Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom Prince’s Edition Port Report – Nintendo Switch

Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom Prince's Edition

Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom Prince’s Edition is a conversion that makes a lot of sense, and makes necessary compromises. It was not too surprising that Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch made it to the Nintendo Switch. It was originally made for PlayStation 3 specs, so it was not an unrealistic porting process to get it running on modern day mobile hardware.

While it didn’t match the PlayStation 4 remastered version, Ni no Kuni on Switch was a faithful port of the original release. It was effectively a straight conversion of the PlayStation 3 edition, and had the same specs. With Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom Prince’s Edition on Switch, Engine Software had to cut back on fidelity in order to get the game running in a reasonable state.

What level of compromise is acceptable? Is all the bonus DLC worth it when the base game is often found in bargain bins? Find out in this port report of Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom Prince’s Edition on the Nintendo Switch. For our in-depth review, you can find it here (we highly recommend it!)

Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom Prince’s Edition
Developer: Level-5, Engine Software
Publisher: Bandai Namco
Platforms: Windows PC, PlayStation 4,Nintendo Switch (reviewed)
Release Date: March 23, 2018 (PlayStation 4), September 17, 2021 (Nintendo Switch)
Players: 1
Price: $59.99 USD

Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom Prince's Edition

Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom is the story of Evan, a boy who is forced to grow up much sooner than expected. Woefully unprepared, he is thrust into kinghood and has entire populations of townsfolk depending on him for their livelihoods.

Evan is faced with unbearable responsibility and on top of having to foster a new kingdom, a dangling sword of Damocles in the form of a sorcerer who aims to bring back his civilization from the brink. Evan is not alone; with the aid of Roland Crane, he will have all the guidance he will ever need.

Roland is not just any isekai hero, he also happens to be the president of the greatest nation the world has ever known. Together, King Evan and President Crane will learn new things about themselves during this Arthurian style conquest.

Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom Prince's Edition

The original release of Ni no Kuni II had a very defined story arc structure to its narrative involving the cast traveling to several locations. The late game areas were notable for how rushed and quickly they get resolved. Compounded with a low difficulty, the challenge never rises. The DLC included in Prince’s Edition is seemingly designed to address these flaws.

At chapter 9, the Lost Lord DLC content becomes available, and it’s a doozy of a bonus dungeon; towering over 80 floors. This is not the main event to the dungeon- it’s a new combat mechanic that involves enemies with barriers and regenerating health.

Party members will also learn new special attacks from the guides strewn through out the keep. Anyone who found Ni no Kuni II too easy won’t complain about the Lost Lord content. The new moves become invaluable when trying to brave the challenges deep within, and will add another 10 plus hours to the game’s play time.

Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom Prince's Edition

Lost Lord is not the most substantial content, being that it’s primarily filler with battling and puzzle solving. The Tale of the Timeless Tome fares a bit better by having story and lore content that flesh out the characters further, but is also primarily made up of recycled assets, and is much shorter.

Both modules do not include any newly recorded lines or high fidelity cutscenes- only recycled animations from broad character dialogue boxes. The impression is that these DLC chapters were made far below the line to make up for the lack of interest in Ni no Kuni II. Sadly, this was a game that did not find its audience, and was quickly abandoned and price dropped shortly after it came out.

The DLC comes off as a last ditch effort to drum up interest and make the game better, but it’s clear that the limited budget and resources is what held Level-5 back. Unlike Final Fantasy XV‘s DLC, at least Ni no Kuni II manages to have the content within the game proper, without having to go to the start screen.

Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom Prince's Edition

The added content does add a fair bit of challenge to what was already an easy-going action RPG. Prince’s Edition‘s low budget efforts to reinforce some embellished plot elements are appreciated, but the limitations stand out from the lavish production values of the core game.

The combat is still the highlight of Ni no Kuni II. The added Higgledies further expand the range of options in battles, which will be a godsend since the enemies in the bonus areas are far more powerful than anything else the core game has to offer.

