Bring it on.

I think if you have a lot of free time, if you're older than 20 and you appreciate JRPGs and Miyazaki movies, you'll love it. If not... you'll be frustrated. And yes, I get it, that's a lot of ifs.
I'm older than 20, appreciate JRPGs and Miyazaki movies and I can't stand the game. I absolutely understand why folks would enjoy it, but let's not assume that those of us who don't are doing something wrong.
 

Dooly95

New member
Jun 13, 2009
355
0
0
So... Pokemon + FFXIII fighting system?

Aside from the difficulty curve swinging wildly (like, there's no-one saying you can't advance until you beat the Gym leader) that's the impression I got from this review... am I close?
 

Susan Arendt

Nerd Queen
Jan 9, 2007
7,222
0
0
>Random encounters
>Turn based battles

Final fantasy got rid of turn based battles more than 20 years ago, not that the genre has expunged them but they're an ancient concept. Random encounters are even worse, a way to make up for a lack of hardware power on early consoles that got crystallized as a genre convention because of tradition and nostalgia. Both of them detract from an RPG experience and neither belong in the game.
 

Furrama

New member
Jul 24, 2008
295
0
0
I don't agree with the character/story assessment. And I'm all on top of old school battle systems like ye olden Final Fantasy's and older Pokemon, so couldn't this have been prefaced with " I hate grinding and if you do you will here also". This is the sort of game that a lot of JRPG fans have been waiting for, and all I'm seeing is that this isn't your bag. Which is fine, but why review it if you hate these sorts of games? This is just kinda how they are. ( Why review a shooter if you dislike shooters, unless you're discussing what you think is wrong with all of them and that is the subject of the day?) Unless it is especially cruel and you can provide examples?

To me it looks like you're mad that it took you so long to review because the grind stalled you.
 

SpaceBat

New member
Jul 9, 2011
743
0
0
GundamSentinel said:
With this one I'm cautious not to let my love of Ghibli get the better or me. Personally, I don't have much against grinding, but I do get easily offput by combat systems that aren't very welcoming from the getgo and silly difficulty fluctuations. I'll just watch a bit before deciding. :)
If you're a fan of Ghibli, then this should already be the game for you. Hating grinding, I went into this game anyway and I'm really enjoying it so far. It has a crapton of grinding, but it has this uncanny ability to turn this into a fairly satisfying game. The story is thin, but Ghibli have never been about complex stories. You know their movies, you know what they concentrate on and they pull this off pretty well.

And really, the protagonists are little kids and even then they're not much lower in intelligence compared to the average protagonists we get these days. Susan, you know just how borderline retarded most protagonists in most genre's, ESPECIALLY JRPG's (see FFXIII series for example), usually are. For me personally, every other lovely thing about this game made me forgive the usual bad decisions.

The gameplay is slightly unforgiving at times, but you'll get the hang of it in a few hours. It's really not that difficult.
It makes you work for it, but despite it fighting against you repeatedly, you still usually end up liking it.


Furrama said:
This is the sort of game that a lot of JRPG fans have been waiting for, and all I'm seeing is that this isn't your bag. Which is fine, but why review it if you hate these sorts of games?
I don't think she hates the genre. The things this game does simply didn't work for her personally, that's all. There are plenty of reviews and old-school JRPG fans that praise this game to death, so if you're not convinced from her review and want to read a different view on the product, there are plenty of other sites and reviews to visit and read.
 

AldUK

New member
Oct 29, 2010
420
0
0
Susan Arendt said:
AldUK said:
I haven't played it myself yet, but I have watched quite a few videos. Seems to me that it's more like the older SNES era JRPG and less like the more recent PS2/PS3 offerings, at least in terms of gameplay mechanics. And you know what? I'm totally fine with that, I played those RPGs growing up. Those mechanics, plus Ghibli's amazingly beautiful art? Bring it on.

I think if you have a lot of free time, if you're older than 20 and you appreciate JRPGs and Miyazaki movies, you'll love it. If not... you'll be frustrated. And yes, I get it, that's a lot of ifs.
I'm older than 20, appreciate JRPGs and Miyazaki movies and I can't stand the game. I absolutely understand why folks would enjoy it, but let's not assume that those of us who don't are doing something wrong.
Can we also assume that people are allowed different opinions without being shot down? I wasn't saying you are wrong, I was merely stating my own opinion based on what I have seen of the game.
 

Furrama

New member
Jul 24, 2008
295
0
0
Xiado said:
>Random encounters
>Turn based battles

Final fantasy got rid of turn based battles more than 20 years ago, not that the genre has expunged them but they're an ancient concept. Random encounters are even worse, a way to make up for a lack of hardware power on early consoles that got crystallized as a genre convention because of tradition and nostalgia. Both of them detract from an RPG experience and neither belong in the game.
But I HATE that they took out the turn based, "think and strategize" turn based systems. They're not 'outdated' they're just something else. I haven't liked a Final Fantasy battle system since X, (which was 12 or so years ago, not 20, and 4 Heros was turn based). I wish they would bring it back, because there's only so much Pokemon I can stand, (the last bastion). It is a type of game, and it is one I like a lot. Just because you don't like them doesn't mean it should go away forever for everyone.
 

Furrama

New member
Jul 24, 2008
295
0
0
SpaceBat said:
Furrama said:
This is the sort of game that a lot of JRPG fans have been waiting for, and all I'm seeing is that this isn't your bag. Which is fine, but why review it if you hate these sorts of games?
I don't think she hates the genre. The things this game does simply didn't work for her personally, that's all. There are plenty of reviews and old-school JRPG fans that praise this game to death, so if you're not convinced from her reviews and want to read a different view, there are plenty of other reviews to visit and read.
Isn't that like saying, " If you don't like it go somewhere else?" If it has a particularly bad problem with grinding, I want examples cited so that I can understand. I might even agree.

And you cut out the: " This is just kinda how they are. ( Why review a shooter if you dislike shooters, unless you're discussing what you think is wrong with all of them and that is the subject of the day?) Unless it is especially cruel and you can provide examples?"

That was my point. Cutting the paragraph down to that one sentence is stripping the meaning.
 

PedroSteckecilo

Mexican Fugitive
Feb 7, 2008
6,732
0
0
Our young hero is Oliver, a brainless gorp of a child who lacks the deductive reasoning skill of your average sandwich bag.
This is probably my favorite line in a review ever...

I was hesitant about picking this up after being unimpressed by the demo and I guess now it's time to cancel my Amazon Order and wait for it to get cheaper.
 

SpaceBat

New member
Jul 9, 2011
743
0
0
Furrama said:
Isn't that like saying, " If you don't like it go somewhere else?" If it has a particularly bad problem with grinding, I want examples cited so that I can understand. I might even agree.

And you cut out the: " This is just kinda how they are. ( Why review a shooter if you dislike shooters, unless you're discussing what you think is wrong with all of them and that is the subject of the day?) Unless it is especially cruel and you can provide examples?"

That was my point. Cutting the paragraph down to that one sentence is stripping the meaning.
(My bad, I missed that part of your post. I'll comment on it here.)
No no, absolutely not. I'm not saying get out at all. I'm saying that you should always read multiple reviews if you're unsure about the quality of a game, because these things are highly subjective. Her review might very well not align with yours or even the general consensus (just as the DA2 review of this site is the complete opposite of what the general RPG community thinks of it) and if you believe her review to be inaccurate, I recommend you read other reviews for extra info.

You're right that this wasn't the best review she's written so far, as it contains a lot of "insults" without a lot of actually useful content, and you're fully within your right to post valid criticisms, but you should not immediately assume that it's because she hates the genre. She might not dislike the general mechanics that are used within the game, but the overall experience might influence how fluently and enjoyable these sections are perceived.

She herself claimed that she can both appreciate JRPG's and Ghibli movies (by the way Susan, Ghibli =/= Miyazaki. He's a very important part of it, but there are other big directors as well), so don't think she's inherently against the system. The whole package just didn't work for her and that probably influenced her views on multiple aspects of the game, that's all.

"This is just kinda how they are" isn't really a strong point to make. Multiple games can execute the same thing differently and more efficiently than one and other. If she believes that it wasn't well executed this time, than she's within her right to dislike it and it does not mean she hates such games in general. Games are not just their individual aspects; the efficiency of the whole package influences how these aspects are perceived.

But as I said, you should always feel free to post constructive criticism. If you believe that she doesn't give enough info (via examples and such), then you should notify it here. Your post mostly concentrates on how you believe she isn't the right person for such a game and that's not exactly constructive criticism.

I always feel sad when people immediately follow a reviewer and completely change their plans and views about a game though. I'm not saying that Susan is incorrect or by any means a bad reviewer (in fact, she's really good), but people seem to forget that experiences are highly subjective.
 

Torrasque

New member
Aug 6, 2010
3,441
0
0
I understood this review as a "QQ I want to play FFXIII" because every single complaint in this review can be solved by just playing FFXIII. Yes it also opens up other complaints, but it certainly "solves" the "problems" with Ni No Kuni.

