Ni No Kuni: Wrath of The White Witch Catch-all

I particularly love boss fights where Confusion is a thing. Confusion is a terrible status effect anyway for a real-time combat system, because it's the "you can't play now" button. Combine this with teammates that love to commit suicide, and you can easily get into situations where the one character left alive gets confused, and you get to sit there not playing until it wears off.

I also don't love when really bad status effects like confusion are pretty rarely encountered until you find one in a big boss fight. Because of that, I probably didn't spend the money to stock up on the cure item you need, and I definitely don't have a familiar equipped with one of the curing spells, because why the hell would I want to waste one of the very few slots with an ability that never gets used?

CptDomano wrote:

Also, if all else fails (can't remember if Drippy ever says this or not, but)...

Spoiler:

Nightmares are made from darkness. Light-based attacks are the way to go. I'm pretty sure Oliver has a few light based spells in his repertoire

He does. Not during this battle, but he does. My problem is that even after depleting my Magic bar three times doing that it only took this baddie about half-way, and even when blocked his big attacks do damage and once I'm the only target the baddie is right up in your grill. So stopping to cast a spell or drink a coffee means you get hit with the regular attacks at least once every time you pause. And one of the attacks spreads random puddles of poison, so between dodging those, avoiding the regular attacks, and trying to time the longer activation actions to not get interrupted with the constant big attacks, and (at least initially) keeping your team alive means that each attempt took over half an hour.

Has anyone tried dropping the difficulty to Easy? (Which I think you can do at will, then change it back...) I haven't hit a point of frustration yet but I'm early on (just got my cauldron). I'm the guy who played Persona 4 on Easy without blinking... I have no shame. But so far it's worked out okay on Normal difficulty if I:

(1) just concentrate on grinding up one primary familiar for each of us (haven't changed from my original Mite yet) with food and fighting, which isn't too much grinding if I do every subquest; for my partner, spreading points into defense/evasion rather than attack with food and equipment is key

(2) in boss fights, I usually just switch between Mitey and Oliver; if my partner dies and it is late in the battle I let her stay dead, but I will occasionally throw provisions and healing her way if I have Oliver in and she just got hit by a big attack

(3) as far as tactics go, "keep us healthy" seems like the best choice for my partner; this generally just means she's keeping herself alive while distracting the boss (tanking, but poorly, I guess?) but it means I can concentrate on damage

I do agree that this is a few frustrations short of fantastic, though. It's playable but it would be a lot more fun if you felt like you had more agency in battle. I'd say it is still FUN (I'm not suffering through parts to get to the good story bits) but not as fun as it could be. I wonder if they are getting other feedback? I'll tell you what, if they simply patched in a change that made the action pause when you hit the shoulder buttons (to scroll through commands) it would be a totally different game. They could balance that with slightly higher difficulty even (maybe add a "hard" difficulty to the "easy" and "normal" choices).

I'm playing on Easy. The AI still sucks, but so far I haven't had too many issues. I'm also switching out familiars as soon as they level to third form so I can get as big a collection as possible, which no doubt increases the effective difficulty.

I also switch all three people to "keep us healthy" in any difficult battle, which definitely seems to help. I also cheesed out the platoon game in the casino to get a bunch of the healing items there.

I dunno. I still haven't hit a point of great frustration with the battle system. I really like the combat and boss battles. I acknowledge that there are some very obvious flaws, but nothing that has been more than a nuisance. I'm regularly switching between familiars on all 3 characters in boss battles and tough fights.

Then again, I have been doing every single side quest and bounty available, and I think having Griffy makes the first half of the game considerably easier. I'm just now reaching a point where he's starting to fall off a bit.

Demyx wrote:

I also switch all three people to "keep us healthy" in any difficult battle, which definitely seems to help. I also cheesed out the platoon game in the casino to get a bunch of the healing items there.

How do you cheese platoon?

Dyni wrote:
Demyx wrote:

I also switch all three people to "keep us healthy" in any difficult battle, which definitely seems to help. I also cheesed out the platoon game in the casino to get a bunch of the healing items there.

How do you cheese platoon?

Long version

Short version:

Spoiler:

You only need to win three piles, so the trick is to consolidate all your good cards into three good piles.

The link above has an even better strategy: make three good piles (wizard + low card, king alone, 18+), one mediocre pile (7-12 or a bishop if you have two) and one bad pile (low card or bishop). When it's your turn, put your mediocre pile against a one card pile furthest to the right and you'll usually win (unless it's a bishop, then fight the pile furthest to the left). Then if you have wizards or kings you take on the biggest piles, and take your chances with your number piles against the AI's two card piles.

Also, the AI always puts special cards to the left.

