Title: Ni no Kuni II: The Lair of the Lost Lord
Release Date: December 13, 2018
Reviewed On: PS4
Publisher: Bandai Namco
When Ni no Kuni II: The Revenant Kingdom launched in March 2018, I knew it was a game that I wouldn’t easily forget. I quickly fell in love with the characters and their story, as a young boy named Evan fought against all odds to bring peace to a dying world and establish himself as a new king. The story focused on storytelling in an old-fashioned RPG way, by giving players enough in the main quest to allow them to understand what’s going on, but then treat players to even more information and backstory about the world and characters for those who wish to put time into the game’s side-missions.
Ni no Kuni II: The Lair of the Lost Lord DLC includes new story missions, dungeon, and items, but I think it’s important to highlight that it has greatly improved the already solid battle system of Ni no Kuni II: The Revenant Kingdom. However, the DLC isn’t quite what I had hoped for in terms of a new adventure with the group of characters, but there’s a lot to unpack in this DLC so let’s get going.
It’s important to know that this DLC requires you to be in Chapter 9 of the game and close to beating the game. This is due to some of the required missions prerequisites being tied to missions that don’t show up until late game. You’ll also want to be at least level 65 to take on some of the DLC missions.
I’d like to firstly point out some of the downsides of The Lair of the Lost Lord DLC. One of with is that there are no new audio recordings to be heard during the DLC’s story scenes. Also, the actual Lair of the Lost Lord is just and an 80-floor plus labyrinth made from recycled dungeons that you’ve been through countless times before during the main quest. This makes it feel like the story and dungeon were just quickly put together to get it out of the door after season pass holders had been waiting for the promised content for longer than anticipated.
With that said, The Lair of the Lost Lord introduces a new battle system called the “Martial Method”, which was the highlight of the entire DLC. Now, I was already a fan of Ni no Kuni II’s battle system, but Martial Method makes it even better by adding new techniques and skills that each character can use in battle. First off, players will learn the Ding Dong Dell method which allows players to slow down time after a dodge and inflict some massive damage.
This method is also necessary to defeat stronger enemies within the dungeon. During encounters, some enemies will grow a field around them that adds a second life bar to their HP and will begin to heal repeatedly until the field is broken. Without the method, players would need to repeatedly strike the enemies fast enough to destroy the field before it heals. However, with the method, they can easily knock it out and take them down.
Let me just say, this new addition to the battle system is awesome and I wish that I had access to it for the entire game. It adds a list of new skills to each character that is unlocked using AP which can be obtained through finding manuals around the map. Going back into the dungeon with the new battle system made fights much easier and I was dying a lot less.
Furthermore, The Lair of the lost Lord DLC adds new story content provided by the lovely librarian, Boddly. What’s interesting about this new quest is that it involves the leaders of each region. However, in order to complete the quest, you’ll need to be pretty far into development of your town and have completed a number of other side quests. Personally, I like this because it rewards those who have put time into the game and also gives the people that haven’t the opportunity to unlock and see new things.
Ni no Kuni II: The Lair of the Lord DLC could add about 10 hours or more to the game, depending on how far you are with developing your town and other optional side quests. In terms of content, there’s plenty here to satisfy fans of the genre and the new Martial Method skills are an amazing new addition to the overall enjoyment of the game. It’s a shame that none of the voice actors recorded new lines for the story scenes and the dungeons were created from reused assets, but the extra story and antagonist offer enough reason to push through the 80+ floors and get to the end.
I had a lot of fun returning to Evermore and catching up with the gang. The new battle skills and additional story offered more than enough reason to look past the reused assets. Those who have completed the game will easily hit the ground running into this extra content while the stragglers will need to put in some work to get into it. While I enjoyed the extra time with the characters, I do think that a little more effort would have paid off, basically what this is is the bare minimum.
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