Yes Oliver is pretty slow, but he's a fucking kid, not some genius that has been training for eons to save the world.
Yes you do have to grind, but the overworld music is so delightful and the landscape so beautiful, that grinding ain't no thang. Besides that, its so random to recruit new familiars that you end up killing 10-20 mobs before you finally get one to join you. And when you finally do get to the point of, "ok, combat is easy now" it is because you are finally familiar with enemies and how to clean them up efficiently, more than your party is OP enough.
Yes you can't access the item bag or certain parts of your menu, but why would you ever want to access them before you get to that part of the game? Wanna look in your bag and sort the 0 items you have? Well too bad, you have no items, so there is nothing to sort.

And no, this isn't fan-boying. I just wish you'd actually pick issues that were actual issues, instead of nitpicking things that are not even problems.

I do agree on the AI though, my partner is pretty annoying at times. This can (and was) solved by changing her familiars into ones that filled certain roles that I wanted filled. Sick of her wasting mp on healing all the time? Get her a big bruiser. Sick of her dying all the time? Get her a really tough tanky guy. Sick of her not being effective in a fight? Get her a caster with loads of offensive spells. Sick of running out of mp all the time? Well too bad, she uses mana as it is supposed to be used: an expendable resource.
 

PedroSteckecilo

Mexican Fugitive
Feb 7, 2008
6,732
0
0
SpaceBat said:
Furrama said:
I always feel sad when people immediately follow a reviewer and completely change their plans and views about a game though. I'm not saying that Susan is incorrect or by any means a bad reviewer (in fact, she's really good), but people seem to forget that experiences are highly subjective.
$60 is a lot of money to spend on a "gamble" for a lot of people and when a reviewer whose taste generally mirrors your own it's hard not to take their word as either an endorsement or disincentive towards picking up a title.

Isn't that really the whole point of game reviews? To glean an impression of a game before you spend the money and possibly end up with something you hate?
 

bificommander

New member
Apr 19, 2010
434
0
0
Well, that's a lot harsher than my gaming magazine was. Oh well, the game looked interesting, but I don't own a playstation, so I wasn't going to pick it up in any case.
 

Bob_F_It

It stands for several things
May 7, 2008
711
0
0
Jim mentioned the glacial pace of the game as well. That kind of thing made me not play .hack as much as I wanted to see the story it had. And we all know that the older you get, the less time you have for games.

Still, Level 5 already made charming games, and then Ghibli comes in and turns that dial to 11. I'd most likely pick it up once my PS3 is alive again.
 

Stalydan

New member
Mar 18, 2011
510
0
0
Susan Arendt said:
Eclipse Dragon said:
Susan Arendt said:
So here's the problem with that. You don't get multiple familiars for yonks, and adding companions takes even longer. So you won't really begin getting the hang of the combat's potential until, oh...I'd say a good 15 or so hours in.
I wasn't really talking about using the battle system to it's full potential immediately, I was just thinking about knowing it enough to not get my arse handed to me tooooo often... Did you at any point want to break your controller?
Oh god. So many times. All the time. You will, in all seriousness, handle yourself well in a boss fight and then get one-shotted by the first random monster you run into in the next area. The little fantasy squirrel is more lethal than the enormous boss you just killed? I'm sorry, WHAT?

Mechanically, the battle system is easy to understand and use - but once you start getting more options, and, say, want to switch between familiars so one can cast a buff before another does his attack, or you want to switch to your companion so you can heal the party or recruit a new familiar...that's when it gets clunky.
Well squirrels have been the deadliest things in Marvel Comics since Squirrel Girl came on to the scene so that's going to be a fun little joke for me until I actually face one.

I don't have too much of a problem though with extreme grinding; I pretty much had no problem with most of the bosses in Persona 3 because I spent so much time grinding, not intentionally but because I love fighting, that when I got to any of them, I was tremendously overleveled to the point of not having any challenge against them past September in the game. Still got my arse kicked in Tartarus a lot though.

In terms of Level 5 games though, would Ni No Kuni be comparable to Dragon Quest IX then? Not really a lot of story but so many side quests and brilliant atmosphere that it can be looked over?
 

Nachtmahr

New member
Feb 17, 2011
64
0
0
This review actually makes me really sad :/ I'd looked forward to this game so much. But so far Susan's reviews have never led me astray, and I trust her more than any other game review site.

I mean, I really am okay with grinding to a point. Playing Ys: Origin on the highest difficulty I had no choice but to do a fair amount of it, but... this review makes it sound like you've basically forgotten the main plot by the time you are powerful enough to advance to the next area?
 

Susan Arendt

Nerd Queen
Jan 9, 2007
7,222
0
0
Stalydan said:
Susan Arendt said:
Eclipse Dragon said:
Susan Arendt said:
So here's the problem with that. You don't get multiple familiars for yonks, and adding companions takes even longer. So you won't really begin getting the hang of the combat's potential until, oh...I'd say a good 15 or so hours in.
I wasn't really talking about using the battle system to it's full potential immediately, I was just thinking about knowing it enough to not get my arse handed to me tooooo often... Did you at any point want to break your controller?
Oh god. So many times. All the time. You will, in all seriousness, handle yourself well in a boss fight and then get one-shotted by the first random monster you run into in the next area. The little fantasy squirrel is more lethal than the enormous boss you just killed? I'm sorry, WHAT?

Mechanically, the battle system is easy to understand and use - but once you start getting more options, and, say, want to switch between familiars so one can cast a buff before another does his attack, or you want to switch to your companion so you can heal the party or recruit a new familiar...that's when it gets clunky.
Well squirrels have been the deadliest things in Marvel Comics since Squirrel Girl came on to the scene so that's going to be a fun little joke for me until I actually face one.

I don't have too much of a problem though with extreme grinding; I pretty much had no problem with most of the bosses in Persona 3 because I spent so much time grinding, not intentionally but because I love fighting, that when I got to any of them, I was tremendously overleveled to the point of not having any challenge against them past September in the game. Still got my arse kicked in Tartarus a lot though.

In terms of Level 5 games though, would Ni No Kuni be comparable to Dragon Quest IX then? Not really a lot of story but so many side quests and brilliant atmosphere that it can be looked over?
Hmmm...I really didn't like DQ9. Stopped playing it after about 20 hours or so. (There are other DQ games I very much prefer over 9.) Overall, I found that NNK lacked the charm and humor of the DQ franchise, though mechanically it has many similarities. (The focus on grinding, for example, the alchemy.) I personally prefer the turn-based combat of DQ to NNK's fighting, though that's just a matter of personal taste.
 

SpaceBat

New member
Jul 9, 2011
743
0
0
Torrasque said:
And no, this isn't fan-boying. I just wish you'd actually pick issues that were actual issues, instead of nitpicking things that are not even problems.
That's the thing. Issues in games are often issues if you perceive them as such. You say that the music and landscape turn grinding into something you'd do without any complaints, but she might not perceive the music, the landscape or the tediousness of the grinding the same way. She might also not agree that kids of that age should be so slow. If you believe the mob killing is because of improved efficiency, rather than becoming overpowered, you should say that. If you look at your initial response, it contained no such criticism.

And I'm going to ask you to calm down and take a breath, as you went too far with this post a bit. Because nobody or at least no sane person would ever want to play FF XIII for a second time. Nobody. Implying that someone just wants to play such an abomination and a blight on the face of gaming history borders on ad-hominem =P.

PedroSteckecilo said:
$60 is a lot of money to spend on a "gamble" for a lot of people and when a reviewer whose taste generally mirrors your own it's hard not to take their word as either an endorsement or disincentive towards picking up a title.

Isn't that really the whole point of game reviews? To glean an impression of a game before you spend the money and possibly end up with something you hate?
I'm not saying you should dismiss reviews and just gamble it on a game that you may or may not dislike and of course it's the whole point of game reviews to give you an impression of what the game might be like, I'm saying that if you're even remotely interested in a game, it is always a good idea to look at it from different viewpoints. Of course, if Susan's taste mirror yours, it's understandable. I have to admit that I didn't take that into account, as I usually don't concentrate on a single reviewer myself, regardless of how often I agree with them. My apologies for that.

Stalydan said:
Not really a lot of story but so many side quests and brilliant atmosphere that it can be looked over?
It's a Ghibli game, I think that specific question answers itself. If there is one thing the game gets near unanimous praise over, it's the absolutely amazing atmosphere and a unique and lovely charm that only Ghibli can create.
 

Shakura Jolithion

New member
Nov 9, 2009
36
0
0
Grinding gets way too much of a pass I think; having read this review and skimmed Jim's (thanks for the link, Eclipse Dragon), I'm definitely saddened to know this is another game relying on grind. No amount of pretty graphics and wonderful music can make up for a long slog just to level up and progress...
I don't know where people criticizing the review for being too harsh; it's being honest and descriptive, something I value much more than simply hearing whether a game is good or bad. The fact that I can get a feel for what the game is like, in terms of gameplay mechanics, story, setting, etc., is what makes the reviews here so useful, rather than simply an opinion.

