A big part of the allure of the first Ni No Kuni title was the animated cutscenes. Crafted by Studio Ghibli, these not only told the larger story beats of the game, they offered a high quality experience for fans of anime, and the studio itself. Unfortunately the sequel, Ni No Kuni 2: Revenant Kingdom, won’t feature any animated cutscenes this time around. Thankfully, with the jump to PS4 and PC, the team seems to have crafted a game that looks close enough to deliver a similar experience.
The cutscenes in Ni No Kuni 2 will all be in-game. The first game had a lot of these as well, but they were augmented with the fully animated pieces to craft the whole visual presentation. This time around they’ll have to do the heavy lifting themselves, but as I said, it seems like they’ll be up to the task.
Sure, the in-game custscenes will never reach the huge quality of a Studio Ghibli crafted animated scene, but the new graphics are high enough in quality to look quite good in motion. Below is the trailer for the game, which shows some of these scenes. It’s pretty clear that the spirit of the animation is still within the game, even if we aren’t looking at any hand drawn artwork like before.
And this makes sense as Ni No Kuni 2: Revenant Kingdom still has some Studio Ghibli personnel working on the game. The character design and world is certainly following in Ghibli’s footsteps, and the game is looking like a fantastic successor to Level 5’s excellent PS3 classic. The loss of the animated cutscenes will be tough, but hopefully fans will enjoy the new in-game work just as much, or at least enough to enjoy the story and world.
Ni No Kuni 2 hits PS4 and PC on November 10th.