During Fan Expo 2017, Scott and I had the chance to check out Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom over at the PlayStation pavilion. We were both pleasantly surprised to see the game being promoted at the event, and we were encouraged to give the demo a whirl. Of course, I ended up being the one playing it.
There were three different demo options on offer, I opted for the level seven boss battle, mostly because I didn't want to take too much time from others who may have wanted to play the demo. During the demo I selected, Evan, the hero, is tasked with completing the Trial of Courage. In order to do this, he must face a large, stompy, gorilla named Thogg.
One very noticeable change in Ni no Kuni II is that the battle system has been completely overhauled. In the first game, Oliver had familiars that would help him throughout combat, as well as support from his two other party members. Oliver could rotate between the familiars during battle, though it had some of the dumbest AI in recent memory, often making weird choices that sometimes sabotaged battles. In Ni no Kuni II, however, Evan has little helpers that resemble Pikmin, called Piggles. Piggles have minds of their own, but they allow Evan to fortify his defenses, heal, or boost his attacks. They can also be issued commands throughout battle as well.
Combat is now more real-time than the original game, as Evan has a variety of attacks at his disposal. He has a wand for long ranged attacks, a sword that allows him to get up close and personal with an enemy, and he can string together combos. This feels far more fluid than the game’s predecessor, and combat was surprisingly fun.
While I admit to not enjoying the original Ni no Kuni, I am optimistic about this sequel. It was a lot of fun to hack n' slash enemies and I think the Piggles are a neat idea. I am interested to see how the final product is going to look when it releases next January.