Anyway, I wasn't planning on throwing down $60 on this game, but after reading the reviews and some of the comments, I can definitely recommend it to a friend of mine who has much more tolerance for grind than I do.
 

dragonopt1

New member
Jan 24, 2013
1
0
0
"If you're ok with extraneous grinding, slow pacing, and shockingly stupid heroes, then you'll come to love Ni no Kuni"

Wow really? I'm level 14 and have done NO GRINDING and I've just followed the story. If you call killing 8-10 mobs on the way to your next objective "grinding" I don't think you grew up playing a lot of rpgs lol, if you know what you're doing in combat it's actually pretty easy to kill things as well. Slow pacing? Really? I've been involved in a lot of action in and out of combat and the boss fights are a lot of fun. I thought the "little kid" aspect was going to be uninspiring but I'm actually enjoying the "stupid heroes" as you put it. A 3.5/5.0 isn't a bad score but this is one of the best jrpgs I've played since FF7 and that's saying something.
 

neonsword13-ops

~ Struck by a Smooth Criminal ~
Mar 28, 2011
2,771
0
0
I wasn't really expecting all that much from this game, even though I'm a huge Ghibli fan and I love Level 5 games.

Looks like I'll continue playing Persona 4: Golden and FF IX on my Vita until it drops to $20, then I'll pick it up.
 

PedroSteckecilo

Mexican Fugitive
Feb 7, 2008
6,732
0
0
You guys do know that Ghibli collaborated on a game before right?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jade_Cocoon

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jade_Cocoon_2

Which were also only alright for the most part, so really Ghibli being "in" on the game isn't a guarantee of its quality.
 

Daniel Laeben-Rosen

New member
Jun 9, 2010
256
0
0
PedroSteckecilo said:
You guys do know that Ghibli collaborated on a game before right?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jade_Cocoon

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jade_Cocoon_2

Which were also only alright for the most part, so really Ghibli being "in" on the game isn't a guarantee of its quality.
Huh. I ended up checking the first one up on wikipedia(thanks for the link), and had a "Oh wait! I remember this!"-moment from trying the demo. I remember being annoyed at the controls but loving the visuals.
Thanks for the little trip down memory lane :D.
 

Quiotu

New member
Mar 7, 2008
426
0
0
Still playing this game and still enjoying it immensely. But yeah it really is like DQ8 with more complicated combat. I can't say DQ8's protagonist was as dumb as Oliver because he didn't speak, but a JRPG protagonist having the alignment Heroic Stupid is a pretty common cliche. Plus Oliver's 13... and all 13-year-olds are stupid. Hell it'd be the same in modern times, he'd just be saying 'shit' and 'fuck' constantly and at inappropriate times.
 

Imp_Emissary

Mages Rule, and Dragons Fly!
Legacy
Aug 9, 2020
2,315
1
3
Country
United States
I like to take my time in RPGs/JRPGs and grind up as high as I can before I do almost anything.

However, grindig for HOURS just to read a map, or to look at my stuff? To think that is normal is to say you are mad, and not in a fun way.

Also anyone saying Susan doesn't like JRPGs/grinding needs to read the review again.

Or rather, they need to READ THE FIRST 3 WORDS OF THE REVIEW AGAIN!
"I love grinding."
 

Blunderboy

New member
Apr 26, 2011
2,224
0
0
Susan Arendt said:
AldUK said:
I haven't played it myself yet, but I have watched quite a few videos. Seems to me that it's more like the older SNES era JRPG and less like the more recent PS2/PS3 offerings, at least in terms of gameplay mechanics. And you know what? I'm totally fine with that, I played those RPGs growing up. Those mechanics, plus Ghibli's amazingly beautiful art? Bring it on.

I think if you have a lot of free time, if you're older than 20 and you appreciate JRPGs and Miyazaki movies, you'll love it. If not... you'll be frustrated. And yes, I get it, that's a lot of ifs.
I'm older than 20, appreciate JRPGs and Miyazaki movies and I can't stand the game. I absolutely understand why folks would enjoy it, but let's not assume that those of us who don't are doing something wrong.
But then how am I supposed to judge my worth as a human being, if not by comparing the things I like to things other people like and assuming I am better?

In all seriousness I was never going to like this game, but I'm surprised you didn't Susan. It seemed pretty damn up your street (at least going by the things you say in the podcast) and the fact that it's not, and that you're so honest about it, shows why I love this site so damn much. If anyone ever accuses you of being paid off, point them here, to this wonderfully honest review.
 

The White Hunter

Basment Abomination
Oct 19, 2011
3,888
0
0
Susan Arendt said:
Elamdri said:
I kinda wish this was a video review.
We'll be following up with a video!

Eclipse Dragon said:
I've played so many jrpgs that grinding just comes naturally anyway.
Judging by the demo, I might have to grind 20 or so battles right off the bat, just to get a handle on the battle system.
So here's the problem with that. You don't get multiple familiars for yonks, and adding companions takes even longer. So you won't really begin getting the hang of the combat's potential until, oh...I'd say a good 15 or so hours in.
NOw if this were five years ago I'd have been absolutely fine with that and from other reviews I was considering purchasing this, but as an adult I just don't have the hours to pump into grinding up in JRPG's.

It's a prime example of how my enjoyment of Xenoblade Chronicles was cut down, I'd grind for an hour, then try move on, the boss would smack my ***** ass down and I'd have to go and grind for another 3 or 4 hours in order to make any kind of progress.

A few years ago when I was in high school that would be no problem, but in the adult world where I need to work and devote time to relationships and other such grown-up things I just can't afford the time to sink into grinding. So it really puts me off that JRPG's cling to grinding in such a way, it's something the genre needs to get over, I don't mind a little bit of grinding, hell I'm one of those freaks that EV trains his pokemon and breeds them obsessively, but if I have to stop every few hours dead to gain a fuck tonne of experience with slow mechanics then I just can't afford the time for it.

If a game makes itself challenging but manageable without grinding, thats about right for me, if a game outright requires I halt progress to level up, then it's a deal breaker. I'd rather win by strategy and clever tactics and skill investments than outright overpowering.

Thanks, this reviews stopped me from adding to the mound of unfinished grind-fests.
 

AgentCooper

New member
Dec 16, 2010
184
0
0
I plan on buying this when I get my backlog to a manageable level. I will say the grinds in JRPG don't bother me much and I am able to chart out on paper the hours I spend on them and assign times properly for grinding and what not. I'm still excited to play it.

I managed to find the soundtrack online. Pretty tops if I have to say.
 

Yeager942

New member
Oct 31, 2008
1,097
0
0
And this pretty much kills it for me. Grinding is the reason I dropped MMO's, so if this game is guilty of that, I think I'll pass. On another note, is grinding really that common in jrpg's? I've never played one, so I have no idea they were considered to be a common element.
 

Lance Icarus

New member
Oct 12, 2007
340
0
0
While I'm sure I'll enjoy Ni No Kuni when I eventually get it, I'd have to say Susan's review is pretty spot on if this game is anything like Level 5's past efforts. While I do love the variety of characters in Level 5 games, they do have a tendency to just do anything asked of them even when common sense would dictate learning more about the situation before jumping headlong into it. Adding in Studio Ghibli and their struggles with having characters use any kind of logic and you have the recipe for some painfully naive characters.

Funny enough, I was expecting Ni No Kuni to have abusive levels of grinding and weird difficulty fluxes simply because it was a Level 5 game. Level 5 is notorious for making you grind to high levels before you'd even think about entering certain zones. I knew any hope of them streamlining the leveling system to preserve game flow was a long shot, but now I'm just hoping it's not any worse. If it's anything like Rouge Galaxy's grinding then I'd debate hiring the neighbor kid to do the leveling.

I was suspicious about all the great reviews Ni No Kuni was getting with it apparently having none of the faults that were so prevalent in other Level 5 titles, but Susan's review kind of cinches it for me. I'm sure I'll love Ni No Kuni just like I loved other Level 5 games, but I can almost see the scenes Susan's talking about without ever playing the game.

Great review Susan. I'm glad you gave your honest feelings about the game instead of giving it high marks just because the production values are high.
 

Weaver

Overcaffeinated
Apr 28, 2008
8,977
0
0
I bought it and I think Susan is pretty on the money in this review. I'd score it about the same, personally.
 

Susan Arendt

Nerd Queen
Jan 9, 2007
7,222
0
0
AldUK said:
Susan Arendt said:
AldUK said:
I haven't played it myself yet, but I have watched quite a few videos. Seems to me that it's more like the older SNES era JRPG and less like the more recent PS2/PS3 offerings, at least in terms of gameplay mechanics. And you know what? I'm totally fine with that, I played those RPGs growing up. Those mechanics, plus Ghibli's amazingly beautiful art? Bring it on.

