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Ni No Kuni: Cross Worlds review: NFT and IAPs bring downfall to a great franchise

And Netmarble manages to screw things up again...

Ni no Kuni: Cross Worlds is a new game in the Ni no Kuni series, which belongs to the action RPG genre. The game, which has been developed by Level-5 and published by Netmarble, is now available globally a year after it was launched in Japan for Android and iOS devices. The game is a free-to-play title and has actually been going through quite a bit of controversy and the ire of players who were eagerly waiting for this title. Here in this article, we will review Ni No Kuni: Cross Worlds and share our first impressions of the game.

Right off the bat, the game has a premium look and feel to it and actually seems like a good title, that is, until you get a little deeper into the gameplay. The environment and visuals look like the classic titles from the early years of the series, which would make players who’ve grown up with this series feel right at home (and set them up for some series disappointment after that). 

Autoplay completely disrupts the gameplay, making it disappointing

At some point during this Ni No Kuni: Cross Worlds review, we’ll eventually reach the point where we’re beating the dead horse. This game has received some very harsh criticism for very good reason and it’s hard to find any positive reviews for this title. Fans of the series were pretty much ready for this when they heard that Netmarble was attached to this project and their worst fears really did come true. 

ni-no-kuni-cross-worlds-carry-gameplay
Image via Netmarble

The game very simply lacks any elements that actually make it worth playing. If you thought that auto mode for most other RPGs which basically just gets players through the fights was a bit ridiculous and ironic for a game, then this game will leave you surprised and disappointed.

Once the auto mode is activated, the player can go and do something else while the game keeps on playing itself without any hindrances. On the other hand, though, players can really get through a lot of the grinding without having to put in any effort or actually much money. 

Choose your character and explore the beautifully crafted world

The combat is just basic hack-n-slash button-mashing action which also isn’t really too challenging since the auto mode can get you through any fight. When it comes to the story and quests, there’s really not anything worth any praise there either.

class character
Image via Netmarble

Players just have to work their way through poorly designed quests (for example, one of the levels where players are required to deliver items in a particular order doesn’t actually penalize players for not following that order)

Now one positive is the visual design of the world. Despite all its flaws, the game looks beautiful and it’s a shame that the gameplay is so lacking. Despite these complaints though, the game is actually not completely gone to the dogs when it comes to the gameplay. If you want to actually explore a little, complete some simpler tasks and just relax in the game, that’s doable. If you’re a more serious player, then this obviously isn’t the title for you.

The game offers vibrant aesthetics but poor UI and controls

As stated before, the graphics are straight-up awesome. It’s presented in such an aesthetically pleasing way that there’s not really anything to complain about here. Obviously, this comes at a cost, and like most games in this genre that feature such beautiful graphics. The audio is also actually quite right without any reason for negative comments. The voice acting is also done quite well. 

The controls are really all over the place and could use some work. There are issues with touch response and sensitivity while the UI is cluttered as usual and expected with these titles. There are a lot of items stuffed into the screen which doesn’t exactly lend to the best experience. It’s manageable but not exactly ideal.

Ni No Kuni Cross Worlds Equipments Cover
Ni No Kuni: Cross Worlds review (Image via Netmarble)

NFTs provide more harm to the existing gacha system than good

The game doesn’t have any ads, although it’s a known fact now that Netmarble really dropped the ball on this one. There’s an in-depth article about this but basically, gacha and crypto don’t exactly go well when attached to corporate greed. Not a surprise since this is sort of what Netmarble is unfortunately known for but it doesn’t bode well when buying cryptocurrency with real money in the name of Pay-to-Earn is required to unlock top-level gear quickly. A blatant example of Pay-to-Win gameplay actually.

Final Verdict

This game is likely a letdown for most of the players who’ve enjoyed the titles this series has offered so far. Between the problematic gameplay and monetization and other controversies like bribing players for good ratings on the App Store and Google Play Store, this game has had a very rocky release, which does not bode well for a game attached to such a big and well-known RPG series. The game is a shell of what Ni no Kuni used to be and only really enjoyable if you’re happy running trivial errands in an otherwise beautiful world.

Ni No Kuni: Cross Worlds review by Gamingonphone

Gameplay Mechanics - 5.5
Graphics and Music - 10
Game Progression - 5.5
Controls and UI - 7
Free-to-Play Elements - 5.5

6.7

Average

Ni No Kuni: Cross Worlds is likely a letdown for most of the players who’ve enjoyed this series in the past. The game is a shell of what Ni no Kuni used to be and only really enjoyable if you’re happy running trivial errands in an otherwise beautiful world.

What are your opinions on the Ni No Kuni: Cross Worlds game and your review of it? Do let us know in the comments below!

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