Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom - PS4 Review

Grab your little red cape everyone, because Ni no Kuni 2 is here. This JRPG is chalk full of adventurous activities that will surely keep you busy enough to explore more of this wondrous world.

We were all treated with the sweetness that was Wrath of the White Witch, the first game in the series. A legendary game that will continue to branch out and create new titles along the way, titles such as Kuni 2.

Kuni 2 starts off in the same world as its predecessor, but since then a hundred years have passed since Ollie' boys adventure. Now a new protagonist, named Evan, has taken the role of 'New' hero. Young Evan has a lot on his shoulder from the start of the game, being that he is the sole heir to the throne of Ding Dong Dell, and there are those who wish to steal his crown. As poor Evan struggles to survive through a coup, a mysterious man named Roland appears before him and offers him his aid. Together the two journey to create not only a new kingdom but a world where everyone one can live happily ever after...... A phrase that gets thrown around like a sac of potatoes, constantly, in this game.

There are many new and interesting game mechanics that have been added or changed since Kuni 1. One of the new changes that I favor over the first game is the combat style. No longer do you need to use familiars to fight your battles. King Evan and his companion have adapted to the up close and free roam fighting style. No more turn-based or waiting for the battle gauge to fill for these heroes.

Each character can equip up to three closed range weapons and one long ranged that can be shuffled between during battle. These weapons also have a power storing ability, where they can build power by attacking the enemy directly. Once the weapon has reached 100% you can unleash a powerful attack or spell that can deal heavy damage to either a single or multiple targets. You can also use these attacks at any given time during battle, as long as you have enough ability points to pull off the move, but they will only preform at half the strength than when your weapon is at full power.

Also fighting along side you are these tiny little sprites called 'Higgledies'. These feisty little critters are helpful with their abilities to boost your stats, heal you or join together to blast your enemies away with their own elemental powers. Higgledies can be found all over the world either by creating them or finding little offering shrines that are hidden within dungeons. You can equip up to 4 Higgledies during fights and they can also be leveled up by giving them their favorite treats.

To finish off your combat potential the game has added a stats board that you can unlock and change to your liking. Having a hard time beating up a type of dragon monster? No problem, just set your stats to focus all your heavy hits to dragon like enemies and they'll go down with ease. Wanna gain more Experience than Money? That too can be possible. With the stat board the game can make certain challenges a little easier with the right adjustments.

The game has kept its open world concept, allowing you to explore till your hearts content, but much has changed in it shape since the first game. The only memorable place that still stands is Ding Dong Dell. All other previous location have vanished and has since been replaced with new cities and landmarks.

Once you're on the world map your character sprites are able to walk around and gather or fight at your expense. They can also come across certain checkpoint areas that are marked with a flag. This allows you to enter a tactical like battlefield with a overhead view where Evan will commands an army of citizen, that you will collect for your kingdom, to fight alongside him to defeat and defend his land.

Each fighter has their own specialties that range from Warriors, Berserker, Archers, Spearmen and Spellcaster. You may select 4 unit to accompany you on the battlefield. At the start of each battle you are given a 'Might' level. Each time you encounter an enemy your might will slowly decrease, it will also decrease if you try to take over an enemy base, use a special attack or summon more troops. If this 'Might' falls to zero Evan will lose the fight. The more fights you win the more Experience your citizen gain and the stronger they will become.

As a kingling it is Evan's job to build his new kingdom. Whenever you enter your kingdom the game turns into a building simulator of the sort, giving you the option to customize your town. You start off with a handful of people to help build your society by assigning them to certain jobs. Each individual has a level of intelligence, physical strength and there own special talent that can help further certain workplaces. Each shop will gain you currency for the kingdom which you can use to level up or research new developments.

To gain new citizens you must progress the main story or finish personal quests to gain their loyalty. Quests become available under different condition and will appear on your map as exclamation marks. Not only will you gain new townsmen, but you'll be rewarded with special items and accessories. I highly recommend spending a large chunk of time completing these tasks as it help you along with the game.

Now for the bread and butter of this game... The story. I find myself at a crossroad with this game's storyline. Unlike Kuni 1, the story is slightly lacking. Whereas in the first game I found myself so in depth and enriched with its fairy tale that I was expecting the second game to blow my mind... but it didn't. It was good, but not brilliant. I was baffled as to why the game felt so different from the first, and with a little bit of research I found out that Studio Ghibli, the Japanese Disney of the world, was not present in Kuni 2. Even though the games graphics look gorgeous on the PS4, i didn't get that sense of magic like I did before. No animated cutscenes are present either. I'm guessing with Ghibli gone from the picture, Bandai Namco and Level 5 had to use whatever budget they had and cut some iconic features from the game.

Fear not as they were able to keep Joe Hisaishi, the musical mastermind behind all of Ghiblis productions and the first Ni no Kuni game. Joe continues to breath life into his pieces and it definitely shows in Kuni 2. Every moment is catered perfectly.

All in all this game was good. It kept me engaged and wanting more. The combat was more polished in Kuni 2 and the building of a kingdom drives me to complete quest upon quest to gain new citizens. I give this game a 9 out of 10.

Now, excuse me while I convince people to join my empire---- HEY, YOU! JOIN MY KINGDOM!

Game Information

Sony PlayStation 4
BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment
Simulation Elements
Single Player
Other Platform(s):


Article by Natasha


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