10 Things About Ni No Kuni: Cross Worlds That Make No Sense
Ni no Kuni: Cross Worlds is the newest installment in the Ni no Kuni series, with a colorful world and deep lore taken from the console games and placed in a new MMO for players to adventure in. Following two great games, there is a lot that the new Ni no Kuni has to live up to. Some of these things, such as the fairies, might not make a lot of sense to those who aren't familiar with the series and how it likes to play with the imagination on a grand scale just as it's Ghibli Films predecessors.
Does the newest installment live up to the legacy of the two previous games? That's up to the player, but there are some choices that simply don't make sense. So, sit back and relax as we contemplate together.
10 The Tutorial
If you are familiar with gacha games as a genre, then most of the systems in Ni no Kuni will be familiar to you. However, the game decides that you are allowed to access some advanced systems, provided you have the necessary materials to upgrade your things. Only to then introduce the mechanic later down the line in a quest. So, the game slows your progress down to a crawl to explain a system that you already understand.
It would be better to have a tutorial pop up when you try to open the corresponding menu, instead of a long, drawn-out questline to explain a system you've already been using for hours. Not with everything of course, but the introductory systems, such as polishing your weapon, could easily be explained with a click or two.
9 Great Uncle Autumn's Pipe
Everyone knows that fire and wood don't usually belong in the same sentence unless something is already on fire. Great Uncle Autumn, a wise and giant tree who lives in a lush forest, smoking away on his giant pipe? It raises so many questions: Are the contents flammable? Is it just for looks? How does he pack it with no limbs?
It's unsettling enough to talk to something that large over you, now you must worry about a pipe of who-knows-what spilling on your head? Maybe it's best not to think about it too much.
8 Catarumpus In General
Getting around Ni no Kuni is easy, the world isn't that big, you can auto-run everywhere, and that's not even mentioning fast travel (for a fee). So, when you receive the quest to gain a mount, it doesn't seem like a big deal. But, no, you aren't prepared for the majestic creature that is the Catarumpus. This gigantic feline comes with a mean streak and eyes that wander in all directions, and a floppy tongue that can't contain itself when our lovable Catarumpus is carrying you through the field.
There is something both off-putting and charming seeing a bunch of long-haired Persian cats running through the fields. It's unclear how the creators landed on a cat to be the most energetic and willing to run everywhere, but the Catarumpus deserves all the love it gets. You may be able to get other mounts later on in the game, but there is nothing like your first Catarumpus.
7 Paying To Chat
Yup, you read that right, you must pay to speak in world chat. Granted, the only currency you can pay for it with is gold, but because you can buy it from the stops, that's technically paying to chat. If you make an MMO, isn't part of the experience to be able to speak with others playing with you? Sure, you can chat with people in the area and within your kingdom, this game's guild, but if you are trying to build your kingdom in the first place, how are you going to shout and advertise your kingdom without grabbing the world chat megaphones?
Obviously, as a free-to-play game, there are going to be places where microtransactions will come into play but limiting how much a player can talk until the need to spend money (even if it's in-game money, you can still buy it) seems like it isn't the best way to monetize.
6 Way Too Much Fanfare
The Ni no Kuni series is known for having beautiful, grandiose music produced by Studio Ghibli's own Joe Hisaishi, and the fact that the tradition continues into the latest iteration is kind of a big deal. Hisaishi's music has essentially inspired a generation of anime fans who have grown up enjoying these movies. Thing is, when you do anything in the game, whether it's receiving an item through one of Cross Worlds' many systems or upgrading your weapons and armor, there is always a congratulations jingle that plays. Every. Single. Time.
There's no way to turn it off or lower the volume in the game, so you're stuck either turning down the master volume or sitting there and absorbing that triumphant tune repeatedly with no escape. It kind of grates on the nerves after a few hours, so it may just be best to turn off the music if you’re trying to grind out some levels.
5 Auto Play And Manual Play Aren't Different
Mobile MMO games are in an awkward spot when it comes to gameplay. They're either too involved for having touch screen controls, or it's an autoplay type situation where your input is minimal. Cross Worlds leans into the latter. At first glance, it looks as though you are engaging in active combat with special moves, but most of the time, the game will just play on its own with no regard for whether you set it on autoplay or not.
It's a little deceiving when you see trailers and look forward to playing only to stare at the screen and watch your character raise their level. Maybe there's an update in the works to address this but it's unlikely, considering it was released overseas last year in the same condition.
4 Lack Of Premium Currency Generation
Being able to generate free currency is a typical mechanic of mobile games, and Ni no Kuni is no exception. But, while other games tend to almost overwhelm you with gifts of free currency – at least in the beginning – Ni no Kuni: Cross Worlds isn't so generous. You really have to grind just to get a single multi-roll, which could very well take months – and that's not an exaggeration.
Even after you do your dailies, the amount you get for free is negligible at best and non-existent at worst. It attempts to force people to buy the currency right out the gate. I'd even say you earn Ni no Kuni's cryptocurrency more easily than their premium. Outrageous.
3 Too Many Types Of Currency
Gold, Obsidian, Prisms, Kingdom Gold, Glider (another kingdom-only currency), and even more. The number of different currencies you must keep track of in this game is astronomical. To top it off, none of the listed currencies here are the premium currency that you buy. The majority of these you can get for free, but it's indicative of the underlying issue with how intensely games and their companies try to monetize each step you take in a game.
Supporting a game aside, it's overwhelming and understandable why mobile, and specifically gacha games, have such a stigma in the gaming community. Mobile games could be great if it wasn't for greed.
2 The Use Of Territe
Territe is a currency that is exclusive to the release outside of Japan and allows players to purchase and sell crypto. The decision to make the game around crypto, and later NFTs, is a confusing one. The NFT "market" itself is on a major decline, so why invest in something that a loud majority doesn't seem to be inclined to invest or even believe in?
The publisher Netmarble is making the call to do so. With it, you're able to buy the best-in-slot gear and weapons, creating a huge rift between free-to-players and the pay-to-winners. And with both a PvP and a PK (player killer) mechanic in place, the field is soon going to end up a hellscape. The whole idea of crypto and NFTs need to change.
1 A Cool Down For Rolling … Why?
When you aren't auto-driving the gameplay, the combat can be fun, if a little shallow. The roll button, for example, has a five-second cooldown. Why? No one is sure, but it makes dealing with world bosses that much more difficult when they throw out multiple AOE attacks, and you can only dodge one.
There's already not much in the way of active combat aside from hitting your special attacks once the cooldown is finished, so why take the one thing that can add something different to the mechanics and make it as slow as molasses? It doesn't make any sense whatsoever.
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