Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom

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Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom
Ni no Kuni II Revenant Kingdom cover art.jpg
Developer(s)Level-5
Publisher(s)Bandai Namco Entertainment
  • JP: Level-5
Director(s)
  • Yoshiaki Kusuda
  • Takafumi Koukami
Designer(s)
  • Kengo Shibata
  • Yuichi Murase
Programmer(s)Yasuhiro Akasaka
Artist(s)
  • Nobuyuki Yanai
  • Hiroshi Matsuyama
  • Hiroyuki Maeda
  • Yoshiyuki Momose
Writer(s)Akihiro Hino
Composer(s)Joe Hisaishi
SeriesNi no Kuni
Platform(s)Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4
ReleaseMarch 23, 2018
Genre(s)Action role-playing
Mode(s)Single-player

Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom[a] is an action role-playing game developed by Level-5 and published by Bandai Namco Entertainment. The game is a sequel to Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch, and was released for Microsoft Windows and PlayStation 4 on March 23, 2018.

The story follows Evan Pettiwhisker Tildrum, a young king who was usurped from his castle and sets out to build a new kingdom. While players can freely navigate Evan throughout the game's overworld, other characters in the party can be freely controlled in battles. During these battles, players use magical abilities and are assisted by elemental creatures known as "Higgledies", which are used to cast spells and grant other combat bonuses. The game received generally positive critical reception, and sold over 900,000 copies worldwide by May 2018.

Gameplay[edit]

Players can use Higgledies to assist with combat.[1]
When roaming the overworld and Evan's kingdom, the characters are portrayed with a chibi-like design.[2]

Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom is a role-playing game played from a third-person perspective. Players complete quests—linear scenarios with set objectives—to progress through the story. Outside of quests, players can freely roam the open world, where they explore towns, villages, dungeons, and other dangerous places scattered throughout the world.[3] Upon leaving a location, players enter the World Map, which can be used to select a destination; the overworld represents a diorama,[4] and the characters are portrayed with a chibi-like design.[2]

When players encounter enemies, they enter a battle system. Battles take place on an open battlefield, allowing players to freely roam around the area. During battles, players command a single ally in their party; a party consists of three chosen characters, which can be switched between at any time during battle. The other two characters that the player does not command fight freely on their own. To fight enemies, players use melee attacks, magical abilities and "Higgledies". Higgledies are small creatures which exist in several forms, representing one of six elements, each with their own strengths. Players can have up to four in a party at one time.[1]

In Revenant Kingdom, players have the ability to build and manage Evan's kingdom, focusing on the arrangement of work-forces within the town to provide materials and shops, such as for weapons and armor.[4]

Synopsis[edit]

Setting[edit]

Revenant Kingdom is set hundreds of years after the events of Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch. The game begins in the kingdom of Ding Dong Dell, which features the cat-like Grimalkin and mouse-like Mousekin races which have a history of animosity. The kingdom is ruled by the House of Tildrum, with its current heir, Evan, preparing himself to assume the throne after his father's untimely death.

Aside from Ding Dong Dell, the world is divided among three other major realms: Goldpaw, focused on gambling and tourism, ruled by the Dogfolk; Hydropolis, a secluded marine nation of merfolk and humans; and Broadleaf, an industrious, highly advanced nation formed by a corporation that grew large enough to establish its independence. Each country's ruler has a bond with a powerful being known as a Kingmaker. This bond is known as a Kingsbond, and it not only acts as a proof of authority, but also to protect the country and its population from harm. The bond between a ruler and its Kingmaker can only be broken when the ruler dies, or is forcefully stolen, which is only possible when the support of their subjects falter.

The two main protagonists are Evan Pettiwhisker Tildrum, a child and rightful heir of Ding Dong Dell, and Roland Crane, a president from an unnamed nation of Earth who is transmigrated to the world of Ni no Kuni in a younger form of himself, and becomes Evan's friend and loyal companion. The party also includes Tani, a girl of Evan's age and her father Batu, from a tribe of sky pirates, Leander, a young man who is the advisor for Queen Nerea of Hydropolis, and Bracken Meadows, a young woman who is the top engineer and one of the founders of Broadleaf.

Plot[edit]

The game begins with Roland witnessing a missile exploding over a city. In the aftermath, he vanishes and reappears in front of Evan in Ding Dong Dell, with his youth suddenly regained, just as Mausinger, the advisor to Evan's late father, stages a coup. As they escape, they learn that Mausinger poisoned the previous king and intends to have Evan killed to assume control of the kingdom. Assisted by Evan's governess Aranella, who sacrifices herself for their safety, Evan and Roland escape safely from Ding Dong Dell, with Evan promising to her that he will establish a new kingdom in which everyone can be happy and free. Since then, he is occasionally approached in his dreams by a mysterious boy around his age, who becomes his confidant.

