Why You Should Play
- Studio Ghibli character designs and animation.
- Fun and easy action-oriented combat system.
- Kingdom building to add more depth to the adventure.
- Plenty of side quests to give players a ton of stuff to do outside of the main adventure.
Ni No Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom has taken everything that was great about the first game and amped it up to the next level. The combat has been altered to offer a more fast-paced experience, with familiars removed in favor of Higgledies, little beings that can have a small or large impact depending on how you use them. The story is well-crafted, but it may take you some time to work through it because you’ll be busy building your kingdom in SimCity-style gameplay. It truly feels as though there’s something for everyone in Ni No Kuni II.
As an action-RPG, the combat in Ni No Kuni II is akin to a hack and slash game. All characters have three melee weapons they can switch between, as well as one ranged weapon and up to four magic-based skills that can be used. While you can only control one character in your party of three, you are free to swap between characters at will. In addition, the familiar-like Higgledy creatures add another level of depth to the combat system. They can be left on their own to attack enemies and heal your party automatically, or you can interact with them to unleash powerful offensive and defensive abilities.
Traversing the world is just as easy as the combat system. It takes a little bit of time to get to new places, but once you’re there you can unlock a Trip Door that serves as a fast travel system. This makes it extremely easy to travel to almost any location you’ve already been too. The fast travel ability comes in handy for many of the side quests, or when you simply want to return to home for more kingdom building fun.
Speaking of your kingdom, the kingdom building aspect of the game adds a whole new level of strategy. While the system isn’t quite as deep as SimCity, it offers a similar experience. In addition, much of what you do within your kingdom will have an impact on the rest of the game. You can make quality of life changes, such as increasing movement speed on the world map, or look into things that have a direct impact on your party, such as gaining experience faster or crafting more powerful weapons.
Visuals and Performance
It’s hard to imagine a better-looking RPG thanks to Studio Ghibli designing and animating all of the characters in the game. If you’re familiar with Studio Ghibli films, you will immediately recognize the art style and animation. It truly feels as though you’re playing through a Studio Ghibli animated film in the form of an action-RPG. Even the chibi versions of your party that appear on the world map add a unique visual aspect to the game.
While there are a few minor hiccups when it comes to performance, and some odd design choices such as pausing the game to have a party member speak every time you empty your kingdom coffers (which happens frequently), overall Ni No Kuni II offers solid performance. Battles are fast, and your characters respond quickly to commands. There’s little to no slowdown or stutter on the PC or console versions of the game, and we’ve had no issues with the game crashing or causing any other problems.
Game of the Week
RPG fans have been waiting for the next big thing, and Ni No Kuni II is it. While some may be holding out for another turn-based RPG, those are few and far between these days. The combat in Ni No Kuni II isn’t as mindless as many action-RPGs, and the depth of the kingdom building and Higgledy systems adds quite a bit to the overall experience. When you factor in the fantastic Studio Ghibli designs and animations, it’s not hard to see why Ni No Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom is the Prima Game of the Week!