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.
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.
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: 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 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.
The collaboration between Level 5 and Studio Ghibli was released for DS in Japan last December, but the wait for the PlayStation 3 release is finally at an end. According to this week’s Famitsu, translated by Andriasang, Ni No Kuni PS3 will be released on November 17.