Video Game Review: “Ni No Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom”

(Bandai-Namco Entertainment.)

One word to easily describe “Ni No Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom” is content.

There are handfuls of mechanics and minigames that are jam packed into this game, like controlling a growing army with which you engage in wars or making different pacts with civilians you’ve met to build up your kingdom.

“Ni No Kuni II” follows a young heir to the throne named Evan, whose kingdom of Ding Dong Dell gets overthrown by a walking and talking rat. Throughout the game, you meet different characters who ultimately help you in your quest to build your new kingdom.

With at least 30 hours put into the game during its release week, I can safely say “Ni No Kuni II” is one of the best $60 I’ve spent so far on a game in 2018.

The gameplay is beat-em-up style, similar to the first game, but in the first game you relied on little spirits to fight for you, while in this game you control a character with their own set of abilities.

There are six playable characters, each with a combination of  melee and ranged weapons. No two characters have the same sets of weapons. It allows the combo system to be vast and the player is able to choose a playstyle they enjoy. Every time you slay an enemy with a heavy attack or a skill, the monster dissipates making it extremely satisfying.

If you’ve ever seen “Spirited Away” or “Ponyo,” then you would definitely like the art style of “Ni No Kuni II,” since Studio Ghibli assisted with the design. With beautiful cel-shaded graphics, stunning settings and a vast overworld, “Ni No Kuni II” is not an exception to a next-generation JRPG visually.

The soundtrack is also gorgeous and very reminiscent to the Studio Ghibli films. The game runs at a smooth 60 frames per second throughout, whether you play on PS4 or PC, with very slight frame drops that happen rarely. If you’re playing on PC, unfortunately, the easiest way to play this game is with a controller; however, it is not impossible to play with a mouse and keyboard.

In typical JRPG fashion, expect to spend at least 60 hours in the game. I say 60 because that’s the average amount of time spent for a current-gen JRPG. “Ni No Kuni II” has enough content that the player can easily reach 100 hours by completing a plethora of side quests and exploring the world.

The game is not considered a direct sequel to “Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch,” so it is possible to start with this game.

If you have $60 to spare, this game is definitely a must-buy if you’re a fan of action JRPGs.

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