After suffering a few delays, Ni No Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom finally makes its anticipated debut on PS4 and PC this week. Despite being a follow-up to the beloved PS3 RPG, Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch, Revenant Kingdom bears little direct connection to the first game, taking place hundreds of years in the future and following the adventures of Evan Pettiwhisker Tildrum, a deposed boy-king on a journey to form his own kingdom.The story isn’t the only area where Revenant Kingdom diverges from its predecessor. The game features a radically different battle system than the original, eschewing the Pokemon-like familiars of the first Ni No Kuni completely in favor of faster-paced real-time battles. In addition to that, Revenant Kingdom features kingdom building and strategy elements, often tasking players with commanding a small army of troops in RTS-like battles.While these new elements may not always tie together in a cohesive way, they help set the title apart from its beloved predecessor. They also make it one of the year’s most ambitious releases, taking roughly 35 hours to complete by our estimates. In GameSpot’s Ni No Kuni II review, critic Peter Brown said the game “compels you to care and put your best foot forward” and features “something worthwhile around every corner, and usually something pretty to admire along the way.”Ahead of its release, other outlets have also started posting reviews of Ni No Kuni II. As usual, we’ve collected a sample of them below to give you an idea of what critics think about the anticipated JRPG. For a broader look at Ni No Kuni II’s critical reception, be sure to visit GameSpot sister site Metacritic.Game: Ni No Kuni II: Revenant KingdomDeveloper: Level-5Platforms: PS4, PCRelease date: March 23Price: $60 / £50GameSpot — 8/10″Ni No Kuni 2 is a robust game that offers ample ways to spend your time, and even if they aren’t all up to the same level of quality, it’s easy to appreciate how they collectively contribute to the bigger picture. It’s chock full of excellent battles and surprising moments that make for a far more memorable experience than you initially expect and leaves you impressed by your own accomplishments. If you didn’t play the first game, don’t let this one pass you by too.” — Peter Brown [Full review]IGN — 7.8/10″Ni No Kuni 2: Revenant Kingdom distinguishes itself from its predecessor by layering fast-paced, real-time combat and an engaging kingdom building system atop more traditional RPG systems and quests. It’s a shame it delivers so few truly memorable characters and restricts so much of its storytelling to text on screen, but by the end of Ni No Kuni 2 the broader themes certainly resonate and the 40+ hour journey has been well worth it.” — Cam Shea [Full review]Polygon — 9/10″Ni No Kuni 2 aims for a lot of different targets: world-spanning story, management sim, recruitment game and solid combat experience. Against all odds, it manages to hit them all in a way that very few games in its genre can manage. There’s no part of the game that feels more or less important, and there were no moments in the game where I thought I was slogging through exposition or kingdom management to pad hours in my playthrough. There’s not a wasted breath or a plot point that doesn’t manage to pay off in a significant way. Ni No Kuni 2 is a solid contemporary JRPG that brings a lot of design ideas that I love into sharp, clear focus while staying entertaining and engaging throughout.” — Cameron Kunzelman [Full review]US Gamer — 3.5/5″Ni No Kuni 2 is a sweet-tempered and attractive RPG with a strong castle-building mechanic, but it’s dragged down by a jarringly ugly overworld, mandatory fetch quests, and a lot of padding. It’s a pleasant throwback for fans of the genre, but it ultimately fails to meet the high bar set by other big-budget JRPGs.” — Kat Bailey [Full review]Game Informer — 8/10″Ni No Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom may not nail everything it attempts, but it gets the important things right. Building your kingdom is satisfying and engaging, even with the weak narrative hooks. The cycle of rewards became an obsession, and had me staying up late to recruit just one more ally, or complete just one more upgrade. Combat could be tighter, and other supporting elements could use some polish–but like any kingdom, this experience isn’t about individual contributions. It’s about how those contributions come together, and the fun of this experience as a whole outweighs its flaws.” — Joe Juba [Full review]GamesRadar+ — 4.5/5″Ni No Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom is the RPG adventure that’s like shooting sunshine right into your veins. So clear your calendar, because Level-5 is about fill it with monsters, magic, and city management.” — Rachel Weber [Full review]
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