The famous Greek philosopher Socrates once said, “There’s no such thing as too many cat-themed games” (just trust me on this one, don’t look it up). And I have to agree with him. He was a man of good taste and way ahead of its time. Also, I can’t believe it’s been already 2 years since I played the first Cat Quest. I suppose the sequel has been long overdue. For what it’s worth, I liked the first game. It had some minor hiccups in the design but it was a decent time killer. Let’s see what Cat Quest II brings to the table.
There was once a great weapon known as Kingsblade. It was a great source of power but it also meant that many kingdoms in the world fought over it. Ultimately, the weapon was shattered into little pieces and scattered all over the world. Now that the great evil has risen again, it is up to you to reforge the Kingsblade and defeat a new villain. Besides the new villain, Cat Quest II expanded its offering of supporting characters so the game’s narrative doesn’t feel as desolate as the previous game. The world map is also larger, with more cat puns in the names of towns and areas (as it was expected).
But what’s new on the gameplay front, you ask? Plenty of things. For those who want to play it cautious, we now have ranged attacks. Staff weapons can send small balls of light (sometimes with elemental properties) at enemies. Some enemies are more susceptible to those kinds of magic attacks and some to melee, so sometimes you’ll have to switch your strategies. We also have “royal arts”, skills that give passive bonuses to your abilities, such as doing damage to enemies as you evade and roll through them. Weapon and armor upgrading is still there but the tastiest piece of Cat Quest II cake is definitely semi co-op play. Why do I call it semi co-op? Well, it’s there although with some restrictions. It’s local only so the second player needs to be present in the room with you. Or not, if you have a really really really long joypad cable. When playing solo, the AI-controlled player (a cute doggo, so there is something new for all the dog lovers out there) will help you with fighting, sometimes casting support spells on you of offensive ones on the enemies. I was pleasantly surprised that the AI player is not as dumb as I expected, they don’t rush in mobs, they know how and when to evade and I revived them maybe once or twice in 2 hours of play. So, props for that. And last, but not the least: way more sidequests this time around, which means longer play and more weapons to earn.
Not much new here in terms of facelifting but plenty of new stuff in terms of content. As I said, a bigger world map this time which means more new and exciting locations. Also a new continent with a new animal type. I won’t say what kind of animal beside that’s it’s the same kind of your AI player and it rhymes with “log”. Such a puzzle. Caves/dungeons look prettier now, almost like trying to trick you that you might not die in them as often as you imagine. The new continent has a desolate, dirty and scorched earth look, which is pretty fitting for the kind of animals that inhabit it. New magic spells have more flair to it and leave traces on the environment (for when you miss the enemies with your spell, so you can take it out on the innocent grass nearby).
While some new music themes are present, I’m disappointed that caves and towers still feel eerily quiet as in the previous game. I could definitely use an occasional creepy tune here and there. But at least I have slashing of the sword and sound of spells hitting enemies to keep me company – if I imagine it as some free form jazz piece. Other than that everything is still the same as in Cat Quest before, so don’t expect to be surprised or impressed on this front.
Cat Quest II is definitely a meowprovement (sorry, had to sneak in at least one cat pun) over the previous game with new enemies, new areas, new gameplay mechanics and expanded selection of weapons an armor. The game also comes with an affordable price, which is a great deal considering that you get way more content and replay value this time. In short, if you’re looking for a good Zeldaesque RPG of the season, look no further. Picking up Cat Quest II is a no brainer.
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