Tag Archives: level-5

Ni no Kuni for the DS vs. PS3 – What’s the Difference?

As a big fan of Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch for the PS3, it was only a matter of time before I discovered that there was actually an earlier version of the game for the DS called Ni no Kuni: Dominion of the Dark Djinn.  Unfortunately, this version of the game was only released in Japan, with the reasoning I had heard being the fact that this game requires a physical copy of the Wizard’s Companion, a book that is included in a digital format with the PS3 release.  On the upside, fans have created an English translation of the game, which I recently watched on YouTube thanks to YouTuber Alice N Asgard.  So what’s the difference between the two games, you might be asking?  Well, you’re in luck, because that’s the exact focus of today’s post!

Continue reading Ni no Kuni for the DS vs. PS3 – What’s the Difference?

The Ni no Kuni Wizard’s Edition Has Arrived!

As you may remember, I recently attempted my very first auction on eBay in an effort to purchase the Ni no Kuni Wizard’s Edition at an affordable price.  Long story short, I lost the auction, but ended up getting a similar item for about the same price.  The only difference is I got the European version (more specifically, the German version) instead of the North American one, so I missed out on a few extra goodies.  Fortunately, nothing of any real importance is missing, and now that it has finally arrived, it’s about time I talked about it. Continue reading The Ni no Kuni Wizard’s Edition Has Arrived!

Ni no Kuni and Why Swaine is the Best Character: A Random Rambling

In recent times, I have decided to replay Ni no Kuni, a game that has become near and dear to my heart.  It is due to the fact that I’m living in a rental with limited items unpacked that I returned to the game so soon, as when I enjoy a game, I will often try to spend longer between playthroughs to keep it fresh.  So often in the past, I would replay my favorite games until I couldn’t stand the sight of them.  Not so anymore.  It’s ironic that I intentionally avoid my favorite games, but it keeps them fun, so it’s worth it in the end. Continue reading Ni no Kuni and Why Swaine is the Best Character: A Random Rambling

Day 22: A Game Sequel Which Disappointed You

As I slowly inch my way forward through the 30 days’ worth of video game topics, I arrive upon a pretty easy one, a game sequel which disappointed me.  One game in particular springs to mind, but since it is such an obvious choice, I also wanted to briefly discuss one of the biggest crimes a sequel can commit.  For me, anyway.  We’ll see if you agree. Continue reading Day 22: A Game Sequel Which Disappointed You

Ni no Kuni II: A Review

Christmas is always the best time for catching up on all the games I missed, and one such game that I was able to obtain thanks to Christmas of 2018 was Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom.  Though I was a big fan of the first game on the PS3, I’ll admit I was rather doubtful as to how the newest entry in the series would turn out.  As far as I could tell, none of the first game’s original cast of characters was returning, leading me to believe from the start that this game would be a bit…different. Continue reading Ni no Kuni II: A Review

Top Songs from Ni no Kuni

I recently had the immense pleasure of playing through a truly spectacular RPG, Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch.  This game excelled in storytelling and characters you could really feel attached to.  The graphics were beautiful.  And the music, well, it all fit perfectly in this amazing world and served to enhance something that was already truly special.  Behold, my top five songs from Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch. Continue reading Top Songs from Ni no Kuni

The (Tidy) Return of the Old RPGs

Lately, I have really begun to lose my affection for RPGs, a genre I used to love after discovering how amazing they could be thanks to my first playthroughs of Square’s Kingdom Hearts and Final Fantasy X.  Those games were truly special and introduced me to some complex and deep stories and characters I could really fall in love with (but not in that way, you silly people!).  For this reason, I came to look to Square Enix for good RPGs, I found myself, nevertheless, underwhelmed with the release of FFXII and FFXIII.  While I did have a lot of fun checking out some of the old RPGs, like FFVI and FFIX, I still had quite a bit of trouble finding any good new games of the genre, and as my schedule became busier, I also had less desire to spend such a huge quantity of time on a whole category of games that, in general, felt slow-paced and tedious.

That all changed when I was first introduced to Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch on the gaming blog, RPG Square.  Something about it caught my interest, and I ended up finding it at Wal-Mart when I was in possession of a gift card.  And yet, at the same time, I must admit that my initial impression of the game was a bit reluctant.  I didn’t know about the cartoony style of graphics (I know, I’m a snob sometimes), and when I saw the creature on the cover (who turned out to be Mr. Drippy), I thought, oh, no, not another cutesy sidekick. Continue reading The (Tidy) Return of the Old RPGs

The Duck Finally Meets GLaDOS

There are many games that I hear good things about that I never end up playing.  “Bioshock”, “Mass Effect”, “Skyrim”.  But every time I look into these games, they are rated M for all kinds of naughty things, and I decide I don’t want to play them, no matter how much other people like them.  And I might be missing out, but such games are often not my thing.  (I watch “Andy Griffith” on TV, for crying out loud!)  And then I kept hearing about how great a game called “Portal 2” was, and I looked into it, and guess what, it was rated E.  E!  (Well, E 10+, but I have a theory that’s just an extra paranoid rating invented to prevent lawsuits, because a “Kirby” game is certainly not harmful to those younger than 10, and those games have that rating nowadays, too.)  Now that is more my thing.  More my thing indeed.

