Bandai Namco continues to push on with its Ni No Kuni 2: Revenant Kingdom promotional tour as it reveals more of what to expect in the full release with new areas to explore in its latest preview demo. But is this a wise idea or will it affect the positive feedback that the title has garnered so far?
The good news is that even the addition of a completely new feature doesn’t manage to make this sequel any less promising. This new section of the game sees the young king, Evan, look for the perfect place to start his kingdom. Those familiar with the Koei Tecmo Warriors franchise should enjoy partaking in the real time battles that Ni No Kuni 2: Revenant Kingdom will offer.
The idea is to control different units of soldiers and each one will be proficient in one type of weapon. These units surround Evan and he can move them around him to face the nearest enemies. Being able to rotate these units makes it very simple to use them against enemy unit types that are weak against a particular unit type. Units automatically started fighting when they were near each other.
If anything, it seemed like these portions of the title move at a fast pace and are not serious enough to potentially frustrate those who may not be so keen on the idea of moving away from more traditional role-playing battles. There is even the option to make use of special abilities to unleash more devastating attacks on stronger enemies, such as planes that threw down bombs on a designated target.
The other new area that could be explored consisted of an intricate overworld area in a mountain range. It contained various paths that could be explored to find more enemies and items that will no doubt prove useful in the retail version. It definitely felt like there was more of an incentive to properly explore this overworld area when compared to those found in the first game.
Being able to explore the title for longer also made it possible to get a better sense of what to expect in terms of visuals. Perhaps it was due to the limited time that was previously spent playing, but it really did seem like the level of detail to characters had improved with some shading that better helped the title feel like an interactive version of an anime film.
Whilst exploring the mountain range proved to be an exciting task, the real objective was to press on to free a prisoner. Those paying attention to coverage of the title will no doubt remember how this objective turned out. Standing in the way of completing it is the mighty Wyvern warlord, who in true Ghibli fashion has a creepy voice and is also very sneaky. In order to fight him, Evan and his companions must first deal with the waves of enemies that this sneaky boss likes to send out.
Fighting takes place in real time and Evan can make use of a variety of attacks and abilities. The abilities require having cubes that Evan can obtain by fighting enemies with standard attacks. Little creatures also provide support.
Whilst it’s enjoyable to eventually defeat this worthy foe with the use of Evan’s standard abilities/attacks, the true reveal from this fight comes in the form of making use of the Awakening special ability. As with the first title, Evan can activate it simply by grabbing an item that will appear on the battlefield. It’s pretty impressive to watch as Evan goes on a rampage as soon as this special ability is activated.
The young king also has the option to make use of his sceptre to attack enemies. This charge attack felt somewhat overpowered when it was used during the fight. Hopefully it’s just a case of it being used against a relatively easy group of enemies.
The unveiling of the battle sections seems like another clever new idea in this sequel that manages to add something meaningful. If anything every new reveal just seems to make it clearer that Bandai Namco is really putting a lot of effort to ensure that it’s a worthy sequel. Ni No Kuni 2: Revenant Kingdom is looking like a promising start for gaming in 2018, but the extra development time added with its new release date will surely do wonders for what already seems like a remarkable title.