Spelunky had won over the most fruid of old pixels by taking inspiration from Spelunker, glory of the early 1980s.
It was then the subject of an HD remake which was very well received by gamers and critics. It did not take more to give yet an additional challenge in 2020 with a version 2 of this HD remake.
Spelunky 2 is also almost twice the challenge. Has more become too much?
Spelunky 2 remains in the definition of the old school 2D rogue-like platform. Each table represents a dozen moving screens with an extremely simple basic principle; you have to find the exit and pick up a lot of treasures along the way. A road strewn with pitfalls.
A small scenario envelops the game. It is anecdotal, but offers you to take control of several characters including the daughter of the original hero, Ana, and thus to vary the pleasures a little. Beyond that, this wider choice is explained by the presence of a multiplayer mode locally or online
Armed with bombs and ropes, the quest for exit will constantly ask you to choose between the appetite for gain and survival. Ropes allow you to reach heights otherwise unassailable to find treasures. Bombs open new paths, but are also tools for finding precious stones whose presence is suggested by small nuggets in the walls. Of course, bombs and ropes are limited in quantity.
You can, however, refuel in the shops you come across. Which also offer other items that can help you progress. One always wonders how these shops manage to survive in caves infested with monsters … The prices charged may explain this, prompting you to collect as much change as possible.
Die and let die
Help with new items, you’re gonna need it. Spelunky 2 is a difficult game. Very difficult. Frustrating too. Very frustrating. Each death takes you back to the start of the game. You start all over again, even if there are shortcuts in the levels that you will learn to use. You do not keep any items and only the experience that you have managed to gain from your multiple games can help you.
You only have four hearts that fly away very quickly. Every touch, every fall hurts you. Monsters are everywhere, pegs endless, and your poor whip has a ridiculous hitbox, forcing you to be in the perfect position to save yourself the day. If you have fragile items within reach when playing, keep them away.
One would think that the level design is finished with the feet with so many ways to die and die very quickly. It’s the contrary. While the generation of these levels resembles procedural in many ways, everything is here thought to hurt and this down to the pixel. Think you can make your life easier with a gun? Its recoil will make you fall on spades. You start all over again. Have you just performed a series of 6 jumps to the millimeter? A beast bat hits you once, you bounce to take a spider on the corner of your face, it makes you fall into the void. You start all over again. Playing Spelunky 2 is part of stress management therapy.
What’s new explorer?
The essence of the game is preserved, it is very difficult. But what’s up, doctor? The first novelty that will jump out at you is the frames. In addition to offering you a new way to die (when you get on it, you first need time to tame it, it goes all over the place), it is also one of the rare ways to regain life and resist certain attacks / falls. Indeed, with a well placed bomb, you will make a roast that brings back a heart of life. However, be careful not to do this in the presence of a turkey fan. This awakens his murderous instincts …
Liquids are also better managed. They benefit from a real modeling and you can use them to your advantage … or to die again since it is lava and water. It will also be necessary to reckon with new NPCs which can give you many items for certain services.
Finally Spelunky 2 full of secrets and hidden things. To make your task easier (a little bit) you will have to activate hidden passages and you will sometimes have the choice of a path at the end of the level. All this is not free, but tends reduce the feeling of frustration a little each new start. And that’s exactly what this game offers. A new start in line with its predecessor. Suddenly, if you had appreciated, you will not be. Otherwise, prepare for the consultation with the shrink.