I think if you have a lot of free time, if you're older than 20 and you appreciate JRPGs and Miyazaki movies, you'll love it. If not... you'll be frustrated. And yes, I get it, that's a lot of ifs.
I'm older than 20, appreciate JRPGs and Miyazaki movies and I can't stand the game. I absolutely understand why folks would enjoy it, but let's not assume that those of us who don't are doing something wrong.
Can we also assume that people are allowed different opinions without being shot down? I wasn't saying you are wrong, I was merely stating my own opinion based on what I have seen of the game.
Of course! But that isn't theonly thing you did. You stated that a series of conditions being met would result in a known quantity. Ms. Arendt simply noted that it may not be as simple as that.
 

bigupyourselfman

New member
Jan 25, 2013
1
0
0
I agree with Susan in terms of the grinding and pacing issues. However, I completely disagree with her negative review of the characters, particularly Oliver. She claims Oliver is:

"...a brainless gorp of a child who lacks the deductive reasoning skill of your average sandwich bag."

This, in my opinion, shows that she has misunderstood what the character is about. Oliver is meant to show a lack of reasoning because a) he is a child and is naive to many things in the world and b) because he purposefully disregards reasoning in favour of emotion. The latter of these is exemplified by the fact that Oliver is so trusting of a doll which came to life (Mr. Drippy) that he will follow it into a parallel world and will try to save that world from its evil ruler, just for a chance to save his Mum. All the while, he rarely asks any questions nor seems phased by the extreme weirdness of it all or the possible consequences (how many of us could say the same in his situation?). He just wants his Mum back and will do anything to get her. This is what makes him exceptional. His age also seems to play a significant role because kids are, generally, more fearless and, when faced with a challenging prospect (such as diving off the top diving board at a local swimming bath), they often focus on the rewards of the task (getting friends' approval)rather than the possible consequences (potential injuries). As we get older, and particularly when we have kids, our sensibilities come out and we allow potential consequences (such as injuries) stop us from doing certain things. Therefore, I believe that the writers have created a refreshingly innocent and selfless character, whose lack of reasoning skills, or general care for reasoning, make him an even greater hero. Better than the ever-increasing gun toting male, who prides himself on the enjoyment he gets out of killing and being selfish, anyway.

I might well have read too much into the innocent nature of the character, but, given the meticulous nature of Studio Ghibli and Level-5, it seems reasonable to assume that there was significance in making Oliver a naive and ignorant pre teen in the context of the story. It's a common theme with many Studio Ghibli films, and is partly what makes the extraordinary events all the more compelling.
 

Susan Arendt

Nerd Queen
Jan 9, 2007
7,222
0
0
I thought you'd love this game unconditionally, Susan.
I hafta say I wasn't impressed by the Demo, but I thought you'd like it enough to not mind its flaws.

Grinders gonna grind.
 

Susan Arendt

Nerd Queen
Jan 9, 2007
7,222
0
0
Well... we can say this right?

Ni No Kuni doesn't require nearly as much grinding as White Knights Chronicles? Huh? I mean, god dang, just to go from Guild Rank 7 to Guild Rank 8 in that, you had to grind an amount of points much greater than what it took to go from Rank 1 to Rank 7! It was horribly idiotic in terms of pacing, or just implementation in general.


I think Level 5 has kinda "lost it" in terms of what is an acceptable grind. It might of started with White Knights Chronicles, but grinding has become way too big a focus for them! My friend loved the first one (at least its single player), but couldn't slog through the pacing of the second game as it literally served just to waste time with filler crap for him. And personally, Dragon Quest 9 is one of the weakest games I've played, because they focused far too much attention on using the "street pass" to do things (like upgrade tavern, or get actually decent maps) while also forgetting that much of the world (IE the entire United States for one) doesn't bring their DS with them on sleep mode while using a mass-transit system that is used much more than cars or individual transit.
 

Furrama

New member
Jul 24, 2008
295
0
0
SpaceBat said:
Furrama said:
Isn't that like saying, " If you don't like it go somewhere else?" If it has a particularly bad problem with grinding, I want examples cited so that I can understand. I might even agree.

And you cut out the: " This is just kinda how they are. ( Why review a shooter if you dislike shooters, unless you're discussing what you think is wrong with all of them and that is the subject of the day?) Unless it is especially cruel and you can provide examples?"

That was my point. Cutting the paragraph down to that one sentence is stripping the meaning.
(My bad, I missed that part of your post. I'll comment on it here.)
No no, absolutely not. I'm not saying get out at all. I'm saying that you should always read multiple reviews if you're unsure about the quality of a game, because these things are highly subjective. Her review might very well not align with yours or even the general consensus (just as the DA2 review of this site is the complete opposite of what the general RPG community thinks of it) and if you believe her review to be inaccurate, I recommend you read other reviews for extra info.

You're right that this wasn't the best review she's written so far, as it contains a lot of "insults" without a lot of actually useful content, and you're fully within your right to post valid criticisms, but you should not immediately assume that it's because she hates the genre. She might not dislike the general mechanics that are used within the game, but the overall experience might influence how fluently and enjoyable these sections are perceived.

She herself claimed that she can both appreciate JRPG's and Ghibli movies (by the way Susan, Ghibli =/= Miyazaki. He's a very important part of it, but there are other big directors as well), so don't think she's inherently against the system. The whole package just didn't work for her and that probably influenced her views on multiple aspects of the game, that's all.

"This is just kinda how they are" isn't really a strong point to make. Multiple games can execute the same thing differently and more efficiently than one and other. If she believes that it wasn't well executed this time, than she's within her right to dislike it and it does not mean she hates such games in general. Games are not just their individual aspects; the efficiency of the whole package influences how these aspects are perceived.

But as I said, you should always feel free to post constructive criticism. If you believe that she doesn't give enough info (via examples and such), then you should notify it here. Your post mostly concentrates on how you believe she isn't the right person for such a game and that's not exactly constructive criticism.

I always feel sad when people immediately follow a reviewer and completely change their plans and views about a game though. I'm not saying that Susan is incorrect or by any means a bad reviewer (in fact, she's really good), but people seem to forget that experiences are highly subjective.
Good points. I didn't mean to come across as angry or "IF YOU DON'T LIKE IT DON'T REVIEW IT" because that makes no sense at all. My last line in the first post was over the line, but I'll stand by the rest of it. As far as I could tell from the review I read, she seemed to be harping on grinding itself as a bad thing, and I think that's a very subjective thing. However, it can be excessive. If it is, and you're reviewing it, I kinda want examples. Because I like it in some cases, but someone who hates grinding in all forms will not give me any good feel for anything there unless they split hairs. I'll just learn that they hate grinding. That's like having a game who's selling point is " KITTENS!!!" and the reviewer hates kittens. And all they talk about is how bad the kittens are. So... are they ugly kittens or cute ones? Because I came for the kittens.
 

Starik20X6

New member
Oct 28, 2009
1,685
0
0
Here's my paradox: I've loved just about every JRPG I've played... But I hate grinding with a passion. Still, not cancelling my pre-order for this now!
 

geldonyetich

New member
Aug 2, 2006
3,715
0
0
I really hate grinding. Thank God there's no reason I'd ever want to play this g-
Developer: Level 5, Studio Ghibli
...

FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF-
 

axlryder

victim of VR
Jul 29, 2011
1,862
0
0
geldonyetich said:
I really hate grinding. Thank God there's no reason I'd ever want to play this g-
Developer: Level 5, Studio Ghibli
...

FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF-
but...if you like Level 5 then...one would assume you understood the game would inevitably be grindy. I mean, it's Level 5; They've almost never NOT made a grindy game.

or perhaps you were just in it for Ghibli?
 

Snownine

New member
Apr 19, 2010
577
0
0
Xiado said:
>Random encounters
>Turn based battles

Final fantasy got rid of turn based battles more than 20 years ago, not that the genre has expunged them but they're an ancient concept. Random encounters are even worse, a way to make up for a lack of hardware power on early consoles that got crystallized as a genre convention because of tradition and nostalgia. Both of them detract from an RPG experience and neither belong in the game.
The main series Final Fantasy games used turn based battles all the way through Final Fantasy X-2 which came out in 2003, hardly 20 years ago. Also it is a matter of taste, some people like turn based combat and some people like random encounters. Some even like both.
 

Furycrab

New member
Nov 21, 2011
10
0
0
Ill end up forming my own opinion mostly because the mixed average review is so high and I like the genre that it would be silly for me to pass up on this title.

I just think the recommendation part at the end shouldn't have made the article. Sounds off like: If you like bad games, this game is for you.

I can't help but feel the whole article was describing the experience of a reviewer that was trying to go through the game faster than it was letting her and that set the tone for the entire article. I can forgive and see past it though, don't know when she got her copy of the game (I can only hope weeks in advance) but reviewing such a game in a time frame that is still relevant to the internet is an inhuman job to say the least.
 

mysecondlife

New member
Feb 24, 2011
2,142
0
0
I think I'll still get this game eventually.

I am up at 3:25AM (PST) doing my engineering homework that wont be due until Wednesday evening.

So I know I'm glutton for punishment if the whole painful grinding part of the game is true.
 

AldUK

New member
Oct 29, 2010
420
0
0
PedroSteckecilo said:
You guys do know that Ghibli collaborated on a game before right?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jade_Cocoon

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jade_Cocoon_2

Which were also only alright for the most part, so really Ghibli being "in" on the game isn't a guarantee of its quality.
Jade Cocoon 2 was awful and a complete waste of time. The first Jade Cocoon was a masterpiece that I have played countless times and love to bits. Mileage may vary.

