Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom – of queens and Higgeldies

Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom – von Königen und Higgeldies
© Bandai Namco Entertainment Games 15.03.2018

Princess Mononoke, My Neighbour Totoro and Chihiro's Travel in the Magic Land are just a few of the high-quality films from the Ghibli studio. The optics of Ni no Kuni II immediately evoke agreeable childhood memories – even though the famous cartoon film studio was not directly involved in the development as it was in the predecessor. Nonetheless, the style was maintained and perfectly implemented by former Ghibli employees. Particularly in the linking sequences, we rather imagine ourselves in a cinema seat and almost forget the controller in our grip. Level 5 has once again managed to enchant us and engage the child within us – even if Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdoms is less childish than it seems at first glance.

Evan and his lost kingdom

The main protagonist is Evan: the son of the late king of Katzbuckel is now himself on the throne. However, there are envious people around, and the young man is driven from his home when still only 13 years old. So our task is clear: Evan is to get his kingdom back. In exile, he brings his group together, including Roland and Tani. They come from a parallel world. Because as in Ni no Kuni: the story of the curse of the white queen is told in two worlds. Roland and Tani come from the upper world – Evan from the "other world", as Ni no Kuni is translated from Japanese. This makes the scene of the story almost identical – yet the actions in the two parts have nothing to do with each other.

Many, many colourful Higgeldies

Evan also gets support from the Higgeldies. These little gnomes are new in Ni No Kuni II: Revenant Kingdoms. And we cannot imagine how the first part managed at all without these cute creatures. Higgeldies always appear in large numbers and like to gather together according to colour – and thereby their special powers. Because the little fellows don't just look cute, they can deliver some powerful blows. Whether with a fire tornado or a giant hammer.

The fights: an arena real time mix

The participation of the Higgeldies in the fights is not the only novelty in the gameplay: In fact, the combat system deviates quite markedly from the classic RPG traditions. We do find ourselves again in a restricted arena after a confrontation with opponents, but then the action gets hot. With the currently selected character, we thump the opponent in real time – supported by our team mates and the colourful dwarves. In addition to melee and ranged attacks, we can for example direct the special attacks of the Higgeldies. We have to decide in the heat of battle which powers will help us most – making the fights considerably more dynamic.

Five reasons to take a chance on Ni no Kuni II

Whether fans of Japanese games( 1:1/)in general, enthusiasts from the first part or all the others who find Ni no Kuni even just a little interesting at first glance: none of them should miss out on this adventure. 

  • The optics alone make Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdoms something special. We feel comfortable at once and want to discover every corner of this world, however obscure.
  • The combat system cleverly links elements from turn-based fights with real-time matches. This enables Ni no Kuni II to offer something for everyone.
  • Ni no Kuni II is not only easy on the eye, but also a pleasure for the ears. The well-conceived soundtrack draws us deeper into the story.
  • The translation from Japanese to English has been very well done. The characters are convincing and in no way grate on the nerves.
  • And anyone who worries that he will not understand anything because he is unfamiliar with Part 1 can be reassured: These are self-standing stories with different protagonists.