Point Blank 2, Namco (1999) PlayStation

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The light gun kick continues with Point Blank 2, for other light gun games check the list here.

pointblank2

I am going to coin a phrase in this review, and it will probably be reused a number of times retrospectively in my other pages.

The phrase will refer to a game that came out 8 years later, but it is a more popular game, so more people will get the reference.

Point Blank 2, Guitar Hero 3s all over itself.

Hell, that could be the whole review right there, but I’ll elaborate.

What do you do when you perfect an idea? Point Blank 1 is one of the best light gun games, it is funny as hell, enjoyable to play, and just the right difficulty level to make it fair and fun for all those who play.

In Point Blank 2, it does what Guitar Hero 3 did to Guitar Hero 2. It realises it can’t expand on the formula much, there is no story to develop, there is no way to improve what you already did.

Instead, the only option you have is to “just make it harder“.

That isn’t inherently a bad thing, but it does two things, 1) puts of 99% of people off the game, 2) attracts 1% people who want to learn Through Fire and Flames on a plastic guitar.

The defending games are still the most fun

The defending games are still the most fun

Basically, it is hard

The level difficulties have been renamed, Hard is now Difficult, and Very hard is “Insane”, and they are THAT much harder. Difficult (in PB2) is on a par with Very Hard in PB1. So, even completing the medium difficulty becomes somewhat difficult.

The games are now much more unfair, kill 45 people in 20 seconds, but only 40 appear on screen.

You now have to be ultra fast, and accurate, and have quite good mental agility. The civilians/bombs, will appear in a crowd of enemies, and because you have to shoot 50 in 20 seconds, you have to spam the fire button, with this, you get collateral damage. Avoiding non-targets is next to impossible, meaning too many games feel unfair.

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Uuuurrrrrmmmphphphp

Other than that?

Well, it is exactly the same game. You just do the same thing, but it is all slightly harder. The graphics look the same, the levels while different play the same. Basically, it is like playing Guitar Hero 1 or 2, and then playing Guitar Hero 3.

The story mode is pretty shit to be honest, while the RPG elements of PB1 were annoying, it was different, and I respect that.

In Story mode of PB2 you have 4 (Theme Park Themed Zones), some silly travel gimmick, and tedious games. At the end of each zone you get a clue, if you beat it. Then, you fight a horrible bullet spam boss for 90 seconds, die from RSI, and then, after this boss you have to identify the Princess based on the clues you may, or may not have gathered. The “find the princess” it is a nice final touch, and makes each playthough “different, but this in reality is arcade mode +.

Though, it is an hour of your life you won’t get back.

Final level in Story mode

Final level in Story mode

Overall

While this game will appeal to more hardcore pew pew fans, I honestly didn’t like it as much as PB1 or Point Blank 3. The fun has gone, and been replaced by a little too frantic pewing. The main problem comes from a stupidly hard difficulty, but I guess if that’s your bag, you’ll get more out of this.

The minigame balances are off. Having a kill 50 things in 20 seconds means ou’re going for pure speed. To throw in instadeath civilians is trying to do too many things at once, and ultimately ruins the fun side of the game.

If you want an insanely hard challenge, try it. If you want a casual shooter, stick to Point Blank 1 or 3.

Pros: It is very short

Cons: Ruined the formula

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