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Cat Quest II – Review

September 24th, 2019 by

37591176_843104775882766_2207967202823372800_nIt was a sleeper hit that landed with rave reviews, but somehow Cat Quest managed to completely pass me by, I assume because I’m resoundly a dog person and avoid anything cat-based with a fiery passion. It does seem much loved though so I’ve been looking forward to playing this installment, and as personal test I shall now attempt to write this review without resorting to a single feline-themed pun.

Cat Quest II is set in a world divided into two empires, Felingard and The Lupus Empire, each now reigned by an evil overlord. Your goal is to unite the worlds with the Kingsblade, a mythical weapon. So far, so tropey, but if you’ve come a deep RPG you’re in the wrong place. You’ve got Skyrim on about eight platforms by now, go play that again.

The first thing that jumps out at you is the visual style. The playable characters, enemies, and NPCs are all gorgeous little sprites, bursting with personality. The animation is simple, but works well with the overall aesthetic.  Similarly, the levels themselves are equally pleasing, with a certain hand drawn look to some of the areas.

Cat Quest II’s world is spread over two continents; one green and pleasant, the other an arid desert. Dotted throughout the areas are a multitude of caves and towers. Exploring these is well recommended, as each completion gives you a bump of XP plus at least one piece of loot from chests. Occasionally there is some slight puzzle aspects to some of these areas, such as leading an enemy you can’t damage into a trap to kill them, but there’s nothing too taxing. It’s worth noting that each of these have an individual difficult level however you’re warned about this before entering, meaning you’ll never knowingly enter one drastically underleveled unless you wish to.

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Combat is performed with a mix of melee and magic attacks. The magic skills follow the well worn path of fire, ice, wind, etc, with some healing and defensive skills also available. I was particularly a fan of the bubble shield, complete with a Titan-esque War Of Dawn animation. Although not overly complex, combat does keep you on your toes. It’s quite easy to be overrun by a horde of enemies, especially in the cave areas, and they can doll out some significant damage quickly. Thankfully enemy attacks are well choreographed with visual queues and never feel cheap, giving you ample time to roll to safety. Combat will pose little challenge to most people with any form of gaming experience, although it’s fair to say that the developers weren’t particularly aiming for nuance here.

One significant addition of the sequel, tying in nicely to the introduction of dogs, is that there are now two controllable characters at all times, which has several effects on the game. Despite ostensibly playing exactly the same, each character can only hold four of the magic skills at any one time. The ability to switch between characters with a single button press means you can strategically approach your battles, using the most appropriate magic power when necessary. The two playable characters also allows cooperative play, something absent from the first game.

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The script needs mentioning, because you’ll either love it or loathe it. It’s extraordinarily heavy on cat and dog puns, which could become cloying over time depending on your personal tastes. It’ll probably work well for the younger end of the market, which I suspect this is mostly aimed at. That said, it did raise more than the occasional chuckle from me along the way.

Cat Quest 2 is a charming title. It’s easy to pick up, lighthearted, and the art is downright adorable. It was fun to play through alone, but I imagine it would be a fantastic couch coop game if you’re the parent of a child who’s started gaming, or with a partner who maybe wouldn’t be interested in the full bells and whistles of a more in-depth RPG. All considered,a very good game, but not purrfect.

Ah, bollocks.

7/10

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