Friday 24 September 2021

Spelunky 2 Review (Switch)

So here we are. Almost ten years on from the first time that Spelunky made its way onto consoles and the sequel to one of the greatest indie games of all time is now here. Sequels to such high profile and iconic games often leave fans disappointed and you can’t get much more of a cult game than the first Spelunky. But somehow Spelunky 2 not only does not disappoint but also sparks all those glorious original Spelunky feelings once again.

For those that haven’t encountered the game before it’s a rogue-lite platformer where your progress is measured in tiny steps as you inch towards your adventuring goal. It’s possible to create a few permanent shortcuts to later levels but aside from that you are starting out with the same equipment on run one that you will be using on run one hundred.

In truth not an awful lot has changed with Spelunky 2. The aim is the same as you guide your character to the door at the bottom of each stage that sends them through to the next level while avoiding enemies and traps. The tunnel system remains pretty much the same and you are still equipped with the rope and bombs as before. The main change comes with the new environments and enemies that you encounter along with more bosses to survive.

The original mines, jungle, Ice caves and temple setup has now been replaced with more adventurous stages including lava filled volcanoes, Japanese inspired water levels and Egyptian inspired temples. There are also far more routes through the game with the final stage of each area leading to at least two different routes. There are of course the huge amount of secret areas and secrets still here that the original game was famous for as well. Stages are also far more varied in terms of enemies and look than in the original.

The game has also had a general visual upgrade. You may well not notice as it probably looks how you remember Spelunky did. But returning to the original reveals the increased use of colour, clarity and sprite size which shows the level of care and attention that has been put into it. One thing that hasn’t changed is the difficulty. Spelunky 2 is tough, perhaps even more difficult than the original and many players may well never see the later stages. If you are going in be prepared for a serious challenge.

Overall, Spelunky 2 is a welcome return for a much loved game. It’s more of the same but the levels and secrets are different enough that both games have their own identity and the sequel doesn’t simply feel like a re-tread. It’s also similar enough to the original to make hopping back and forth between them a fairly natural experience without needing to learn a load of different techniques or master a host of new skills. It’s a great achievement that Spelunky 2 still feels as special as the first and means players can happily buy both knowing a wealth of adventure options await them.

Overall 9/10

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