Hands-on: Ni no Kuni II: The Revenant Kingdom (PS4)


It’s about time that I got to try Ni no Kuni II: The Revenant Kingdom out! It feels like forever since we have last heard anything about it! A more extensive demo will be tried out on the show floor at E3 2017 with Bandai Namco this week, but I got to play one of the two at the Sony E3 2017 Media Showcase.

The demo in question that I played was the King’s Cradle – Trial of Courage demo. The protagonist, Evan, is venturing with a few friends to prove himself worthy of his right to rule. After conversing with a statue inside a temple at the top of the hill, he is teleported into an arena with his friends, to fight against a boss creature called Thogg.

Ni no Kuni II: The Revenant Kingdom plays like an action RPG. The brief demo showcases the combat in the game, and as an E3 demo, requires a very closed off environment to allow for a tight feel of the controls. The player is restricted in using only Evan; the other characters can be switched to and used in the full title according to a Sony representative talking me through the demo.

Primary combat attacks take place with the square and triangle buttons. Evan can utilize an array of skills, using the R2 button plus an additional button of choice. Some of his skills include slashes, healing, or long-range spells. He can defend using the L triggers, and can charge his various skills by holding down the button desired and the R2 button. Skills can only be used when Evan fills up some of his orb stock. Orb stock is filled by attacking. A special golden orb exists that allows Evan to utilize the full array of his skills without cost. He essentially goes full-on Bleach Bankai mode. It’s great and he even turns golden.

Some other features that I noticed during the small demo included the presence of some funny-looking spirits. These spirits leave circles on the ground that, when entered during combat, can initiate a skill bonus by pushing the desired button. These bonuses ranged from improved defenses to stronger attacks.

I am a huge fan of Studio Ghibli, with some of my favorite movies coming from that studio. I never got to experience the original Ni no Kuni on the PlayStation 3, which is a shame. I loved the direction that this game seems to be taking, which is hugely faithful to the beloved art style of Hayao Miyazaki and contains the musical genius of composer Joe Hisaishi. I cannot wait to see what the game brings to the PlayStation 4, and look forward to being able to provide more impressions after my E3 appointment later this week.