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ThornBrain
Jan 25, 2011




Latest Video Update


Latest Screenshot Update
Screenshot Update 7: Ogrrr You rear end in a top hat




---Game Description---
Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch is a collaboration between esteemed developers Level-5 (Dark Cloud, Dragon Quest VIII, Professor Layton) and famed animators Studio Ghibli (Hayao Miyazaki's studio, though Miyazaki himself wasn't involved in this game). The game is a rare breed of Japanese RPG: it's really fun to play. The game utilizes a semi-active battle mechanic and a Pokemonesque monster collecting/battling mechanic to create a fight system with a lot of staying power, and some tough and often drawn-out bosses. To give you an idea of how fun the game is to play, my God of War/Elder Scrolls fanboy cousin was the one who recommended it to me.
The game is also very well-designed visually with a lot of attention to detail, as per Studio Ghibli's track record. The art style combines a cel-shaded look to the characters with a hand-painted look to the backgrounds, all of which blends very smoothly. Occasional cutscenes are animated directly by Studio Ghibli, and references to their films abound. Also all of the music is beautifully orchestrated by Ghibli's collaborative composer Joe Hisaishi, and there isn't a piece of music that isn't a joy to hear.

However, the game is not exactly fun to "sit through". There's a lot of dialogue. A lot of superfluous, unnecessary, idiotic dialogue. By terrible, character-less characters. And most of the voice acting is crap. But hey, that's why Travis and I are here: to mock its brains out.

The story is such:
Oliver (voiced by some kid who can't act) is a young American boy with no personality living in an idyllic 1950's suburb, until his mom dies because a witch wanted to kill him. Seriously. The distraught Oliver holes up in his room and ends up crying over an ugly little doll- his tears turn the doll into Mr. Drippy (Steffan Rhodri), a fairy from another world who was cursed by the evil Shadar (Brian Protheroe). Drippy, in his over-the-top Welsh accent (but accurate; Steffan Rhodri is Welsh), reveals that Oliver is The Purehearted One: the one destined to defeat Shadar and save Drippy's world. To sweeten the deal, Drippy drops a hint that could lead to reviving Oliver's dead and buried mother. Follow Oliver as he travels to the new world to become a motherfucker wizard and possibly turn his late mom into a zombie.


---LP Description---
This LP will be split between ~85% video updates and ~15% screenshot updates, with videos being primarily dedicated to continuing the story and screenshots for the optional sidequests. I do not intend to do a 100% run of this per se', as the game likes to pile the sidequests on near the end, and most of them are essentially the same.

While I will be playing the game, Travis (BigTUnit1) has also beaten the game and thus will be joining me as a fellow lead commentator. Guest commentators are unlikely.


---Additional Links---
Travis' (formerly simultaneous) LP of Shadow of the Colossus

My (formerly simultaneous) LP of The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword

Travis' simultaneous twofer thread of Sleeping Dogs and Bioshock Infinite

My and Yoshi's double-thread for The Legends of PizzaJoe: Majora's Mask and Wind Waker HD NG+

Yoshi's simultaneous LP of Punch-Out!! Wii

Brian Protheroe, Shadar's voice actor, at ReverbNation - Why? Because this guy rules.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------











Screenshot Update 1: Post-Well Sidequests





Screenshot Update 2: A Bit of Al and Moonie



Screenshot Update 3: Animal Magnetism



Screenshot Update 4: Raj Wears White Socks















Screenshot Update 5: Drowning in Density



Screenshot Update 6: Something About Snow





Screenshot Update 7: Ogrrr You rear end in a top hat

ThornBrain fucked around with this message at Sep 2, 2014 around 07:50

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ThornBrain
Jan 25, 2011




(By an-artist-complex, Tumblr)



























ThornBrain fucked around with this message at Apr 28, 2014 around 04:13

RareAcumen
Dec 28, 2012


This is still happening? Sweet. Can't wait till things pick up. Not to mention all the stuff I heard about it being insanely hand-holdy.

kiujazi
Nov 9, 2012


Holy crud. I'm a bit surprised to see this but at least now I'll be able to see the game for what it is and decide whether or not I wanna get it.

