Level 5 and Bandai Namco's first Ni No Kuni game was exclusive to PlayStation 3, however we learned this year that, rather surprisingly, its follow-up—Ni No Kuni 2: Revenant Kingdom—is heading to PC. A November 10 launch date was revealed at E3 this week, which was supervened by a more indepth look at its gorgeous and completely overhauled battle system.
Now, series creator and Level 5 co-founder Akihiro Hino has spoken of his sequel's shift in tone and perspective, but also suggests humour will typically underscore the game's narrative much similar to its forerunner.
Chatting with Polygon, Hino highlights perspective as the biggest change this time round. "There's a lot of changes but I think the biggest one is a shift in perspective," he says. In the first game a lot of the perspective was from the point of view of a child whereas now we are looking at it from a more adult perspective.
"In the first game we witnessed the child leave his mother and grow. In the second there is a similar transition, a coming of age. Our protagonist starts as a young adult who has no leadership skills or experience in a position of a leader. He must learn. There are a lot of trials, questioning, prodding and poking at his qualities of leadership."
That, on the face of it, seems quite serious—which may seem at odds with Ni No Kuni's whimsical characters and cartoonish aesthetic. Humour, though, remains integral to how its narrative unfolds.
Hino continues: "In the first game Drippy played a big role of being the comic relief, a sidekick who was always there to bounce jokes off. There are similar characters in Ni No Kuni 2. What really gives these characters the source of their humor is their strength as characters.
"The more you can pack and condense into the uniqueness of these characters the more you have to work with, regardless of what culture it's being localized into. So there are lots of opportunities for jokes."
Both Drippy and Evan's loyal Familiars were two of my favourite things about the first Ni No Kuni, however I'm pleased to learn suitable substitutes are in place. Ni No Kuni 2: Revenant Kingdom is due November 10, 2017.