This was an impulse purchase a while back that I quickly regretted as I didn’t even like the first game all that much. My completionist instincts pushed me to play it anyway so I more or less did my best speedrush my way through it relying on online guides to solve the puzzles. Even so, it took me more than 20 hours of playing to reach the end, though I did take the extra trouble of getting the true ending. That’s enough to make this a surprisingly substantial game I think.
Obvious the biggest change in this sequel is that it doesn’t take place entirely in a dungeon. This is largely a cosmetic change as the game still takes place on a square grid that you navigate in the four cardinal directions. They do make use of large open areas to stage large battles, both those involving powerful bosses and those with large numbers of enemies. I don’t recall that being the case in the first game. Plus there are now underwater areas. Naturally this also comes with better graphics and a broader range of enemies to fight. Other than that, it’s very much a case of more of the same.
If you like this style of RPG, this is pretty unobjectionable fare. There are different classes with various possible builds, spells, plenty of items and potions, good variety of enemies and puzzles etc. The combat involves taking advantage of the square grid to hit enemies and then slip sideways before they can hit back, sort of like circle-strafing I guess. I found it cool for a while but it got repetitive fast as you can basically beat anything using this technique provided you fight monsters one at a time and have four squares to maneuver around. There are also plenty of secret rooms to discover and you can even dig up treasure chests by deciphering clues on pieces of paper. It’s all very old-school style.
The only substantial gripes I have are that the classes don’t seem very well balanced, for example dexterity is much more important than strength due to how accuracy is a must. A barbarian-type warrior wielding a huge, slow weapon will do awful damage overall due to poor accuracy. I also think some of the puzzles are way too obscure or else rely on pure trial and error. I’m sure glad I didn’t take the time to actually figure them out myself. It would have been way too frustrating. On the whole I enjoyed my speed-run well enough but this has only reminded me that I no longer really like this style of RPG.