Since the release of Ni no Kuni 2: Revenant Kingdom on March 23, this JRPG game has blown up online! Why is this game loved by so many? Allow me to break down some of the reasons why Ni no Kuni has fans all over the globe.

Studio Ghibli

Studio Ghibli is the well-known animation studio based in Japan. Some famous works from Ghibli are Spirited Away and Ponyo both produced by Hayao Miyazaki. Ghibli was involved in the creation of the games predecessor Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch together with video game company Level 5. The iconic character styles make this game appealing to the eye.

Many fans have awaited the latest Ni no Kuni game, however the name Studio Ghibli is not mentioned anywhere. Level 5 has reached out to former members of the Ghibli team such as animator Yoshiyuki Momose and composer Joe Hisaishi to work on the new project. This explains why the Ghibli looks and feels are still very much present in Ni no Kuni 2.

Easy gameplay

When fighting monsters or bosses, the gameplay leans towards an easy modus. It’s not hard to defeat the enemies that come on your path, even when their names are highlighted in dangerous red and you’re underleveled, you should be able to defeat them. At this point in time there is no difficulty setting in the game. Perhaps intentional to make it appealing for a broader audience: that might just make this game even better for most people.

Combat system not turn-based

Combats are different from the first Ni no Kuni game. They are entirely real-time and no longer turn-based. This totally fits in the genre and makes combat more active, especially during boss fights. Because you always fight in your party, you have the chance to switch between characters and turn the fight to your advantage. Change between melee or spell-based characters or just simply when health runs low hop on to the next.

Higgledies

In the first Ni no Kuni game, players could collect and send Familiars (little creatures) out in to battle to fight for them, or even fight in their place against enemies. Now these have been replaced by Higgledies, who have a more passive/supportive role in battle. Some will deal additional damage, restore health or even change the laws of gravity. You can collect endless Higgledies but just like your party members you can only chose up to 4 in combat.

Building a kingdom

Evermore will be your new kingdom and taking care of your new land can consume some time. Construction of new buildings are done immediately, but you’ll have to take in staff and spend your Kingsguilders on research and expansion. Keep an eye out for sidequests that let you gather in new citizens so you can staff up all your shops. Also don’t forget to empty your coffers and store stock in your management menu: when it reaches maximum and you don’t empty you’ll lose money over time.

Revenant Kingdoms Kings Edition

This collectors edition is a treat for fans. In shown picture is the European version (for many the superior one!) which sells for a retail price around €150,-. Inside you’ll find:

  • Ni no Kuni game
  • Steelbook case
  • Making-of Blu-ray disk
  • Rotating diorama with themed music ‘Evolution of a King’
  • Art book with Yoshiyuki Momose en LEVEL-5’ concept art (148 pages)
  • Vinyl with music composed by Joe Hisaishi
  • Season Pass

The most interesting item for me is the diorama. They’ve put in so much detail and at first glance you wouldn’t expect actual music to come out of it. Even the tune comes straight of the game!

Ni no Kuni 2 has a lot of hype so if you’re looking into getting this game definitely watch all the let’s plays and reviews you can find on the web. Comment your thoughts below!

Source and photos: Ghibli Studio Japan and Bandai Namco