Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom – reviews and release date
A revamped combat system and city management mode appear in the JRPG
The wait for the second instalment in the Ni no Kuni series is over, as the Japanese role playing game (JRPG) is now available on the PlayStation 4 and PC.
Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom is the latest game to come from developer Level-5 and has been designed with the assistance of former artists from the Japanese anime creator Studio Ghibli.
You follow a child king called Evan, who has been ousted from his throne in the Kingdom of Ding Dong Dell, says US Gamer. Players are tasked with battling monsters with Evan’s band of heroes to “recover what is rightfully his”.
Here are all the details on the new JRPG.
Release date and where to order
Ni no Kuni II was originally planned to launch last November, says Polygon, but Level-5 took the decision to postpone the game’s launch to January to make additional improvements. Following further delays, the game is now available to order.
It can be found at Game on the PlayStation 4 for £44.99, while PC downloads start at £49.99. There’s also a limited Prince’s Edition for PS4 players at £79.99, which comes with a steel book case and a season pass for additional content.
For dedicated Ni no Kuni fans, there’s the King's Edition. Available for £159.99, this version features everything from the Prince’s Edition, as well as a diorama set and art book. It also comes with a vinyl of the game’s soundtrack and a making-of Bluray disc.
The game “is a fresh tale so prior knowledge isn’t required”, says Trusted Reviews. It means it should be accessible for both newcomers and series veterans.
Ni no Kuni II is set “hundreds of years” after the events of the first Ni no Kuni game and follows Evan Pettiwhisker Tildrum, the “deposed” king of Ding Dong Dell, says Gamespot. To prove he’s a worthy king, Evan sets out to “found his own kingdom” with the help of companions he meets along the way.
According to Gaming Bolt, the game’s graphics have been designed by former Studio Ghibli animator Yoshiyuki Momose, while the music has been composed by the studio’s “longtime” producer Joe Hisaishi.
A completely revamped combat system debuts in Ni no Kuni II, says Gamespot, which swaps its predecessor’s turn-based gameplay for real-time battles. This places a “greater emphasis on action” and increases the pace of combat.
There’s also a kingdom creator tool, says Games Radar, which acts as a “mini city management sim where you can build armouries and training grounds”.
The management mode also hands you quests to “hunt down the best people to work in your kingdom”, the site adds, although you’ll have to slay some monsters and find hidden items to convince them to join you.
Fans who didn’t play the first instalment in the Ni no Kuni series shouldn’t ignore Revenant Kingdom, says Gamespot, as the story isn’t tied to the first game.
Gamers will be drawn into the many worlds of Revenant Kingdom, the video game site says, which offer “interesting qualities” when explored by the player. The Goldpaw Kingdom, for example, is home to a society that worships luck, while another kingdom considers all forms of love “a criminal offence”.
While Revenant Kingdom’s “world-spanning story” will be the biggest draw for players, Polygon says the kingdom management system sub-game is just as impressive.
The management game allows players to defend a kingdom from attackers, as well as recruit new people to construct buildings and research upgrades. Polygon says this helps increase the longevity of the story.
The combat mechanics have also been completely revamped in Revenant Kingdom, with the old game’s turn-based gameplay replaced by a real-time fighting system.
Real-time combat makes battles feel “satisfying and surprisingly complex” compared to the first game, according to The Verge.
There’s also an element of strategy, the tech site says, which will have gamers managing their team of fighters and choosing which character’s abilities best suit their playing style.