Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom - Roland Character Trailer | PS4, PC
Who it Caters to
Throughout our childhood, many of us had dreams of doing something big, whether it be to become an astronaut or perhaps save lives as a world renowned doctor. Some of us also felt that perhaps ruling the world would be an option that could be possible, with a lot of hard work and dedication. One thing that many of us learned however is that most dreams don’t happen overnight and that in order to truly find success in life, you’ll need the right people to help guide you along in that arduous yet rewarding journey. This brings us to Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom, the highly anticipated follow up to Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch, which released to massive success and left people yearning for more. The great aspect about Ni no Kuni titles is that each of them follows a different story, and so even if you didn’t play the previous version it becomes an entirely fresh experience for the next one. Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom has been in the works for several years now and so devoted fans have been eagerly awaiting its release to see if much of those past issues have been ironed out, but most importantly how the new story unfolds.
What to Expect
While the gameplay of Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom is quite similar to that of Wrath of the White Witch, a lot of mechanics have been implemented to give players more freedom in the area of combo creation, among many other things. One of those new additions are the Higgledies, which have taken the place of the familiars from the past title and these cute little things can wreak havoc on the enemy if you manage them effectively. They encompass various elemental properties which you’ll need to fully grasp in order to get the best use of of them in the long run. You now also have what are called skirmishes which put you in a scenario where you’ll need to attack the enemy base, and take out the main leader in order to successfully conquer that particular area. It’s a very fun new addition that adds another element of creativity where you’ll need to plan out a strategy beforehand to ensure that your squad doesn’t succumb to the enemy retaliation, and strengthen your morale for future battles ahead.
Speaking of battles, a lot of the mechanics from Wrath of the White Witch have been vastly improved, allowing you to really go wild with combo extensions during battle while encouraging you to try out different tools and spells to successfully take down specific enemies. It’s not just a run around to hack your way through type of title, you’ll really need to understand how the element system works and how to fully optimize your weapons to guarantee quick enemy deaths, especially later on in the game where enemies become even more of a threat. The story itself is quite compelling as you get to see the evolution of a young boy, stumbling over his obstacles but with the help of his colleagues he learns to overcome them with surety and tenacity.
The story starts off with Roland, as he’s on the way to a briefing when disaster strikes, creating havoc and uncertainty in the real world. On the other side, you have a young boy named Evan Pettiwhisker who is destined to be the king of his kingdom, but suddenly finds himself in dire straights when corruption erupts within the castle forcing him to evacuate to save his life. Roland finds himself in this sticky ordeal after being mysteriously transported into Evan’s world, with a much younger appearance than usual. With the help of Roland and an emotional sacrifice by one of Evan’s closest colleagues, the two manage to flee and now must find a way to reclaim the kingdom. Along the way, Evan comes across a group of Sky Pirates who initially wanted to kill him but after keeping a promise to save the daughter Tani from a group of pestering enemies, Tani joins the fray to ensure that peace is restored once and for all.
Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom has everything going right for it from start to finish, from its rich and compelling narrative to the fantastic musical score which had been masterfully created by Joe Hisaishi. For those who are unfamiliar with the name, Hisaishi was the man behind all the music in Studio Ghibli’s classics like Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away and so, when playing through Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom, it’s like watching a Ghibli film. So right off the bat, you’re enamored by the melodic orchestra which really immerses you into the story. What makes Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom a vast improvement over Wrath of the White Witch is that the animations in the game felt a lot smoother, battles feel more seamless and deep, puzzle elements are worthy, while the story flows beautifully into every new sequence you encounter throughout the game.
The tutorials throughout the game do a splendid job of explaining to you how all the mechanics work, while providing necessary advice to ensure you develop a strong understanding of the framework for future battles. We noticed that while playings there were a greater number of save points dispersed all throughout the map, which is great because it encourages you to save in order to stay caught up on the action. Some other RPG titles have save points that are spread out too far ahead of each other which makes the experience feel a little taxing, since you have to work extra hard just to reach the next save point and avoid unnecessary dangers. In Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom, much of that taxing feeling is gone so you now can truly enjoy the experience, and not feel like you have to exert too much of yourself just to reach the next phase of the game.
Enemies in the game are a lot smarter than they were in Wrath of the White Witch, which was one of the issues we encountered but fortunately, that has been improved in Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom. Enemies will pay attention to your patterns a little more and will do massive amounts of damage if you play carelessly, so the game really encourages you to play with a plan in mind ahead of a major battle. The skirmishes we mentioned earlier gradually grow more challenging as the level increases which means that you’ll have to really optimize all the abilities you learn, while paying close attention to your Military Might so as to not overexert yourself.
