PlayStation Experience 2017: Ni no Kuni II and Taiko No Tatsujin; Equal Parts Beautiful and Quirky

We last saw Bandai Namco back at E3, and this time round at PlayStation Experience 2017, Bandai Namco had even more prominent titles to show off, even though much of the hype has been focused on Dragon Ball Fighter Z. Here are our thoughts on the best offerings of what we saw at the weekend’s event!

Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom

Here’s the title that made getting a PlayStation 3 back in the day all that worth it. A solid JPRG that was a bit too grindy for some folks. Not sure how the overall game might change for the greater good but I had a chance to participate in two boss battles during PlayStation Experience 2017.

Opting for real time action combat as opposed to turn-based combat, Ni no Kuni II plays very much like Dark Souls but without the punishing difficulty. Yet, this did not stop me spending plenty of time rolling around and dodging boss attacks. Controls for the demo felt weighed down and you’d need a fair amount of deliberation before committing to a move lest it be a wrong one. Targeting enemies on screen wasn’t particularly intuitive and I found myself constantly repositioning my character to keep the bosses in my field of view.

As I was playing a show demo, this probably accounted for the lack of difficulty in the boss fights. Evan, my character, took quite a fair amount of time to take down the boss and I felt really underpowered despite having a rich palette of abilities to call upon. Your on screen AI-allies are equipped with healing abilities, so we were also never in a danger of dying. However, that didn’t stop quite a few players failing in taking down Longfang, the dragon that was our adversary.

I particularly enjoyed facing off against Longfang as it really felt like taking part in an MMO raid where you and your companions combine forces to defeat the boss, even down to the detail of not being able to see the dragon for the most part as you’d be rolling around and chipping away at its claws.

Though I might sound like I’m nitpicking, the real star of the Ni no Kuni is its brilliant art style, voice acting, and story which remains as brilliant as the first. Hopefully, with the change in the battle system, Bandai Namco would be able to draw an even bigger audience into the fold.

Taiko No Tatsujin: Drum Session!

Given how Rock Band has slowly faded into obscurity, Taiko No Tatsujin: Drum Session! aims to capture the feeling of nostalgia from your old PlayStation 2 days. While it’s often more fun to play the full sized ones in the arcade, this is the more practical solution.

Unlike Rock Band’s accessories, the PS4 taiko drum is manageable in size and I’ll be interested to see if anyone attempts to beat Dark Souls with it. While it might not be as epic as the full arcade experience, you’d be able to easily store it away when not in use. The game allows for two drums to be hooked up at the same time as per the event set up. No prices have been revealed yet, hopefully, it won’t be too expensive to snag the second drum.

Like any music rhythm game, the higher the difficulty, the more notes and increased speed you will have to hit.

In the build that I played, it was packed with plenty of Japanese music (naturally), with the most recognizable being PPAP and a Japanese rendition of Frozen‘s “Let It Go”. But having a full library of Japanese songs never stopped fans from making the effort to import this title in the past, considering how Beatmania took Asia by storm.

I am also pretty sure DLC packs are already in the works after the October 26 launch, so this is one title with a potential longevity that could stay on your PS4 for a very long time.

Did you manage to see anything else that caught your eye at the first ever PlayStation Experience 2017 in Southeast Asia? Let us know in the comments below!