Sunday, April 01, 2018
"Ni No Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom" Review
Five years after acclaimed animation mavens Studio Ghibli and developer Level-5 collaborate for the gorgeous, enchanting PS3 JRPG "Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch," the developer is back with a former Ghibli animator for a sequel. "Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom" proves to be a worthy follow-up in every way to the original.
Set in the anthropomorphic mouse-ruled kingdom of Ding Dong Dell, you play as a young king who sets out to strike down usurpers and seize control of his throne.
The story unfolds in a breathtaking manner, with hand-drawn animation that replicates the look and tone of Ghibli classics such as "Spirited Away" and "My Neighbor Totoro." Although somewhat hamstrung by awkward transitions from full-voice cut scenes to animations accompanied by texts and voiced grunts or single-word expressions.
Although the storytelling scenes can be a bit awkward, the combat has evolved past the stiff action-RPG hybrid of the original. In the manner of "Final Fantasy XV," combat is fluid and action-oriented, with no notes of the traditional turn-based battles typical of JRPGs.
Playing out in a linear fashion with heartfelt story beats paving the way throughout, "Revenant Kingdom" etches its way into your heart while keeping the juices flowing with invigorating, strategically-tinged combat throughout. The wait for the next "Ni No Kuni" game was longer than fans would have hoped for, but the payoff proves to be worth the anticipation.
Publisher provided review code.