Controlling your party during battle in Ni no Kuni

After reading some posts on WordPress regarding issues with battles in Ni no Kuni, I noticed how controlling other characters was a main problem for most players. I must admit that I, too, initially had problems with Esther in the beginning. I felt she was a bit useless, and it was very frustrating how she would die on me a lot. It isn’t until later in the game that Ni no Kuni introduces the “All Out Defense” and “All Out Attack” system. After learning about this tactic, I felt I had more control over my party.

“All Out Defense” is used when you press the square button. When you pick this tactic, the party that you are not controlling immediately goes into defense mode. Unfortunately, this is not a shortcut to defending your controlled character. Rather, you have to quickly switch to Defend mode.  Also, in All Out Defense mode, all characters being used (excluding the one you are using) will not move in for an attack, even after the enemy already made its move. Therefore, you must remember to revert back to “All Out Attack” right away.

Using defense in the game is critical in making your characters last longer and obtaining green(HP)/blue(MP)/gold(Super Charge attack) orbs. When an enemy attacks and your characters are in defense mode, the power shots are a lot less critical. Also, green/blue orbs will follow, which gives you and your party a great opportunity to increase your HP and MP. Normally, after an attack, I check to see the HP counter on all characters. At that point, I will either use an HP potion (click on “Provisions”) or the Heal spells (click on “Spells”) via Oliver/Esther.

Super Charged Mite via http://www.tweaktown.com

Note: When you see a gold orb (“Super Charge”), you have to wait until it falls on the ground. Then, you run, run, run! The gold orb will only last for awhile. Once you reach the orb and you power up, it will say “Super Charged”. At that point, you have to click the X button and then point to the enemy you want to fire on. There will be a timer on the top, and if you don’t do this, your charge goes away. Super Charge will bring massive hit points against the enemy!

Green(HP), Blue(MP), Gold(Super Charge) Orbs via http://ninokuni.wikia.com

“All Out Attack” is used when you press the triangle button. When you pick this tactic, the party that you are not controlling immediately goes into attack mode. This means they will continue to attack the enemy and will more than likely use their magical attacks. You must be cautious when using this and the enemy is about to use a magical attack, because they will not defend. They will keep battling until they die; therefore, closely pay attention to their HP meter. If you see that an enemy is powering up for a magical attack, quickly press the square button (All Out Defense) and immediately manually defend your main character.

All Out Attack via http://www.defaultprime.com (Post by Daniel Schleder)

Second Note: When fighting boss battles, I make sure to have an abundant amount of HP booster potions and a couple MP booster potions. 

Third Note: Whenever I use Oliver and his spells, I notice I have a hard time getting green(HP) and blue(MP) orbs. However, whenever I use one of his familiars, I am able to get these orbs. The only time I am able to get green(HP) and blue (MP) orbs when using Oliver is when I’m using defend and the enemy attacks.

Green and Blue Orbs via http://www.siliconera.com

Important: All Out Attack and All Out Defense are timed as well. After awhile, you will need to re-press these buttons. You can check to see if time has ran out by looking at the top screen. It will normally say “All Out Attack” or “All Out Defense” when using these tactics. If those words have disappeared, it means they are no longer valid and your party members will just do what they want themselves. Sometimes, I get too focused on my own character that I tend to forget this crucial part, which makes a big difference in battle.

And that is pretty much how I control my party during battles. Leveling up helps too, especially when it comes to familiars (I’ll post about this later if anyone asks). I hope this helps!

Ni no Kuni fans, let me know if you have any questions regarding the game by commenting. I can only tell you from my own perspective, but I’m more than willing to do a bit of research too.

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Flash appears on Season 2 of “Arrow”

According to the Los Angeles Times, CW has announced that they will incorporate Flash into the second season of Arrow. If you don’t know, I am a BIG Arrow fan ever since I saw the first episode air on CW. I feel this show is so raw and realistic compared to Smallville. The main reason why I’m attracted to this show is due to the fact that they don’t use super hero powers, which I believe is what made Smallville really cheesy and drawn out after the first season.

As we know, the Flash is known for his super speed, so I’m wondering if Arrow will introduce super powers into their show? I really hope not, because I don’t want this show to go downhill.

