Sometimes, things aren't qu/te what they appear to be. Local newspaper headlines are a good example. In a craven attempt to boost circulation figures, provincial rags often run overexaggerated headlines screaming from the front page; yet the actual story, lurking beneath the lurid block capitals, is usually the same old boring nonsense. One of the Zone hill billies can clearly remember an Incident when a minor Oxfordshire tabloid's arresting lead Item - 'RIVER OF DEATH' - turned out to be an Incredibly uninteresting story about sticklebacks (yes, sticklebacks) dying In a mildly polluted stream.
What's this got to do with Pandemonium 2? Well, like the aforementioned news reports, it's not as interesting as It first appears. It looks like an incredibly exciting 3D platform game, with graphics that are good enough to halt passers-by in their tracks. it's one oi the growing legion of titles that requires an accelerator card, so expect to see It gleaming from a shop-window display near you soon.
Trouble Is, while the graphics may be three-dimensional, the gameplay Isn't Despite appearances, it's first and foremost a two-dimensional platformer - just like old-skool Sonic The Hedgehog, etc. There's no true freedom of movement, just forwards, backwards and jump. Still, once you're accustomed to the controls It's not a bad platform game by any means. Get stuck In and you'll discover It's a fairly compulsive play, it's just that It isn't a particularly interesting one.
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The sexy wizard, Nikki, and the wild jester, Fargus, are back exploring the land ot Pandemonium with new attack moves and added special effects in this side-scrolling action/adventure sequel. Even in this early version, Pandemonium 2's graphics show promise with visuals that look as intense as the original's. Although the sound effects still need refining, the music has clearly been beefed up, adding a background flavor that was otherwise missing from the first Pandemonium. Even if you weren't a big fan of the original, you still might want to keep an eye out for this colorful sequel.
First things first. Why in the hell did Crystal Dynamics change the characters so much? I mean sure, some time has passed so maybe they grew up. but I don't like the changes at all...I mean why is the main female character so "hot" all of a sudden? Anyway, let's get on to the good stuff--namely, the game. Pandemonium 2 (called Pandy 2 by some) Is pretty damn cool. It may be more of the same thing more or less, but it's still good. The graphics are stepped up from the old one, complete with neat-o lighting effects and more crazy panning camera angles, lust like the first one, the views had me wowing again and again. I will say that the sprite graphics in Pandemonium 2 aren't really that impressive. But on top of all the cool 3-D graphics effects in the game, it is a lot of fun to play. When a platform game is done well, regardless of any fancy graphics, it's a joy to play. That's how I felt about Pandemonium 2--the graphics were just a bonus. The control was tricky sometimes when the camera changed, but almost all games that are in a pseudo 3 D world like Pandemonium 2 Is, have this problem. One minute you're pushing "right," but then the camera angle changes and "right" Is now "up." Nothing a few plays can't remedy, but it's still annoying. Pandemonium 2 Is a solid .buy for PS owners.
I loved the first Pandemonium! and to my complete surprise, the sequel surpasses the original in every way. I don't like the character design changes (not very important, but I had to get It off my chest), but the gameplay Is Totally Innovative and the graphics are outstanding. The stages are long and have some amazing layouts, the Bosses are cool, and the difficulty is just right. The cinemas are a little cheesy, but who cares. Great game.
Pandemonium 2 improves on the original, which was a good game in its own right. Although the FMV cinemas had some cheese factor, the game itself is as solid as a rock. If anything, the pinpoint control of the first game has been improved for Pandemonium 2. The music, while not bad, isn't as good in P2 as its predecessor. At times, the graphics are just amazing and the flamboyant camera angles in P2 impresses me even further.
Despite the obviously overly masculine nature of the video game industry, and even this magazine, no game has actually made me cringe like Pandemonium 2. The opening cinema is fairly tasteless, if you know what I mean. As for the game itself, it's basically a much larger, more colorful version of its ancestor. The graphics quality seems to have taken a turn for the worse, however, with blockier characters, and less detail.
Crystnl Dynamics is currently putting the finishing touches on the sequel to last year's hit "2 1/2-D" action-platformer for the PlayStation. Pandemonium!. While the gameplay is more or less true to the original, the overall look and feel of the game has changed quite a bit.
Pandemonium 2 takes place in the same world as the first game, but it's not entirely obvious at first glance. Gone are the shiny, happy graphics of the original, replaced with darker, more trippy psychedelic visuals. The two main characters. Nikki and Fergus, have undergone changes as well-Fargus simply looks a bit older (and more psychotic), while Nikki's been given a complete makeover-in every area imaginable (make of that what you will).
There are a total of 19 stages in Pandemonium 2. not including hidden and/or bonus areas. Like the original, gameplay is essentially 2-D side-scrolling fare with a freestyle 3-D camera that creates the illusion of a 3-D world (without sacrificing control). Before each stage you choose to ploy as either Nikki or Fargus: each has unique abilities that can help (or hinder) your progress, depending on which stage you're on. Fargus can use his tumble attack from the original Pandemoniuml. but now he can throw Sid (his head-on-a-staff sidekick) and direct him toward coins and treasures that may have been otherwise unreachable. His jump has been improved a bit as well. Nikki on the other hand is more or less the same as she was (with her ever-useful double jump), but her experience with magic has improved quite a bit. Both characters share some new abilities:
They can climb ropes, travel handover-hand underneath certain areas and most importantly, they can pull themselves up ledges (Lara Croft-style). This adds a lot to the gameplay and makes for more interesting stage layouts than those found in the first game.