Still sitting at around 10 hours. Have to go see Cowphilla. New baby girl has been keeping me busy. Wife and I are starting to normalize tough, so hopefully will be able to give my two cents on the rest of the game soon.

Demyx wrote:
Dyni wrote:
Demyx wrote:

I also switch all three people to "keep us healthy" in any difficult battle, which definitely seems to help. I also cheesed out the platoon game in the casino to get a bunch of the healing items there.

How do you cheese platoon?

Long version

Short version:

Spoiler:

You only need to win three piles, so the trick is to consolidate all your good cards into three good piles.

The link above has an even better strategy: make three good piles (wizard + low card, king alone, 18+), one mediocre pile (7-12 or a bishop if you have two) and one bad pile (low card or bishop). When it's your turn, put your mediocre pile against a one card pile furthest to the right and you'll usually win (unless it's a bishop, then fight the pile furthest to the left). Then if you have wizards or kings you take on the biggest piles, and take your chances with your number piles against the AI's two card piles.

Also, the AI always puts special cards to the left.

Sweet, thanks.

I got to the pre-last-boss boss but had to quit after beating him. Should finish up the game tomorrow. I'm taking way long with this one. I'm at about 65 hours so far.

Huh, so I got a random package at my door yesterday. Apparently they've started shipping out the hardcover strategy guide to those that got screwed out of the Wizard Edition preorder. So for those that weren't able to get the preorder, expect to see the strategy guide show up. Funny thing is that I never got an e-mail saying it was being shipped, nor is there anything inside the box indicating why I got the guide. But hey, free strategy guide!

I thought you did get the Wizard's Edition?

Blind_Evil wrote:

I thought you did get the Wizard's Edition?

So did I, I was even e-mailed a confirmation that I was getting it. Then the next day I got a cancellation e-mail.

CptDomano wrote:

Huh, so I got a random package at my door yesterday. Apparently they've started shipping out the hardcover strategy guide to those that got screwed out of the Wizard Edition preorder. So for those that weren't able to get the preorder, expect to see the strategy guide show up. Funny thing is that I never got an e-mail saying it was being shipped, nor is there anything inside the box indicating why I got the guide. But hey, free strategy guide!

Can I borrow it? I let you borrow my last 3 issues of Nintendo power.

CptDomano wrote:

Huh, so I got a random package at my door yesterday. Apparently they've started shipping out the hardcover strategy guide to those that got screwed out of the Wizard Edition preorder. So for those that weren't able to get the preorder, expect to see the strategy guide show up. Funny thing is that I never got an e-mail saying it was being shipped, nor is there anything inside the box indicating why I got the guide. But hey, free strategy guide!

I got one of these hardcover guides today too. Last I talked to them, they didn't have my correct credit card info, so I know I didn't get charged. That's a pretty nice make-up gift. I might even call it flippin' tidy.

I'm convinced that Swaine is suicidal. Last night, I saw the brilliant AI pull out a freshly-metamorphosed familiar and send him into the fray. As in, this dude was lvl 1. When I'd specifically left the character with two leveled-up familiars to cover while the metamorphosed one built up again. The character lost almost all his HP in about three seconds.

This AI is pants-on-head retarded.

Demyx wrote:
CptDomano wrote:

Huh, so I got a random package at my door yesterday. Apparently they've started shipping out the hardcover strategy guide to those that got screwed out of the Wizard Edition preorder. So for those that weren't able to get the preorder, expect to see the strategy guide show up. Funny thing is that I never got an e-mail saying it was being shipped, nor is there anything inside the box indicating why I got the guide. But hey, free strategy guide!

I got one of these hardcover guides today too. Last I talked to them, they didn't have my correct credit card info, so I know I didn't get charged. That's a pretty nice make-up gift. I might even call it flippin' tidy.

It is tidy. I can't wait until I finish this first playthrough so I can open it and go back and get all the stuff I know I missed. There are unmarked secret treasure things all over the map and I'm not going to go canvas the place pressing X every stride to find the ones I didn't accidentally find already.

Chaz wrote:

I'm convinced that Swaine is suicidal. Last night, I saw the brilliant AI pull out a freshly-metamorphosed familiar and send him into the fray.

Make sure that the familar you want to level up is in the third slot and that the first slot is an actual damage dealer. I have very rarely seen a third slotted familiar get pulled out provided there is a familiar able to actually attack (physical attack, not MP attack). Although honestly, I have also seen Swaine just not bring anyone out, so ymmv.

Chaz wrote:

I'm convinced that Swaine is suicidal.