This should be an interesting LP to say the least.

P.T. Piranha
Mar 21, 2013


So this is the game Ghibli had a hand in. I was wondering what game it was and if I should check it out. Now I can see for myself.

I must say, at times I forgot it was a video game, and thought I was just watching another Ghibli movie. I'm curious to see how the rest of the game goes. I definitely look forward to hearing the game's music as you described.

The kid's voice doesn't sound that bad, but it definitely doesn't sound very good. At least it wasn't bad as Puberty Phil.

Zackcat
Nov 28, 2009

Let me tell you about Silent Hill Visual Novels~


Now this is an LP I can get behind.

Yapping Eevee
Nov 12, 2011



ThornBrain posted:

The game is a rare breed of Japanese RPG: it's really fun to play.
As a JRPG fan, I resent that.

Still, I'm psyched to see how this LP goes. Not sure which I liked the design of more, the named cat or the unnamed bird with too many ruffles. (I suspect we'll only see more of one.)

It's certainly got a lot of promise from the looks of things.

Yapping Eevee fucked around with this message at Jun 24, 2013 around 08:56

NeverKnowsBests
Jun 8, 2013


i guess i can use this thread as guide since i still need to play the game :/ may pick up the game later or today

(USER WAS PUT ON PROBATION FOR THIS POST)

grandalt
Feb 26, 2013

I didn't fight through two wars just to take the throne.
I fought for the future of the world.


Though I did fight for the right to have hot tea whenever I wanted it.


Um, isn't there another let's play of this going on right now? Not to say that another is bad, just saying there is one.

bobbertoriley
Sep 5, 2011

Sonic is my hero.
I wanna be like him someday.


grandalt posted:

Um, isn't there another let's play of this going on right now? Not to say that another is bad, just saying there is one.

Hey it's not like it's the first time Thorn and co. have done an LP of a game already being done by someone else.

When they do it though, their style is fairly different from the other LP going on, so there's that, at least.

RentCavalier
Jul 10, 2008

by T. Finninho


I don't think Oliver's voice acting is that bad. Actually, I rather like all the voice acting in the game--they feel very subdued and natural a lot of the time, which fits the laid back atmosphere. Shadar's got a great voice too.

If anything, this game suffers from having not NEARLY enough voice acting. This is a game that could have done with more talking scenes and less reading ones.

Ometeotl
Feb 13, 2012

It's MISSEL! Or SISSLE!
I confused myself...


I lost faith in Oliver's VA after he said the line "O-o-okay" as "Oh. Oh. Okay".

ThornBrain
Jan 25, 2011





Since the first part was all cutscene, here's Part 2 early, with more of Travis and myself than you can handle.
The update schedule from hereon-out will be every Monday.

Crane Fist
Jun 5, 2012

We are the dogs
Beaten without any remorse


That lantern face thing has the worst accent. It sounds like an attempt at a Welsh accent by someone who's never actually heard one and only had it described to them as 'kind of like a Jamaican pirate pretending to be South African'.

Spiritus Nox
Sep 2, 2011

Trust us, we're highly trained medical professionals bears.


So basically the best accent, is what you're saying?

Crane Fist
Jun 5, 2012

We are the dogs
Beaten without any remorse


Basically yeah

I mean I am actually from Wales and as the video went on I just got more and more depressed about how I don't sounds anything like that.

ThornBrain
Jan 25, 2011


His voice actor is Welsh. Steffan Rhodri. Never seen anything he's in, but apparently he was in Deathly Hallows part 1.

Cats Ire
Dec 31, 2003



I've been looking forward to this. You're going to let us suggest ridiculous names for minions, yes?

Admiral H. Curtiss
May 11, 2010

I think there are a bunch of people who can create trailing images. I know some who could do this as if they were just going out for a stroll.


Man, this game. I really want to like this game because it's incredibly charming, looks great, has a nice lighthearted plot... it really feels like a nice old SNES/PSX era JRPG with improved technology.

