Video game reviews: ‘Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch’ and ‘Fire Emblem Awakening’

TECH_nino_0206.tif

It wasn’t so long ago that games created in Japan were the only games that mattered. Nowadays, for better or for worse, it is the West that rules the gaming goose. Japan still has a few tricks up its digital sleeve, however. Here are reviews of some recently released gems that come straight from the land of the rising sun.

‘Fire Emblem Awakening’
Console: Nintendo 3DS
Publisher: Nintendo
Rating: 4/5

In Japan, the strategy RPG is king. These games take some of the tropes of turn-based RPGs and mix them with lengthy and complicated battles. The end result resembles something more like chess than video games. This genre can be horribly frustrating but extremely addictive once you know the ropes.

“Fire Emblem: Awakening” is the newest entry in the SRPG canon and it’s a doozy. It features an engrossing story, complete with voice acting, and a quest that could take dozens of hours to complete. It’s also hard as nails. For instance, when a character dies in battle they are gone forever. You may throw your 3DS against the wall but you’ll have a good time doing it.

‘Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch’
Console: PS3
Publisher: NAMCO Bandai
Rating: 5/5

Hayao Miyazaki and his Studio Ghibli animation studio are best known for feature length movies like Spirited Away and, most recently, Arrietty. However, for years now, the company has been slaving away on a video game. The fruits of their labor, “Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch,” is as beautiful and whimsical as any of their films.

At its heart, Ni No Kuni is a JRPG. This means you explore a world as you fight enemies, level up and collect new items and weapons. Thanks to some innovative design choices, like a real-time battle system, it is a great deal more than that. This game must be seen to be believed. It truly does feel like you are controlling an animated feature.

Lawrence Bonk/Metro


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.

International

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.

News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

Local

Oval oasis: Summer of fun kicks off this…

A bold partnership between the Fairmount Park Conservancy and the city's Parks and Recreation Department is kicking off this weekend with family activities re-activating this unused public space.

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

MLB

Jimmy Rollins is key to Phillies success

When John Kruk was asked about what the Phillies need to contend for a playoff berth, the ESPN analyst said Jimmy Rollins needs to play like a MVP again.

MLB

Ben Revere lifts Phillies to avoid sweep

Ben Revere came through with a two-out RBI single against Atlanta’s tough lefthander Alex Wood.

NBA

Season wrap: 76ers make the grade

The 76ers opened the 2013-14 season with a victory over the Miami Heat. The Sixers closed the season with a win at Miami.

NBA

Fantasy basketball: Finding next year's NBA studs

Before we put the 2013-14 fantasy basketball season to bed, it’s worth thinking about next year’s breakouts while they’re fresh in our mind.

Tech

VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.

Tech

#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.