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Review

Review: Cat Quest 2

The­re are often times whe­re you don’t want to play an epic 100 hour RPG, ins­tead tur­ning to shorter games to have a fun time. Cat Quest was the per­fect way to spend a few hours wit­hout having to think too hard, offe­ring some simp­le action RPG game­play fil­led with tons of cat puns. The sequel adds more con­tent, abi­li­ties and local co-op, but not much has been done to make it feel fresh for tho­se that have alrea­dy play­ed the ori­gi­nal.

As with the first game, Cat Quest 2 spends litt­le time tying to build up an inte­res­ting sto­ry. You play as the old kings of Felin­gard and the Lupus Empi­re, who are brought to the cur­rent day to stop the two nati­ons from con­ti­nuing their war. The­re are only minor ties bet­ween the sto­ries of both games, and once again you can see the ending after only a coup­le of hours. Most of the game is ins­tead spent on picking up side­quests and explo­ring the land for optio­nal are­as. It’s still a lon­ger sto­ry than the first game, though that’s not real­ly say­ing much with how short both games are over­all.

Litt­le has chan­ged when it comes to game­play eit­her. Regard­less of whe­ther you play solo or with a fri­end, both kings will be pre­sent at all times and can be swit­ched bet­ween when not in co-op. Asi­de from one cha­rac­ter being a cat and the other a dog, the­re is no dif­fe­rence bet­ween them in regards to their abi­li­ties. Each has a basic com­bo, a quick dodge and a maxi­mum of 4 spells. Com­bat is simp­le and fast, clear­ly mar­ked attacks giving you enough time to dodge out of the way befo­re res­uming your attack. You’ll rare­ly have to chan­ge up how to fight dif­fe­rent ene­my types, but it gets the job done.

Most of the dif­fe­ren­ces in game­play come from the new wea­pon type and spells. Asi­de from basic swords and a hand­ful of slo­wer gre­at­swords, the­re are a mul­ti­tu­de of staves that each have their own ran­ged attacks. Ran­ged attacks are a nice addi­ti­on, espe­ci­al­ly when com­bi­ned with the co-op game­play, but at the end of the day you’re still just mashing one but­ton while occa­sio­nal­ly dod­ging. Having 2 cha­rac­ters does mean that you can also have 8 spells avail­ab­le at any one time, but there’s usual­ly not much incen­ti­ve to use more than a coup­le of spells. This is due to most spells just being aoes that do dif­fe­rent ele­men­tal dama­ge, and we never encoun­te­red an ene­my that requi­red the use of a spe­ci­fic spell to defeat.

Ques­ting in Cat Quest 2 is a simp­le affair as well. You roam around the colour­ful over­world, tal­king to NPCs and picking up side­quests for new gear, money and expe­ri­ence. Side­quests are what you’ll be doing most of the time, and are usual­ly requi­red to keep your level high enough for the main sto­ry. The­re isn’t much varie­ty in the types of quest you’re given, with many just requi­ring you to go to a mar­ked area and kill a few enemies, but the many ani­mal rela­ted puns can be fun­ny from time to time. Unfor­tu­n­a­te­ly, the wri­ting can’t save the lack of area and ene­my varie­ty. You’ll be explo­ring samey caves and ruins for most of your jour­ney, and the­re are only 2 dif­fe­rent the­mes for the over­world are­as.

Equip­ment is ano­t­her aspect of Cat Quest 2 that has seen a few tweaks, wit­hout real­ly chan­ging much over­all. While ques­ting and explo­ring the world, you’ll acqui­re new wea­pons and armour. The­se have a main stat, like attack or health increa­ses, along with the occa­sio­nal extra bonus effect. Some equip­ment might give you extra expe­ri­ence for kil­ling enemies or a hig­her chan­ce of cri­ti­cal hits. Fin­ding the same pie­ce of equip­ment mul­ti­ple times, or upgra­ding it using money, will increa­se its main stat fur­ther. The pro­blem with this sys­tem is that, while it does eli­mi­na­te a com­mon RPG tro­pe of having lots of the same gear, the lack of varie­ty in stats and effec­ts mean that the­re is isn’t real­ly much incen­ti­ve to go try out many types of equip­ment.

While this may seem like an over­ly nega­ti­ve review, Cat Quest 2 is still a com­pe­tent game. We never ran into any major issu­es, and the char­ming art­syle of the ori­gi­nal has been impro­ved upon even fur­ther. It’s just that the game feels a litt­le too simi­lar to the first Cat Quest, even with the addi­ti­ons to com­bat and the ever pre­sent co-op cha­rac­ter. The simp­le game­play sys­tems of the first game aren’t enough to keep your inte­rest for ano­t­her, lon­ger, game.

Conclusion

Cat Quest 2 is enjoy­a­ble for the few hours it takes to beat the main sto­ry, though not much has chan­ged from the first game. Local co-op and a few new attacks do litt­le to keep the game inte­res­ting after the 10th bland cave or dun­ge­on. You’ll have an OK time if you just want a cute action game to play for an after­noon, though anyo­ne expec­ting a big impro­ve­ment from the first Cat Quest will be left disap­poin­ted.

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