E3 2017: Ni No Kuni 2 Gameplay Shows Fast Real-time Combat With Studio Ghibli Looks

Less menus, more action, same beautiful anime art style.

8 Comments

Ni No Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom will be a lot more fast-paced and action-oriented than the first entry in the series. Dennis Lee from publisher Bandai Namco stopped by GameSpot's E3 2017 Stage show today to show off some of the first real gameplay video for the game, which launches in November for PlayStation 4 and (unlike the original Ni No Kuni) PC.

Showing off the game's combat, Lee said publisher Level-5 has taken it in a new direction. Gone are any mid-combat menus, a hallmark of traditional JRPGs. Instead, players focus entirely on real-time action. Level-5 took inspiration from western action and adventure games; timing will now play a role. When defending, for example, hitting the defend command at just the right time shields you from a lot of damage. It's not just about stats and levelling, said Lee.

Also gone is the system of familiars in Ni No Kuni. Instead, our hero Evan and his teammates fight alongside Higgledies; the little sprites, which have elemental powers, lend you those powers throughout your adventure to make you stronger. At times during combat, they'll gather together and jumping into the middle of them rewards you and your party with a buff.

As you can see, Ni No Kuni II retains a lot of the Studio Ghibli-esque charm of the first title. Yoshiyuki Momose, a former animator from Studio Ghibli known for his work on Grave of the Fire Flies and Spirited Away, designed the characters. Lee says the art style and the character development retains the spirit of Japanese games and anime, just with faster-paced action and more customization.

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The game will also feature a Kingdom Mode. Once you reach a certain point in the story, hero Evan needs to build his own kingdom. While we didn't see this in today's gameplay video, Lee said players would end up creating their kingdom as they want it, recruiting townspeople to build buildings and do research on new features.

Ni No Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom is due out November 10, and you can follow our full coverage of the game here. For all the features and game announcements from E3, check out our E3 news hub for a full recap of the week's events.

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Midna

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Wished it had the same combat as the first but I'm still buying it day 1.

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juninhotorres

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I wish the tactical combat and systems had been improved, not cast aside.

in any case, it looks great and I'm gonna play it.

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Acheron18

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First FFXV, then FFVIIR and now this.

When are Japanese developers gonna realize that we fell in love with JRPGs for a reason and it sure as hell isn't button mashing.

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Thanatos2k

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Oh god, sounds like they're dumbing it down.

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sladakrobot

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This is very,very dissapointing for me. Turn based combat was the reason i bought the first Ninokuni for my ps3.

The irony in all that is that now small western indie teams are making rpgs with turn based combats to catch that typical 16-bit jrpg feeling from the glorious era back then.

With the popularity of the ps4 i hoped to experience a renaissance of traditional jrpgs and a reason to buy a ps4.

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MujkicHaris

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Edited By MujkicHaris

Oh, it looks amazing and they nailed the cel-shading! Not that bummed about the series moving forward. I mean, if I want a strictly traditional series, there is always Dragon Quest. (wink, wink DQXI)

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atopp399

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Edited By atopp399

I wonder why the developers think people liked the first game and did that have anything to do with the combat changes? I always assumed people liked the game because of the jrpg features. Action RPG games are not lacking...

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GirlUSoCrazy

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"Gone are any mid-combat menus, a hallmark of traditional JRPGs. Instead, players focus entirely on real-time action."

Boo. Now nobody will want it. JRPG fans want turn based and WRPG fans don't want anime.

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