Given this, Evan and Roland travel to Cloudcoil Canyon to reach the Kings' Cradle to seek out a Kingmaker for themselves. There, they are joined by a group of sky-pirates, their boss Batu, and his daughter Tani who help them reach the shrine in which Evan undergoes a trial to make a bond with a new Kingmaker. Upon success, Evan is joined by the tiny Lofty, his new Kingmaker. After settling in an unclaimed plain area, Roland instructs Evan to make contact with a neighboring kingdom: Goldpaw, where they learn that Goldpaw's ruler, Master Pugnacius, is making use of rigged gambling to exploit the population. Once Pugnacius is exposed by the party, his Kingsbond is exposed by a mysterious man called Doloran. The party later learns that Doloran was once a king from a long lost Kingdom that disappeared in a single day. Despite his errors, Pugnacius retains the support of his people, as he was just being manipulated by Doloran to do his bidding.

Back to their settlement, the party, along with the pirates and immigrants from other nations, establish the nation of Evermore. To plan their next step, Evan and the others seek for knowledge at Goldpaw's library where they learn of Ferdinand, an ancient king who once united the kingdoms of the whole world through a "Declaration of Interdependance", which inspires Evan to do the same. After convincing Pugnacius to sign the declaration, Evan and the others set to Hydropolis, where they fail to prevent Doloran from stealing Queen Nerea's Kingsbond, but convinces her to sign the declaration, while Leander agrees to join the party to stop Doloran's schemes. A similar situation occurs in Broadleaf, where Doloran steals the Kingsbond from President Zip Vector, who also agrees to sign the declaration afterwards, and the party is joined by Bracken.

After returning to Evermore, Roland leaves temporarily and sets to Ding Dong Dell, where he feigns allegiance with Mausinger in order to retrieve the Mark of Kings, an important artifact belonging to the royal family. After Roland returns to the party, they hold an audience with Mausinger in order to exchange the Mark of Kings for his cooperation, but he attacks them instead. In the occasion, Doloran takes advantage of the conflict to steal Mausinger's Kingsbond and reveals that he corrupted Mausinger's advisor, Vermine, instructing him to turn Mausinger against Evan's father. Instead of rewarding Vermine for his services, Doloran steals his soul instead and flees. Realizing his errors, Mausinger reforms, and agrees to treat all citizens in Ding Dong Dell equally and sign the declaration.

With four Kingsbonds in his possession, Doloran begins the ritual to retrieve his own Kingsmaker, "The Horned One", stealing the souls of people around the world in the process. In response, the party returns to Goldpaw's library where they find clues about the "Mornstar", a legendary sword capable of destroying the Horned One. After the Mornstar is recreated and entrusted to Evan, the armies of the five nations launch an attack on the Horned One to allow the party to reach and confront Doloran. Facing the party himself, Doloran reveals that Roland is his soulmate from Earth, and should one of them die, the other will perish as well. He also reveals that his true intention is not only to revive his lost kingdom but to restore his former Kingsmaker and lover, Alisandra, who was turned into the Horned One because she defied the gods by loving him. Doloran then asks Roland, whose nation on Earth was destroyed by war, to join his side, but he refuses, and the party defeats Doloran in battle.

Soon after, the Horned One manifests itself and is slain by the party. Alisandra's spirit appears before Doloran and reveals that she actually tried to relinquish her powers to live beside him, but by doing so, these powers converted her into the Horned One, and departs to the afterlife. Evan then convinces Doloran to start anew and recreate his kingdom from scratch. Back to Evermore, Evan and the kings of the other major nations celebrate their victory with their subjects, but Roland is sent back home, having one last encounter with Evan before departing. In another encounter with the mysterious boy, Evan discovers that he has actually been talking with Ferdinand in his dreams, who was not a king from the past, but his son and successor instead, who provided clues for the party through Goldpaw's librarian, Boddly, who in reality is a soothsayer. Many years later, Ferdinand assumes his father's throne and accomplishes Evan's dream of uniting all countries in the world. In the post-credits, Roland, back to his original age, pushes forward in his mission to unite all countries of Earth as well, inspired by his journeys with Evan.

