Wednesday, January 4, 2012

nerd alert : syberia 2

// from here
Lets pick up where we left off shall we? I will try not to give too much of the story away, but in case you haven't played the first one (and don't know how it ends) here is the mandatory...

 *spoiler alert*

Syberia 2 starts up right where the first one ends - Kate abandons her entire life in New York and joins Hans on his quest to find the Mammoths. Oscar, as always, is right there to (kind of) help out. Youki is the cutest addition to the team, part dog part seal, he is almost like an inventory item at points in the game. and Kate's outfit gets way more weather appropriate (can you believe she traipsed around northern Europe in a white bomber jacket?)

01/ bear pillow $22.00  //  02/ shearling aviator jacket $699.99  //  03/ dream catcher top $34.00  //  04/ white owl mittens $28.94  //  05/ bronze tusk $75.00  //  06/ owl pendant $20.00  //  07/ Youki! from the game  //  08/ gear heart $220.00  //  09/ ice crampons $20.00 

You guessed it, just like Syberia 1, I loved this game. This may shock you - but its actually my favorite of the two games! Sequels are always coupled with a bit of apprehension, but this is more of a continuation than a sequel.

It's more like the second installment of a really good book series, the charters grow, Kate is determined and confident throughout the game (instead of one foot in like Syberia 1), the story gets more complex - it's great. Hans is also a huge addition to the game, one of my favorite details is how he has taken over the train and made it into a traveling workshop - its now covered in gears and things he is tinkering with.

There are also general improvements to the navigation (hotspots include directions instead of just a general highlighted circle) - and the train got a little makeover too (you can make fun of me all you want - but I love that the bathroom is assessable in this game).

6/6 Toes // Overall

1 // Graphics
The quality of the second game is the same, if not slightly better than Syberia 1 - I especially love the constant wandering of Kate's fuzzy companion Yuki - so lifelike and doesn't cause any lag or delay during gameplay. Also, since you are in a winter wonderland in this game, they have taken the liberty of animating falling snow in a lot of the scenes - gorgeous, and very realistic.

1 // Storyline and Characters
When you finish Syberia 1, the game feels complete - but you know there is going to be a sequel. After you play the second one, theres no way to imagine the story being even a fraction of the way over after the first game. The journey is just beginning and you need to help Hans make it to the Mammoths in Syberia, before its too late. The relationships are great, there are a lot more people in this game compared to the first one, the towns you travel to and from are full of people, you even visit a (drop dead gorgeous) monastery. Its great to see the imagined life on the edges of civilization - almost like going back in time. I wont lie to you, this game made me cry. I won't spoil it, but if you don't cry at a specific part (you'll know when you play it. And no, its not at the very end) then you might be sans one heart. On top of that, Hans is adorable - his age paired with his small size and child-like personality melt your heart (despite all of the snow). Even though it seems somewhat complete, I cant wait to see what the (much anticipated) Syberia 3 has in store! Its currently on hold - but we can only hope it comes out sometime in 2012. 

1 // Soundtrack and Sound Effects
Sound in Syberia2 is great. more sound effects for the ice and snow, more music for the new environments and cultures you encounter.  Also there is a huge attention to detail on which sound effects are used - example, if Kate walks in water there is a "splash", if she walks on metal there is a "tink" and if she is on snow "crunch", etc... such attention to elements like that makes games so much more fun to lose yourself in! Also when the wind blows through the trees you can hear the clinking of icicles and blowing of snow. Two thumbs up! 

1 // Length of Game and Price
Buy both games together (they are even available on BigFish Games for $9.99 each!), and spend days exploring the gorgeous environments and solving every challenge Hans throws in Kate's path. 

1 // Replay Value
Like I said, this is pretty much a seamless continuation of the first game, so they should ideally be played together. And then played again, and again - yearly at the very least. (I recommend January - the weather is perfect lol). 

1 // Puzzle Difficulty
The puzzles are vast, and very inventory/sequence based like the first game. You come to a location - you encounter a problem (train needs wound again) you talk to the people you meet, do some favors, find some items, and you are on your way! To make matters a but worse, the train is getting stopped by weather and snow. There is also a lot of other travel including boats and sleds. And don't forget the Automatons! The addition of Yuki to help you out is a great game addition, and there are also some pesky villains to outwit.

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