Many of us fans of the original FF from the original XBOX were anxiously awaiting the release of a sequel. After waiting so long it is finally here.
Back from the original game are the characters we have all grown to love (or in some cases hate). Samson, Naomi, Geena, Dub, Jet, and every annoying Zack. Also in this game is a slew of brand new mini games, as well as some favorites from the original including, Sumo and Twisted System, sadly some favorites did not make it for whatever reason. That is not to say the new games are not as fun, because they are. One game involves you having to sink your opponent's boat using the water that opponents are trying to sink your boat with. Another one has you trying to stay on a waterfall by pressing random button that appears on screen. So the fun factor of the actual mini games is still there for the most part. However the Fuzion Frenzy round from the original game has been replaced with a beat the crap out of your opponents round in which you basically do that, using items and powerups from the environment. It's not as fun as the "Fuzion Frenzy", but still pretty fun nonetheless. Instead of different game zones in FF1, FF2 games take place on different planets, Earth and several other ficticious ones.
Graphics while not a big issue with a party game like this, are pretty well done, but like all of us know graphics is not what make a game like this fun, its the presentation, and sadly the presentation of this game falls way short of the original. The main problem is that the game moves entirely too slow. Instead of going directly to the action, before each mini game, you have to listen to this corny host with a light tie, lights shooting out of his shoulders, and buttons on his cuff links blab on and on, talking about the same thing, which is basically nothing. His voice is annoying as well. Ever so often you have to compete in a mini game to get stupid cards, and every time he says "Now you will play a game which I prepared myself on the ship." Luckily you can skip through this annoying babble and get to the game a little faster. But even during game play the announcer is annoying, always babbling along and he can't even say the characters' names, instead he says "How are you doing Player 1?", or "Player 3 lands an attack", YES he says "Player 1", not Samson, Naomi, Zack or ANY of the character names. Why? I have no idea, even the original version said the character names, surely the 360 version could do the same, but I guess not. This separates the player from the game even more. Even the character dialog themselves seem robotic and no emotion what so ever. I miss the annoying dialog from the original, like Zacks "Zack, shalack lack ack ack". They still saw some smart a$$ things, but nothing like the original.
Adding to the frustration, is that there are now annoying cards you can use before each mini game, which allow you to multiply your point values you earn in the mini game, meaning if you lose in the mini game and only get 2 point, if you use your x6 card, it means you would get 12 points, and if the winner didn't use a card, then you will be declared the winner of the mini game, even though you came in dead last. Cheesiest at its finest. Other cards reverse the effect of cards, so if you use a reversal card and someone else uses a x6 card, that effect will turn into a divided by 6 card instead. Another card allows you to steal the effect of a card from another player. More cheese.
And if that's not enough, only player 1 can gain achievements during game play. This is not a big issue for me, since my wife and I only play to have fun, but for some people this is a big deal since if Player 2, 3 or 4 wins the whole game, there will be nothing to show for it. I don't play online, but for those that do, there can only be one player per 360, so if you have two people at your home hoping you two will get to play online at the same time, forget it, only one player per XBOX online. Clearly lazy developing as they surely should have known players would want to be able to play otherwise.
This game had the potential to be even greater than the original, and when it comes to actual game play, it's pretty close, but the main thing that ruined this from being the incredibly fun game, was the poor presentation. Its like Hudson tried way too hard to make this game into an intergalactic game show instead of keeping it simple and focusing on what made the original so fun. The fun of the games is definitely top notch, but the overall presentation hurt my overall rating of this game.