Thoughts?

Flash via LAtimes.com

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How to quickly raise your level in Ni no Kuni using Toko

I’m at a point in the game where I feel like I’m not able to fight any of the monsters prior to boss level fight in Glittering Grotto. I believe that if you’re at that point, there’s no way that you can beat the boss. Therefore, I’ve been leveling up like crazy before I continue on my quest to nab the remaining 2 stones (already beat the Vault of Tears level). I’ve never had to really put my story on hiatus by making myself level up my characters, until now. I don’t mind, but I’m way too curious to see what will happen next.

Swan Island via http://www.ign.com                                              (Ugly Duckling Island is to the south of Swan Island)

It wasn’t until I came upon the Ugly Duck Island (located in Swan Island — top island of the map) that I found out how you can easily level up by defeating Toko. There are two ways to get to this island: using your ship or Tengri the dragon. Use Tengri to get there faster, since you might encounter water familiars when using the ship (ship’s way too slow for me, even after I upgraded the speed).

Toko is rare to find, so you have to walk around for awhile and fight a few monsters before he pops up. He will either pop up himself on the screen, or he may be found with other familiars. When you defeat a Toko, you gain about 2,000EXP points. Cray! I began to focus on battling this guy, and at the beginning, all my characters would level up like crazy. Now, at level 40 (main characters), it takes me about 2 Tokos to level up. I must also point out that it really doesn’t take much to beat this guy, especially when your characters are in the mid-30s level.

Eventually, I was able to catch a Toko and make it my familiarTo make it your familiar, I believe the trick is to just keep fighting as many Tokos as you can. Eventually, one of them will cave in. I normally use Attack rather than my more powerful Magical Attacks, because I don’t want to kill it right away. When opportunity hits, I put all my characters on All Defense (refer to my post “Controlling your party during battle in Ni no Kuni) and Serenade immediately (if opposing familiars are still there, make sure Esther’s HP is high, because they will attack you).

Note: The reason why I use All Defense is due to the fact that I once had a problem catching a familiar. I immediately switched to Esther after having fought a familiar that “loved” me and Mite (Oliver’s main familiar) killed it off. 

Important: When you attack the Toko, make sure you solely focus your character on it, because it has a tendency to run away and disappear in the middle of battle (making your efforts of finding it fruitless). If Toko starts to back up, it’s probably trying to run away. Let your party take care of the other familiars (use All Attack, triangle button).

You must be very patient to have this opportunity. Don’t give up!

Toko in the middle via SirLancelot PSN @ Youtube

Toko is REALLY hard to level up. I feel like to level Toko up, you need to fight a bunch of Tokos or gain EXP from boss level fights. Since I don’t feel ready to take on a boss, I’m just going to keep finding all the Tokos.  According IGN.com, it takes at least 13,000EXP to level a Toko from Level 1 to 2 (yikes!).

Second Note: Sneak up on a Toko when you see them on the Map. Tokos will run away and eventually disappear if you don’t reach them in time. My trick is to find a way to corner or quickly sneak up on them. Some Tokos are part of the party of another familiar; therefore, just because you don’t see a Toko on screen doesn’t mean he might not be there.

Ni no Kuni fans, do you have any tips on capturing and leveling up a Toko?
I’d love to hear your thoughts! Comment below.

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Elopement in the Woods

Green Wedding Shoes did a great article on a newlywed’s romantic elopement in the woods. I was taken away by the natural beauty of nature as their wedding backdrop and the intimacy this couple emits. Elopement has always been something I was open to. Normally, I think about going to the beach and getting officiated on top of a cliff overlooking the ocean. I never once thought about doing the ceremony in the woods..until now.

Benj Haisch, photographer, did a great job capturing every moment on film!

Photographed by BenjHaisch.com via Greenweddingshoes.com

Janssen Powers, videographer, did a great job capturing the couple’s journey from pre-wedding jitters to solidifying their union on their journey to the top of the mountain. I teared up towards the end, and I’m sure every Pinterest user is pining for something like this as well. This was definitely romantic!

Can someone please get these two vendors for my future wedding? I would love you forever and a day!

Readers, would you like to do something like this for your wedding?
Leave a comment! I would love to hear your thoughts.