And yet, I can't, because the battle system is just plain not fun and, frankly, kind of a chore. The pseudo kinda-real-time-except-not-entirely system seems interesting on paper, but the execution is clunky. Just the simple fact that the "Defend" and "Evade" options are menu options that you need to scroll to rather than them being bound to a button, and yet they're often required to basically survive boss attacks, would be bad enough, but also:
- The menu becomes unavailable while you're executing any attack.
- The menu only shows like four options at the same time while you can have more than that, leaving some possibly vital ones off-screen.
- And the menu scrolling is done via the D-Pad while the movement is done via the left stick, basically requiring you to either perform some finger acrobatics on the controller or standing still while scolling over to whatever attack you want to use.

In addition to that, the party AI is garbage. Not only does it burn through MP at an alarmingly fast rate, but it's also plain suicidal, especially against bosses. It also takes like a second to switch over to a different party member so you're at an even bigger disadvantage if you're trying to micromanage.

And last but not least, maybe because of some of the things above, bosses often take 20 or more minutes despite having only perhaps 3 minutes of unique attack patterns. It doesn't help that they often have unskippable combat animations that plain interrupt the battle, dragging them out even longer.

Again, I'd really *like* to like this game, but I just simply cannot. I'm sorry, Ni No Kuni.



Of course, the JRPG I played last before this game was Tales of Graces f, and you can't really expect any other game to compete with that battle system, but that doesn't excuse any of the battle system flaws which all seem easily fixable (except maybe the party AI) with some playtesting and a couple days of work.

Obscil
Feb 27, 2012

PLEASE LIKE ME!

Okay, apparently Oliver is actually 13!! Also, Someone in the youtube comments is actually saying the welsh is an accurate "valley" area accent. The mun is a real welsh thing that some will use. I can't really vouch for the accuracy of any of this, but I suspect that the accent is real.

ThornBrain
Jan 25, 2011


Anoia posted:

I've been looking forward to this. You're going to let us suggest ridiculous names for minions, yes?

Possibly. My intention was to name them after characters from our older LPs or other videos we've done, but you all can certainly make suggestions. I have the next two familiars named already, though.

cabman567
Aug 15, 2010


Admiral H. Curtiss posted:

- And the menu scrolling is done via the D-Pad while the movement is done via the left stick, basically requiring you to either perform some finger acrobatics on the controller or standing still while scolling over to whatever attack you want to use.


They never mention this anywhere, but one set of the shoulder buttons also does that function.

Robert Denby
Sep 9, 2007

Two personal bests...

This marked the first time in a VERY long time that I was genuinely interested in a video game prior to its release because of Ghibli's involvement, and since I don't have a PS3, this'll do.

The battle music sounds very much like James Horner's score for "Brainstorm".

Colorred
Dec 26, 2012


Why are there so many English people in a random place in America? Even Oliver's mom has a British accent.

8BitRedMage
Feb 18, 2011

Alright, what's this?
HORSIES!?
Fantastic!~


Hey there! Welcome to the elite society of Ni No Kuni LPers. Just for the record, I unironically love how often Oliver says "jeepers".

RentCavalier
Jul 10, 2008

by T. Finninho


I'm just going to suggest right now that you find the most frog-like minion you can, name him Sarge or Kero, and then use him the entire game.

We haven't seen enough of the battle system to really discuss it in its best detail, but I stand by my support for the system--I think combat is fast and fluid, there's a lot of options you can bring to the table as you go through the game, and I found the importance of timing and rhythm to be engaging. If only the AI wasn't such poo poo.

ThornBrain
Jan 25, 2011




Cats, fish, birds, and racism. Welcome to Ding Dong Dell.

FinalGamer
Aug 30, 2012


Holy drat this looks a WONDERFUL game, I mean it is just GORGEOUS-looking, that detail in the woods was fantastic. I can't wait to watch more of this later on, this is a game I've wanted to watch an LP of for years.

Melaneus
Aug 24, 2007

Here to make your dreams and nightmares come true.


