Hands-on With Ni No Kuni 2 Has Convinced Me To Check It Out

Truth be told, I wasn’t the biggest fan of Ni No Kuni on the PlayStation 3. The beginning was too slow and it dragged out in far too many places. Needs to say, I wasn’t 100% sure what to expect with the sequel. Of course, that all changed during E3 2017 when I was given the chance to check out Ni No Kuni 2. And much to my delight, the sequel is nothing like the original game. Despite only have two 25 minute sessions with the game, I liked what I played and how the game is shaping up.

But what exactly has changed between the two games that have me singing a different tune? Well, first let me thank Randy Le from Bandai Namco. Without him, I likely wouldn’t have checked out the game in the first place. At the same time, I really wish I had more hands-on time with the game, so there’s that. Thanks, Randy!

With Ni No Kuni 2, Level-5 has replaced the turn based system and replaced it with a real-time action-based combat one. Similar to Secret of Mana or even the recent Tales of Bersia and Dragon Quest Heroes II. So instead of waiting, you now control your character and have the ability to perform several elemental and melee attacks. You can attack from a distance using water spells, or get up and personal with your sword. You also have an earth elemental ability that heals you when your health is getting low. And if that wasn’t enough, you have access to super-charged versions of your attacks. You can also block, though I wasn’t really confident using that during my hands-on sessions. It’s worth nothing that after you do use your stronger attacks, you have a brief cool-down. This is to prevent spamming of those attacks.

Then there are the Higgledies. These are elemental sprites, which provides Evan with the power that he uses. They also grant bonus buffs to you and your team if you happen to walk into their groups during battle. However, this also means that the summons from the original title are gone.

With the hands-on demo that was present at E3 2017, you had a choice between fighting two different bosses. A dragon (Longfang) and a pretty darned tough golem (I think it was a golem). Your job was to take down the boss without dying. Which sounds pretty easy, except both of them had a huge amount of health. In addition, but had several attacks that could easily two-shot you, if you weren’t careful. 

Playing the main character, Evan, you basically had to take the boss down using your abilities. You’re able to move around the battlefield, and you have a dodge ability to move you out of harm’s way. Outside of that, there really wasn’t much to it. It was still an RPG, just using a different combat system. I did notice that I couldn’t control my other party members. But to be honest, I never really checked to see if I could even do it. 

All in all, I thought both fights were pretty easy, despite seeing several people not being able to take them down. Sadly, after you downed a boss, the game ended. So there wasn’t any chance to see the progression of the story. But a demo is just that, and I’m already convinced that the game is headed in the right direction.

Graphically, the game looks beautiful, with Studio Ghibli once again showing their amazing art. Sure it looks good while standing still, yet it’s equally impressive while in motion. I noticed some really impressive fire effects when fighting Longfang.  The controls were tight, though a bit confusing during combat. I only hope that you’re able to remap the buttons. Performance-wise, the game ran really solid. I didn’t notice any framerate drops or any skipping. Speaking of which, the game was running on the PlayStation 4, however, the title is also coming out for the PC (Steam) as well.

The controls were tight, though a bit confusing during combat. I only hope that you’re able to remap the buttons. Performance-wise, the game ran really solid. I didn’t notice any framerate drops or any skipping. Speaking of which, the game was running on the PlayStation 4, however, the title is also coming out for the PC (Steam) as well.

Ni no Kuni II: REVENANT KINGDOM launches on the PlayStation 4 and PC via STEAM on November 10, 2017. Is this a day one pick up for me? It quite possibly may be but on the PC. Gotta support those RPG’s/Niche titles making their way to the PC.

About The Author

Keith Mitchell
Editor-in-chief and all-around good guy!

Editor in Chief of The Outerhaven Productions and a huge mecha nut. I started the site back in 2011 and it's been a blur ever since. I do it all, and then some. You can find me on Twitter at keithdmitchell & theouterhaven.