Descent II - Longplay

#1
This is a casual longplay of Descent II played on Linux using the DXX-Rebirth port. I didn't find all the secrets, and I skipped a bunch of secret levels (despite finding multiple exits) because I just don't really enjoy the secret levels all that much in this game. So, Descent II is a pretty good expansion to Descent. Oh wait, it's not an expansion! Well it was originally intended to be an expansion pack, but ended up being its own game. The thing about D2 is that, it's a pretty fun sequel with action packed levels (24 + 6 secrets), multiple bosses and tons of new weapon/robot types. Overall I would say this game is *probably* the best of the series, but you know what? I'm not going to go with that. I actually think D1 is the better game now that I'm older and less impressed by fancy tricks. I just feel that D2, while it did have a lot of great nifty ideas, went away from some of the things I would've liked to see. For example, why has the story from the first game been compressed into a single intro and endgame cutscene? Admittedly, the cutscenes are very enjoyable, but I really wanted that in-depth lore and briefing like D1. The 'expansion' to D2 (Vertigo) actually does offer something extra, which helps to alleviate that gripe I suppose.

Some of my main beefs with this game are the overuse of cheap tricks. The first game felt pretty grounded at times, albeit still with that sprinkling of arcadey-ness. But D2 doubles down on the arcade style, with unrealistic traps and monster closets galore. Yes yes, I know that was really the 'fad' of mid to late 90's gaming - I just don't want too many of them! Invisible wall tricks are, IMO, something that should only be done a few times. Hidden doors are more forgiving, because at least you know they're there! And then there's the most annoying cheap trick... robots within robots! No, I'm not talking about the spawn that pop out of larger mechs. I'm talking about robots that spawn OTHER types of robots, that clearly shouldn't be inside them... In some cases several larger robots spawn from a smaller robot. This is a cheap way to raise the difficulty of your game, and I dislike it.

Another gripe are the switches and secrets. I mean, I guess I'm looking at this game through a modern lense, but it just feels like the switches are at times WAY too hard on the player. There are some secrets you'll never get in this game unless you play through the levels multiple times, and to be honest... I dislike replaying content too often. Other than that, D2 is a lot of fun! The combat is intense, the weapons are powerful (Gauss a bit OP tho) and the levels are massive and confusing. I'd say D1 has more memorable level design, D2 just feels like the developers extruded one too many times in random directions and the texture themes are too repetitive. But it's still good enough and a worthy successor to the first game - few franchises are able to pull off a hit like this, most sequels just aren't this good!

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