I’ve never personally played the original Ni No Kuni, but I was told that although this is a sequel to the series, it does not pick up the story from the previous game and you play completely new characters in the completely new world of Ding Dong Dell.
Right off the bat, the style of the original Ni No Kuni is definitely maintained beautifully in the game as Yoshiyuki Momose of the late Studio Ghibli was brought back for the game’s development. Big plus for those nostalgic of Ghibli. I’ve also heard that Joe Hisaishi was also brought back as composer, although sadly I wasn’t able to hear the soundtrack to the game as the volume to the demo I played was turned down incredibly low. I’m pretty sure I missed out there. I’m pretty sure the soundtrack is amazing. Sigh…
A few things that were different from the original game, the main characters were turned into chibi (cutesy anime) forms as I explored what little of the game’s colourful world I was allowed to explore in the demo before I was brought straight into a boss battle. Another difference: Pokemon-esque ‘Familiars’, creatures players caught and battled alongside them, has been taken away from the battle system and replaced by little elemental creatures called ‘Higgledies’, who gave me power-ups throughout the boss battle when they grouped together, but didn’t seem like they deal any damage to enemies. Another change to the battle-system is that you’re fighting as one character, overthrown king Evan Pettiwhisker Tildrum (only the best name ever), rather than having the choice between the main characters or ‘Familiars’ like in the old game. The rest of the battle-system was simple enough to figure out, with the choice of switching between melee and ranged (via magic) at ease.
Overall, this demo was mostly to introduce the battle-system more than anything else, which is alright with me. Though truth be told, I’m pretty sure Ni No Kuni 2, like all JRPGs, is going to be all about that storyline.
Ni No Kuni 2: Revenant Kingdom is set to be released on PS4 and PC on January 19th next year.