Review by Combat Crustacean

Reviewed: 09/01/05

Suffers from not only frustrating difficulty and a distinct lack of fun gameplay, but also a noticeable dearth of wheat.

As gamers, we see bad sequels that were created only to cash in on the success of the first title all the time. Devil May Cry 2 is a very prominent example, with its disappointing shallow gameplay and lack of length or challenge. Fortunately, ActRaiser 2, unlike the former game, rapidly sank into obscurity for its borderline unplayability. This game just seems to take everything that made the first game not very fun and jacks it up exponentially to amplify the player's ":( Factor".

First and foremost, the game is HARD. Very hard. On Easy, mind you. This can be for one of many reasons. It can be partly because waves of enemies that are difficult to kill without sustaining any damage completely flood you with every five steps you take. It could be that terrain damages are very difficult to avoid because of your lack of midair mobility. It could be that your character walks SO FREAKING SLOW that you are forced to use the clumsy and ungainly flying move to navigate him, which means that you nose-dive smack into an enemy or spike or something that causes great pain to your character. Or possibly it's the fact that they REMOVED THE SIM SECTION from the game, which just renders this an utterly unspectacular excuse for a generic platformer. Why call this an ActRaiser when it lacks the one element that set the first game apart from the crowd? The existence of this game is utterly futile. Perhaps, as a long-time fan of the first game, I'm just rather bitter. I wish I could chalk this game up as mediocre and be done with it, but quite simply, this is borderline unplayable. Not only is the gameplay completely gone, but without the wonderfully addictive building element, the game also loses a great deal of its replay value (if you can bring yourself to play through it once.)

If there's one positive to the game, it's great looking just like its predecessor, if not even more so. The rendering has reached new heights, the enemy design is varied and attractive, and the levels look great. Even the lame little cupid from the first game has been replaced with a truly hardcore sword-toting seraph -- if only you could play as him! Unfortunately, the music and sound is just as boring and lacking in diversity as ActRaiser...play this one with your headphones on. And once again, the game is devoid of any significant plot, so you might as well just pass on trying to understand anything.

The only department in which this game improves upon its progenitor is length, which given the tedious and mirthless gameplay is nothing but a hindrance. This is one of the few games that, despite my best efforts, I simply could not bring myself to complete. Please don't put down any more than 5 dollars for this dreck.

Rating: 2

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