Firstly, there’s the name. Following GRiGORiG breaking the news that Level 5 had lodged a European trademark for the game, it’s now emerged that they’ve done the same in the USA – confirming the full title across the west will be Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch. A great name and a bit easier on the tongue that the translated Japanese title (Queen of the White Holy Ash).
Then came the big news that all western fans want to know: localized versions will feature subtitles, rather than dubbed voiceovers, according to Argentinian games blog Loaded VG. For those at GRiG Manor, this is exactly what we wanted to hear – Ghibli, and Japanese anime generally, is an uncomfortable fit with English voices. There’s a charismatic Japanese charm that binds the language and the visuals, and that’s lost if you ditch the original audio – much better to have the subtitles, so good choice Level 5!
Next up, Manzai revelations about the spell book! Fans of the DS game will remember last year’s handheld version come packaged with a huge graphic novella in place of the instruction manual. Beautifully put together and containing helpful advice – and those all-important spells – it was a real USP for the original release and YouTube is still full of vids of enraptured fans leafing through their new purchase. However, in two new videos featuring Ni No Kuni’s standup comedy duo – previously seen rehearsing their routines in one of the game’s cut-scenes – Level 5 have revealed that there won’t be a hard copy of the spell book bundled with the PS3 version of the game. During their routine – which you can see below – the hilarious pair do reveal, however, that it will include a digital version – before quipping that this is just as good. Not sure that’s either clever, or funny, though it does make the mountains giggle. Sadly, in our opinion, this is a real let-down for PS3 fans who will have been waiting excitedly to get their hands on what is a real collector’s item. However, we’re willing to bet that a special edition will be released either at, or soon after launch, that will include the magic book – Level 5 would be crazy not to.
Following a hugely successful showing at TGS, and news of the North American release, Ni No Kuni has been getting huge amounts of attention on blogs and social media. The demand for a full localization is certainly growing, though there’s still no concrete news of a European release – something we’re hoping Level 5 will reveal at their expo later this month. You can help sway their hand by joining the Campaign for Localization – come on, you know you want to!