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Paul's Shooting Adventure 2 - DSiWare Review

Game Info
Paul's Shooting Adventure 2

DSiWare | Agetec / ICM Japan | 1-2 Players (co-operative play) | Out Now (North America) | 200 Nintendo Points
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Review
10th May 2012; By KnucklesSonic8

It's probably not a good sign when you go into a game and say "I hope this doesn't turn out to be shoddy." Sadly, this is exactly what I said to myself as I loaded up the sequel to Paul's Shooting Adventure for the first time. It's like saying "I hope this skillfully-placed trap won't result in my undoing!" Walk right into it, and you'll get what's coming. Seriously though, after being so turned off with the turn-out of this troubled shooter, I don't even want to know what the first one was like. Paul's Shooting Adventure 2 is a poor game by the standards of any modern-day platform, and sad to say, having it on DSiWare in particular adds fuel to the fiery claim that the service is full of shovelware.

    The game is a simplistic shooter where the stage moves automatically with enemies coming in from the right side of the screen. You take control of this little baby who apparently has special powers and can fend for himself using quick or powered-up blasts. These can be done by pressing or holding and releasing the A Button for the desired effect. A power meter on the Touch Screen shows the strength of the shot that will be had as you release the button, which will fall into one of the three unstated level indicators. The B Button is used to cause an explosion that will wipe out multiple enemies on the screen, limited by the number of bombs you have in your inventory. As strings of enemies of the same type appear on-screen simultaneously, defeating all of them will reveal either an item for a temporary increase in attack power, fruits to add some bonus points to your total, or a weapon you can swap to from the default blast. Some of the collectibles from the first batch of items includes a yellow star that will grant you a protective shield for a short while, or a pacifier that will add to your life points. The latter category of items requires a bit more explanation, though. 

    Fallen enemies will leave behind icons that you can collect, but on your first go, you won't know for sure what they are for. I originally thought that the stage boss was triggered only by collecting a certain amount of these. As it turns out, they are actually representative of different weapon upgrades you can toggle between, something the game neglects to point out clearly. Pressing the L or R Trigger allows you to swap from one weapon to the other, the effects of which vary for each item. One of these allows you to chuck hammers at enemies or, when powered-up, create a loud boom that can take the place of bombs. Some of these can actually be combined as well. So for the Ninja Revolution item (represented by a scroll), charging up will produce up to two additional clones that will fight directly above and below you using knives. However, if you switch out to the default blaster, you can instead have those same partners use the normal method of attack. Each of these items can only be used for a set amount of times before they expire, but even with a forced weapon switch, the effects of a previously-used weapon will still linger for a while.

    
That's all well and good, but the truth is this all feels very gimmicky in its execution. The minute you have to go back to the default blaster for an extended period of time, you're left feeling incredibly underwhelmed over what's taking place. And when you use this weapon as your sole method of attack, it gets to a point where you're able to discern an underlying flaw with the game: it relies too heavily on these weapons just in order to be interesting at all. Sadly, as you go from stage to stage with this understanding, it's not long before you start questioning why you're even wasting your time with a game that, truthfully, does nothing at all that would make you want to stay for even a few stages, let alone the entire journey.

    What's really sad about all of this is the fact that, even with the presence of these weapons, the game is still really dull. An even more damaging aspect to the game is the end-of-stage boss fights, surprisingly enough. I found these were very lousy and uninteresting; worse yet, they completely failed at instilling anything close to a level of excitement. Just when I think the game couldn't get any more stupid, I watch as giant bugs tossing rotating poop in the direction of my character. Give me a break.

    The negatives continue as we crawl through the topic of presentation. The music heard in the very first stage is a strange mashup of a piano and a xylophone that sounds really odd. This set the stage for how the other tracks would sound as things did not pick up from this point. If anything, the music kept getting worse and worse. Even some of the other songs that I thought weren't so bad at first sounded poor as the song progressed. The backgrounds are pretty bland as well, though perhaps not as bad as the jarring music. When I arrived at the first stage, one of the initial thoughts that went through my mind was how the water looked like it was from a Playstation game, graphically. There were other cases where I felt this comment could still be applied, like in Stage 4 which was set in a cave environment.

    The enemies in this game are sprite-based in appearance with very, very simple "animations" -- and I use that term really loosely. The giant bosses are presented as 3D creations, and for a DSiWare game, they don't look terrible. But given all that has been said, it's not a great compliment. While the game is, in actuality, about an alien invasion, the enemies consist of bees, wasps and other insects that say otherwise. It's not like they appear to be mutations either, so I don't think they did a good job of exploring the weak concept they were working with. All in all, the presentation fails to satisfy on almost any level, and it's definitely an area that contributes to the overall feeling of inadequacy this game conveys to the average player.

    When you put it all together, the experience as a whole feels quickly thrown together with absolutely no positive aspects to the gameplay. Add to the fact that the presentation stinks, and I'd say you have a recipe for near-disaster. Paul's Shooting Adventure 2 is most definitely a crappy game. Plain and simple. I have no idea why you'd even think about playing this for yourself, let alone with a friend. Honestly, the developers should have a pacifier stuck in their mouth for ever having thought this was good enough.


11/30 - Very Poor

Gameplay 5/10 - Shallow gameplay that relies too much on weapons to make the game interesting, lousy bosses, execution is simply not up to par
Presentation 4/10 - Music is pretty bad across the board, enemies don't look that great, looks like a PlayStation game in areas, concept isn't carried well
Enjoyment 1/5 - Incredibly dull and underwhelming, almost no fun to be had at all, no redeeming qualities, uninteresting in more ways than one 
Extra Content 1/5 - Complete waste of time and money, multiplayer and multiple difficulty settings prove to be irrelevant when the game is so poor

Equivalent to a score of 37% (percentage score is approximate and based solely on the previously stated rating) - Our Rating System


Review by KnucklesSonic8



Paul's Shooting Adventure 2
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