Kaulen Fuhs said:
AldUK said:
Can we also assume that people are allowed different opinions without being shot down? I wasn't saying you are wrong, I was merely stating my own opinion based on what I have seen of the game.
Of course! But that isn't theonly thing you did. You stated that a series of conditions being met would result in a known quantity. Ms. Arendt simply noted that it may not be as simple as that.
I listed certain 'conditions' which I personally believe would contribute to a person's enjoyment of a game, along the lines of; "if you like this, you may also like this." If people don't agree with me, that's totally their choice. Again, opinions.
 

Kahani

New member
May 25, 2011
927
0
0
Susan Arendt said:
a thankless slog that kills your momentum.

every worn-out JRPG trope

excessive grinding, slow pace, idiotic heroes

insurmountable frustration

a giant middle finger thrust in your direction

there's a lot of "eventually" in this game

finger-twistingly complicated and unfun.

AI is just as dumb

never becomes satisfying enough to make you look forward to it.

story is pretty thin

crushingly slow pace

positively glacial

lacks in finesse

extremely frustrating

extraneous grinding, slow pacing, and shockingly stupid heroes
I can't stand the game
3.5/5

And this is why it's not possible to take game ratings seriously. If a slow, boring, stupid, un-fun game that the review explicitly says they can't stand gets 70%, what the hell could ever get less than that? The whole system is meaningless because the bottom 2/3 of the scale simply isn't used.
 

Eclipse Dragon

Lusty Argonian Maid
Legacy
Jul 7, 2020
4,259
12
13
Country
United States
Hannibal942 said:
And this pretty much kills it for me. Grinding is the reason I dropped MMO's, so if this game is guilty of that, I think I'll pass. On another note, is grinding really that common in jrpg's? I've never played one, so I have no idea they were considered to be a common element.
Yes grinding is an unfortunate staple of JRPGs, however, you can get through most of them just by killing everything in your path, so it doesn't feel monotonous, in most jrpgs you won't run into unforgivable bosses as long as you don't regularly run from combat.

I will say the grinding in jrpgs IS NOT AS BAD as the grinding in MMO's, because mmos feature hack and slash battle systems that aren't even really interesting to watch, let alone play for hours on end. Jrpgs at least give you some rock, paper, scissors strategy to it. In your case, you may want to give the game a rent. Since you've never before played a jrpg, you might not even notice the common character tropes and mechanics that drive genre veterans up the wall.
 

Susan Arendt

Nerd Queen
Jan 9, 2007
7,222
0
0
Kahani said:
Susan Arendt said:
a thankless slog that kills your momentum.

every worn-out JRPG trope

excessive grinding, slow pace, idiotic heroes

insurmountable frustration

a giant middle finger thrust in your direction

there's a lot of "eventually" in this game

finger-twistingly complicated and unfun.

AI is just as dumb

never becomes satisfying enough to make you look forward to it.

story is pretty thin

crushingly slow pace

positively glacial

lacks in finesse

extremely frustrating

extraneous grinding, slow pacing, and shockingly stupid heroes
I can't stand the game
3.5/5

And this is why it's not possible to take game ratings seriously. If a slow, boring, stupid, un-fun game that the review explicitly says they can't stand gets 70%, what the hell could ever get less than that? The whole system is meaningless because the bottom 2/3 of the scale simply isn't used.
I notice you skipped over the "guilty pleasure," the part about how you can easily lose yourself in the game for hours, and the entire paragraph about how beautiful it is and the wonderful soundtrack.

Also, "I can't stand this game" is a personal statement. And while it's true for me, that doesn't mean that the game is necessarily bad. I like plenty of bad games and dislike plenty of good ones.
 

Frozengale

New member
Sep 9, 2009
761
0
0
I'm gonna say that I have to agree with Susan on this one whole-heatedly.

There are so many things wrong with this game, and it makes me quite sad. My main problem is probably with the story. I was hoping for a gripping tale a long the lines of Princess Mononoke. A story where conflict and battle are at the heart of the tale. Or given that the main character is a kid I would have also been fine with something more a long the lines of Spirited Away. A story that is about exploring relationships and growth while building an incredibly fun world. While I haven't finished the game yet (only about 8 hours in so far) the story strikes me more as a mindless rehash of the bare essentials of the Hero's Journey. Also the moment they mentioned "Prophecy" and "Chosen/Pure-Hearted" Oliver I buckled in and prepared for the worst.

The combat system isn't to terribly bad so far. I haven't gotten added characters yet though so I'm not quite sure how that will play out. I don't mind the zwonky difficulty curve as much, the part that really gets me though is the endless grind and the boredom of mashing the "Attack" command over and over in the easier battles. Grind and Basic Attacks are two of the things that always turn me off when it comes to JRPG's.

As much as I hate it though, I keep picking it up for some reason. Part of me just keeps hoping it will get better. Part of me just wants to finish it out of spite. And part of me actually looks forward to playing it. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone who isn't familiar with JRPGs though.
 

Susan Arendt

Nerd Queen
Jan 9, 2007
7,222
0
0
Let's see, boring grindfest of a JRPG that takes a popular anime style and puts it to game, released on a system I don't own nor would give two fucks to buy?

http://i.animecrazy.net/blue-dragon-20050513024345079.jpg
 

Susan Arendt

Nerd Queen
Jan 9, 2007
7,222
0
0
Snownine said:
Xiado said:
>Random encounters
>Turn based battles

Final fantasy got rid of turn based battles more than 20 years ago, not that the genre has expunged them but they're an ancient concept. Random encounters are even worse, a way to make up for a lack of hardware power on early consoles that got crystallized as a genre convention because of tradition and nostalgia. Both of them detract from an RPG experience and neither belong in the game.
The main series Final Fantasy games used turn based battles all the way through Final Fantasy X-2 which came out in 2003, hardly 20 years ago. Also it is a matter of taste, some people like turn based combat and some people like random encounters. Some even like both.
Final Fantasy IV, published in the early 90's, introduced the ATB system, which was similar to turn based combat but was not a traditional turn based game. Final Fantasy X returned to modified turn based combat after six games of ATB. And as to random encounters, some people like being hit on the head with a baseball bat and some like paying taxes, but that doesn't make the qualities of either more appealing or acceptable.
 

Eclipse Dragon

Lusty Argonian Maid
Legacy
Jul 7, 2020
4,259
12
13
Country
United States
Susan Arendt said:
I would just like to say, despite your review (although I don't think it was bad by any means!), that I'll still be playing the game, but I thank you for writing an honest review and talking to us in this comment section. It would be easy to just post a review and ignore the community, but you don't because your awesome like that.

So thank you Susan for being so awesome and working so hard for this community.
I don't feel you all hear that enough.
 

Snownine

New member
Apr 19, 2010
577
0
0
Xiado said:
Snownine said:
Xiado said:
>Random encounters
>Turn based battles

Final fantasy got rid of turn based battles more than 20 years ago, not that the genre has expunged them but they're an ancient concept. Random encounters are even worse, a way to make up for a lack of hardware power on early consoles that got crystallized as a genre convention because of tradition and nostalgia. Both of them detract from an RPG experience and neither belong in the game.
The main series Final Fantasy games used turn based battles all the way through Final Fantasy X-2 which came out in 2003, hardly 20 years ago. Also it is a matter of taste, some people like turn based combat and some people like random encounters. Some even like both.
Final Fantasy IV, published in the early 90's, introduced the ATB system, which was similar to turn based combat but was not a traditional turn based game. Final Fantasy X returned to modified turn based combat after six games of ATB. And as to random encounters, some people like being hit on the head with a baseball bat and some like paying taxes, but that doesn't make the qualities of either more appealing or acceptable.

I always thought the ATB just counted as a modified version of turn based combat, that is how I always thought of it. But I will concede the point as it is different. On the other point though just because you do not like a gameplay mechanic does not mean that it is objectively bad or unacceptable.
 

Susan Arendt

Nerd Queen
Jan 9, 2007
7,222
0
0
Eclipse Dragon said:
Susan Arendt said:
I would just like to say, despite your review (although I don't think it was bad by any means!), that I'll still be playing the game, but I thank you for writing an honest review and talking to us in this comment section. It would be easy to just post a review and ignore the community, but you don't because your awesome like that.

So thank you Susan for being so awesome and working so hard for this community.
I don't feel you all hear that enough.
Very kind of you to say, thanks. I hope you enjoy the game, I really do. I have no problem with people having different opinions or experiences than I do - discussing those differences is how we expand our point of view about what games are and can be. Besides, I never want someone to *not* have fun.
 

GamingAwesome1

New member
May 22, 2009
1,794
0
0
Take an enormous shit all over the gameplay and story for valid albeit harsh reasons, still give the game 3 and a half stars?

Kinda sending mixed messages there.