Did you accidentally not cure his broken heart? :p

The tip above about putting the level 1 familiar in the third slot is good, but I would also recommend making sure the other two familiars are not the same type. I'm not sure, but I think sometimes the AI tries to type-match the enemies, and if both the first two slots are weak against what you're currently facing it might be causing him to bring out the third slot familiar.

For the record, I'm pretty sure I've seen the AI pull out the third slot familiar in that situation.

Oh, wow, is the last battle terrible.

Spoiler:

So, blah blah, got through the first two and maybe half of the third incarnation on the first try. It wasn't difficult but it took awhile. Mind you, I'm seventy hours into the game, so I'm overlevelled. Not a problem. I figured out that you need to ignore the stupid satellites. Oh great, It doesn't check point you. Thanks for respecting my f*cking time. Go back through it a second time and end up dying with maybe a quarter left on the boss. I had a lot of resources left, but half the time I put my people in defend mode, IT DIDN'T HELP. It is so incredibly frustrating to have your guys and yourself in all out defense and half the time it blocks that move and half the time it kills 2/3 of the team. Honestly, it wasn't all that hard other than that aspect. I kept hitting him with morningstar and let Cassaeopea or however you spell the name revive people when they died. That Chaos move is stupid. f*ck that. I slammed the controller into the ground and broke it. No game has ever driven me to that level of frustration. Never. I don't want any sneaky strategies as to how to beat the thing either. I had a perfectly fine, valid strategy going.

This game is weird, for as charming and cool as it is there is also this thing where the longer i play it the less i want to play it

oops, double post.

This is definitely the first JRPG since Dragon Quest VIII on PS3 that's managed to capture my attention.

The world and characters are charming and I suppose it also helps that I'm a fan of both Studio Ghibli and Level 5's output.

Now that I have far less free time to game I am a bit worried though if I'll be able to sustain it all the way through to the end. (LEt's not mention the fact that I've yet to finish much shorter games such as Journey and The Walking Dead that I started ages ago!)

Classic JRPG world exploration. I love it.

The game wants me to go to a specific spot, so clearly I need to go the opposite direction (this is a thing, right? I'm not the only person that immediately runs away from whatever the current quest target is?).

Hey look! Other things I can get to!
*encounter*
Oh my god, did that monster kill Esther's familiar in one hit?! Run! RUNNNNN!
*escape*
Hey, a forage point. Neat! I have no idea what to do with this ingredient!
Oh look! A path that leads to nowhere! I bet there's an item hidden at the end of it.
Wheee!

Tyrian wrote:

Classic JRPG world exploration. I love it.

The game wants me to go to a specific spot, so clearly I need to go the opposite direction (this is a thing, right? I'm not the only person that immediately runs away from whatever the current quest target is?).

Hey look! Other things I can get to!
*encounter*
Oh my god, did that monster kill Esther's familiar in one hit?! Run! RUNNNNN!
*escape*
Hey, a forage point. Neat! I have no idea what to do with this ingredient!
Oh look! A path that leads to nowhere! I bet there's an item hidden at the end of it.
Wheee!

This is so me!

tuffalobuffalo wrote:

Oh, wow, is the last battle terrible.

Yeah, I spent like an entire page complaining about that earlier. The boss battles in this game...sheesh.

Cobble wrote:

This game is weird, for as charming and cool as it is there is also this thing where the longer i play it the less i want to play it :(

I know exactly what you mean, I head down to my game room every day with intentions of firing this up, and then when I'm down there I realize I'm playing something else. I really enjoy it when I'm playing it, but I just can't get motivated to actually fire it up.

Cobble wrote:

This game is weird, for as charming and cool as it is there is also this thing where the longer i play it the less i want to play it :(

I'm kinda the same way. They've made a beautiful game, but the problem with playing for so long is that you start to see the flaws.

The AI and some of the design choices for combat leave something to be desired. There are times when I know if could control all three characters at once I would have an easier time than dealing with the fiddily tactics. That, and the way they designed the metamorphosis system to restart familiars at level 1. I can't think of any other explanation for the design choice other than padding.

It would definitely be great if familiars didn't go back to level one when they evolve. Not even Pokemon does that, and Pokemon is a king of pointless padding.

Minarchist wrote:
tuffalobuffalo wrote:

Oh, wow, is the last battle terrible.

Yeah, I spent like an entire page complaining about that earlier. The boss battles in this game...sheesh.

I'll check that after I beat it. I still have 1 unbroken Dualshock 3 and a Sixaxis controller left.

Demyx wrote:

It would definitely be great if familiars didn't go back to level one when they evolve. Not even Pokemon does that, and Pokemon is a king of pointless padding.

The island with the 2000 xp mob makes the whole thing pointless as you can overlevel there in 15 minutes.