The first Ni No Kuni was a wonderful little game. If asked, I’d say it was a role-playing game that borrowed elements from the greats, the likes of Final Fantasy and Pokemon. Actually, it’s the Pokemon element that most reviews and fan gravitated towards. And that’s worth mentioning, because four hours in to the sequel and there’s no Pokemon elements here to be found.
That’s the point. At least, I think that’s the point.
Everything about this game feels fresh to me. New. It starts off with a twist all of its own, and I’ve been sucked in ever since. Side note: please don’t watch this game on YouTube if you have any intention of playing. I promise you the opening is worth keeping unspoiled.
The battle system is much more focused on magic and melee attacks now that the Pokemon-like familiars are gone. It’s also no longer turn based. In fact, it reminds me a lot of Kingdom Hearts. From the arguably darker story, to the new battle system, this game has a very Kingdom Hearts feel. To me, this makes it an easily top-5 game for me.
That doesn’t mean it doesn’t have its own identity, however. To those that feared that Studio Ghibli leaving this project meant that something would be missing from it visually, I am pleased to inform you that this game is breathtaking. Mind you, I’ve been playing on PC, but it’s true that this game is stunning visually.
I should also mention the first’s story has very little to do with the second’s. Near as I can tell, it only borrows locations. Again, very reminiscent of Final Fantasy.
I’m really enjoying Ni No Kuni II so far. If you like Kingdom Hearts, Final Fantasy 15, or enjoyed the story of the first Ni No Kuni, it’s a safe bet you will, too.