COLUMN: ‘Ni no Kuni’ is one of Studio Ghibli’s best projects


Elise Keane, Columnist

Over these last two days I’ve been searching for the perfect game for the train ride home for break. I stumbled across a game called “Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch.” It had a familiar art style with a Pokémon-esque gameplay. As I looked farther into the game, I realized that it is created by Studio Ghibli, a film studio most known for movies like “Ponyo” and “Spirited Away.” With high hopes, I purchased the game. I was not prepared for just how good this game would be.  

The main conflict in this story is that Oliver is in search of his mother who passed away after saving Oliver from drowning. He searches for comfort in the stuffed toy his mom made for him, but as Oliver’s tears touch the fabric the doll comes to life. In a seemingly Irish accent, the doll announces he is a fairy named Drippy. This fairy is very witty and has a no-nonsense kind of attitude. He then proceeds to explain that he is from a different world that is filled with magic and where everyone has a soulmate that shares a link with those in Oliver’s world. Drippy says that Oliver’s mom looks a lot like a great magician who was kidnapped by the main villain Shadar in his world.  

Using Drippy and Oliver’s magic you begin a quest to save Drippy’s world from destruction and recover the kidnapped soulmate to bring Oliver’s mom back to life. Eventually you collect fellow travelers and familiars that will help you on your missions and battles. This help will be kindly accepted as the boss battles are really difficult and cannot be done alone.  

I was so excited by this initial gameplay that I decided to keep playing past the set-up for the game. This has been one of the most interactive and beautiful games I have played in a while. The whimsical and childlike nature of the game is very nostalgic. However, I do have a lot of nostalgia with the Studio Ghibli art style as I watched almost all the movies when I was kid. That made me love the beauty of the game almost immediately. I wasn’t anticipating how smooth running and well animated this game was considering it was released in 2010. 

I play on my switch, but it runs on the PlayStation, Nintendo DS and PC. It also only costs $15 to $30. There is also a sequel game if you end up really loving the first one. I have never come across a game similar to this one and I highly recommend you check it out.

Elise Keane is a sophomore neuroscience major. They can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].