Beautiful, fantastical and feelgood, this Studio Ghibli collaboration is a timely counterpoint to the idea that games are gun-centric, violent and nihilistic
Japanese role-playing games tend to be pretty specialist, with anime-style graphics and rather old-fashioned, often turn-based gameplay. But Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom, whose gorgeous visual style was created in collaboration with feted animation pioneers Studio Ghibli, is more inviting than most. It possesses the irresistibly charming vibe of Nintendo’s Zelda games, combined with modern, open-world gameplay that’s reminiscent of Witcher 3.
Ni no Kuni II begins in Ding Dong Dell, a cute fantasy kingdom occupied by cat-human Grymalkins, though before long the action takes us elsewhere. You play Evan, a cat-boy-king whose ascension to the throne is imminent following the death of his father. But dastardly mice execute a coup. Evan manages to escape.