User Score
8.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 841 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 66 out of 841

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  1. Jan 30, 2013
    2
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. This is a less than mediocre game, it should have been a movie.

    It starts out good, great voice acting, great art, great setting.

    But within 5 hours it evolves into the most boring confusing and bugged jRPG I've ever played

    The main story is about 40~ hours, the plot is about 3~ of those hours, and the rest is filler fetch quests.
    Half of the spells in the game are one time use, and the other half are not used at all.

    To catch the familiars in the game, it is all random number generated, and usually requires 1-2 hours just to catch a regular familiar, and to catch the rare ones can require a 5+ hour investment.

    The AI is atrocious, they will burn their MP to 0 if you let them cast spells, and if you don't let them cast spells they die due to not healing.
    You get two macros regarding AI, All-out-defense and All-Out-Offense.

    All out defense is usually them bringing out the worst familiar to defend with, getting hit hard and dying, and they also never attack during this phase. All-out-attack is them bringing out the worst familiar to attack with and doing zero damage.

    In specific there is a boss fight with a magic-weak boss, the AI will never use spells and continually dink the boss for 2-5 damage a hit.

    The game holds your hand tutorial wise throughout, even the last boss has a mid-battle tutorial telling you to dodge. I understand this is an E game, but what happened to simply figuring things out?
    You get a spell called bridge, which by its' namesake, creates a bridge. This is great, I can cross chasms and canyons with ease! But drippy (The walking tutorial) literally spells out when to use the spell. Also there are ledges that make it apparent a bridge would go here. They may as well just removed the spell entirely and just put the bridge there.

    Also there is a feature which you must remove emotions from people and give them to those lacking. At first I think cool, healing people and figuring out who has what and help others! BUT, in literally EVERY occasion you need to do this, the game HIGHLIGHTS the emotion they have, and the emotion they need. What is the point? Just remove this entirely if the game is going to hold your hand every time. If one had to read the text and figure out what they had it'd be okay.

    There are also huge overlooks with the gameplay. When performing alchemy you can mix-and-match items to create new ones, or use a formula, cool! But when you do find a formula thru mixing, IT DOESN'T ADD IT TO THE FORMULA LIST. An extreme annoyance. Also the path finding when attacking is atrocious, during one boss fight you spend the entire attack phase running around the monster who is continually turning, and you never get an attack in.

    As said earlier, the game has 2-3 hours of full voice acting, but as you progress, it literally turns to about a 50:1 text to spoken ratio.
    This causes all character development to cease, and you lose immersion in the story.
    It's a good thing because the story jumps the shark halfway through, and starts contradicting itself and adding red herring plotlines every 5 minutes. It also never comes back to correct the plotholes, and the story is just utter trash. The characters are extremely forgetful. Oliver the protagonist starts out by losing his mother, and is fighting to save her. I was taken by this and loved it, but soon you get the other two main characters, who are about as entertaining as Dane Cook to someone with an IQ over 100.

    The NPC who comes to save everyone in the end has literally no reason for existing, and is never explained. What is explained, is that this character (Pea) is brought to us by Gallus (The Wizard King). yet Gallus is an imaginary being who was thought up by Pea. I can't make this up. It's that bad.

    The only thing that kept me playing was the art style.

