Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom isn’t going to be here until later this week, but reviews have started to go live today. The first title in the series, Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch, caught a lot of attention not just because of the fact that it was a solid JRPG, but also because of Studio Ghibli’s involvement in the title. Studio Ghibli isn’t returning for Ni no Kuni II, so can the game find success without the company that created films like Spirited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle, and My Neighbor Totoro backing it up?
As it turns out, the answer that question seems to be a resounding “yes.” The reviews that have been published thus far seem to be mostly positive, with Ni no Kuni II currently holding down an aggregate rating of 86 out of 100 over on Metacritic. For the sake of comparison, it’s worth pointing out that the first Ni no Kuni game holds an 85 out of 100 rating on Metacritic, so both titles are near the same level of quality.
One of the biggest changes arriving in Ni no Kuni II is its new battle system. In his 9/10 review of the game, Polygon‘s Cameron Kunzelman praises this new battle system, which ditches the turn-based, Pokemon-esque combat of the first game and replaces it with real-time action. “Ni no Kuni 2’s combat is surprisingly tight, and becoming familiar with artful dodge rolls and optimal skill usage allows you to take on many more enemies (or higher level enemies) than you would be able to in a more traditional or a turn-based JRPG,” Kunzelman writes.
While the first game was exclusive to the PlayStation 3, Bandai Namco decided to expand the launch platforms for Ni no Kuni II, releasing it on PC as well as PlayStation 4. Jason Schreier with Kotaku notes that the PC version runs well, saying that he never saw the game drop below 140fps while playing at 1440p resolution on a GTX 1080. It sounds like this release is definitely PC friendly, and if he’s seeing that kind of frame rate at 1440p, then those with less powerful graphics cards should still be able to enjoy a good looking game with a high framerate at 1080p.
This is excellent news, because PC versions of console games don’t always have this kind of optimization. Often times, the PC release of a multiplatform title can feel like something of an afterthought, but Ni no Kuni II on PC seems to run exceptionally well. Judging from some of these reviews, players shouldn’t have any reservations about picking up the PC version, assuming their rig meets Bandai Namco’s recommended specifications.
Of course, all of this praise doesn’t mean that the game isn’t without its flaws. Schreier in particular says that the game is a little too easy, and with no option to change the difficulty, players looking for a challenge might be disappointed. Just as well, Chris Carter with Destructoid says that Ni no Kuni II‘s attempt to so many different things at once “can hold it back” at times.
Still, even with some of these flaws, its clear that Ni no Kuni II succeeds at accomplishing most of what it set out to. If you enjoyed the first Ni no Kuni game, chances are you’ll like this one just as much, and if you’re new to the series but like JRPGs, this should be a good jumping off point. Will you be playing Ni no Kuni II later this week? Head down to the comments section and let us know!