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Puzzle Quest 2: yep, an actual, we-mean-it-this-time sequel, out this May

cloudeaglecloudeagle Registered User regular
edited March 2010 in Games and Technology
So after Puzzle Quest came out a slew of puzzle RPGs followed. There was Puzzle Quest: Galactrix, a hex-based game that left some people cold, Gyromancer, Popcap and SquareEnix's take on the concept, and several others I'm forgetting (and most of you probably forgot too).

But now, after all that, we're getting a Puzzle Quest 2 for Live and DS. Same developers, same game world, same basic concept. But a few things have changed. From the IGN preview:
Puzzle Quest 2 is being developed by Infinity Interactive, maker of the original. Its goal was to refine the gameplay and visuals of the first game into a more streamlined experience that still appeals to both hardcore and casual audiences. Some features have been removed, such as the abilities to train mounts and research spells. There are still plenty of mini-games, though -- they've just been built into the actual story. Whereas in the first Puzzle Quest these mini-games were optional diversions players could use to strengthen their characters, here they need to be played to pick a lock, disarm a trap, or loot a treasure chest.

The visual refinements are also noticeable. This time around the characters look like they stepped out of a modern comic book. The barbarian class, for instance, looks like a badass cartoon Conan.

First things first: when starting a new game you'll need to choose a character. There are four classes to choose from with male and female types for each class. You can play as a Templar, Sorcerer, Barbarian, or Assassin. As you would expect, each class possesses different attributes. The Templar has high hit points (HP) but low attack power and the Assassin has relatively low HP but is proficient in agility and intelligence, for example. Infinite Interactive and D3 are hoping the classes provide contrasting experiences so that you'll want to play the game multiple times as different characters.

The match-three battles will be familiar to anyone who played Puzzle Quest (or Bejewelled, for that matter). But you'll notice new gauntlet icons on the puzzlefield. These are used to activate your equipped weapons. It's basically an additional way to attack your enemy. You still match skulls to deal damage to an opponent, but now you can also equip weapons and use them when you've reached their gauntlet quota. So, say your Barbarian is equipped with a sword that requires seven gauntlets to use. Once you've cleared seven gauntlets from the field you can select your sword and deal five damage points to the bad guy. In this way you can also activate shields for defense bonuses. But beware: enemies can also equip and use weapons. The mechanic seems like a fun addition to the Puzzle Quest formula that we look forward to exploring.

While the puzzle battles are pretty familiar, moving about the game world is completely different. Gone is the world map with various towns and caves to visit. Puzzle Quest 2 takes place entirely in the town of Verloren and the dungeon below it. This is more of a dungeon-diving game and most of your quests and side quests will lead you into the depths underneath the village. Like the first game, you can take on multiple quests at once and keep track of them all in your journal. Eventually you'll reach warp points that will allow you to jump to previously explored areas of the dungeon. And there is always the opportunity to just run around killing monsters if you want to do some grinding. Unlike the original PQ, purple gems don't provide experience. They now provide mana and experience is awarded at the end of battle.

You also have a much closer view of the world this time around, due to the camera being zoomed into your characters. You'll be able to walk right up to individuals and engage in conversation while some light voice acting lends the NPCs personality.

The opening moments when you arrive in Verloren will teach you the ins and outs of Puzzle Quest 2 and its various mini-games. We had to help put out a fire by playing a mini-game where matching blue gems would douse the flames but red gems would fuel the heat. Moments later we were helping break down a barricade with a mini-game where matching gems would produce door symbols, and a certain number of door symbols had to be cleared in order to pass. Other mini-games we tried out included looting chests, disarming traps, and picking locks.

There are only slight differences between the XBLA and DS versions. You'll find the same characters, quests, and side quests on each, but on DS you can only carry 27 items (as opposed to an unlimited amount on XBLA) and the portable game only has two save slots. Other than that, the two versions should be nearly identical. We played both today and can vouch for their similarities. Multiplayer will be included in both versions, over Xbox Live and Ad-Hoc on DS.

http://xboxlive.ign.com/articles/107/1075675p1.html

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Huh. Looks interesting.

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    Zetetic ElenchZetetic Elench Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Hmm. Not sure how I feel about the Diablification. Will watch cautiously.

    Zetetic Elench on
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    SipexSipex Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    I like it so far.

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    LanrutconLanrutcon The LabyrinthRegistered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Looks good. I'm gonna enjoy it on the pc...

    ...meaning 2011 is gonna be a fun year. :?

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    IoloIolo iolo Registered User regular
    edited March 2010
    Hmm. Not sure how I feel about the Diablification. Will watch cautiously.

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