Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch Review

Furrama

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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

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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

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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

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Jul 29, 2011
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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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Jan 9, 2007
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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

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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.
 

Eclipse Dragon

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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

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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

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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

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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.