Development[edit]

The game was announced during the PlayStation Experience event in December 2015.[5] Eurogamer described the announcement as a highlight of the event.[6] Unlike the first game, which was a collaboration with Studio Ghibli, the sequel did not have their involvement. Despite that, former Ghibli character designer Yoshiyuki Momose and longtime music composer Joe Hisaishi, both of whom worked on Wrath of the White Witch, reprised their lead roles.[7] Level-5 CEO Akihiro Hino said that the sequel would better fulfill the ambitions of the original game, with deeper stories and improved visuals.[8] The character of Roland was developed to allow older players to feel more engaged with the story, due to his age.[9] The "Higgledies" were introduced to refresh the battle system.[9]

Delayed twice prior to its launch, it was released for Microsoft Windows and PlayStation 4 on March 23, 2018.[10][11] In addition to the standard version of the game, players can also purchase three different editions. The Day One Edition includes a downloadable content named Special Sword which introduces five new weapons. The Premium Edition features the Special Sword DLC, a papercraft kit, the game's original soundtrack, and the Dragon's Tooth DLC. The Collectors' Edition includes content of the Premium Edition, a documentary, an art book, a mirror, a plush, a display case and the season pass.[12] A soundtrack, featuring Hisaishi's contributions and performances by the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, was released on June 6, 2018.[13][14]

In response to criticism about the game being too easy, an update adding two new difficulty modes was released in June 2018.[15] The game will receive downloadable content (DLC) packs, with the first one to be released on August 9, 2018. Two further ones are planned, which all add new enemies, quests, and challenges, and story elements.[16]

Reception[edit]

Reception
Aggregate score
AggregatorScore
Metacritic(PS4) 84/100[17]
(PC) 81/100[18]
Review scores
PublicationScore
Destructoid7.5/10[19]
EGM8.5/10[20]
Famitsu38/40[21]
Game Informer8/10[22]
Game Revolution3.5/5 stars[23]
GameSpot8/10[24]
GamesRadar+4.5/5 stars[25]
IGN7.8/10[26]
PC Gamer (US)9/10[27]
Polygon9/10[28]

Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom received "generally positive" reviews according to review aggregator Metacritic.[18][17]

Sales[edit]

By May 2018, Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom had surpassed over 900,000 total shipments and digital downloads worldwide.[29]

Accolades[edit]

Year Award Category Result Ref
2017 Game Critics Awards Best Role Playing Game Won [30]
Gamescom Best Booth Award Nominated [31][32]
Best Console Game (PlayStation 4) Nominated
Best RPG Won
Best Family Game Nominated
2018 Golden Joystick Awards PlayStation Game of the Year Nominated [33][34]
The Game Awards 2018 Best Score/Music Nominated [35][36]
Best Role-Playing Game Nominated

References[edit]

Notes

  1. ^ 二ノ国II レヴァナントキングダム (Japanese: Ni no Kuni: Revananto Kingudamu)

