NI NO KUNI II & NIK WEIS ST. URBANS-HOF RIESLING
As a big fan of Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli, I was incredibly excited and intrigued when they announced Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch. I can happily say that I played that game until there was literally nothing left for me to do. I adored the story, the cutscenes, the characters, and the silly pokemon-esque creatures. So of course when the sequel to Ni No Kuni was revealed, I was ecstatic. The first game didn't do particularly well (I get it, the battle system was a slog) so I was pretty surprised about this announcement. Needless to say, its the first game since No Man's Sky that had me sitting in my papasan watching the clock tick down till midnight so that I could start this magical journey yet again.
Ni No Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom is not really the story sequel I was hoping for, but it was a delight to play. The battle system was such an immense improvement over the first game and the newly implemented skirmish system was a really fun break from normal combat. I missed the in-depth story of the first game, I felt that this one was a bit more generic with characters that didn't resonate with me as well. I missed the beautiful 2D animated cutscenes too, though I did love looking at all of the citizen portraits that looked like they popped right out of a Studio Ghibli film.
It's interesting playing two games in the same series, and then thinking about how they'd pair differently with wine. The first game felt full of wonder and new sights, while this sequel felt like a sweet rallying march in a familiar world. The story of Ni No Kuni II revolves around Evan's efforts to unite the world in peace, and I feel this riesling represents that very well. Nik Weis St. Urbans-Hof Riesling is a sweet and smooth wine with notes of apple, honey, minerality and a touch of herb. These notes pair perfectly with my sense of the world of Evermore. I also really love how the crest and golden design of the label accentuates the regal nature of the game. A sweet and elegant wine for the noble journey of King Evan. Needless to say, I played every last bit of Ni No Kuni II. I can only hope that one day I'll be lucky enough to play a third installment in the series.