I mean, I was taken aback by the harsh tone since everyone's been raving about this game, honestly the extreme negativity was rather refreshing and helped me to gain a better understanding of what the game is like. It's the end score that doesn't seem to sync with your words, but whatever, arbitrary rating scale has always been arbitrary. Your words convey enough without a pointless number attached to them.

I'm still inclined to give the DS version a try since I don't own a PS3.
 

Susan Arendt

Nerd Queen
Jan 9, 2007
7,222
0
0
AldUK said:
PedroSteckecilo said:
You guys do know that Ghibli collaborated on a game before right?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jade_Cocoon

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jade_Cocoon_2

Which were also only alright for the most part, so really Ghibli being "in" on the game isn't a guarantee of its quality.
Jade Cocoon 2 was awful and a complete waste of time. The first Jade Cocoon was a masterpiece that I have played countless times and love to bits. Mileage may vary.

Kaulen Fuhs said:
AldUK said:
Can we also assume that people are allowed different opinions without being shot down? I wasn't saying you are wrong, I was merely stating my own opinion based on what I have seen of the game.
Of course! But that isn't theonly thing you did. You stated that a series of conditions being met would result in a known quantity. Ms. Arendt simply noted that it may not be as simple as that.
I listed certain 'conditions' which I personally believe would contribute to a person's enjoyment of a game, along the lines of; "if you like this, you may also like this." If people don't agree with me, that's totally their choice. Again, opinions.
I don't know that you have what an opinin is quite nailed down, but it doesn't seem like you're terribly interested in continuing, so I'll drop the issue.
 

Migs

New member
Oct 13, 2010
79
0
0
Oh, I made up my mind looong before reading Susan's review.
Had ago at the demo, that was enough to convince me to not buy it on Day One.

I'll wait for Tales Of Xillia, thanks.
 

antipunt

New member
Jan 3, 2009
3,035
0
0
What the heck is this score?! It's an outrage, does the reviewer eve...

*looks and sees Susan's name

Huh. Oh, uhm, good review.

Carry on then.

d->_<-b
 

Shakura Jolithion

New member
Nov 9, 2009
36
0
0
Furrama said:
That's like having a game who's selling point is " KITTENS!!!" and the reviewer hates kittens. And all they talk about is how bad the kittens are. So... are they ugly kittens or cute ones? Because I came for the kittens.
It sounds like you're saying grinding is a selling point for Ni No Kuni... I highly doubt that, and I don't think I've ever seen any game advertise *grinding* as a selling point. Sure, you can expect some amount of grind in JRPGs, but being a genre trope doesn't excuse it from criticism or account in review score.


For everyone complaining about the review score/scoring system, here's my interpretation:
In a lot of schools, a 70% is a bare minimum C, which is mediocre work that fulfills its purpose but doesn't have many good qualities. Or it basically meets requirements but either doesn't have a lot of good or outstanding features or is held back by various problems (in this case, grind/pacing, for example). A 60% (3 stars or below) would be barely passing, meeting requirements of, for example, being a functional game with all features and some issues, but still fully functional.
Anything less indicates varying degrees of failure: A 0 would be where the game won't even play, various things between 0 and 60 indicate the game's unplayable, etc. In a lot of schools (on a 10 point scale), a 60 is passing by the skin of your teeth, and anything less is some amount of failure.
70~79 would be average, like an English paper that covers its topic but doesn't do a great job arguing its point but doesn't have a lot of problems. Similarly, a game would be functional and work but not do anything particularly well- alternatively, it could do a few things well, but have plenty of bugs or other drawbacks counterbalancing them.
80~89 would represent a pretty well written paper that argues its point to a good degree and doesn't have too many errors, like a video game that plays fairly well and has several good qualities (great sound, graphics, gameplay, whatever), but isn't exceptional in all of its qualities (think: breaking a game review down into sound, graphics, gameplay, story, etc., and not doing excellent in all, but good/great in most), or is exceptional in a few but has a few shortcomings/bugs.
90+ would mean a paper that argues its point well and is almost free of spelling/grammatical errors; a game that excels in most departments and has few flaws/shortcomings.
Most games, I think, would at least be functional (thus worthy of a "D", or 3 stars-ish) in most departments without too many glitches/flaws/shortcomings. Probably too many games wind up with 80+~90+ based on what I've seen on metacritic and other places, but if most publishers are putting out *functional* games with at least a moderate grasp on gameplay and storytelling, you can expect most reviews to be at least a 3, thus why you don't see too many things on the trash end of the spectrum (would you really consider buying a game if you believed it was only worth a 0, 1, or 2 stars? What about 3?)
Anyway, that's my take on review scores... Hope that helps make the ratings make more sense.

OT: For anyone that's played the game, how long have you spent grinding (~# of hours, please) or how much time have you spent period, and about how far through the game are you (20%, 50%, 80%)?. For example, I'm about 90% of the way through Demon's Souls and have spent 30 hours. I ask because I'm debating again whether it's worth picking up now or waiting, and I'd really like to have an idea of how long the game will take/how quickly it will progress.
 

RyQ_TMC

New member
Apr 24, 2009
1,002
0
0
Kahani said:
And this is why it's not possible to take game ratings seriously. If a slow, boring, stupid, un-fun game that the review explicitly says they can't stand gets 70%, what the hell could ever get less than that? The whole system is meaningless because the bottom 2/3 of the scale simply isn't used.
I'm reminded of the phrase "typical seven", i.e. games which get 7/10 represent a very specific quality level - if you're a fan of a genre, you'll absolutely love it, if not, you're not losing anything by skipping it. Arcanum was like that, WRPG fans still gather for circlejerks about it, everyone else barely remembers the game. And from Susan's review, Ni No Kuni hits that spot perfectly. The message I'm getting from most other reviews is that, despite all the high scores, the game is a seven. Read "10" if you love JRPGs, read "don't bother" if it's not your thing.
 

Eclipse Dragon

Lusty Argonian Maid
Legacy
Jul 7, 2020
4,259
12
13
Country
United States
Shakura Jolithion said:
OT: For anyone that's played the game, how long have you spent grinding (~# of hours, please) or how much time have you spent period, and about how far through the game are you (20%, 50%, 80%)?. For example, I'm about 90% of the way through Demon's Souls and have spent 30 hours. I ask because I'm debating again whether it's worth picking up now or waiting, and I'd really like to have an idea of how long the game will take/how quickly it will progress.
I can't speak personally or give you numbers, but it's safe to assume this title has the same amount of grinding as pretty much every other Level 5 jrpg (White Knight Chronicles, Dragon Qust VIII, Rogue Galaxy), which usually equates to about 30 hours or so throughout the entire course of the game. Rogue Galaxy in particular I could count on 1 hour of grinding before continuing the story. HOWEVER Level 5 has systems in most games to make the grinding more tolerable, by including optional side quest and benefits for doing so.

Ex: Rogue Galaxy has the hunting record and hunter ranking chart, which basically means you need to kill 30 of every monster type in the game (out of around 207 types), as you reach completion percentages, you get rewards (some of them are purely aesthetic, some of them have combat use). If you plan on reaching 100% of the hunter record and #1 spot on the hunter rankings, that's pretty much all of your grinding for the whole game. I more often found myself overleveled when I continued the story rather than underleveled. I will say though, if you are underleveled, the difficulty can be frustrating and you'll become a potion addict.

Ni No Kuni sounds like the same case.
 

Susan Arendt

Nerd Queen
Jan 9, 2007
7,222
0
0
It's amazing how much negativity towards this game is in the review compared to the final score it earned.
 

Your Gaffer

New member
Oct 10, 2012
179
0
0
AldUK said:
Susan Arendt said:
AldUK said:
I haven't played it myself yet, but I have watched quite a few videos. Seems to me that it's more like the older SNES era JRPG and less like the more recent PS2/PS3 offerings, at least in terms of gameplay mechanics. And you know what? I'm totally fine with that, I played those RPGs growing up. Those mechanics, plus Ghibli's amazingly beautiful art? Bring it on.

I think if you have a lot of free time, if you're older than 20 and you appreciate JRPGs and Miyazaki movies, you'll love it. If not... you'll be frustrated. And yes, I get it, that's a lot of ifs.
I'm older than 20, appreciate JRPGs and Miyazaki movies and I can't stand the game. I absolutely understand why folks would enjoy it, but let's not assume that those of us who don't are doing something wrong.
Can we also assume that people are allowed different opinions without being shot down? I wasn't saying you are wrong, I was merely stating my own opinion based on what I have seen of the game.
Except your opinion was that she didn't like it because she didn't have the right background and not because of the game itself.
 

Shakura Jolithion

New member
Nov 9, 2009
36
0
0
Eclipse Dragon said:
I can't speak personally or give you numbers, but it's safe to assume this title has the same amount of grinding as pretty much every other Level 5 jrpg (White Knight Chronicles, Dragon Qust VIII, Rogue Galaxy), which usually equates to about 30 hours or so throughout the entire course of the game. Rogue Galaxy in particular I could count on 1 hour of grinding before continuing the story. HOWEVER Level 5 has systems in most games to make the grinding more tolerable, by including optional side quest and benefits for doing so.
Interesting, I don't think I've played any Level 5 games, though I usually don't pay attention to publishers and credits anyway >.> For a game with 30 hours of grind, how long did the game take in total to beat, grind included?
 