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Banana Republic sale; Gilly Hicks

“Shop til you drop” is a phrase that is so cliche, but after a long day of browsing for the perfect items, the term definitely holds true. I would love to make this post specifically about “shopping til I [felt like] drop[ping]”, but alas, I’m still a broke post-college 20-something. My job is around the corner (2 weeks specifically), and I’m currently scrambling trying to find business casual and “grown-up” outfits that my closet lacks. If you look into my closet, you’ll see random pieces I’ve collected over the past 5 years (some dating back to high school); yikes! So, you can see my dilemma — trying to find good looking clothes for a cheaper price tag.

Therefore, I believe timing is crucial when it comes to shopping. As summer is slowly dwindling down and the fashion world is getting ready for fall trends, the end of July/early August is a great time to find some awesome saving busters. Sometimes, I feel stores are so desperate that you can find items with 40-60% markdowns, including items that are already on sale. Unfortunately, finding something you will actually wear is like finding a needle in a haystack. In my opinion, some sale items are a bit on the uglier side, so the point of even purchasing it is pointless (see future post on Importance of Buying the Right Clothes). However, when you see an article of clothing that suits your taste, you better grab that baby before another person comes in and steals it out of your hands!

With that said, Banana Republic is holding an amazing sale that started yesterday (7/29) and ends today (7/30). 40% off all regular price items and an additional 50% off of all sales items. The following are the clothes that I bought before they went back to their regular prices (all are sales items).

Before buying the items online, I originally bought two of aforementioned items (Martin Fit pants & Turquoise Sateen Shirt) at the Banana Republic: Petite store. I didn’t realize until later that Banana Republic’s website was holding a massive sale, so I decided to return the items and buy them online. I am normally not a fan of online shopping, but I feel like when given the most cost-efficient option, I should always opt for the latter. The subtotal came out to $219.95, but with the additional 50% discount, it came out to $109 (post-tax: $119-ish). The store price for three items I had bought at the store came out to $140-ish (post-tax). The third sales item I had purchased was not listed above, because it was not even on the website (see future post on outfits). As you can see, this definitely was a great steal! 

I gambled on the yellow soft-wash linen shirt, because it looked comfortable and yellow is one of the few colors that accentuates my skin tone. Also, there were tons of reviews that raved over this top, so I felt like it was a great steal. If it doesn’t work out, Banana Republic has a great free shipping return policy. I will post later on how these shirts turned out, as well as how I prefer to style them.

After returning my clothes to Banana Republic: Petite, I came across a random store at the mall called “Gilly Hicks“. The music, scent and decor sent me Abercrombie & Fitch vibes, a store that I had stopped going to during my sophomore year in college. I was really curious as to what this store was, since Gilly Hicks wasn’t a common household name. Apparently, it’s a lingerie and comfort clothing store from Australia, and its’ parent company is A&F.

Most of the items they offered in the store were lingerie, and I felt there were targeted towards a younger audience (think VS Pink). The items were cute, and they did, in fact, look comfortable. The only problem I had with the store was the layout. There were twists and turns that would lead me to random dead-ends, and I was really confused as to how to get from one spot to the other. I felt like if the store’s pathways made more sense, there would be more shoppers visiting.

Looking through the items, nothing really stuck out as “buy me! buy me!”, until I reached their GH Sport pants section. I found some cute yoga pants that was on sale for $25 (retail price was $44.50), and with their additional 60% discount, I got it for $10 (post-tax). These pants were definitely comfortable, and since I’ve always wanted to get yoga pants, I felt like these were such a steal! I would have bought more, but the other yoga pants on display were ugly.

The picture above shows a close replica of the yoga pants that I bought. Instead of blue polka dots, it’s a solid dark blue. The other color available was a solid peach that I decided not to get, since I felt dark blue was more versatile in terms of matching with specific clothing, shoes and accessories. I got an XS, and the width at the hips snuggled comfortably; whereas, the length was a tad bit longer (I’m 4’10”). Not a problem with me, since I could just roll it a bit to get the length I want. I feel these pants are true to size. The material is ridiculously soft, and I can definitely imagine myself lounging around with those babies on. According to the website, these yoga pants are can easily wick away moisture, which is great when using for exercise.

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