Totally Hyped for Ni No Kuni II!!

Ni no Kuni II

After Playstation Experience, many gamers were left with even higher anticipation for Uncharted 4, and utter confusion as to whether the remake of Final Fantasy VII is actually a remake at all. But for me, there was one thing that stood out above everything else presented at the event, and that’s Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom.

When Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch was released in the US in January 2013, it became one of my favorite RPGs of all time, and despite its release so early in the year, it remained my favorite game of 2013, and my favorite PS3 exclusive.

Though the game sold decently well and got its fair share of acclaim, it didn’t necessarily fly off shelves. And while it won a number of awards in the RPG genre, it failed to gain very many mentions for Game of the Year in 2013 (perhaps because it wasn’t purposefully created to be a Game of the Year like GTAV, Bioshock Infinite and The Last of Us were).

So what made Ni no Kuni so special? For one, it was a good old-fashioned JRPG made new. It didn’t reinvent the genre, but it combined elements from series like Pokemon and Dragon Quest in a way that made it feel fresh and innovative. It had the best cel-shading since The Winder, giving the graphics a gorgeous, timeless appeal. The character designs and cut scenes were created by Studio Ghibli, and composer Joe Hisaishi – famous for his scores for Ghibli films – provided the game’s phenomenal soundtrack. And, of course, it told one of the sweetest stories I’ve ever seen in a video game, complete with one of gaming’s greatest cast of characters.

Ni no Kuni was a terrific game, and holds a special place in my heart for both personal reasons and for the game itself. And the announced sequel looks to keep the heart of the original, which can only be a great thing.

Ni no Kuni III’m not sure what other people’s reaction are to the fact that Ni no Kuni II features the same game world but a new cast of characters. Personally, I don’t think it would make much sense to have the same characters from the first game, since that felt like a complete story (more accurately, two complete stories). I suspect some of the secondary and tertiary characters will show up again, which is perfectly fine, but I’m excited to see where the game goes with the new characters.

The released trailer already gives a brief introduction to some of the characters and plot elements (though only vaguely), and shows how beautiful the series’ visuals look on PS4. Once again Ghibli animators and Joe Hisaishi return for the character designs and music, respectively. And it all looks wonderful.

Of course, the trailer didn’t show a whole lot in terms of gameplay, but there’s still plenty of time for that. Considering it’s only the second game in the series (not counting mobile spinoffs), and that the first one came out almost three years ago already (in the US, in Japan its been almost five), it’s not exactly like the series has seen overexposure. I’m hoping the gameplay remains similar to the first title, with maybe some meaningful additions here and there. There’s no need for a total overhaul at this point.

Sadly, the game has no release date as of yet (otherwise I may have to revise my list of most anticipated 2016 games), but no doubt it has joined the likes of Yooka-Laylee and Zelda Wii U as one of my most hyped games on the horizon.

If Ni no Kuni II is anywhere near as beautiful of a game as its predecessor, it will be a real work of art.

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10 thoughts on “Totally Hyped for Ni No Kuni II!!

  1. revaryk

    Wait, Ni No Kuni’s getting a sequel!? I didn’t hear ’bout this ’till now! I wished I played the first Ni No Kuni more though, since I loved the game’s art direction and some of it’s gameplay. A friend of mine loved the game in it’s entirety, so there’s that. As for how I feel about the whole “Same setting, but different characters” thing, I don’t mind, as long as these characters are enjoyable and there’s some cameo from the party from the last game, I’ll be fine. (But alas, I have no PS4…)

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  2. AfterStory

    Excellent read! I know Ni No Kuni holds a special place in your heart, so I’m pleased to hear your excitement 🙂 hopefully it’s able to rival the charm, beauty, and challenging nature of the beloved original! Do you know if Studio Ghibli is back for some more gorgeous animation?
    Do you have a PS4? If not, hopefully 2016 is the year where you jump on that bandwagon! With Uncharted 4, Horizon, Ni No Kuni II, and Persona 5, 2016 seems to boast a confident sense of quality! And I’d be honored if I could add you on PSN too lol 😛

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    1. themancalledscott Post author

      Thanks for the comment!

      I’m not sure if there will be hand-drawn cutscenes, but since the character designs are by the same Ghibli animator, I think it’s a safe bet that Ghibli’s role with the game will largely be the same.

      I don’t have a PS4 yet, but I plan on getting one really soon. I know I have some catching up to do, and have a lot to look forward to. Shame I can’t afford an Xbox One as well, since Rare Replay is basically a dream come true (in particular, I love the Banjo-Kazooie games, and Conker’s Bad Fur Day is the one Rare classic I’ve never played, and it’s so expensive to buy the N64 original).