StriderShinryu

New member
Dec 8, 2009
4,987
0
0
Katatori-kun said:
It's amazing how much negativity towards this game is in the review compared to the final score it earned.
I believe it's simply a case of the total being more than the sum of it's parts.

I'm not sure about you, but I can definitely point out games that have some major flaws yet that I still enjoyed. One of this sites major whipping boys, Dragon Age 2, for example. I know it has flaws, many of them obvious, some of them positively glaring. But, in the end, I really really enjoyed that game and absolutely consider it worth playing. I would easily rate it a 4/5 experience or maybe even more if the player was able to get into the world, the story and the characters.
 

Eclipse Dragon

Lusty Argonian Maid
Legacy
Jul 7, 2020
4,259
12
13
Country
United States
Shakura Jolithion said:
Eclipse Dragon said:
I can't speak personally or give you numbers, but it's safe to assume this title has the same amount of grinding as pretty much every other Level 5 jrpg (White Knight Chronicles, Dragon Qust VIII, Rogue Galaxy), which usually equates to about 30 hours or so throughout the entire course of the game. Rogue Galaxy in particular I could count on 1 hour of grinding before continuing the story. HOWEVER Level 5 has systems in most games to make the grinding more tolerable, by including optional side quest and benefits for doing so.
Interesting, I don't think I've played any Level 5 games, though I usually don't pay attention to publishers and credits anyway >.> For a game with 30 hours of grind, how long did the game take in total to beat, grind included?
It depends on how much of a completionist you are. If you're just going through the story and that's your only goal, Rogue Galaxy is probably about 40 hours. If you plan on messing around with all the extras, side quest, ext (which Level 5 loves throwing in there) it can add up to over 80 hours.
 

maninahat

New member
Nov 8, 2007
4,398
0
0
Kahani said:
Susan Arendt said:
a thankless slog that kills your momentum.

every worn-out JRPG trope

excessive grinding, slow pace, idiotic heroes

insurmountable frustration

a giant middle finger thrust in your direction

there's a lot of "eventually" in this game

finger-twistingly complicated and unfun.

AI is just as dumb

never becomes satisfying enough to make you look forward to it.

story is pretty thin

crushingly slow pace

positively glacial

lacks in finesse

extremely frustrating

extraneous grinding, slow pacing, and shockingly stupid heroes
I can't stand the game
3.5/5

And this is why it's not possible to take game ratings seriously. If a slow, boring, stupid, un-fun game that the review explicitly says they can't stand gets 70%, what the hell could ever get less than that? The whole system is meaningless because the bottom 2/3 of the scale simply isn't used.
You must have missed the parts where she complemented its charm, aesthetics, music, and fun characters. Sometimes, the negatives take more explaining than the positives, especially when you are explaining the details of game mechanics as opposed to whether it looks pretty. Quoting the criticisms out of the context of the specific things they were describing won't not produce an accurate impression.
 

Static Jak

New member
Mar 15, 2011
20
0
0
There's a good bit of grinding from what I played but it's never really effected my experience negatively. Maybe that's down to me being used to it from the genre, especially going back to the when the genre was at it's height of popularity. And compared to the last Level 5 game I really loved, DQ8, it's about the same level of grinding and difficulty involved thought it takes a bit longer to really rev up and offer you everything on the table.

I'd go as far to say I enjoy the grind a bit but that's different for each person. And I definitely enjoy the difficulty, that's a major plus in my books. And I enjoy the combat even though it took a bit of practice.

I like the characters too, the ones I've met so far that is. Though Oliver's voice acting is a bit weak overall. Love Mr Drippy and his Welsh accent and slang. Love it.

And the story isn't something I can quite speak on yet, being 10+ hours in so far. From have have experienced though, the main aspect is adventure over anything else. Which it pulls off damn well.

It's a game that people will love or just not want to bother with after the frst few hours. But I'd agree with most of the other reviews that it's something quite special and one of the better JRPGs this gen.
 

Theotherguy

New member
Mar 15, 2011
33
0
0
Hmmm so 7/10...

Well, I didn't expect much from a person who gave, also, 7/10 to Zero Escape.

It seems like the reviewer has nearly no experience with the, a bit more oldschool jrpgs, where grinding was something normal, having it easy was not a part of those games, back in the days.

That said I think Susan should never review a jrpg, that is a bit harder than the buttonmashing ones, again. It's just not her thing.
 

MattAn24

Pulse l'Cie
Jul 16, 2009
656
0
0
Wow.. How much more passive-aggressive did you really want to be, Susan?

You started off saying how much you like grinding in RPGs... But then you go on to completely berate it and belittle people who "happen to like this sort of game"? Sure, you said people who are fans of it will like it, but you did so in such a nasty, close-minded way. Just had to get across that "If you're ok with extraneous grinding, slow pacing, and shockingly stupid heroes, then you'll come to love Ni no Kuni."

If we're okay with shockingly stupid heroes? Who the hell are you to judge that? What, because you just so happen to have a website where you review games? Granted, this is merely one person's opinion on a game, but holy backhanded compliments, Batman!

It's certainly not surprising, coming from what seems to be a Western RPG (*ahem*BioWare*ahem*) fangirl.. "Let's all forget that pretty much all Western RPGs have exactly the same tropes and idioms as each other, the only good thing we can say about JRPGs is that they sure are purdy! You are a lesser human being if you have the nerve to like this kind of 'boring' tripe."

Oh well, can't say I didn't expect it. That's all website reviews are these days. Hype the shit out of the game prior to release (or conversely report so much negative press about it) then do the exact opposite in the review of it. Hell, this review could have easily changed the title of the game to Final Fantasy XIII and Wizard's Companion to Datalog.

All of that "eventually" rant just screams "Why can't I have everything noooooowwwww!?" which is so incredibly entitled.. Wait.. It's an RPG, right? Don't Western RPGs do the exact same thing? Of course you don't get everything right away! Hell, Oliver is a child. Of course he's not the grand supreme powerful being, that's why he's on this damn adventure, to gain those skills! Still, extremely close-minded and ignorant calling him "a brainless gorp of a child who lacks the deductive reasoning skill of your average sandwich bag".

That isn't a fair or accurate nonpartisan review, that is forcing your biased perception onto others. Reviews, at least as far as I'm concerned, should be entirely neutral. Nobody cares what you think of the characters, they aren't you. You can absolutely review a game/product without putting your own personal bias on it, it's been done. People can make their own mind up about whether it's good or not, your role is to describe the gameplay. You could very well have done that, without adding the sarcasm or insults.

Hell, why do star/number ratings even still exist anyway? Becoming more like the TV Tropes article every day! http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/ReviewsAreTheGospel

EDIT: As a few others just before me have said, this just screeeeams "I don't understand you people and your Japanese RPGs today! HURR I'M AMURRICAN, our games are clearly superior because American!" Sigh.. And it's hilarious that there was an attempt of "I like grinding. I really do. Now here's why grinding is terrible and awful and you all suck if you like it."
And wall plaid (Desert Bus reference~) to the gentleman who pointed out how actually-not-that-grindy the game is. I'm guessing, Susan, that you would call the Nintendo 3DS remake of PlayStation 2's Tales of the Abyss a "grind-fest" as well? When you can absolutely get through just fine without it? Sounds like you weren't that interested to begin with, going from the tone of the review.. No matter how you tried to cover it up.
 

MattAn24

Pulse l'Cie
Jul 16, 2009
656
0
0
Torrasque said:
I understood this review as a "QQ I want to play FFXIII" because every single complaint in this review can be solved by just playing FFXIII. Yes it also opens up other complaints, but it certainly "solves" the "problems" with Ni No Kuni.

Yes Oliver is pretty slow, but he's a fucking kid, not some genius that has been training for eons to save the world.
Yes you do have to grind, but the overworld music is so delightful and the landscape so beautiful, that grinding ain't no thang. Besides that, its so random to recruit new familiars that you end up killing 10-20 mobs before you finally get one to join you. And when you finally do get to the point of, "ok, combat is easy now" it is because you are finally familiar with enemies and how to clean them up efficiently, more than your party is OP enough.
Yes you can't access the item bag or certain parts of your menu, but why would you ever want to access them before you get to that part of the game? Wanna look in your bag and sort the 0 items you have? Well too bad, you have no items, so there is nothing to sort.
...I am intrigued by this post and wish to subscribe to your newsletter. Hell, you said everything I textually vomited out and quite a lot better too! I particularly liked the last line. NOTHING IS EVER GOOD ENOUGH. Apparently.
Oh, and all the "I'm too old to play JRPGs and grind-fests now!" talk is hilarious. Plenty of people my age (25) and older who play JRPGs just fine, all while juggling work, university, relationships and general living. I don't even get the grinding argument anymore. I have never once had to grind in any JRPG. I've had to run around aimlessly in *Western* RPGs to progress, but no, I'm always at just the right point in JRPGs. Getting slaughtered by a boss? You obviously haven't used Libra (or whatever the equivalent is in other games outside Final Fantasy) or you are, in fact, doing it wrong. I've also never once had to "spam auto-attack", because I'm actually focusing on proper strategies. Sounds like a whole lot of "WE'RE TOO LAZY waaaaaaaaaaa"...
 

