Some of you might remember that not long ago I did a review of a game called Widget’s Odyssey for the PSP and while I found its story mildly entertaining I was unimpressed with the rest of it. Well its sequel has come out and it falls to me to take a whack at it and see if it managed to learn any lessons from the series’ first outing.
The story of Widget’s Odyssey 2 is as with the first game its greatest feature. The game finishes up the story of the first game while at the same time establishing a new story arc of its own. While that may seem cluttered it actually ends up working quite well as you get a sense of closure for the first game’s story but also get the sense that this game is more than just an epilogue chapter. The premise you’re working with is that the crew’s (the characters from the first title do return) planet has been ravaged and the last remaining members of their kind (besides them of course) are small, sick orphans who need to be rescued from the last game’s villain before being used to fuel his “atchoo cannon” with their sneezes. Convoluted though it may be it works well enough and besides this game is 2 bucks I wasn’t expecting Bioshock.
Presentation-wise this is pretty much exactly the same as the first game; same sprites, same character designs, same art design, same music, same weird chirpy sounds in place of VO but we’ll cover what little differences there are. First off there is more going on in the back ground than in the last game, while this may not seem like a big deal it does make the levels feel more vibrant which is nice as the last game’s felt a little desolate. The levels themselves are a bit more detailed as well which is nice but that does have the unfortunate side effect of making platforms sometimes a little hard to discern and as such making some jump just a pain in the ass.
Finally let’s talk about the gameplay which is thankfully much improved over the last game. The basic tenets of first games’ gameplay still exist here as you’re still just platforming around and solving adventure game-esque puzzles but the difficulty has upped and the gameplay has become more varied. The biggest change you’ll notice to the game overall though is the addition of more mini-games. In the first game there was an interesting little ship escape mini-game at the end which provided a much-needed break from the rest of the game and was something I actually ended up praising the first game for. Well it seems that someone on the development team ended up listening to me and they included a mini-game for almost every level. Each of the mini-games is decently fun and serves it’s purpose of breaking up the standard gameplay quite well. My favorite was a little guitar hero-esque rhythm game that takes place after the second level which was both a little difficult and fun to play, best of all upon completion of it there’s implied robot sex which got a chuckle out of me. There’s a lot more enemies running around then there were in first game as well which provides some more combat and makes things a bit more fun. The extra combat, mini-games, and a thrown in stealth section make this game way more than the puzzle flavored grind the first game was. All that said though the game is still pretty short at only four levels and you can finish it first time through in a little over an hour.
All in all this is good sequel to what was a kind of pedestrian first game and I’m really impressed that the series improved rather just stagnate like many games in its price range might do. The improved gameplay definitely makes this game more worth the $2 price tag then the first game but I’d still suggest maybe holding off till they release a bundle of the two games together. For the improved gameplay, better levels, and decent story Widget’s Odyssey 2 gets a 4 out of 5 stars.