I had the opportunity to attend a presentation with Bandai Namco on Ni No Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom and then play the game afterwards. From what I saw and what was told to me, fans of the original game will be in for a treat with the sequel. All of the things people liked before are back and in an improved way.
Ni No Kuni II's main character is Evan, a boy king who loses his kingdom in a coup and sets out with his guardian and comrades to build a kingdom anew. This takes him to many other kingdoms looking for aid, while evan travels with Lofty, his kingmaker. Lofty like a spirit who shares a strong bond with Evan and is necessary for him to establish a kingdom.
Before getting into the combat, the presentation showed off a Kingdom Mode, where players will assign different friends they make along the way to certain roles within the kingdom. Knowing who to place where, whose skills are best suited for a specific role, will be important to their performance. It is through their works things like abilities and other important items will be acquired as Evan's kingdom grows.
The demo, which featured two different bosses to fight, set me down right in the action. I was controlling Evan and he had two of his comrades with him. Even and the two each had their own group of "Higgledies," these are little spirits of the world born of natural forces like fire and wind. Some are more special than others and offer interesting abilities in combat. The groups of these Higgledies definitely reminded me of Pikmin, and they are pretty important.
It is these Higgledies that offer great variety in combat, at least in the demo I played. For example, one of the fights was a dragon and I had some green Higgledies (healing), red Higgledies (fire), and blue Higgledies (water). The red Higgledies had an ability to summon a fire shield to protect the party against the dragon's powerful fire attacks, which I would have to dash to on the battlefield for protection. The green would heal you and the blue would offer up a big ranged water attack.
These made the gameplay pretty frantic, as I had to position myself to swing my sword at the dragon, to build up the bar to use abilities, as well as move around to dodge attacks. Then going to find where the Higgledies were to use their abilities makes it pretty crazy as you're constantly running around to execute one thing before moving on to the next. There was very little downtime.
There were a lot of mechanics to use, like the simple sword and ranged attack, big area of effect sword attacks, water attacks, healing, dodging around, and more. It was a lot to take in all of a sudden, thrown into a boss fight, but the chaos was fun.
Ni No Kuni II is looking good and I look forward to seeing it November 10th. It comes to the PlayStation 4 and PC.
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