Thursday, December 1, 2011

Unboxing Ni no Kuni: Shikkoku no Madoushi

So, as many of you have probably heard (and are beyond excited for, I'm sure), Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch will be seeing an English release sometime early next year. Well, unfortunately, the Nintendo DS version of Ni no Kuni will not probably be as lucky – it's been out for just about a year now in Japan and no word as surfaced as to a potential localization.

I've been lamenting on how difficult it is to obtain a copy of said game (it's available online, but generally runs around $80+), and have been coveting it for a long time due to the famous book it comes with. From what I'd read, the book is an integral part of the game, and that's probably a big part of the reason why Level 5 (or whoever is in charge of localizations) decided not to bring the game over to the US.

Well, thanks to my great Twitter friend Zolbrod who lives in Japan, I've now got myself a complete copy of Ni no Kuni DS! It was used, but it only set me back about $25. Well, shipping was killer due to the size of the book, but it still ended up being about half what I would've paid online! Thanks again, Zolbrod!

I haven't gotten a chance to play the game yet, but rest assured, I will be making a full report soon! For now, here are some sample pictures of the set and a few excerpts from the gorgeous book.

The box that holds the book and game.
When they say book, they mean book!

There are so many gorgeous illustrations!

The book contains full lists of spells, weapons, and a bestiary –  there are so many cute enemies. It looks like they each have 4 forms, one for each element. 

Why's there a tire in the bottom right?

The book also contains a number of maps, as well as detailed history and other lore. 

And, of course, game itself.

I can't wait to sink my teeth into this game! Expect a full report in the next few weeks.


Marcus said...

Ohhhhh my gosh. I really want this. About a month ago I saw two copies in a store for $50, which I think is a good enough deal since I'd have it immediately (no overseas shipping, hooray!)... Of course that was a while ago now so they may all be gone. D: I think I'll still go check tomorrow anyway and cross my fingers, haha.

apricotsushi said...

Wow, in a store?!? Where do you live, Marcus?

You should definitely grab it, at $50, it's quite a steal! I paid just about that much with shipping and everything, and, as I mentioned, it was used.

Marcus said...

I live in the Los Angeles county so there's pockets of Asian-centric stores around. In particular, there are these Book-Off stores which sell Japanese games and other merchandise :).

The copy I'd get is used too but I've found that Japanese people seem to keep really good care of their games (in comparison to some of the things I find at GameStop). The only problem is a lot of stuff is from smoker homes...

Bryan Ochalla said...

Woooooooow! That book is absolutely GORGEOUS, Anne! I really had no idea. I mean, I know people said it was a book, but I didn't imagine something so ... magnificent. Damn, I may have to buy this at some point, even if I won't be able to understand a word of it. Anyway, can't wait to hear what you think of the game itself :)

Motherplayer said...

Wow! I have to say the presentation that was given just in terms of manual and artwork are first rate and quite creative. Who says that gaming manuals aren't as creative anymore.....? Okay well this is merely one exception so I'll coincide that. I just hope you won't be too worried to kill the enemies because the're cute....I've had that happen before myself. True Story!

apricotsushi said...

Marcus, I just have to say again: I am so jealous! I used to go to Book-Off in Japan all the time, they're such great stores. I wish I had a place nearby where I could score used copies of Japanese games!

apricotsushi said...

Bryan – I know, I had no idea it was seriously such a... book! It's massive, so detailed, and every page features such gorgeous illustrations I can hardly believe they put the time and money into making such a thing!

The first 10 pages are so are full of stokes and explanations for all the spells you use in the game, so I have a feeling I'll be looking at it a lot (they're actually kind of complicated, I wonder how well it can actually pick up all the differences in "runes"...)

It would definitely be a great collector's item to have :)

apricotsushi said...

Motherplayer – Haha, really? Didn't want to kill the enemies because they were too cute? That sounds like something I would probably do, too...

Billy Walker said...

Hey there :). So I stumbled upon your blog yesterday after surfing the web looking up something to do with Ni No Kuni!

I am so psyched for its release date on 25th January next year (in England)and am currently undergoing the biggest orgasm of my life, I seriously can't wait.

Question, what is it like on the DS? Hoping that this may give me some guage as to what it's going to be like on the PS3.

Btw I love your blog, it's so quirky! All of your topics make my eyes light up. You have such a unique taste in all things geeky.

apricotsushi said...

Billy – Hello! Thank you so much for the lovely comment. It really made my morning :)

I'm very excited for the Western release of the PS3 version, as well. Unfortunately, I've only played a couple of hours of this version, so I'm not exactly an authority on it... But it plays very much like a traditional RPG. The battle system is a bit like Dragon Quest, but you have back, mid, and front lanes you can move your characters into for some strategic advantages (characters in the front will deal more damage but get hit more, for example).

The thing is, the PS3 version's battle system looks like it's significantly different. It's definitely not 100% turn-based like the DS version. Many people complained that the DS version didn't do justice to the Ghibli art (I do kind of like pixel-y art myself, though), so the PS3 version will certainly be much better in that regard. The plot is said to expand upon the DS version, as well, but since it's not a sequel, you won't loose anything by not playing the DS version. The first few hours are virtually exactly the same, or so I'm told.

Do you have any specific questions you'd like me to answer? Perhaps I'll fire it up again and do more detailed impressions in an upcoming post!

Thanks again for reading. I'm really happy that you found some interesting things on my humble blog :)

Billy Walker said...

Thanks for getting back to me :). So I just wrote out
long message and my phone deleted it... Fml :S. Lets try this again shall we!

From the looks of it, the PS3 version looks completely real time as opposed to the DS' turn based combat. Is there a reason for you not playing it on DS, just not had the time or is it not your thing?

Also, just made my own blog the other day having read yours, guess you could say I've been inspired XD.

I've read that you're a freelance translator and that you go to Japan a lot and that you're also a student. How do you keep it all up, you doing it all at the same time?

apricotsushi said...

Billy – Bummer about your original message! Technology can be a pain sometimes, eh?

I personally like turn-based combat better than real-time, so I may actually find myself preferring the DS version in that regard! In terms of why I stopped playing it, it's totally a time thing. I've just been too busy! Sad, but true.

That's so great! Do share a link to your blog when you get started. I'd love to read what you have to say :)

Well, admittedly I don't do as much freelance translation now that I'm a full-time PhD student. I did do more when I was in-between schools for about a year and a half, but I'm backing down from it a bit so I can focus on other things. As for Japan, well, I haven't been back since 2009! I'm due for a trip next June :)

And actually, you can add "editor for a video game website" to that list, too! All the reviews I do for is really taking a toll on my personal gaming time these days. Things should quiet down soon, though, so I hope to start playing some stuff outside of reviews soon!

Thanks again for your comments!

Billy Walker said...

Yeah technology eh, we should've just stayed in the dark ages!

I'll send you a link once I've got some half decent content up there, I was planning on doing so anyway since I value the opinions of likeminded fellows such as yourself :P.

I've been writing up some notes for my blog, as and when I think of topics to discuss; so far I have quite a few things on my list so I'm quite looking forward to that. Hopefully there will be some interesting stuff for you to read :).

Man, you really do get up to a lot huh? :). Wish I had the motivation and time management skills needed to take on such a work load.

Hopefully you get some free time soon, then you can indulge yourself in a hardcore gaming session that lasts for a week straight XD.

Talk to you soon Anne-chan! :P.

apricotsushi said...

Billy - I look forward to reading your posts!