Alundra 2 Review
Alundra is a game known by not too many. It received much positive feedback but it wasn't hyped up enough to make the sales boost through the roof. You take on the role as Alundra and as far as I can recall you you are searching for Baron Diaz. After that it is all done the game ends, right? Wrong! Activision and Contrail/Matrix (who by the way were the creators of Wild Arms) have joined forces to bring us Alundra 2. The second Alundra title doesn't feature Alundra in the game cast of characters. Instead you are a boy named Flint who starts off being wanted by the Baron himself. See how Activision's second Alundra title turned out, and also check if this little game is Zelda for the Playstation.
On the graphical terms, I wouldn't really say that this game has Zelda 64 visuals, but they are still pretty damn good. Instead of using the traditional FMV which is found in most RPG titles, Alundra 2 sports real-time cut scenes, a lot like Metal Gear Solid and Mega Man Legends. The character detail may not be the best, but Contrail and Matrix did a good job at keeping the characters looking smooth. The visuals would have been more impressive if there was slightly less clipping. What really amazes me about the game's visual stand point, is its vastly detailed areas and backgrounds. Though they aren't as explorable as Zelda's I still find them exceptional. So as you can tell by now, Alundra 2's graphics are rich in color, smooth, and overall top quality.
Its best point is the awesome gameplay. You emerge into 40 great hours of action, adventure, fun, fun and more fun. This isn't your plain action title, but A2 really set's the standards and shows the way every action/adventure/RPG title should be. For about forty bucks not only are you getting the bang for the buck, but gamers will also get a multi genre game, which is sure to please almost any gamer. Alundra 2 starts out with a story (NOTE: Spoiler Alert) where you see a cut scene and hear the narrator explaining about the two lost warriors (Ratcliff and Jeehan). Now Varuna is in danger and lacking its warriors to help protect it. The Baron quickly attacks the defenseless Varuna and all of its people, kidnaps the king, and replaces his body with a wooden dummy. Alexia who is the king's daughter sets out to find Flint the pirate hunter so that he can help her defeat The Baron Diaz. And this is where the game picks up, you go through a training course until you make your way up a ladder and the real challenge begins.
The story may not be Final Fantasy, but it shines enough to make it stand out over the other titles. In my opinion, the gameplay in Alundra 2 is more heated and accelerating than Nintendo's Zelda 64 title. The "rescue princess" story has been done too frequently and it is a very tedious plot for that fact, that's why I prefer Alundra's story. In Alundra 2 you have a magic system just like any other RPG, where you equip or pocket your Elemental ring and use it by selecting it from your on-screen inventory and pressing triangle. Now let me tell you about the puzzles. At many locations throughout the game you will be forced to accomplish certain puzzles. Many times you will be stuck and start pulling out your hair to figure out a certain puzzle. But once you accomplish that hair pulling puzzle, give yourself at pat on the back. And finally, you also get to upgrade your weapon, your shield and learn new moves/combos from....
Many people are probably used to seeing and hearing this in Action/RPGs by now, voice overs, they have appeared in Metal Gear Solid, Brave Fencer Musashi, Mega Man Legends and Tomba 2. Now voice overs have set-sail on Alundra 2, the quality is great, the timing is perfect, and just the overall performance is everything I expected it to be. The tunes, are very good, all of the melodies are very memorable, almost as memorable as those that are heard in FF games. So there you have it, so far we've got great visuals, inspired gameplay and excellent sound, let's see if we can keep the ball rolling for the control.
The control is definitely nothing to master, you have your run button, (which can be set to either be held to run or just press once to run) your attack button, the usual jump button and the menu button. But that isn't it, using the L1 and R1 shoulder buttons, you can rotate the camera around the player, and along with camera rotation you can also zoom in and out by tapping Select. Just getting used to the control is a breeze, you should really pick the game up in a snap.
If you have played the original Alundra game, then you must pick up Alundra 2 as soon as its available. Since I have so many games lying around everywhere, I usually don't have the chance to play them all through, but Alundra 2 is one of those games that captivated me. Action, Adventure, RPG, if you are a fan of any of that then you have to pick up Alundra 2, this is definitely the game that defeats Zelda 64 in almost every way. Damn, will Activision's streak of success ever end?