How Ni No Kuni II developer Level-5 is freshening up the sequel

Japanese developer Level-5 will spring its long-awaited Ni No Kuni sequel on the world later this year, but it’s clear from the gameplay footage and trailers we’ve seen so far that the follow-up will be a different beast.
Although the game packs the prerequisite Studio Ghibli charm that made the first so endearing, the sequel has changed up a number of key mechanics (such as the battle system) to ensure players don’t get gameplay fatigue during their second outing. 
In a recent interview with Glixel, Level-5 CEO Akihiro Hino explained why the studio chose to take the sequel in a new direction, rather than playing it safe and doubling down on everything that made Wrath of the White Witch so enjoyable. 
“I think in RPGs, the main part of the appeal is getting that new experience – new world, new story, new adventure. If you bring in the same characters, what happens is you’re forced to bring in the previous world as well, and that defeats the purpose of creating an RPG in the first place,” explained Hino.
Ultimately, the Level-5 boss felt it’d be better to create a whole new set of characters, and set the game in a different time period, so fans could relive the excitement of entering that foreign land for the very first time. It was about retaining an element of “newness.”
“It’s the same thing with the story. If you use the same battle system, you don’t get that new experience. Therefore, I wanted to revamp the battle system,” he continues. 
“This time, we’ve brought in these little sprites called Higgledies. By collecting different Higgledies, you can adjust your tactics, similar to the monsters in the first game. We wanted to add something significant, not just repeat what worked in the first game.”
To hear more from Hino, be sure to check out the full interview over on Glixel, where the CEO also discusses the origins and development of popular puzzler, Professor Layton.

To read the full article visit Gamasutra

How Ni No Kuni II developer Level-5 is freshening up the sequel