Vibrant colour scheme? Yes. Whimsical characters? Uh-huh. Orchestral score? Yup. Big bastard baddies and a fair whack of ham-fisted voice acting? You betcha. Ni No Kuni 2: Revenant Kingdom's launch trailer is bursting with discernable JRPG traits, and it looks rather wonderful.
Have a gander ahead of this week's launch:
"Return to the kingdom of Ding Dong Dell and help a deposed boy king regain his lost legacy in Ni No Kuni 2: Revenant Kingdom," says publisher Bandai Namco of the above. Those less keen on brevity, though, should check out our Austin's 90-scoring review.
I played roughly half of the first Ni No Kuni in early 2013, got sidetracked by BioShock Infinite, and never returned. By that stage, I'd grown weary of the genre's archetypal explore town/visit dungeon/fight boss cycle, therefore the promise of a rock, paper, scissors skirmish mode and surplus base-building mechanics here sounds promising.
Slight spoilers afoot, but let me defer to Austin's review on those very points:
Ni No Kuni 2 is constantly moving on to new ideas, but it never gets messy because it's all anchored in Evermore. On top of normal third-person fights, there's a Dynasty Warriors-esque skirmish mode where Evan takes to the field surrounded by squads of chibi soldiers. It plays like a simple rock-paper-scissors RTS where you rotate units based on what the enemy is weak to, but rock-paper-scissors has never been so tense.
I was fond of taking on Skirmishes way above my level and using Evermore's [a new kingdom built by the protagonist] budget to purchase buffs to back me up, which led to some clutch victories.
Ni No Kuni 2: Revenant Kingdom is due on Friday, March 23 for PC via Steam.