You guys are correct that Ding Dong Dell is a nursery rhyme. It's also thematically appropriate, being about a cat:


Ding, dong, bell,
Pussy’s in the well.
Who put her in?
Little Johnny Flynn.
Who pulled her out?
Little Tommy Stout.
What a naughty boy was that,
To try to drown poor pussy cat,
Who ne’er did him any harm,
But killed all the mice in the farmer's barn


Grimalkin is an old term referring to a cat (it literally means "gray cat"), and became associated with the cats believed to be the familiars of witches. Its first known written use came from a book about talking cats.

ThornBrain
Jan 25, 2011




Seriously, gently caress that cat monkey.

Just realized I should have named it "Rick".


E: Shadar's voice actor is TV/stage actor and musician Brian Protheroe. Turns out he had a minor hit in the 70s with "Pinball", and his music in general is quite good; it's like an oddball Soft Rock.

ThornBrain fucked around with this message at Jul 8, 2013 around 16:53

tlarn
Mar 1, 2013

"When Jameson delivers my Bitcoin miners, Spider-Man won't be able to stop me!"


I can't help but hope that Shadar breaks into song at some point.

MelvinBison
Nov 17, 2012

Bison's choo-choo chwain is made of PURE PSYCHO POWER!
Toot toot.


ThornBrain posted:


Seriously, gently caress that cat monkey.

Just realized I should have named it "Rick".


I can't recall the reference so I'll just assume you mean "with a silent P".

ThornBrain
Jan 25, 2011


MelvinBison posted:

I can't recall the reference so I'll just assume you mean "with a silent P".

I'm going all the way back to Bomberman Hero with that one, but I get ya.

gatesealer
Apr 9, 2011


I like Shadar's voice. Who voices him?

Ometeotl
Feb 13, 2012

It's MISSEL! Or SISSLE!
I confused myself...


ThornBrain posted:

E: Shadar's voice actor is TV/stage actor and musician Brian Protheroe. Turns out he had a minor hit in the 70s with "Pinball", and his music in general is quite good; it's like an oddball Soft Rock.

gatesealer
Apr 9, 2011


Ah I must have missed that

Gazooki
Feb 17, 2012

My Name Is Not Ehsan

Just remembered I had this account and it's been lying dormant for years.

I'm not exactly big on anime so I've never seen any Ghibli movies, but I have played several Level-5 RPGs and from what I can tell this is pretty consistent with those, gameplay's good enough and as a Brit I appreciate them exploring different regional accents (done particularly well in Inazuma Eleven, when visiting Northern Hokkaido everyone has Yorkshire accents etc.) but the dialogue itself leaves a lot to be desired and, of course, they love using those child actors which results in things getting pretty hilariously bad at times.

After that last part Shadar is probably one of my favourite characters I've encountered across all of TheStrawHatNO's LPs. Melon-loving Max, overly-dramatic Dr. Ein and even the creepy bomberfucker that is Pibot are overthrown. Good work lads. Obviously hats off to Brian Protheroe for his original voice work too. Loving Drippy and his ridiculous Welsh accent as well even if he is a useless bastard.

Last Transmission
Aug 10, 2011


Well, for all the commotion Oliver's clothes caused in Drippy's world, now no one in Motorville gives a gently caress about his LARP getup.

gatesealer
Apr 9, 2011


Last Transmission posted:

Well, for all the commotion Oliver's clothes caused in Drippy's world, now no one in Motorville gives a gently caress about his LARP getup.

I just assumed they went with it thinking he was going through a phase of grief.

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MelvinBison
Nov 17, 2012

Bison's choo-choo chwain is made of PURE PSYCHO POWER!
Toot toot.


Last Transmission posted:

Well, for all the commotion Oliver's clothes caused in Drippy's world, now no one in Motorville gives a gently caress about his LARP getup.

They probably won't call him out to his face on his new "imaginary friend" and possible crossdressing so soon after his mom's death. But you just know they're keeping one eye on him and the other on the police blotter.

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