Puzzled

... is how I would describe my reaction to Puzzle Quest 2. Since picking it up on Wednesday I've put some time into it, and although I've enjoyed it, there are a lot of little things which detract from the experience. I've submitted a review here if you so wish, but brief thoughts:

Inventory management. I don't understand why everything is so crammed together. Having both the inventory and equipment select screen together has its benefits I'm sure, but it's not very easy if you want to quickly see which items you're carrying, their stats, etc. Rather than having a list with item name and stats displayed, they are represented by small icons and you have to hit Y for a small stats box to pop up if you want to compare. Splitting into two screens and having a more user-friendly inventory would have been so much better.

The environments. They have grown on me slightly - I do love the look and the quest tracker keeps you on the right path, but it still slows proceedings down and takes you away from the battling. It used to be select location, small text description of your foe, and into battle. I can see the idea behind it, and it does make it look and feel more like an RPG than a casual puzzler, but my feeling is this is an area where they have struggled to combine the genres effectively.

Mini-games. I wasn't too keen on them in the first game, and now they're more frequent (open door, loot a chest, pick a lock - all excuses for a mini-game). Some people might appreciate the variation, but they aren't distinct enough from each other for me to get much enjoyment.

That's about it for Puzzle Quest 2 thoughts, I've basically hit the same sort of issues with a bit more depth in the review. A game with a good concept that still works, but rough in a few areas.

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Posted by PAJ89

... is how I would describe my reaction to Puzzle Quest 2. Since picking it up on Wednesday I've put some time into it, and although I've enjoyed it, there are a lot of little things which detract from the experience. I've submitted a review here if you so wish, but brief thoughts:

Inventory management. I don't understand why everything is so crammed together. Having both the inventory and equipment select screen together has its benefits I'm sure, but it's not very easy if you want to quickly see which items you're carrying, their stats, etc. Rather than having a list with item name and stats displayed, they are represented by small icons and you have to hit Y for a small stats box to pop up if you want to compare. Splitting into two screens and having a more user-friendly inventory would have been so much better.

The environments. They have grown on me slightly - I do love the look and the quest tracker keeps you on the right path, but it still slows proceedings down and takes you away from the battling. It used to be select location, small text description of your foe, and into battle. I can see the idea behind it, and it does make it look and feel more like an RPG than a casual puzzler, but my feeling is this is an area where they have struggled to combine the genres effectively.

Mini-games. I wasn't too keen on them in the first game, and now they're more frequent (open door, loot a chest, pick a lock - all excuses for a mini-game). Some people might appreciate the variation, but they aren't distinct enough from each other for me to get much enjoyment.

That's about it for Puzzle Quest 2 thoughts, I've basically hit the same sort of issues with a bit more depth in the review. A game with a good concept that still works, but rough in a few areas.

Posted by asdfghasdf

Nice review -- always good to see you write stuff. I was sorta interested in the first one, but I didn't play it beyond the demo. I think I'll skip the second Puzzle Quest, too.

Posted by PAJ89
@Wilkins_III:  Cheers Ben, hoping to do some more on a semi-regular basis. To be honest though, most of the games in the last few months/year haven't interested me much, its mostly been XBLA and downloadables (Limbo soon, yes please). On PQ2 though, it definitely wouldn't be worth it if the demo of the first didn't captivate.