E3 2017 – Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom gameplay impressions

Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom
One of my favorite releases on the PlayStation 3 had to be 2013’s Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch. Developed by Level-5 and published by Bandai Namco Entertainment, the game’s visual style was like nothing else thanks to the collaboration with Studio Ghibli. Now, four years after the release of the first game, we can look forward to a new adventure in the action RPG series with Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom.

Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom is set a century after the events of the first game and will see quite a few changes. One of the first changes is the introduction of a new protagonist, Evan Pettiwhisker Tildrum. He is a young Prince Ding Dong Dell who is thrust onto the throne after the passing of his father. Or at least he was supposed to until he was usurped by the nefarious Otto Mausinger. And so, Evan is banished from his own Kingdom.

Another big change in this game is the removal of familiars. You won’t be taming and sending out Poke… I mean familiars into battle this time. Evan will fight with two friends he will meet in his adventure: Tani, the daughter of the air pirate boss, and Roland, a middle-aged president who came from the other world. Together with the help of creatures known as “Higgledies” (think Pikmin), you’re ready to set off to help Evan build his own Kingdom.

At E3, there were two playable demos. The first takes place as Evan is ready to face the trial of courage. This is set later in the game after Evan has befriended Tani and Roland. Together they face off against the powerful beast, Thogg, who rushes at the party and uses a variety of physical attacks to try and take your party down. He doesn’t fight alone as he can summon minions.

Evan is able to attack, dodge and use various skills in battle. It’s also the first time we learn to use the Higgledies, which when gathered together offer different skills such as defense buff, healing or attacks based on what colors gather. You need to be quick since the enemies tend to break apart the gathering Higgledies by walking into their path.

The second playable demo is a gigantic boss battle against the powerful monster, Longfan. To defeat the dragon-like creature requires a balance of close and long range attacks. I could get away without relying too much on the Higgledies in the first battle. With this battle, it’s the complete opposite. It’s important to learn how to use them since they can deal damage against Longfan when he gets out of normal fighting range.

So far everything about Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom looks just as great as the first. The action-based battle system is a nice change, which is pretty easy to jump right into.  There is a lot to look forward to, including the game’s story and building Evan’s new Kingdom.

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