While waiting to get hands-on with Dishonored here at Gamescom (more on that next week), I ran into an acquaintance from Namco Bandai. He invited me to their booth to experience the two new demos for Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch being shown. I didn’t pass on the opportunity, if nothing else, as an excuse to share beautiful new screens and video with you. Parts of what I saw are showcased in this new gamescom trailer, so do your eyes a favour and roll the video:
When lauching the first demo, the demonstrator made a point of showing that the game features a Japanese language VO selection option. This is a frequent request from JRPG fans, so rest assured that matter is settled.
The first demo, “An Errand for Father Oak,” takes place very early into the game as diminutive hero-in-training Oliver is trying to get to the Ding Dong Dell, the Cat King’s Castle. When the downtrodden gate guard won’t let you in, you’ll have to venture into the forest to capture “vigor” from forest denizens in a special jar to pep him up and let you in. While this all sounds ridiculous, Ni no Kuni comes off as incredibly charming in person, in no small part to the stunning visuals.
The second demo, “Eruption Interruption,” takes place further into the game, and shows off a somewhat more serious side to Ni no Kuni. This volcano setting is a far cry from the verdant fields we’ve seen from the game thus far – it’s closer to Mount Doom. The visual effects here look great, with of lava flows and heat wave effects blurring the scenery. The scene has players performing some mild platforming actions, such as shimmying along a cliff face, avoiding erupting steam vents.
At the peak of the caldera, the plucky team is pitted against a big boss: Moltaan, Lord of Lava. This is where it became clear that despite the cutesy visuals, this is a real, challenging game. Moltaan looms so large that he doesn’t always fit on screen, and the battle was suitably epic, lasting nearly 10 minutes and pushing the heroes to the brink of defeat.
The more I’ve seen of Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch, the tougher the wait until its release on 25th January 2013.