    Only giant fans of Level-5 and ghibli need play this, otherwise avoid at all costs if you are a JRPG fan. level-5 has released far superior titles to this.
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  2. Feb 18, 2013
    0
    An amazing game ruined by a horrific battle system.
    First off when you battle there are 2 computer controlled companions which help you out. Now, you can control them individually by freely switching back and forth between them and your main character or just let them do their own thing. But seeing as the game isn't turn based and the A.I is terrible I have a few BIG issues which kill the
    game for me (I have now stopped playing after 15 hours). Fighting normal battles isn't really an issue as just spamming the attack button seems to work pretty well. There isn't the tactical aspect i was hoping for like with turn based battles.
    The final straw came was whilst fighting a certain boss. And the things which really drive me crazy is when a Boss does a special move you HAVE to defend or evade otherwise you take massive damage, its just how the game is, the tutorial teaches you all about defending and it is vital to all boss battles. So image my joy when I defend the bosses special attacks to find that the other 2 computer controlled players NEVER defend or evade. So i'm constantly having to keep healing them which soon depletes your magic. An even bigger problem is when Ester, the female AI, runs out of MP instead of using a captured Familiar (aka Pokemon) to fight, she just runs up to the boss and starts attacking with her harp doing a really useful 1 damage per attack, all the while getting smashed by the boss.
    Its a real big shame. The graphics, sound, and different things to do are brilliant, i was really enjoying this game. There's so much to do, tons of side quests, you can make you own items, weapons, armour etc. Apparently there's a casino and a battle arena and all sorts of other stuff to do and i was really looking forward to it. If this game had turn-based battles like Final Fantasy 7, it may have possibly become my favourite RPG to date. I just hope they fire whoever it was who decided to have computer controlled team mates, and make a sequel with turn-based battles because this real time idea was a massive FAIL. I'm certain alot of these reviews where written after just a few hours of gameplay, and if I had written a review after just a few hours I would have also given a 9 or 10, the battle system at first is fine because you don't have any stupid A.I team mates to ruin your day. But once you have the A.I on your team that all changes. I suggest you have a read through of the critic reviews, but don't read the paid for 90-100 scores. Read up on the fighting in the "mixed" reviews for more info on the poor battle system. Good luck, if you can see past the shocking battle system then you're in for a treat! Why, oh why, isn't there a proper Pokemon game in this style on a console! Oh and one more thing, when your captured familiars (aka Pokemon) take damage your character takes damage, that's right they share the same HP and MP which also sucks big time!
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  3. May 6, 2013
    3
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Horrible, horrible jrpg, really. Read Ironsheik and and Nugs187 reviews, they say almost everything it should be said about this game. There are other issues though, like for example how useless and boring is all the "familiar capture thing" (there are hundreds of them and levelling up a familiar takes ages and almost all of them start at a very low level and they are useless anyway since you can beat the game by using always the same couple of familiars over and over, like I did), how cliched the game is (ie. first you explore the overworld on foot, then you can use a ship and finally you can fly on a dragon...how original, isn't it?), how the environments are really bad (fully decorated rooms in jrpgs are a standard since the snes era I think...try to enter a "castle" in ni no kuni, do you know what you'll find? A big empty room with a throne in the middle, I'm not kidding) and I could go on for hours but honestly this game doesn't deserve the effort. Shame on the developers that just took advantage of Studio Ghibli's collaboration trying (and succeeding) to sell a sub-standard game disguised as a "work of art".

    P.S. All the above is valid if you are older than 10, while for little children, played with their parents, the game could be great.
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  4. Mar 23, 2013
    4
    Very poorly made game. For those of us who enjoy playing for the story and on easy setting, you will be disappointed. It is very possible to end up in a boss battle with totally the wrong team and no way forward or back. This has happened to me twice, the first time on fairy island and I spent my last pennys feeding my buddies up to level them and outfitting them as best as I could them grinding on the limited selection there. Got through that mess, next problem, Hamlem and the big machine at the palace. Apparently you need a buddy with lightening skills to defeat this monster. I had never got one of them, I elected to play on 'easy' which stated I was 'playing for the story'. I didnt think I had to do my google research to such a deep degree for easy mode and for this mistake got a boss I could not defeat and no way forward. At this point my character or his healer still does not have teleport or resurrection skills. How is it a game can operate this far without your main having access to those parts of the map previously visited? I seriously regret buying this ill thought out piece of crap. How are people so amazed by such a trite story is beyond me, this place is filled with paid reviewers Im sure. Interested in buying this game? Okay make sure you like really complicated battle systems and MAKE sure to do your research before leaving an area. Easy DOES NOT mean easy. Prepare for cut scene type battles with lots of little cut scene interruptions. Oh and LOTS of pointless and meaningless little monster type things to battle. A lot of GRINDING!! There is some humour in this when you are not swearing at the stupid and many pointless boss battles that pop up all the time. Again rewards are chicken feed, helloooo whats in it for me??? There is no meaningful character customisation as you cannot control what your charater wears or looks like. I had the same wand for the last three days. Money is hard won and too easily spend on the huge party you end up having to try and manage. This is so overkill and on aspects I have no enjoyment in fixing. I believe the developers are fully exploiting peoples 'thats cute' meters to try and win themselves some points with the story and the characters but once involved in the game and seeing the very many flaws the 'cuteness' soon wears off. My warning...THINK twice or even three times before paying out for this game, be a very serious gamer with access to the internet to prepare yourself and your characters for the prolific annoying battles. Expand
  5. Feb 12, 2013
    4
    Environment graphics are stellar; character models are typical cell-shaded CGI $HIT and story blows. Combat system is also a mess. Don't waste your money.
  6. Feb 12, 2014
    4
    The worst AI to grace a video game in at least the past decade ruins what would otherwise be a fantastic story with memorable characters. The greatest challenge you'll face in this game involves getting your AI team-mates to co-operate and act according to the vague tactics you select for them. Boss battles come down to winning or losing based on your ability to outrun your own companions and get a golden orb before they can waste it.

