Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch was one of Level 5’s best games and was trapped on the PS3 (and/or Nintendo DS for those in Japan). However, the game has since received a remaster that was brought to current-gen platforms. Those with Xbox GamePass can now take the plunge into this Studio Ghibli-inspired RPG with monster-catching elements clearly inspired by Pokemon.
However, with the game being as old as it is, there are still plenty of quirks and shortcomings that will cause you to fall into certain habits. That said, the game is still extremely enjoyable, and its debut on Xbox has been long overdue.
9/9 Wait… There’s Alchemy In This Game?
Several hours into Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch, you have a boss fight with a Genie. Once you beat him, you unlock the ability to do alchemy to create special items and equipment to upgrade your characters and bolster your Familiars. However, alchemy is such an afterthought and requires so many materials that it’s easy to play the game without it.
Furthermore, there are strong enough spells and Familiars you’ll find in your adventure that the extra benefits from alchemy are rarely required. Only completionists will be the ones to dive into this system.
8/9 Just Give Me The Best Familiars
The struggle with monster-catching games is trying to balance dozens if not hundreds of individual characters to all be viable in their own way. However, Wrath of the White Witch doesn’t balance the Familiars all too well, leading there to be a very clear hierarchy between the good ones and the bad ones.
If you’re looking to cheese the game, then add a Dinoceros into your roster. Because of this, many players will end up with similar rosters of Familiars. If certain characters are going to make it harder to beat the game, then you’re likely to not use them.
7/9 Morningstar Again And Again And Again
Oliver is the spellcaster in your party in Wrath of the White Witch. While he starts out with simple fire and heal spells, he gets much stronger later in the game. When he unlocks the Mornstar, Evenstar, and Astral spells, then it’s game over for a lot of enemies that stand in your way.
Once those spells are unlocked, though, you’ll likely just spam them over and over until your next opponent dies. Sure, they’re heavy on mana, but it’s not like using it more sparingly on weaker spells is a better strategy.
6/9 Keeping It To The Main Three
Ni No Kuni, for the most part, is a game that focuses around three party members: Oliver, Esther, and Swain. Swapping out your party comes in the form of picking different Familiars. However, after you beat Shadar in the final act of the game, you’ll find that there is an additional act before you see the end credits.
Not only does it utilize a new main antagonist, but it also adds a fourth party member to your roster that you can only use if you swap one of the other two out. By that time, though, you’ve nearly maxed out your existing party members that using the fourth is a non-option for all intents and purposes.
5/9 Keep Esther Alive Above All Costs
Ni No Kuni doesn’t give you special items to catch familiars. Instead, the only way to do it is to take control of Esther and use her harp. The trick is that you never know when a Familiar can be caught, as it’s completely random.
As such, you need Esther to be alive in essentially every battle as her opportunity could come at any moment. The worst part is that she’s extremely squishy and dies easily. Some people rectify this by constantly swapping over to her to make sure her AI is n’t making poor decisions.
4/9 Why Are You Doing That?
Even fans of Ni No Kuni will agree that one of the worst aspects is the AI of your party members. Without the proper Familiars, it will take mere seconds for Esther and Swain to perish (or Oliver if you’re controlling one of the other two).
If you’ve already dived into the game proper, then you’re likely to find yourself yelling at your AI as they constantly seem to fall in battle. This leads many people to grind their party or find top-tier Familiars to combat the subpar AI.
3/9 Bye Bye, Mite
There’s a great Ghibli-animated cutscene when Oliver conjures his first Familiar. You likely got attached to Mite in some way. However, it becomes clear very early on that Oliver’s starting Familiar isn’t very good. Making matters worse is that Esther’s is subpar and Swain’s is downright awful.
This means that very few players are likely to stick with the starting Familiars throughout the game, if not ditching them outright the moment they enter the roster. Sure, they can be upgraded, but their stats are still lacking in many ways.
2/9 The Next Ghibli Cutscene Happens… Now… hopefully?
One of the biggest selling points of Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch is that it contained cutscenes that were hand animated by the famed Studio Ghibli. Needless to say, the cutscenes are gorgeous when they appear.
There aren’t very many, but they are a welcome addition that deserves the attention they get. Most players will watch every cutscene in the game hotly anticipating when the 2D animation will grace the screen once more. Just remember to set your expectations appropriately for Ghibli’s contributions to the game.
1/9 Oh Yeah, Horace Will Give Me Spells
In every town in Ni No Kuni, there hides Horace, a spirit who can give Oliver unique and powerful spells. You have to actively look for him, but that’s not all. After you find him, he will give you Riddles that you must solve. You might stumble across him a couple of times in your playthrough, but it’s unlikely that you’ll remember to look for every place he’s hiding and complete all the Riddles.
Once again, the game gives you strong enough spells that it won’t make a major difference one way or the other. You’ll still be perfectly capable of beating the adventure.
Next: Ni No Kuni: Wrath Of The White Witch Combat Tips