Review by iconclash
"Movie Magic on your Dreamcast"
When Warp released the original D on the 3DO back in the day, it was an instant cult hit. Even though it was primarily and FMV based game, its stunning computer generated graphics, clever puzzles and an eery made the otherwise cruddy genre almost respectable. After ports to the Saturn and Playstation, gamers have eagerly awaited a sequel...and waited, and waited. To satiate fans' Laura Croft withdrawl, Warp released Enemy Zero on the Saturn a few years later, but it wasn't D's sequel. Now after all these years, after being developed for the defunct 3DO M2, to being scrapped, to being resurrected on its current console, the Dreamcast, those who still cared had finally gotten what they've been waiting for.
Plot - I won't go to much into the plot of the game, just know that it is the most coherent, insightful and involving plot to ever grace a video game. Your main character is again the tortured Laura Croft; other than this (and that mysterious locket), this is all that is similar to the original D's. The story begins on a plane flying over cold, snowy mountains of the north. A mysterious man dressed in a black, hooded cloak is chanting into a crystal ball, when suddenly a meteor hits and the plane crashes with only two known survivors, Laura Croft and the really disturbing Kimmy. I won't go any further than that because any more would be spoiler. I will say that the game's ending was a bit strange; both hokey and out of place, oh well.
Gameplay - D2 retains a few of the point and click elements from the original but thankfully has many new elements that give it much more depth. D2 plays almost like a traditional RPG. Laura can move around anywhere she wants in a pretty linear 3-d space, while enemies randomly appear and take you into a battle mode. The battle mode is something like a light gun shooting game, that is easy to get into, but will take a bit of practice to truly master; after the battle is won you gain experience points to make your character stronger. The hunting mode in the game allows you to pull out your rifle and shoot some deer, moose and other wilderness life and use their dead bodies to eat to regain health. Another new little feature is the ability to take photos of everything and anything and save to your VMU to view for later. There really isn't that much use for this feature but its a nice touch. The only bad issue about the game is the replayabity: first, the game is a little too easy to finish, second, once beaten, there really isn't that much to come back to, unless your playing again for the pure joy of it, which I have done.
Graphics- The graphics aren't terribly impressive. A lot of the environments lack detail, especially the out door ones. While there probably isn't a lot of detail anyway in cold north, I'm sure much more could have been done. Everything here is done in pure polygons, but don't fret, Warp has created an excellent job of keeping everything feeling like a CG movie. Certainly not the best the Dreamcast can do, but nothing that will diminish your interactive experience.
Sound/Music - The music in the game is certainly moody and atmospheric, however, most of the game will be played in silence with only the sounds of wind and snow crunching under your feet. It could have been just me, but this made some of the adventure seem monotonous and really dull, though I guess the developers were going for an isolated feeling in the sound, it wasn't executed perfectly. The voice acting is like a top of the line B movie. The game's character really do pull you into the game and rarely caused any annoyance. Some of the dialogue is kind of cornball, but nothing will turn you off to the game like some other games will.
Overall - D2 is one of the most unique and strangely entertaining games you will ever play. It's not really a deep RPG or action packed gun game. It still feels like the old FMV title due to the excessive cinematics. While light on replay, you won't find anything like D2 on the PS2, Xbox, or Gamecube. Consider this a must have for your Dreamcast, especially if your looking for a good adventure title besides Resident Evil Code:V and Alone in the Dark. When you play D2 you'll realise that this isn't so much a survival horror title as it is a playable sci-fi drama. D3?
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 12/03/02, Updated 12/03/02
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