    The only thing worse than a genuinely bad game, is what could easily have been an incredible game ruined by one core aspect of the gameplay.
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  7. Apr 10, 2013
    1
    I just flat out did not have fun playing this game. I couldn't identify with the characters and I found them to ineffectual and actively annoying. The cutscenes couldn't decide if they wanted to be anime, rendered, or little text boxes that you can't skip. The game felt like it needed to hold my hand and keep key gameplay mechanics away from me. Combat was menu driven and real time. There is no attack button, no defend button, just running and menus. Minions don't tank for you. While the music was well done, nothing else was. For an hour of gameplay, I was interrupted with 3 hours of cutscenes and drivel. The constant interruptions just caused me to take the game out and return it. Expand
  8. Feb 11, 2014
    1
    I have just signed up to Metacritic to say my bit on this game. So i can watch most types of movies, play games etc and mostly ignore preconceptions based on others opinions, but i can honestly say, i feel like i was a child playing game. All the way from having my hand held through even the most simplest tasks, the awful linear way the gameplay is formulated to the boring, slightly (well, mostly) frustrating battle system. I read a fair amount of reviews from all you people and generally accepted that it's not for everyone and some are far more particular about what they are looking for in a game. I know, or even care, little for some of the things that piss people off in games. but i feel cheated by this one. Nothing was AMAZING to me. It looks good, the music is nice, the constant text boxes, the slow interactions got to me. I feel better about writing this now, haha. I'm going to delete this game from my memory and hard drive and go back to FFX. Expand
  9. Aug 6, 2013
    3
    Infantile is the best word to describe this game. I used to call myself a fan of the jRPG genre, but the last few games I played let me down (I'm looking at you FF XIII), so I was hoping for a great adventure when I picked up this title. Unfortunately it failed as well. The graphics may be nice, caring for your "Pokemons" is interesting, combat is also OK, but the rest.. The most important aspects of any RPG for me the story, the dialog, the characters they are all dull and bland. Ni No Kuni also has the Most. Infantile. Dialogs. Ever. This is a good game for kids, I am so disappointed. Expand
Metascore
85

Generally favorable reviews - based on 89 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 81 out of 89
  2. Negative: 0 out of 89
  1. Ni No Kuni offers players an experience unlike almost any other RPG. At once, you are transported back to the innocence of a childhood filled with monsters, magic, and mysticism; but at the same time you find yourself immersed in an emotional story about a protagonist dealing with his innermost emotions.
  2. Apr 11, 2013
    92
    The entertaining battles and the resolutions of plot threads as the game progressed toward the final credits were worth paying the cost of a slow start to the gameplay. This is a game that we'll be talking about for years to come, and I'm happy to have played it.
  3. Apr 1, 2013
    85
    Despite the delayed journey to the West, Ni No Kuni is definitely a title you should at least give a chance. There is a demo up on PSN that you can go ahead and download, and once you get used to the combat system and mechanics of the game, you’ll be treated to an adventure like no other.