To Guide or Not to Guide in Ni No Kuni

Ni No Kuni

I’ve been bit with a bit of a completionist bug lately. I mainly blame Ni No Kuni and its charming world, which has totally sucked me in, much like the game’s main character Oliver, as he looks for a way to save his mother with the help of his fairy friend, Mr. Drippy.

While I’m not normally the kind of guy that I used to be with RPGs — namely, the guy that does every possible sidequest before moving onto the story — Ni No Kuni is making me feel like a kid again, and I don’t mind plumbing the world’s depths for bounties, errands, and familiars. But it is causing me to run into an issue: to guide or not to guide?

Back in the golden days of JRPG gaming, I had both the time and inclination to hunt down every secret on my own, to fish it out regardless of how many hours it added onto my save file. These days, my time is limited, and I don’t really have the patience, either. Plus, there are a wealth of resources available to find any answer you could possibly need. I’ve often found myself using my phone to hunt for the answers to errands that can’t be solved with a few quick perusals of the town, or that might require a few extra steps.

It feels almost… wrong, I guess, to be doing that. I come from a tradition of finding everything you need on your own. However, I certainly don’t feel like spending 70+ hours of my own brain power and endless jaunting back and forth (with an unbearably slow character speed on screen) across the map.

So how do you guys feel about using guides and walkthroughs? Do you just say no, or do you think it’s not a big deal to do every now and then? What’s the last game that required you to use a guide? Go!

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I write about samurai girls and space marines. Writer for Smooth Few Films. Rooster Teeth Freelancer. Author of Red vs. Blue, The Ultimate Fan Guide, out NOW!

3 thoughts on “To Guide or Not to Guide in Ni No Kuni”

  1. I don’t play too many story games to have a problem with walkthroughs. Whether one chooses to use them or not is completely up to him or her so usually there isn’t a problem. I only use walkthroughs after a few failed tries and the level starts making me pull hair.

    The last time I used a walkthrough was for this level in Psychonauts where you rearrange theatre set pieces to make a story. I didn’t think it was a problem because I still got to listen to the full act in the end.

    I am disappointed, however, when my friends want to just give up on puzzles when we’re in a co-op game, like Portal 2, because I still want to solve it.

  2. I’ve used guides for some item hunts in Ni No Kuni.

    Typically I just use guides for side stuff, but if someone wants to use them for the story, that’s no biggie.

  3. I don’t like to abuse guides, but when they’re necessary I feel no guilt. Sometimes games are just tough. Take Metroid Prime for example; I’d never find half of the missile expansions without a guide.

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