Ni No Kuni 2: A Kingdom for a Kingdom
Five Earth years after Part One, centuries have passed in the world of Ni no Kuni: The Curse of the White Queen. Much has changed there, for example in Ni No Kuni 2: Revenant Kingdom you now fight with each other in real time. Good, because these and other adjustments make a strong game even better.
On the surface, Ni No Kuni 2 may seem like a game for children. Cute comic characters with cat ears, a fluffy, colorful game world and a childlike king with a girl look are not without reason reminiscent of the masterpieces of the Japanese anime studio Ghibli. The handwriting of developer Level 5 can be recognized at least by its appearance at all corners and ends.
An open world as if from a fairy tale book
At the beginning of Ni No Kuni 2, a US president named Roland Klein falls victim to an attack – and wakes up as a teenager in a fantasy world. Unfortunately, the situation there is not much less conflicting than in the old homeland. Apparently, fate has given Roland the role of helping the future king of the Reich Katzbuckel. This is necessary because this Evan has lost his father and his throne. This is the fault of the former royal advisor named Ratoleon. Evan would have to flee and be on his own if it weren’t for his protectors Aranella and Roland.
In the course of the battle, other protagonists ( pirate girl and her father, Remmi) join forces to put an end to the dark wire-pullers.
The vast fantasy world where the heroes win allies, fight enemies in great numbers and complete upbeat quests. The well-structured main quests are to expand Evan’s kingdom. For example, Evan helps a local lord to his forest, in gratitude the king receives wood, with which he builds the city. There he builds equipment, makes weapons and brews elixirs. After a quest, it is usually enough to set up production facilities and commission research into new techniques.
When you steer General Evan, the troops follow automatically. Then you protect your archers from enemy infantrymen and use special weapons. The battles become more challenging as the game progresses.
Action-packed and satisfying game mechanics
Just like the strategic battles, these battles take place in real time. In the fights, Ni No Kuni 2 is much more focused on action. We usually face four to ten opponents, who we attack primarily with sword blows, as well as from a distance, among others, with Roland’s pistol. The fights are quite hectic, which leads to the fact that the figures rush across the battlefield again and again because of the automatic target switching, without us wanting that.
As the game progresses, more and more tactical elements are added: must use special spells over and over again to overcome certain magic shields, or use special weapons. Another help is the Gnuffis: These are little goblins that we can add to our group in addition to other team members. In the first ten hours, the fights are very easy, even the first level boss requires more patience than skill. Later it gets harder, then you need healing elixirs to progress.
An anime film to play along with
Graphically, Ni No Kuni 2 is undoubtedly best described with a playable anime film. The cinematic sequences, in particular, are hardly inferior to Studio Ghibli’s theatrical films. The drawing style ( Princess Mononoke) is beautiful and detailed at the same time. It is not noticeable that Studio Ghibli, unlike part 1, is no longer directly involved, but only former members of the animation studio in Ni No Kuni 2 have their fingers in the game.
Once again, the dialogues are usually only set to music in cinematic sequences, but there they are excellent. Otherwise, the expressions of the characters are limited to individual words that accompany the written text. The game offers an English or Japanese voice output, as well as subtitles in several languages. The classical soundtrack by composer Joe Hisaishi sounds voluptuous and captivating, but not always appropriate to the context. Thanks to a cute story, these fairy-tale adventures with wonderful complex puzzles take about 50 hours and more in 4K and 60 fps as well as HDR on the PlayStation 4 Pro.
Ni No Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom Overall
Game title: Ni No Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom
Game description: After being overthrown in a coup, young King Evan embarks on an extraordinary journey to found a new kingdom, unite his world and defend its inhabitants against the dark forces that threaten them...........