      Once I get a PS4 feel free to add me on PSN. 🙂 We still need to play some Wii U games sometime (be warned, I play a mean King Dedede in Smash). 😛

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      1. AfterStory

        Fingers crossed that Studio Ghibli is involved in some shape or form.
        Yeah Rare Replay is an absolute blast! Funny that you mention Conker! I actually finished playing it a couple of days ago, and it quickly became one of my favourite games of all time. It successfully parodies the likes of its timely pop culture and coherently incorporates a multitude of varying genres. You should definitely give it a try if you ever get the chance 🙂

        A great game that you should check out if you ever get an Xbox One or if you own a gaming PC is Ori and the Blind Forest! I bet you’ve seen me rant about how good that game is. Its easily one of my favourite, if not my favourite Metroidvania, aside form Metroid and Castlevania themselves. Its art design absolutely gorgeous, its checkpoint/save system is innovatively challenging, and its escape sequences are simply breathtaking and are second to none. Not to mention that its poignant story rivals the quality of Pixar’s bests. It’s an absolute delight to play 🙂

        Oh geez, to be honest, you would absolutely obliterate in Smash. I’m particularly awful, but it still manages to be so much fun.

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      2. themancalledscott Post author

        Studio Ghibli makes everything better, that’s for sure.

        Man, have you played Banjo-Kazooie and Banjo-Tooie yet? Not even kidding, those might very well be my favorite N64 games. I love them.

        Glad to hear another person enjoys Conker’s Bad Fur Day. I’m really, really dying to play it. I may just have to fork over 90 bucks for a used copy. Is the version in Rare Replay the N64 original or the Xbox remake?

        I’ll check out Ori and the Blind Forest if I get the chance for sure. 🙂

        I’m sure you’d do just fine in Smash. Just not against my King Dedede. 😛

        By the way, have you played Tropical Freeze yet? I’m almost at 100 video game reviews on this site, and after that I think I’m going to give DKCTF another go. I’ve just been thinking about playing a lot again lately. The more I think about it, the more I think it’s one of my all-time favorites. I may even end up putting it in my top 10! You definitely need to check it out if you love platformers.

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      3. AfterStory

        Oh yeah, Studio Ghibli is just a giant ball of talent 🙂 Unfortunately I have not played either, but since I have Rare Replay, I’ll definitely give them a go sooner rather than later, especially since you speak so highly of them! Especially with classic titles, I love reading your thoughts and seeing which titles you enjoy and use that as a guideline for what to play 😛 I think I want to play the first two donkey kong country titles (especially the second) before I give tropical freeze a go. But I promise you, once I play it, you’ll be the first person to know 😛 the version of Conker’s Bad Fur Day on Rare Replay is the N64 original! So it has less censorship in comparison to the Xbox counterpart. I’d be curious to hear your thoughts on it if you ever get the chance to play! Geez 90 bucks :/ did you know new released video games in Canada cost $80 plus tax? 😦 but yeah you speak so highly of Tropical Freeze, I feel like I’m missing out 😛 maybe I should just be impulsive and just grab a copy and play right away 😝 I’m already broke, don’t tempt me 😛

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      4. themancalledscott Post author

        Studio Ghibli is my favorite animation studio, and nearly everything they touch is pure magic (Tales From Earthsea is the exception).

        Definitely give the Banjo-Kazooie games a go when you get the chance. I flip-flop between which one I like better, but they definitely should be played in order.

        I’m glad you think so highly of my opinions. 🙂 Always good to know my stuff is appreciated.

        Geez, $80 plus tax? That’s insane! Here in the states it’s $60 for a new game, which is still a lot to fork over. And yes, Conker goes for $90 just for a used, unboxed copy. If I wanted one still in the box with the booklets and everything, I’d have to pay $500 for it!

        I definitely plan on getting Conker though. I wish I could just get Rare Replay but I think it’s going to be a while before I get an Xbox One. I’ve heard nothing but good things about Conker through the years, and can’t wait to finally play it myself.

        I can’t really decide what you should first. The DKC games are classics, with the second one in particular being a must-play. But the same goes for Tropical Freeze. Man, that’s like asking a mother to pick a favorite kid. 😛

        If money is the issue though, the old DKC games can be purchased on the Wii U Virtual Console for a low price (it’s $8 in the US for each). Tropical Freeze, being a Nintendo game, still goes at over $50 dollars despite being almost two years old (Nintendo games don’t ever seem to lower the cost).

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      5. themancalledscott Post author

        That’s all up to you really. Like I said, you can download the classics on the Wii U Virtual Console without burning too much of a hole in your pocket. But you definitely need to get around to them and Tropical Freeze whenever possible.

        On an unrelated note, I MAY be doing my favorite games list sometime around late March (no promises). Does that timeframe work for you to do a list as well?

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