Still Playing: Ni No Kuni

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Craig Owens explains why he’s still raising familiars in Level-5’s charming JRPG.

Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch review

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Ni No Kuni’s White Witch peers into her crystal ball and says, “So, this is the child who will save the world,” sneering at her pint-sized aggressor and his ill-matched ambition. The temptation is to sneer with her. Not at Oliver, the likeable 13-year-old called upon to save the fantasy world of Ni No Kuni in order to do the same for the life of his mother, but at the over-familiarity of the premise: the orphaned child at the precipice of puberty, who, in the words of the game’s attract sequence, will “save a world, but must first save himself”. For a story penned by Studio Ghibli, the animation house behind some of Japan’s most enduring and critically acclaimed cinematic fairytales, the hope was for more of a twist in the tale.

Ni No Kuni competition: win one of ten replica wizard’s companion books

Localising Ni No Kuni for the west

The 300-page books are Japanese-language replicas of the spellbook used by protagonist Oliver in the long-awaited collaboration between Professor Layton developer Level 5 and renowned Japanese animator Studio Ghibli, which launches in Europe on February 1.

Ni No Kuni: Wrath Of The White Witch delayed by a week in Europe and Australasia

Ni No Kuni delayed

Ni No Kuni: Wrath Of The White Witch, the stunning collaboration between Japanese developer Level 5 and world-renowned animation house Studio Ghibli, has been delayed by a week in Europe and Australasia. It will now launch on February 1, instead of January 25 as planned.

Most Wanted: January 2013 – DmC, Ni No Kuni and Strike Suit Zero

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The games we’re most looking forward to playing in January.

Ni No Kuni: Level-5 and Studio Ghibli’s world of wonder nears western release

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The delay in bringing Ni No Kuni to North America and Europe – some two years after its Japanese debut – can be attributed to creative control, not localisation laziness. The translation job and voice work on the game has been as meticulous as a full-blown Studio Ghibli production. It’s most evident in the entirely accurate tones and lingual quirks of Drippy, sidekick to child hero Oliver, and our guide in the story’s parallel world of magic and mystery. Did we mention Drippy is Welsh? And a Welshman who delivers colloquialisms like “knickers”, “tasty” and “tidy” without pause for breath? This is localisation on a startling level indeed.

Localising Ni No Kuni for the west

Localising Ni No Kuni for the west

There may be more ambitious and innovative roleplaying games than Ni No Kuni, but few of them can match its beauty. Released in Japan late last year, it’s been made by a dream team of developer Level-5 (the studio behind the Professor Layton games) and respected Japanese animation house Studio Ghibli.

Ni No Kuni English trailer

Here's our first look at Namco Bandai's English-language localisation of stunning PS3 RPG Ni No Kuni: Wrath Of The White Witch.Sadly, it comes with news that the US release of Level 5's collaboration with Hayao Miyazaki's Studio Ghibli has been delayed to 2013, meaning it's now due at the same time as the European localisation.

Ni No Kuni slips to 2013

Ni No Kuni: Wrath Of The White Witch, the PS3-exclusive Level 5 RPG, will not be released in Europe until the first quarter of 2013.Publisher Namco Bandai has confirmed that the game, a collaboration with revered Japanese anime company Studio Ghibli, will be released with a choice of Japanese or English audio, with subtitles in French, Italian, German and Spanish, according to Eurogamer.

Namco Bandai to publish PS3 Ni No Kuni in the west

Namco Bandai has revealed that it will publish the PS3 version of Ni No Kuni: Wrath Of The White Witch, the RPG collaboration between Level-5 and Studio Ghibli, in Europe and North America next year.No news is yet forthcoming as to whether the west can expect the DS version to make its way here. The western title for the game – Wrath Of The White Witch – was confirmed earlier this month.