Saturday, January 14, 2012

Game Review - Puzzle Quest 2

Game Review - Puzzle Quest 2

Score +4/-6

Puzzle Quest 2 is a fantasy role-playing game (although with minimal actual role-playing) that uses various match-3 style games for various actions such as combat, picking locks, and searching for treasure.
+ The artwork is very nice, if simple. The presentation makes up for the lack of any real 3D animation, but the lack thereof also makes it surprisingly light on system requirements.
+ The system for upgrading gear takes some of the chanciness of buying stuff out of the game and at the same time puts some control in the hands of the player.
+ Interesting minigames for various tasks.
+ A lot of teleporters to short-cut the tediousness of travel. It would be even better if you could click a teleporter on the map instead of trying to remember which room is called what and where it is.
- Linear and predictable story.
- Many types of equipment, but it is only cosmetic.
- You are locked into your stat allocation until level 20, and then you have to pay to change it. Level 20 is a long way to go, and in the meantime you have very little guidance on what a useful allocation is. Some online forums recommend you homogenize stats or recommend a mix that is independent of your character -- which in turns suggests really samey gameplay no matter what character you have.
- Too few spells can be accessed active at any one time.
- Some of the spells, especially higher-level ones, are not necessarily useful. Some of the spells the can be learned or acquired from party members are not particularly useful. In the case of the learned spells, they have  very little return for your time investment (unless you look for a spell solution walkthrough online to quickly win the minigames).
- Incredibly tedious gameplay. Although you can skip some fights, there are still a lot of them, and the game is sufficiently hard that even if you got satisfaction from winning fights, after a while things will start to grind, especially when the enemies on each level are repeated a lot.
- Enemies level up with you, making level progression somewhat meaningless or even penalizing: There is, however, a level cap on enemies, which is good in that they stop matching you in challenge, but bad in that there's very little return on your time. You can easily mod the game yourself to change levels and monster stats. Enemies also fall off the quick battles list as you level up -- you can mod them back in.

No comments:

Post a Comment