Cenzton

New member
Nov 30, 2011
32
0
0
I do ever so love it when someone who obviously dislikes a certain genre of games attempts to write a review for one. I mean, it's just as bad as when a fanboi writes a gushing all positive review, but quite frankly this is no better than a Zero Punctuation review however we're already aware of his feelings on the subject and just watch it because it'll be funny. Gotta love that journalist subjectivity.
 

Furrama

New member
Jul 24, 2008
295
0
0
Shakura Jolithion said:
Furrama said:
That's like having a game who's selling point is " KITTENS!!!" and the reviewer hates kittens. And all they talk about is how bad the kittens are. So... are they ugly kittens or cute ones? Because I came for the kittens.
It sounds like you're saying grinding is a selling point for Ni No Kuni... I highly doubt that, and I don't think I've ever seen any game advertise *grinding* as a selling point. Sure, you can expect some amount of grind in JRPGs, but being a genre trope doesn't excuse it from criticism or account in review score.


For everyone complaining about the review score/scoring system, here's my interpretation:
In a lot of schools, a 70% is a bare minimum C, which is mediocre work that fulfills its purpose but doesn't have many good qualities. Or it basically meets requirements but either doesn't have a lot of good or outstanding features or is held back by various problems (in this case, grind/pacing, for example). A 60% (3 stars or below) would be barely passing, meeting requirements of, for example, being a functional game with all features and some issues, but still fully functional.
Anything less indicates varying degrees of failure: A 0 would be where the game won't even play, various things between 0 and 60 indicate the game's unplayable, etc. In a lot of schools (on a 10 point scale), a 60 is passing by the skin of your teeth, and anything less is some amount of failure.
70~79 would be average, like an English paper that covers its topic but doesn't do a great job arguing its point but doesn't have a lot of problems. Similarly, a game would be functional and work but not do anything particularly well- alternatively, it could do a few things well, but have plenty of bugs or other drawbacks counterbalancing them.
80~89 would represent a pretty well written paper that argues its point to a good degree and doesn't have too many errors, like a video game that plays fairly well and has several good qualities (great sound, graphics, gameplay, whatever), but isn't exceptional in all of its qualities (think: breaking a game review down into sound, graphics, gameplay, story, etc., and not doing excellent in all, but good/great in most), or is exceptional in a few but has a few shortcomings/bugs.
90+ would mean a paper that argues its point well and is almost free of spelling/grammatical errors; a game that excels in most departments and has few flaws/shortcomings.
Most games, I think, would at least be functional (thus worthy of a "D", or 3 stars-ish) in most departments without too many glitches/flaws/shortcomings. Probably too many games wind up with 80+~90+ based on what I've seen on metacritic and other places, but if most publishers are putting out *functional* games with at least a moderate grasp on gameplay and storytelling, you can expect most reviews to be at least a 3, thus why you don't see too many things on the trash end of the spectrum (would you really consider buying a game if you believed it was only worth a 0, 1, or 2 stars? What about 3?)
Anyway, that's my take on review scores... Hope that helps make the ratings make more sense.

OT: For anyone that's played the game, how long have you spent grinding (~# of hours, please) or how much time have you spent period, and about how far through the game are you (20%, 50%, 80%)?. For example, I'm about 90% of the way through Demon's Souls and have spent 30 hours. I ask because I'm debating again whether it's worth picking up now or waiting, and I'd really like to have an idea of how long the game will take/how quickly it will progress.
Grinding is a part of the wallpaper. I expect it to a point, and can enjoy it if implemented well.

I don't really look at scores. I read what the poster says and skip over the ratings.
 

Eve Charm

New member
Aug 10, 2011
760
0
0
It's a JRPG and follows the tropes well, You don't have to have more then a handful of familiars to get through the game, thats kinda on you if you want a bunch and want to grind to level them all up. Heck no you don't have to grind that much, it follow the ala chrono trigger method of if you kill everything on your way, you won't have to grind for the boss.

Now with that said I didn't find much wrong with the review, now Jim on the other hand is a problem. If you guys are gonna HURP DURP, 3 inches down from the end of every review that you give a score people aren't expecting you should stop reviewing. I wasn't even done with my thought of " Hey that's a lower score then I was thinking it would get." Before basically getting called an idiot by someone that works for the site. If you guys can't let your reviews be honestly reviewed by your audience, don't allow comments or threads anymore.
 

illmunkeys

New member
Jun 5, 2009
1
0
0
Its weird. I was worried about the grind, and find I haven't yet had to. I've only made it past the volcano, so the grind could come, but I find that using defense and evade I can pretty much avoid all major damage to Oliver. Keep two monsters at a high level, morph the others, and everyone levels up quickly. The partner? Eh. She dies every boss battle because the AI doesn't seem to get defense and evade, and I just keep her tactics on Heal otherwise.

I find the game cute (seriously, I could just walk around the game world looking at things), the battles are fun (the main characters underused sadly, and these sorts of active battles could use a lesson from Grandia who pretty much perfected the art of controlling multiple characters in a near flawless way), and the story is no worse than most JRPGs (who I think as an industry stagnated when I was a teen, or my interest has moved on).

Oliver's realization of his true quest, from the selfish ("I HAVE TO SAVE MY MOTHER") to the selfless is done well and the fact he acts like a kid is great (rather than an adult in a kid's body). It is typical save the world from the big bad foozle. Currently the villain hasn't been featured enough to make a comment on.

The tutorial was eh. Not near as bad as FFXIII, thank ye gods, but I really wish game developers would begin to put the tutorial outside the game rather than trying to incorporate it into the story. Your average game player is old(er) or has been playing since they were a wee toddler. We don't need "Press to search" anymore (if we ever did) and those few who are somehow just getting into games: that's what the tutorial outside the game is for. I miss the days of games like A Boy and His Blob where you're plunked down in the game world with absolutely no idea what's going on.

Monsters collection has never been a draw for me, hence my avoidance of all things Pokemon. I don't see this as inspiring me to catch them all, but so far keeping a couple relatively powerful monsters seems good enough to pass most battles (an evade and a defense monster are absolute musts).
 

search_rip

New member
Jan 6, 2009
249
0
0
hmmm, and yet our beloved Jim Sterling, thank God for him, gave this game a 9, that's why is better to try a demo or rent the game before purchasing it when you are in the fence about it
 

-Dragmire-

King over my mind
Mar 29, 2011
2,821
0
0
MattAn24 said:
That isn't a fair or accurate nonpartisan review, that is forcing your biased perception onto others. Reviews, at least as far as I'm concerned, should be entirely neutral. Nobody cares what you think of the characters, they aren't you. You can absolutely review a game/product without putting your own personal bias on it, it's been done. People can make their own mind up about whether it's good or not, your role is to describe the gameplay. You could very well have done that, without adding the sarcasm or insults.
As much as I disagree with the review(specifically the wording), I'd rather have this than what you're describing. In a non biased review, you can't say the controls feel off or that they're perfect and say why, you would be limited to saying things like, "The controls are responsive, when I press a button the corresponding action is displayed. There is music. The sound effects occur on time. There are visuals in 3d.". A non biased factual non-emotional description of any art form makes it dull. Would you really look into a game if all the reviews sounded like they had no emotional impact on the reviewer at all?


I find the use of reviews are to read up on several of them and see who's biased opinion aligns best with your own biased opinion.

...also, your line about forcing her biased reception on others makes it sound like she's some kind of immoral brainwasher. If people decide not to buy something based on a single review then chances are they weren't very interested in it to begin with.
 

awdrifter

New member
Apr 1, 2011
125
0
0
This is a JRPG in both a good and bad way. I definitely agree with Susan on the grinding, it's freaking ridiculous. Even when the enemies runs away from you, that still doesn't mean you are high enough level for the next boss, you need to chase them down to grind some more! Eventually I cheated and looked for place to grind, turns out there's a particular place where you can get 2k+ per battle, that cut down the frustration a lot. If anyone is thinking about playing this game, grind minimally before you get the ship, then go grind on the Ugly Duckling Isles. The sidequests (aptly named Errands) are really just that, errands. You don't get any exp after completing an errand, you only gain exp on the way of doing the errand. Another thing that bothers me was the lack of voice acting, I'm about 33 hours in, and voice acted cutscenes are getting scarce. I wish all the story quest cutscenes had voice acting.

That said, I still enjoy playing the game for the most part. Oliver and the gang are funny and charming. The cell-shaded artwork looks great. The story is good even if a bit predictable. It's like playing through a children's book. The characters you meet along your journey is mostly likable. The (Japanese) voice acting is excellent as usual. I kinda know what to expect going in, Level5 games are known to be grindy, but I'm ok with that. So I'm enjoying it more than Susan did.