There's a certain puzzle element found in many stages as well. For example, you might have to pull a switch in one room to open up a path in another. Techniques like this are commonplace in P2, and they require you to use your head as well as your thumbs (the tell-tale sign of a good platformer). The camera work is more aggressive too, and there are more areas that require lightning-fast reflexes to get by. In a nutshell, it won't be easy.
Pandemonium 2 should be on store shelves in the middle of October (the version previewed was about 75 percent complete), so be sure to check back next month for the Review Crew's opinions of the final game.
Nikki Fargus and Sid. Pandemoniuml's trio of main characters have undergone a pretty severe facelift (particularly Nikki, who looks like an entirely different person in all ways but one. err two...) in Pandemonium 2. Check out these before and after shots to see what we mean.
- MANUFACTURER - Crystal Dynamics
- THEME - Action
- NUMBER OF PLAYERS - 1
You guessed it. Pandemonium! returns to gamers will the second release of the popular gesture-based title. This time you can control older and wiser versions of Nikki and Fergus through lush 3-D environments while using powerful new moves and attacks, Pandemonium 2 boasts dynamic 3-D camera angles as well as Internationally renowned music to create a heavy and inspiring jungle/techno sound. Gameplay is also extended with secret and bonus levels that keep players constantly looking for more in each level of play.
Last year's cult hit is back for a second run and it's as trippy as ever. Pandemonium 2 has everything the original title had plus some. This is both good and bad.
The first thing you will notice is that the lead character, Nikki, has done some serious maturing. Outfitted in a sports bra, spandex, and knee-high boots, she is ready to take on a world that looks to come directly from the minds of Pink Floyd. Also, Fargus is back and has a new addiction to fire. Pick your hero and see if you can't trip your way through some serious psychedelic lands.
The best way to describe this game is by calling it a platform game. You have your traditional coin gathering, jumping on the bad guys' heads to kill them, moving from platform to platform, and facing off with bosses at the end of stages. I do hesitate to call it a platform game—it has all of the characteristics of a traditional platformer, but there is nothing traditional about this game.
Let's cut to the chase: the best part about Pandemonium 2 is that it's original. The first Pandemonium was original too, and this sequel plays a lot like the first game. I can still call this game original because, unlike most successful games, nobody has tried to copy the style. I did not know what to expect next in this game, which is a welcome change from most games that are classified as platform games.
It was very refreshing to play Pandemonium 2 as a character that was not some cheesy cartoon character. It does get old playing as a cutesy character. Nikki and Fargus are both humans and have distinct personalities and traits that set them apart from each other. Nikki is more athletic and can jump higher to reach upper platforms. Fargus carries Sid, a quick-tongued head on the end of a stick. Fargus can throw Sid as a weapon and he always acts a boomerang and comes back to Fargus. So maybe this is no more believable than a crocodile or bandicoot running around, but at least these are people.
Another thing I really liked about Pandemonium 2 were the huge levels and the incredible design. Each of the levels goes on for quite a long time and you will be challenged with different types of obstacles and gameplay throughout the same level. For example, in one level, you could be sliding down a water slide, climbing ropes, and jumping from platform to platform. Another level has you hanging from bars, avoiding electrical currents, and fighting bad guys. And these are just the first two levels of the game. It gets even better as the game goes on. Also, the farther you get, the more trippy things start to get. And the levels become more intense and fast paced.
This game is not really hard, but it is challenging. Usually, the bad guys are easy to kill and are just minimal bumps in the road to the end of the level. The game is more challenging in that you have to maneuver through numerous obstacles and traps. This is where the game also really starts to get fun. Some levels have you sliding over ice capped floors requiring you to time jumps over gaps in the floor while sliding extremely fast. The cool thing was that you could always slow your self and even change directions on the ice so you could slide down to the bottom of a hill, stop and check the situation, then climb back to the top of the hill to gain speed to make a jump or whatever is necessary. This is only one example of many obstacles and challenges you will face, but the game is full of others.
The last thing I really liked about this game was the controls. This game had very precise controls that were also quite simple. It is imperative to have excellent control in this type of game and you will not be disappointed. Nothing sucks more than dying in a game because of non-responsive controls. You are going to have to come up with a new excuse now, because the controls are right on.
Now for the downside. My complaint is that your gameplay is linear. When I say linear, I mean in most cases you can only go left or right and that is it. This game has an awesome 3D environment that was just screaming to be explored. I don't know how many times I tried to go back into the screen or jump diagonally because it looked like I should be able to. No matter how much it looked like you should be able to access other areas, you never were able to. This would have opened up so much more in this game to have total freedom of movement.
I really enjoyed the graphics in this game. I chose the word "enjoyed" because that best describes the feeling you will get. All of the backgrounds are very imaginative and look great. The game has a roving camera that follows the player, zooming in and out automatically depending on your location on the screen. There were some places that shrunk the character down to where they were a bit too small, though. I think this is one of those games that is just as fun to watch as it is to play.
If you are looking for a game that has the feel of a platform game but does not go for cutesy, this is it. The level design will keep you playing for hours and since it is not overly difficult, even beginners should be able to catch on to the controls quickly. If there ever was a game that looks like it could have been developed by the masterminds of the '60s, this is it. Make Love not War!