Level-5 is releasing the sequel to their critically acclaimed RPG, Ni no Kuni. With a story written by Akihiro Hino, characters designed by Yoshiyuki Momose, and music composed by Joe Hisaishi, this game looks to be shaping up to be pure magic.
While the game might be magic, this game is based on betrayal. You play as Evan, son of the King of Ding Dong Dell, who gets ousted from his kingdom by a violent coup at the hands of a mangy rat.
While it’s a painful experience for Evan, he doesn’t have the right to actually become king until he earns it. This is done through completing the Trial of Courage and gaining a kingmaker. In Evan’s case, this is the mascot character Lofty, and by forging this Kingsbond he gains the right to lead a kingdom.
We got a chance to get our hands on a demo of the game and I’ll tell you honestly: I had a great time! The demo that we played focused on a boss fight against an enemy kingmaker that was significantly stronger than Evan. In order to combat this situation, we needed to understand not only the layout of the field, but the locations of our allies.
In this game you have a great number of small allies called Higgledies that are integral to your success. These are elemental spirits that remind me of the forest spirits in Princess Mononoke.
These spirits augment your offensive, defensive, and even magical abilities. From what I’ve seen, on the battlefield there are at least 25 of these little guys at the same time and they group up together according to their elements.
Groups of these Higgledies will eventually grant you a boost such as a heightened defense, or even a quick heal that made this “impossible fight” just pretty difficult. The main character also can use the Higgledies to add an elemental effect onto his own skills.
Each group has their own element and being around a specific element when using your skills will add their element onto your attack. It forces the player to have a keen presence of the battlefield, and I feel it’s going to be a very fun addition to an already interesting combat system.
Now combat is focused on long range and short range mechanics. Long range utilizes spells that can either be shot quickly for practically no damage or charged for a significant amounts of damage. Short Range combat is focused on quick and strong attacks.
Sadly these attacks can’t be used in combos with each other, and trying to dodge out, at least from my experience doesn’t even work if you’re in the middle of an attack. This got Michael into a bit of trouble when he got locked into a move without a chance to block a massive area of effect attack.
Outside of combat, we did get a sneak peak on another new bit of gameplay, although we didn’t actually get a chance to record it.
This new mode is called Kingdom mode. In this mode, Evan is tasked with making his own kingdom. While he may earn the right to be a king throughout the game, he still doesn’t technically have a kingdom anymore.
In order to build his kingdom up, he must build relationships with people from various cities and ask them to join his kingdom, which is something reminiscent of the Suikoden series. The people he manages to convince to join his kingdom will help him throughout his quest.
The characters that you recruit help you gather resources, and might even help you in battle. Judging by the gameplay, in Kingdom mode there will be an RTS mini-game of some sort. It is fairly cute with chibi-like characters, and you will be able to command the characters you’ve gathered in this mini-game to gather resources and help you in battle.
Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom was very fun to play. The combat was engaging and the game forced me to think a little more than I normally would in an action RPG. If this is what we’ll be getting in the full game, everyone is in store for a great experience!
Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom is launching on November 10th for PC and PlayStation 4. Stay tuned to our feed and make sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel for all our upcoming videos!