I purchased the first game in this series and thoroughly enjoyed it. The developer noticed my video series on it so they sent me a complimentary copy of its sequel and I was more than happy to play it. I figure it’s only appropriate to give it a review in an Old West style with The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly!
This game excels at a lot of things and I find it really impressive coming from such a small development team. The scope of the game is one you’d find in big time studios.
First, the story takes itself seriously. It doesn’t shy away from some classic RPG tropes but taking place in the wild west it feels very fresh. Often, small indie devs will make parody games because they don’t have the confidence to try and take on a more serious story — this game doesn’t fall prey to this. The story is serious but still finds ways to inject humour, it has a nice balance.
The game’s story also holds on its own. You might get more enjoyment if you played the first title in the series but chapter 2 picks up in a way that is forgiving for newcomers and ends in a satisfactory way where you don’t feel like you played the middle game of a trilogy.
The sequel also adds extra features. Hats to learn abilities, cooking, weapon upgrading, etc. They also included a ton of mini quests and side content. A school house full of riddles, lockboxes with hidden clues to find the combination, ads requesting help in the paper, help your mom upgrade the farm, and so much more (from the end credits I noticed a missed quite a few of them). The game is even designed to let you decide in what order you want to tackle on the main story quests! While not quite an open world, I felt like I was in control the whole time. Heck, you can even load your save file from the first game to start with the same equipment and levels!
The game has some good graphics but it does heavily reuse assets from the first game. This is not a big issue but I felt like it needed to be addressed. The main hub is Swellsville which is practically the same Swellsville as the first game. A lots of the music is reused too, but thankfully, it is very good.
I think some of my main gripes with the game is that the UI and controls can be a little wonky sometimes. For example:
- I’ve found myself in situations where I had multiple cursors in battle. This is problematic because both cursors were active so I would pick two abilities at once, often not the ones I wanted.
- When you walk around in the world you seem to clip in many things which keeps you from moving forward. Lots of games have this mechanic where if you’re close enough to an edge you slide up the wall so your character doesn’t just stop. This game could have benefited from this tremendously because there are lots of obstacles on the maps (e.g. rocks, shrubs).
- Action tiles can be difficult to trigger. When I try to talk to a NPC or use a camp fire to go to sleep, I would find myself spamming the action button to trigger the event but nothing would happen because I wasn’t facing the object just right.
While none of these complaints ruined the game for me, I felt I needed to share as I did notice them enough to think “I wish it wasn’t like this”.
Rosy in a brothel dancing. Ain’t nobody should be witness to those dance moves. If horrible dancing is a turn off for you, run as fast as you can!