Ni No Kuni II is by far the biggest disappointment of this year, and it’s a shame, a real damn shame as this game had so much potential. The first Ni No Kuni game wasn’t exactly “fantastic”, but it had a lot of good moods and great charm with a lovely cast of characters. Unfortunately the same cannot be said about this game. Ni No Kuni II seems to fail in every category except its presentation.
Beautiful Cell Shading, But missing a little something
Ni No Kuni II excels when it comes to presentation, and I’m going to say that this is the only thing this game excels at. The designs for some of the characters are questionable, but this isn’t a significant issue. The game is wonderfully presented, the environment is beautifully designed, and the cell shading art style works for this game. The visuals in this game are timeless. The graphics overall are great but the lack of Studio Ghibli cutscenes was crushing, and that’s the type of magic I think this game is missing.
The cutscenes in this first Ni No Kuni game were great. I remember watching the very first animated cutscene in the original Ni No Kuni game and saying to myself “oh this reminds me of Spirited Away”. This game fails to recapture some of those feelings.
Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch had a dull, standard and unmemorable soundtrack and the same thing can be said about this game. There is nothing special about the soundtrack in this game. None of the tracks stands out
A Poorly Written Plot
And at last. It’s finally time to time to talk about the awful, poorly written plot this game has. First I’ll talk about the voice acting. It’s great. But we don’t get to hear the characters voices much in this game. It’s like the PS2 days were calling back at me when I was playing this game. I don’t have a problem with games not being fully voiced. Persona 5 wasn’t fully voiced, Breath of the Wild wasn’t fully voiced, but the lack of voice acting in those games during particular parts felt natural to me. The lack of voice acting in this game, at times doesn’t feel natural, instead, It felt like things were rushed.
The characters in this game are all pretty atrocious except Roland, but he’s merely mediocre. It’s rare to come across a game with terrible characters across the board, so I was a little surprised. The characters have very little development, and they rely on one gimmick. They just aren’t likeable. And it sucks because you have to play the entire game with these annoying, unlikable characters.
The plot is dumb and absurd and just isn’t exciting. It was boring, and I always got that sense of “I don’t care” when I was playing this game.
The game has a decent amount of content, but it felt like extra content was added for the sake of it.
A game that will make you go to sleep
Ni No Kuni II will put you to sleep. And that’s not a good thing. The combat system isn’t bad..but there isn’t much depth to it either. The gameplay is incredibly repetitive. The one problem I had with this game was with difficulty. This game was by far one of the most easiest JRPG’s I’ve played in a while. If you’re used to Tales of games, then you shouldn’t find this game to be challenging to play. The enemies are extremely easy to beat, and the bosses left no lasting impact.
The combat system itself isn’t bad like I said but there is nothing special about it either. Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch had a really bizarre combat system that was extremely confusing…but that’s what made that game strangely unique and creative in my opinion.
Ni No Kuni II abandons all of the quirkiness and uniqueness the first game had and instead pastes itself with a new skin of unoriginality. If this game was named “Tales of the Ni No Kuni”, I wouldn’t blink an eye. Ni No Kuni II manages to be worse than its predecessor in every way possible.