24 December 2018 | jwwalrath-227-85487
More great fun!
I liked the first one a little more but that is not to knock this entertaining/content-filled game.
I am a little disappointed that they switched from the time-based combat to an active attack system. The old-style is dying out, and I liked having a throwback. I do like the new combat here. It does give you a bit of variety in choice of attacking your enemy. (Plus, there is one boss who requires an interesting combination of platform elements.) The Higgledies, sort of like Pikmin, are a helpful source of offense and defense. The long-range weapons are really effective, unlike a lot of RPGS where they're mostly useful just for flying enemies and don't do as much damage as short-range.
I found this game to be very easy. Though to be fair, I did play this on easy mode. Yeah, the last game wasn't that difficult, but the last boss battle and one other were pretty challenging. Here, the last boss is a piece of cake provided you've leveled up to the 60s. Admittedly, the easiness is reliant on you exploring and actually leveling up. Otherwise, the enemies could present a challenge. There are a fewer harder monster you may have to revisit and I know there is a level 90 optional boss for completionists. The dream door paths do offer a little challenge.
In fairness to the difficulty, this is more of a kids game. It only has a T because the game has some elements that are okay for Japanese children but not Americans.
This sequel has two new features: 1) You build your own kingdom similar to SimCity or Dark Cloud. This is a fun feature that is a little addictive. Only downside is that the game could've explained the various features of this a little more as I didn't even realize that certain game features needed to be unlocked through this. 2) You command your own army and launch battles against your enemies at certain parts. This was my least favorite aspect of the game. The fighting takes too long and is a little clunky.
Ni No Kuni II should be commended for the vast quests you perform for people. They keep your missions pretty varied so completing them doesn't feel like a drag.
I am disappointed that Studio Ghibli isn't doing the design this time around. You don't get the exact same type of detail or creativity. That isn't to knock this game. It does look gorgeous, and since the world is more physically explorable this time around, I understand how the look had to be slightly less complex. The world map is far more expansive than the last one and I really digged it.
Joe Hisaishi returns as the composer, and it's another pretty good score, though it does repeat a few pieces from the last one.
The story is a little inventive. You play a young king who seeks to create a new kingdom that will unite everyone. (Though if you're really anti-socialism this probably won't be for you.) You're assisted by a president from our reality who's been given younger form, which is different. The ending is definitively more satisfying than the first game.
I had pure, innocent fun playing this and highly recommend it.