Game Review: Alundra 2

Article by Josh Shaffer

    Alundra 2
  • Production Company: Contrail
  • Released: Feb 29 2000
  • System: Sony Playstation
  • Rating: T
  • Review Scores:
    • Graphics: 6.5
    • Control: 7
    • Music: 8
    • Gameplay: 4.5
    • Overall: 6.5

Author's Note: This is not an actual sequel to the (great) game Alundra; Alundra 2 is a bastardized attempt to capture the success of the original Alundra title, and it failed horribly in the process. Not only did Alundra 2 not have the main character from the first game (his name was Alundra -- why call a game Alundra 2 if there is no Alundra?!); but Contrai, the company who developed Alundra 2, decided to make a fully 3D game with easy puzzles and a weak story.

You play as Flint, a child whose parents are killed by evil pirates. Naturally, Flint he wants revenge on the pirates that killed his parents. While traversing the globe on his blood-thirsty quest to rid the land of Varuna of pirates, he learns of a threat bigger than pirates: an evil plot concocted by the evil sorcerer Mephisto!

Mephisto is the big baddie in Alundra 2, a lame villain (who is human, not even a demon like in Alundra) that wants to turn anything with a pulse into, well, the easy way to describe it is into Terminators. He does this by (and I'm not making this up) putting evil screws into people (the screw kind of looks like a music box key) forcing them to do his bidding. The screw works not only on humans, but also on all animals. As Flint journeys forth, he soon finds out that the pirates are in cahoots with Mephisto, and swears vengeance on the entire lot.

As the game plays out, you are subjected to a series of overly simplistic puzzles -- "puzzles" that make this game almost unplayable; most of the charm from the first Alundra game was the overly difficult puzzles. When you remove that aspect from the game you get another "meh" action/adventure RPG.

Where the game most severely disappoints, however, is in its battle system. It's full of glitches, and the button timing is just off most of the time. The game is so easy that the United States edition comes with a bonus feature: "Hard Mode". Hard mode is no different that "easy mode", the bad guys are just a bit tougher (still pretty easy, though) and the puzzles are just as easy.

The graphics are barely passable (they weren't even good by Playstation One standards). The models seemed unfinished and thrown together, and some of the background items were obviously rushed.

Keeping in mind that this game was on the original Playstation the sound effects/music and voice dubbing did not disappoint too much; in fact the game has some mildly humorous dialogue (there were a couple of parts where I laughed heartily) and the translation seemed to be well done. Some of the character voices were a bit over the top (especially the pirates) but all in all, were pretty tolerable considering how bad the rest of the game was. The music seemed to flow decently, but it lacked the epic feel of the first game... it just didn't feel epic, but since the story wasn't particularly epic the music fit with the story quite well.

This game is a horrible sequel, if you want to even call it that, and has absolutely nothing to do with the first Alundra (as if I haven't said that enough!). Alundra 2 is an overly simplistic game trying to capture the essence of the original Alundra, and doing it poorly. If you take the fact that it is a sequel away, the story and villains are bad. I found myself half wishing the villain from the first game would come in and kill all parties involved. If you want to play the game, which is difficult to do at times (because it's bad, not because the game play is hard), with the thought "this has nothing to do with Alundra at all -- it's a separate and mediocre game that I should give a chance" then you might enjoy it a lot more than I did.

Strengths:
  • Humorous Dialogue
  • Great Voice Acting
Weaknesses:
  • Overall very disappointing
  • Poor Story
  • Buggy Game Play