The drawback to the powerful new threats is that they are pallet swaps of existing enemies. This is a tell-tale sign of a lack of resources for Level-5, and is a shame that they could not meet their full potential.

Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom Prince's Edition

The added content may be on the uneven side, but it does add value to a solid action-RPG adventure. The real question is how well does Ni no Kuni II run on Nintendo Switch? The results can be best described as “mixed.”

All models have been faithfully retained. This is not a matter of Dragon Quest XI getting lower polygon models of characters and assets redesigned to use fewer triangles; Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom Prince’s Edition keeps everything- for better and for worse.

The draw distance is impressively far, and most of the foliage is retained while on the overworld map. With so much going on, the poor Nintendo Switch buckles. The tiny fan kicks into its Devil Trigger and fires up to keep the console from melting in the hands of the gamer.

Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom Prince's Edition

This affects the frame rate aggressively. Ni no Kuni II on Switch is running uncapped; with the refresh ranging from the teens while exploring the most dense areas of the world map or certain cities, to reaching 60 frames per second while in confined dungeon corridors. Quality is all over the place.

Even during battles, when there are huge swarms of Higgledies amassing against large bosses and building weapons of mass destruction, the hardware can barely keep up to keep the action fluid. The unrestrained effects and detailed characters are just too much for the hybrid console to manage.

The only upside to this is that in the inevitable hypothetical next generation Nintendo console that might have backwards compatibility; the hardware could stabilize the performance by brute forcing it with specs. Despite the wild and untamed frame rate, Ni no Kuni II is still very playable and enjoyable on Switch.

Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom Prince's Edition

The image quality is another thing that could be saved by a theoretical backwards compatible next gen Nintendo console. Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom Prince’s Edition can look really rough due to the aggressive dynamic resolution which adjusts itself to retain performance, which is already highly unstable.

Shrubbery looks like a haggard and garbled mess of jaggies, and edges of most 3D models look really rough. It’s too bad that so much of the visuals look splotchy, because Ni no Kuni II strives for a very clean and light Ghibli-esque art style. The roughness of the image quality hurts the artist’s intent.

Where the low resolution does the most damage is towards character faces. The fine lines that defined expressions and facial details are completely obliterated, and details are totally lost. Most cutscenes that have wide shots or mid-close ups will have character’s mouths completely unseen due to the loss of resolution.

Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom Prince's Edition

The soft round ends that made the ambiance extremely cuddly and comfy are given jagged edges that feel like a electric sword cutting into the viewer’s corneas. The cel-shading effect gets mutilated when the resolution drops, and the delicate lines come out scratchy.

This loss in detail is made more apparent in shots with multiple characters- primarily ones in the distance who end up losing a lot of detail. Even when playing in portable mode, the roughness of the visuals is noticeable. Thankfully, the load times stay manageable and reasonable.

This may not have been the best way to experience Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom, but it’s still very playable. The combat is not a technical action game like a Devil May Cry, so the spotty frame rate won’t ruin the gameplay too badly if players go in with their expectations checked.

Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom Prince's Edition

In spite of the various downgrades, Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom Prince’s Edition on Switch is still worth playing. This is one of the more underrated RPGs to have come out, and it delivers a AAA production with incredible art direction.

The different gameplay styles that become available provide substantial variety through the 40 plus hour adventure. It may not be that challenging, and Prince’s Edition provides powerful weapons early on that used to be DLC which makes the game even easier; but the bonus dungeons will definitely get palms sweating for those who dare.

RPG fans who missed this on PlayStation 4 and already traded their console for a Nintendo Switch will likely get a lot of enjoyment from Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom Prince’s Edition. Young gamers especially will be enchanted by the whimsical setting and premise. The action style combat is also easy to pick up for eager kids who want to cut up some monsters.

Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom Prince’s Edition was reviewed on Nintendo Switch using a review copy provided by Bandai Namco. You can find additional information about Niche Gamer’s review/ethics policy here.

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A youth destined for damnation.

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