Ni no Kuni was generally regarded as a good game that could’ve been better. With a colorful art style and a fantastic world to explore, it was hardly surprising when Ni no Kuni II was announced. With a desire to improve on the previous title, the now action RPG is off to a good start.
In Ni no Kuni II, you play as Evan, a prince who is forced out of his home, following the death of his father, the king. With his father being beloved by his people, Evan heads out to find his own kingmaker and become a true king.
While only a brief bit of the story was shown, the demo focused on combat. Since Ni no Kuni II is an action RPG, everything happens in real time. Not only did it feel fluid, it didn’t take long to master. Outside of your standard moves, like attack, dodge, ranged attack and so forth, there are a number of Higgledy that aid you in combat.
Even though the Higgledy do damage to enemies, their main function is to offer various perks. This happens when they’re grouped together and a white ring appears around them. When you see this, head in the circle and activate the ability. The green ones heal, I believe the white ones increase offense and so forth. This change makes battles feel more inclusive, as Evan isn’t relying on his strength or his two followers, but those around him.
The fights themselves are all about reading your opponent. There is enough warning to make it accessible, with just enough skill to prevent it from being too easy. For instance, Thogg has a really long wind up fist attack that does a lot of damage if it hits and will stun him if you deal a certain amount of damage. Some other attacks include throwing rocks, slams and things of the like.
That being said, fights seem to be on the long side. Hopefully this was a decision made to highlight the mechanics, otherwise it’s excessive.
Outside of that, the fights were not only fun, but colorful and memorable. Not to mention the changes make for a far simpler and enjoyable experience. As long as the story, which from what was explained sounds interesting, brings some nice things to the table, I could easily see Ni no Kuni II being one of the better RPGs releasing this year.