While the original Ni no Kuni on the PlayStation 3 was a charming game, and a classic, high budget console JRPG in an era when the genre was on a steep decline, the one big issue it had was its battle system- it was shallow and unwieldy, and chaotic and ill thought out. Indeed, in spite of Ni no Kuni being something that should theoretically be right up my alley, I ended up being mixed on the game by the end because of how severely I disliked the battle system.
With the upcoming sequel, it sounds like Level-5 have taken the feedback to heart, and are now looking at addressing the complaints via several improvements to the battle system. As DualShockers reports, players now get special skills and modifiers in battle, accessed by holding down R2, and accessed via face button assignment (not dissimilar to how Persona 5 and Xenoblade 2 handle it). Players get MP, which is replenished by standard melee attacks or consumables, and a special meter that, when full, will enhance and boost the effect of attacks. Players also get granular control over how they want to actually tackle battles.
It sounds like it’s more full featured and nuanced than the simplistic battle system in the original game… but I will wait to see how the execution is before I commit to it being any good. Thankfully, we don’t have long to wait, because Ni no Kuni 2 is due out on March 23 for PS4 and PC.