Few JRPGs – actually just videogames in general – have as strong and emotional a beginning as Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch. I won’t spoil it for you as it didn’t make it to PC when it originally released in 2011 – just have a box of tissues ready when the 4K remaster hits Steam on September 20, 2019, ok?
That’s right, the remaster is only making it to Steam on PC – as was the case for the sequel, Revenant Kingdom – and expect things to stay that way. When asked by a fan about whether there would be Steam launches for other titles, Rashed Nambro, community manager at Bandai Namco, responded on Twitter to say “So far we stuck to Steam and I don’t see us changing anytime soon”.
While Bandai Namco are not alone in staying loyal to Valve’s storefront, plenty of publishers have been tempted away from it to sign exclusivity deals with the plush new Epic Games store, which offers them a higher cut of the proceeds. Some games like Metro Exodus were a timed Epic exclusive – before appearing on Xbox Game Pass for PC, ahead of Steam – whereas others like The Division 2 permanently ignored Steam, while still available on Uplay.
While Ni no Kuni 2: Revenant Kingdom was a strong follow up to the original, I don’t think it quite captured the same magic. Wrath of the White Witch might have suffered from irritating difficulty spikes and unavoidable enemy encounters, but its story and cast were much more wholesome. The sequel took the question of difficulty too far the other way – and Lofty is no Drippy, don’t @ me.
Part of that is down to the fact that Revenant Kingdom lost Studio Ghibli, the peerless Japanese animation studio. But, if you fell in love with the second game in the series, regardless, you don’t have too long to wait. The Ni no Kuni director said he “would love to see” the original on PC nearly two years ago, and now it’s finally a reality.
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But that’s not all when it comes to the charming cartoon world of Ni no Kuni. Studio Ghibli veterans are making up for their absence by making a Ni no Kuni movie. It’s debuting in Japan this summer, so there’s never a better time to be a fan of the series than right now.