Footnotes

  1. ^ a b Romano, Sal (February 9, 2017). "Ni no Kuni II details story, characters Evan, Roland, Tani, and Higgledies, game features". Gematsu. CraveOnline. Archived from the original on February 18, 2017. Retrieved February 18, 2017.
  2. ^ a b Tran, Edmond (January 26, 2017). "Ni No Kuni 2: Revenant Kingdom Could Be Taking The 'J' Out Of JRPG". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on June 12, 2017. Retrieved June 13, 2017.
  3. ^ Campbell, Colin (January 26, 2017). "Ni No Kuni 2 is looking just as sweet as the original". Polygon. Vox Media. Archived from the original on January 26, 2017. Retrieved January 27, 2017.
  4. ^ a b Romano, Sal (February 2, 2017). "Ni no Kuni II diorama-style field map has secret related to "important new system"". Gematsu. CraveOnline. Archived from the original on February 18, 2017. Retrieved February 18, 2017.
  5. ^ Frank, Allegra (December 5, 2015). "Ni No Kuni 2 is coming to PlayStation 4". Polygon. Archived from the original on April 30, 2016. Retrieved April 30, 2016.
  6. ^ Phillips, Tom (December 12, 2015). "Ni No Kuni 2: Revenant Kingdom announced". Eurogamer. Archived from the original on April 30, 2016. Retrieved April 30, 2016.
  7. ^ Webster, Andrew (June 21, 2017). "The new Ni No Kuni isn't technically a Studio Ghibli game, but it still kind of is". The Verge. Archived from the original on June 21, 2017. Retrieved June 22, 2017.
  8. ^ Romano, Sal (December 6, 2015). "Akihiro Hino: 'Ni no Kuni II a huge improvement to the first'". Gematsu. Archived from the original on April 30, 2016. Retrieved April 30, 2016.
  9. ^ a b "Level-5 on Ni No Kuni 2's "More Mature Perspective"". IGN. Ziff Davis. January 30, 2017. Archived from the original on February 18, 2017. Retrieved February 18, 2017.
  10. ^ Schreier, Jason (July 13, 2017). "Ni no Kuni II Delayed Two Months". Kotaku. Univision Communications. Archived from the original on July 13, 2017. Retrieved July 13, 2017.
  11. ^ Wales, Matt (December 12, 2017). "Ni No Kuni 2 has been delayed until March 2018". Eurogamer. Archived from the original on December 13, 2017. Retrieved December 14, 2017.
  12. ^ Knezevic, Kevin (August 8, 2017). "$200 Ni No Kuni 2 Collector's Edition Revealed, Season Pass Announced". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on August 9, 2017. Retrieved August 15, 2017.
  13. ^ Gallagher, Mathew. "Ni No Kuni 2 Revenant Kingdom soundtrack announced". Video Game Music Online. Retrieved 13 April 2018.
  14. ^ Moyse, Chris (May 23, 2018). "Ni No Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom will get a soundtrack release in June". Destructoid. Retrieved May 29, 2018.
  15. ^ Wood, Austin. "Ni No Kuni 2 difficulty update fixes its biggest problem". PC Gamer. Retrieved 7 August 2018.
  16. ^ Donnelly, Joe. "Ni no Kuni 2 free DLC adds new bosses and quests, due August 9". PC Gamer. Retrieved 26 July 2018.
  17. ^ a b "Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom for PlayStation 4 Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved Aug 29, 2018.
  18. ^ a b "Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom for PC Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved April 19, 2018.
  19. ^ Carter, Chris (March 19, 2018). "Review: Ni No Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom". Destructoid. Retrieved April 2, 2018.
  20. ^ Carsillo, Ray (March 19, 2018). "Ni No Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom review". Electronic Gaming Monthly. Retrieved March 19, 2018.
  21. ^ "Famitsu Review". gematsu. Retrieved March 30, 2018.
  22. ^ Juba, Joe (March 19, 2018). "Building An Imperfect Union - Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom - PlayStation 4". Game Informer. Retrieved March 22, 2018.
  23. ^ Perez, Cody (March 19, 2018). "Ni no Kuni 2: Revenant Kingdom Review – To Be a King". Game Revolution. Retrieved March 19, 2018.
  24. ^ Brown, Peter. "Ni No Kuni 2: Revenant Kingdom Review - A Regal Joyride". GameSpot. Retrieved March 19, 2018.
  25. ^ Weber, Rachel (March 19, 2018). "Ni no Kuni 2 review: 'Like shooting sunshine right into your veins'". GamesRadar. Retrieved March 19, 2018.
  26. ^ Shea, Cam (March 19, 2018). "Ni No Kuni 2: Revenant Kingdom Review". IGN. Retrieved March 19, 2018.
  27. ^ Wood, Austin (March 19, 2018). "Ni No Kuni 2: Revenant Kingdom Review". PC Gamer. Retrieved March 19, 2018.
  28. ^ Kunzelman, Cameron (March 19, 2018). "Ni no Kuni 2: Revenant Kingdom review". Polygon. Retrieved March 19, 2018.
  29. ^ Sato (May 25, 2018). "Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom Hits 900k In Shipments And Digital Sales; Series Reaches 2.8 Million". Siliconera. Archived from the original on June 1, 2018. Retrieved May 25, 2018.
  30. ^ "Game Critics Awards: Best of E3 2017 (2017 Winners)". Game Critics Awards. Retrieved January 23, 2018.
  31. ^ Khan, Zubi (August 21, 2017). "Gamescom 2017 Award Nominees". CGM. Retrieved January 23, 2018.
  32. ^ "Super Mario Odyssey sweeps Best Of Gamescom awards". Metro. August 24, 2017. Retrieved January 23, 2018.
  33. ^ Hoggins, Tom (September 24, 2018). "Golden Joysticks 2018 nominees announced, voting open now". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved October 7, 2018.
  34. ^ Sheridan, Connor (November 16, 2018). "Golden Joystick Awards 2018 winners: God of War wins big but Fortnite gets Victory Royale". GamesRadar+. Retrieved November 17, 2018.
  35. ^ McWhertor, Michael (November 13, 2018). "The Game Awards 2018 nominees led by God of War, Red Dead Redemption 2". Polygon. Retrieved November 16, 2018.
  36. ^ Grant, Christopher (December 6, 2018). "The Game Awards 2018: Here are all the winners". Polygon. Retrieved December 8, 2018.

External links[edit]