Ni no Kuni II is a JRPG that launched on March 23rd on Steam and PS4. The game follows Evan, the deposed king of Ding Dong Dell as he plans to create a new kingdom with the help of Roland, a man from another world and an asortment of other characters including Tani the sky pirate.
Ni no Kuni II has a fairly simple but very fun combat system. The gameplay is entirely action based with X/Square delivering Light attacks and Y/Triangle delivering Heavy attacks.
Holding RT will make all four face buttons corrosponed to an ability instead which consume your Mana guage. Clicking in the Camera will lock, B lets you jump and A lets you interact with the Higgledy. Higgledy are actually a core feature, small little creatures you can find in the world and then have them do spells for you in combat. The combat gameplay is effective and very fun.
I felt myself getting easily imersed in it’s natural fluidity and feeling. You can also press and hold Left Bumper/L1 to block OR tap it and aim in a direction to dodge roll which also felt great. Overall combat is good, perhaps not as indepth as something like the Tales series LMBS combat but still a good jrpg combat system none the less.
During dungeons combat is seamless and you naturally walk into it whilst traversing the world. During the overworld gameplay your characters are more chibby as you move around and then phase back into combat. Items left behind after combat can then be picked up.
The combat system can also be effected by the Tactics Tuner which can buff or debuff you and enemies, give you experience bonuses or bonuses against certain types of enemies. Through it you can build the combat system to be most effective in a given situation. A preset contorl for this might have been nice but I appreciate the tactics tuner none the less.
Another amazing gameplay feature you unlock is the ability to create and build your own kingdom. Whilst this feature isn’t as diverse as other building games because this game isn’t trying to be a building game it fits on as a nice little extra management feature and I on multiple ocasions lost 2 hours trying to add citizens to my kingdom and build new areas for them.
My biggest gameplay feature issue is perhaps the Skirmish feature that allows you to take up to 4 armies into a mini battle against other enemies. when close your armies and their armies automatically attack and you basically as Evan command the enemy forces and various aiblities. My issue with this feature stems from 2 points, the first one being it’s not incredibly indepth, it’s just sort of a simple feature that’s there. My second and overall larger issue is that the game already has a fairly effective and perfectly fine combat system. If the skirmish system used the games combat system as like a little mini mission system that’d be fine but it just feels a little pointless. Through out all my skirmishes the same thing was on my mind. When can I get back to the actual combat system.
The games story is fairly alright as well, the characters are easily enjoyable and I found myself rather liking all of the main cast, there’s enough variety in personality and none have any stupidly aggravating flaws outside of the fact that 2 are actual children and children in games are often a little annoying.
The story issue I had was that… I didn’t feel that engaged in it. I love a bit of cheese in my stories but this was just full to the brim. Whilst I don’t wish to spoil too much there’s a character that creates a military cease fire charter and the name of it honestly nearly made me walk out of my room in disgust with how cheesie it was. I hope other people are able to enjoy it more but this story wasn’t quite as interesting for me. I did enjoy the fairy tale aesthetic of it though.
Finally big props have to go to the studio ghibli styled art design this game boasts, everything from partical effects to character designs look and feel incredible. Graphically this game looks and feels fantastic.
Currently, I’m going to rate Ni no Kuni II a 7.8/10 for a pleasurable and enjoyable gaming experience with a mediocre story and one core mechanic that just felt a little pointless. I do implore you to pick this game up!