Level-5’s Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch launched to almost overwhelming praise, with its heartwarming storyline and Studio Ghibli visuals quickly endearing it to many a heart. It had its share of issues, but Level-5 both addressed those issues and created an even more vast and engaging world with the sequel, Ni No Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom.
Despite being numbered as a sequel, you don’t actually have to play the first game to understand what’s going on. The story follows Ding Dong Dell’s young prince, Evan Pettiwhisker Tildrum (yes, he’s part cat), after a coup sees the young prince’s family murdered and Evan himself in exile.
It sounds pretty heavy, and the T rating description does include some mild animated blood, but the storytelling and animation provide a lighthearted tone throughout Evan’s long journey. Combined with its positive role models and message of healing society’s divides, it’s more than suitable for 9-12 year olds.
The original was a fairly linear affair—complete main story tasks, collect monsters, do some side quests, and move on. Revenant Kingdom includes those, but also adds in a much larger world to explore and an incredibly addictive kingdom building quest to keep you busy for a long, long time.
The combat this time ‘round is rather different as well, focusing more on the primary characters instead of their monster familiars; you do have creatures called Higgledies for support, but overall, it’s a more streamlined system like you’d expect from a Western RPG instead of a JRPG. Granted, Revenant Kingdom’s combat lacks the challenge of its predecessor, but those seeking difficulty can find it in the game’s optional corrupt monster battles.