Speaking of points, this brings us to another cool aspect about Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom and that’s managing your kingdom. This of course is a brand new feature in the series which allows you to create your own kingdom ala Suikoden style and manage each building that is built, hiring the right people to ensure proper research can be conducted. As your kingdom grows and more people migrate to become real citizens, your responsibilities will need to change as new objectives will appear which will require you to hire more people, and build new businesses. You’ll come to find that running a kingdom really isn’t easy as you’d assume, even in the game itself because there’s really a lot to consider and plan out so that you don’t run out of Kingsguilders(KG).
The overall map in Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom is much more voluminous than its previous iteration, allowing you to run around more to explore new territory. It’s by no means an open world, but it’s certainly big enough so that you’re able to venture around and truly immerse yourself in the beautifully designed environments. Much of the game is linear in the sense that you’re following the main story and through that story, you’re given various quests which allow you to explore new areas. It’s like a HUB world where in order for the player to open up a new area of the world, the main story must be completed first in order to get there. So essentially you’re moving from one “HUB” or “Main Point” to go another main point, and this opens up the story even further. As you go deeper into the game there will be side quests that you can complete, with some tied to the main story while others are mainly for fetching things for the NPC. Be that as it may, these quests still allow you to traverse the colorful and vibrant world, giving you a truly exciting and immersive experience with each character.
Honey's Gameplay Consensus:
Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom serves up a wonderful dish that’s full of flavor, diversity and really hits the palette in a remarkable number of ways. It picks up where Wrath of the White Witch left off in terms of its gameplay mechanics, but spruces things up a bit to allow players the opportunity to be more versatile in their approach. The lock-on system during battle we feel is good but there were times when, despite locking onto an enemy, your character would target another enemy, especially when dealing with a larger group. This often led to taking massive amounts of unnecessary damage because you’d be focusing on someone else rather than the target you specified, but it didn’t necessarily ruin the overall experience. Your strategic use of the Higgledies will make up for those odd moments since they act as an extended shield, performing various attacks that can either heal you or deal some severe damage to the enemy. We also found some of the dialogue in the game to be a bit too random at times, with some characters you encounter speaking in ways that just make you scratch your head a little.
It’s not that it’s bad, but it just makes you wonder why it was even necessary to say such things in the first place. There’s certainly some very clever uses of humor that will have you chuckling for some time such as the comments on Leafbook, while in other scenarios, the philosophical undertones really make you see things in a different light. Character relationships truly feel authentic and seeing Evan evolve over time is an emotionally charging experience. Knowing every enemy weakness as you progress further into the game will become even more imperative along with building the habit of constantly upgrading your weapons. We could go on and on for hours about this but we really recommend buying this game because it’s truly one of the better RPGs we’ve placed in a while.
Was Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom worth all those years of waiting? We most certainly feel so as it not only exceeded our expectations in the visual and musical category, but just the overall flow of the story and where it leads you is an outstanding achievement for the Level 5 team.
A massive improvement over Wrath of the White Witch!
Musical score in the game is top notch as usual.
Truly compelling story as you really get to experience human evolution at its best.
The top down view while exploring gave us some nostalgic feels.
New dynamic battle system really encourages you to think outside of the box and not rely on similar tactics.
Kingdom building is truly fun and puts you in the driver's seat everytime. You really feel the weight of being a King.
Yoshiyuki Momose. Enough said.
The lock-on system just needs some fine tuning.
Honey's Final Verdict:
We here at Honey’s Anime really place a lot of value on quality and Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom is a fine example of a game that places a lot of emphasis in that category. It doesn’t try to overwhelm you with an array of options that ultimately become useless overtime, it provides just enough for you to utilize correctly to really have a blast. This is a must buy for any RPG fan whether you’ve played the previous titles or not, so get out your wallet and accept your fate. Help Evan restore peace in the kingdom and become the King he rightfully deserves to be!
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Author: Rob "NualphaJPN" B.
A passionate fan of gaming, writing, journalism, anime, and philosophy. I've lived in Japan for many years and consider this place to be my permanent home. I love to travel around Japan and learn about the history and culture! Leave a comment if you enjoy my articles and watch me play on twitch.tv/honeysgaming ! Take care!