The first Ni no Kuni game, with an evocative subtitle “Wrath of the White Witch” was a very pretty game. Outstandingly so, even, but that’s a given when Studio Ghibli is involved.
Now Ni no Kuni 2 is coming out, and despite the lack of Ghibli’s involvement, it keeps the unmistakeable style. What else does it keep, and what has changed? Keep reading.
Ni no Kuni 2 story premise
The city of Ding Dong Dell for decades has been a home for two tribes: cats and mice. This could not last forever, however, and in a coup d’état staged by the mouse tribe a freshly crowned young king Evan Pettiwhisker Tildrum has been usurped and exiled from his kingdom. What follows is a story of Evan becoming the king he’s supposed to be and creating a place for his people to live.
Ni no Kuni 2 companions
Evan isn’t going to be alone on his quest, either. Along the way he’s going to have the support of several characters.
One of them will be Roland, a visitor from another world, tossed into the land of Ni no Kuni via a magic portal or something of the kind. It also seemingly rejuvenated him, since the middle-aged man, a president on his own world, got a body of a twenty-something youth.
Another ally will be Tani, a young adopted daughter of a sky pirate captain, out in the world for her own reasons, none of them disclosed so far.
Ni no Kuni 2 gameplay
Ni no Kuni II is going to be divided into several sections, differing in terms of gameplay as well as presentation.
First of all, there will be the encounter, combat section, where characters are shown in their full glory. These sections will be all about exploring the discrete levels, solving an occasional puzzle, and fighting enemies using a revamped, more dynamic combat system.
Then there will be the map of the overworld, which the characters are going to travel abstracted into a chibi form of themselves, somewhat reminiscent of a similar solution in Final Fantasy VII for instance. As one might suspect, the overworld isn’t going to be a detailed map the onslaught of open-world games have conditioned us to expect, but more of a top-down view of a pretty, but simplified 3D topological map of the region. Which is fine. There will still be enough to explore there anyway.
There are also going to be Skirmishes, larger battles waged by chibi-fied figures representing allied and enemy units running around and fighting. It’ll look a bit similar to the exploration mode, albeit with a different perspective and “zoom level” on the map.
Finally there’ll be city building parts, where you’re going to decide which buildings are going to be built in your new kingdom, and where you are going to put them.
New Ni no Kuni 2: Revenant Kingdom combat system
Unlike its predecessor, which had a quirky system using Familiars to do battle for you, in Revenant Kingdom you’re going to do the fighting on your own.
Whether controlling Evan or any of his companions, you’ll be taking the fight to your enemies personally, using any of the weapons you have at your disposal. There’s the usual batch of swift and strong attacks, dodges, and special attacks. There’s going to be loot, of course, which means you won’t be stuck with the same battered sword for the entire experience.
The biggest change, however, is the presence of Higgledies. They replace Familiars, but instead of fighting for you, their main purpose is providing various buffs to you: boosts to attack or defense, health regen, even an active shield against damage. They will also be able to attack your foes, but it won’t be the best use of their abilities.
Ni no Kuni 2: Revenant Kingdom is shaping up to be a worthy follow-up to its outstanding predecessor. With the same gorgeous visuals, a new story, revamped gameplay, and the charm carried over from the first game, it may be well worth you attention.
Ni no Kuni 2: Revenant Kingdom launches on March 23rd this year, which leaves just under a month to figure out whether you want to buy it or not.