            And so I bought it, and as is normally the next step after buying a video game (well, after taking off the plastic, I suppose, a task that involves varying degrees of difficulty, and putting the disc in the console, which also can be difficult when it doesn’t want to come out of the case, I’m looking at you, GameCube discs…), I finally got around to playing it.  My first impressions?  First, it was funny.  Very funny, actually.  Second, it was fun and challenging in a whole new way I had never seen before.  Third, I love it.  I love the game.  But, I get ahead of myself.

            When I first started playing this game, it did take some getting used to.  In case you haven’t yet played this delightful game, all the puzzles are solved using this portal gun that can make up to two portals at a time.  And it is pretty disorientating at times.  I mean, my first time through a portal, I was watching myself go through it at the same time.  Which was pretty weird.  It was also a rather frightening experience at first falling through portals far below and then being shot out another one.  And it was pretty darn confusing at first, too.  You finally get the portal gun and the ability to make not one, but two portals, and I just didn’t know what to do with myself.  (And it didn’t help that I was looking at some useful diagrams sideways at one point…)

            But, once I did get used to it all, it was awesome.  Seriously.  This game has such creative, challenging puzzles.  It’s not just the portals, though those are the main things you use.  There are also solid bridges of light to traverse and lasers to redirect and turrets to avoid, and it was just great.  I loved these puzzles.  One of my favorite things in games are challenging puzzles (which is why the “Zelda” series is one of my favorites, when the puzzles are actually difficult), but too often, puzzles are too uninspired and easy, or they are hard, but you start seeing repeats, and they just get old.  A puzzle is no good anymore once you’ve seen it a dozen times before, even if it was challenging the first few times you did it.  One example is the puzzles in the “Zelda” series, involving Link sliding a block over ice to get it to a certain location, and once you push the block, it slides until it hits something.  Well, “Professor Layton and the Diabolical Box” had the same thing, only instead of a block, it was the Professor ice-skating over a frozen lake.  It was fun, but I had seen it before.  (And spoiler, figure out your route backwards…)

            But, sometimes something awesome and grand happens.  Sometimes a game actually offers something new in terms of puzzles.  What, creativity?  Who’s heard of such a thing!  The first example that comes to mind is “Ratchet and Clank: A Crack in Time”, which involves the most creative puzzles involving time and multiple recordings of yourself.  These puzzles involved Clank recording himself doing actions, then, he could play recordings of himself pressing buttons and other such things and work with those recordings to get to places he couldn’t go alone.  That may not make any sense, but trust me, they were some of the best puzzles I’ve ever seen.  That game was worth it just for those puzzles and the humor alone.

            And being too lazy to think of more examples, or perhaps, there aren’t any (no, there probably are, and I’m just too lazy), I return to my discussion of “Portal 2” (and likely the game that came before it, but as of writing this post, I have not played that yet).  It’s just a really wonderful game.  The puzzles were just so creative and challenging.  Sometimes, I just wandered around for twenty minutes before I figured one out.  But, I always did.  That’s what makes them so great.  They are difficult, but they are all do-able.  In fact, the solutions are pretty easy once you figure out what they are.  Sometimes, you jus have to try things or backtrack a little, and then the solution just comes to you.

            Another thing that needs mentioning is that they managed to make this into an actual game-game, which is also impressive.  What I mean is, it’s not just a series of puzzles the entire time like I expected.  There is more to the gameplay than just that (which I’ll get to in the next paragraph), plus a story and two great characters, the robots GLaDOS (a character that I’ve heard about specifically and who played a large role in me getting the game so I could see who she was) and Wheatley, who have some of the best dialogue ever, making this game so much more fun to play.

            And then, besides the rooms of puzzles you go through at certain points throughout the game, a good chunk of the game is also spent exploring the abandoned Aperture facility (all the while learning about some of the history of the company), and the only way to explore this crumbling, old place is to use your brain, the portal gun, and your environment.  The catwalk is missing, and the door you must reach is a good 50 feet away?  No problem.  Just find a good place to make portals, and you’re as good as there.  Your door is now 50 feet up?  Pshaw, portal gun and some blue gel.  Pow!  I’m so through that door it’s not even funny!  (Or is it?)  So if you’re like me and don’t want a game that’s simply a collection of puzzles, well, this one isn’t.  I mean, it really is, but the puzzles are hidden amidst the exploring.

            So people who have told me “Portal 2” is great, thank you.  I would have never bought the game if no one had told me how good it was.  I saw it in stores, but always just passed it by, not giving it a second thought.  But, now that I’ve tried it, I really enjoyed it, and I just love when I can get a game that has creative, challenging puzzles, and I am so impressed they were able to make this game into something more.  I didn’t expect that.  In short, puzzles.  Humor.  Exploring.  Plus GLaDOS and Wheatley.  Is a good time.

Few Know That the D in GLaDOS Stands For Duck…