In Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom, people get a bit more freedom. While the original game played with Pokemon-like gameplay elements by making familiars who were active in battles, the sequel is a more traditional action-RPG with a focus on different party members. While everyone starts with Roland and Evan, eventually Tani, Batu, Leander and Bracken round out your roster. Each one has their own specialties, of course, but every one of them has a possible place in a party.
Now, an important point is that you do not have to worry about playing favorites. Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom does not penalize you for only using three characters. The people who are not active will still gain levels. I found I used Roland, Evan and Tani most, because they were my first three and offered a good balance, but Batu, Bracken and Leander still remained within three levels of the more active characters.
The good thing about Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom’s characters is you can tell the sort of role characters will fill in your party at a glance. Evan and Leander are primarily mages, even though one also can use a sword and the other could fight with a spear. Roland and Batu are your primary damage dealers. Roland focuses more on attack, while Batu can act as something of a tank as a result of his high defenses. Tani is a thief with a focus on her ranged skills. She’s agile, has a stealing skill and, even though she does have electric magic, is primarily a physical attacker. Bracken is similar to Tani, as her focus is on ranged attacks and their health is similar, but she stands out due to being the one party member with healing skills.
This means a person’s first instinct might be to create a party that has one each of the three basic types of characters. You may want to have a group where there is one strong physical attacker, perhaps either Roland or Batu, then has Evan or Leander as a mage, and follows everything up with Bracken or Tani to fill the gaps and do what’s needed in between. And that will definitely work for you. For most of the game, I tended to rely on Roland, Evan and Tani. I would switch to Tani usually for ranged attacks, as she was a rockstar with those attacks. Roland was my standard damage dealer. I typically only swapped to Evan when taking part in a boss fight, so I could take advantage of elemental weaknesses.
But it can help to switch to other formations. After you get Bracken, putting her on a team with Roland and Batu can be great for dealing with standard overworld enemies. The three of them are really strong and can make quick work of foes, with Bracken keeping their health up in the event an especially strong monster does come along. I also would sometimes go with Roland, Leander and Evan in a party when going against Tainted Monsters or bosses. These bigger baddies tend to have some sort of elemental weakness, and having both Evan and Leander around means you will definitely have the magic needed to deal with any enemy. There are even a few enemies and bosses where you know the opponents will jump around and be a distance away, making a crew where both Bracken and Tani are present a good idea.
Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom is a game where every person who joins your party has merit to them. This is not the sort of game where a character that appears later, like Bracken, can immediately be benched due to her tardy entrance. Everyone is viable. The default may be a party with one strong physical attacker, one strong ranged attacker and one mage, but people do not have to be restricted to that sort of build. The nature of each character means you can mix and match, creating different parties that work for you for different situations.
Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom is available for the PlayStation 4 and PC.