Ni No Kuni 2 was good from start to finish. Here’s my official review of Ni No Kuni 2!
Ni No Kuni 2 is a beautiful game. It’s really colorful and every location in the game is almost breathtaking. The character models look fantastic. They’re animated beautifully and the way their clothes move around when I do is incredible. My character’s shadow even changes direction depending on where the sun is. That kind of shit is rare in video games and I applaud the developers for all their hard work that’s gone into making this game the best it could be.
Level 5 nailed the gameplay here. It’s amazing.It’s like a better version of the Tales of games. I can roll around, time my strikes, perform magic spells, switch between characters on the fly, use items, and unleash devastating combos on my foes. I kept this one boss stunned almost the entire fight while my team of three fucked him up. Every time he stood back up I knocked him back down with my fire tornado spell. The combat in this game is phenomenal and when the end credits rolled last night I wanted to jump back in play some more. When I realized it was 2 in the morning I changed my mind and went to bed.
Fighting isn’t the only thing to do in this game. Exploring the overworld plays a huge part in acquiring new goodies and costumes for your characters to wear. Traversing the overworld is cool. I eventually unlocked the ability to sail around the world and, later on, even fly around it at high speeds. If you want to fight some of the toughest enemies in the game you’ll notice them right away. They have a purple aura surrounding them and they’re a lot tougher than your average foe. Don’t be discouraged though because Ni No Kuni 2 is an easy game even on the hardest difficulties. I completed it in 45 hours and I plan on checking out the end game before I move on to other things.
This is how you make a game on PC! I had no issues with this game at all. Not a single frame drop, hiccup, crash, or anything. It’s the best JRPG on PC right now. It even has full mouse and keyboard support and it plays really well with that setup. This is the first time I’ve ever played a JRPG with mouse and keyboard. I put about 20 hours in the game that way before I switched over to the Xbox One controller. Level 5 even added graphical options to the game. This is how I want to play all future JRPGs on PC!
I love a good customization system. Ni No Kuni 2 doesn’t have a great one, but it’s still really good. Most of the customization is just equipping new weapons to fight with, but you can also find different costumes for every party member in the game. Everyone gets 3 while Evan gets 4. There are some pretty goofy costumes in the game too. Like Batu wearing nothing, but his shirt and underwear.
The soundtrack and voice acting in this game is excellent. There’s not much voice acting and that annoys me because it’s very good. I hate when a game is only partially voiced. The soundtrack is amazing. I love all of the songs that played in the background while I was out exploring the world. I REALLY love the theme of Hydropolis. It’s the best song in the game and justifies me buying the soundtrack.
Fighting bosses is a big part of this game. There are a lot of them too and all of the major boss fights (except 1 or 2) are unique and have different fighting styles. Some bosses are ranged specialist that’ll fuck you up if you get too far away from them while others like to try to murder you up close. Thankfully, this game isn’t very hard and I can count the amount of times a boss killed me on one hand.
There’s a kingdom building mechanic in the game and it’s actually good. It’s a deeper mechanic than I thought it would and plays a huge part in making your party/army stronger. At first you start off with a basic camp and will only have access to one or two buildings. Eventually you’ll have a sprawling kingdom filled with loyal subjects that add something to the game. Some people are great shopkeepers and will give you massive discounts on buying various different items/ingredients for crafting weapons and armor and improving your spells. There are requirements for upgrading your kingdom. You’ll have to meet the follower requirements as well as having enough renown, but it’s not difficult to get new followers to kingdom as long as you complete side quest that are thrown at you.
I struggled a little with the placement of this one. The presentation is amazing. The voice acting is awesome and it definitely makes the story better, but there’s very little party banter outside of a few key moments. Evan experiences some personal trauma at the beginning of the game and vows to make the world a better place by uniting every kingdom under the same banner. He wants a world where everyone can live happily ever after. It’s a really cute story and I loved the innocence of Evan. He’s just a kid and his bright-eyed view of the world was refreshing to the usual doom and gloom JRPG protagonist I’ve grown accustomed to playing as. I was hoping that Evan would have grown up during the story because I think he united the world too fast, but that’s just a minor complaint I have with the story. I would have also liked for the story to take a slightly darker tone because it would have been more interesting, but we got isn’t bad at all and it ended nicely too.
Ni No Kuni 2 introduced a lot of new features. Kingdom building and RTS combat being among them. I thought I would hate this feature because it felt so out-of-place, but it’s actually well implemented and by the end of the game my army was so strong that I could defeat other armies twice my level without losing. I also had a steady cash income from my kingdom and that helped me buy passive bonuses to provide to my army to help even the odds on the battlefield. I could… go without seeing this feature return in future Ni No Kuni 3 though.
I love every companions in this game. So why are they in the good section then? Because there is very little character development and banter between them. Evan gets plenty of time to shine because he’s the main protagonist, but everyone else just fades in the background outside of a few key moments. I learned that Roland hates bullying because he was bullied as a kid and I thought that it was really neat that they added that in the game, but moments like that are really rare and that was side quest so you might not even learn that unless you actively play through each quest.
The Side Quest in this game are either kill X amount of enemies or gather Y amount of ingredients. You reward is a little bit of dialogue and a crappy item. Some quest reward costumes and those are totally worth doing, but the majority of them are very shallow and boring, but you have to them. Why? Because it’s the only way to level you kingdom up and advance the main story early on in the game. After you get your kingdom to level 3 you don’t have to worry about side quest anymore, but I still them because I’m an idiot and I “have” to do them because there might be something worth getting from one of them…
Ni No Kuni 2 isn't perfect, but I really enjoyed it. It's a fantastic game that tells a good story about a young king that wants the world to live happily ever after. It's like a Disney story put into video game form and the end result is the best game I've played all year long. If the year ended right now this game would be my game of the year. It's that good and I have a new found respect for Level 5 because I haven't played many of their games and they completely knocked it out the park with this one. Ni No Kuni 2 does have some issues, but the good far outweighs the what little bad there is and if you haven't played this yet you should.