Terrorists have taken over the plane you are boarding, shot everyone in the face and then the plane is struck by a meteor; D2 has undoubtedly one of the most outrageous starts to a video game ever. To add to this oddness you are also required to load up disc 4 just to see it. Yup, that's right you insert disc 1 to start the game and when you try to select, 'View opening movie' the game then asks you to pop in disc 4, all adding to the, what the f...french factor which epitomizes D2!
|There were 4 different versions of D2 published in Japan|
|Eclipse (this one), Hope & Bliss, plus regular edition|
|The game came on 4 GD -roms with a variety of paraphernalia including a transparent calendar|
Stepping out into the Canadian mountainside is a wondrous sight in D2 and the visuals still hold up well in 2013. It is from here you experience the meat of the game which basically involves shooting rabbits and a lot of monotonous trudging through snow without any idea of where you're supposed to be going or what you are doing. Occasionally, you are required to fend off monsters which jump out from the snow. This would probably provide quite a scare if the Dreamcast didn't sound like it was going to blast off every time it loads the monster which devoid the encounters of any surprise or shock at all. It also doesn't help that the combat is as monotonous as the endless walking. When you go into combat mode you move from a 3rd person to 1st person perspective but due to your overly powered sub-machine gun (which you handily happened to find in the first cabin) and unlimited ammunition the whole thing becomes void of any challenge as you can plow through the monsters like a masochist. To add to the monotony, the monsters all look the same and there just isn't enough complexity or variety to keep you interested, especially as you know that after finishing the battle you will be left with another endless walk through the snow.
|Combat is sadly very clunky, and not much fun|
As you make your way through the snowstorm you occasionally find wooden huts and other locales to enter. Sadly, the control scheme removes any of the appeal of looking for items as every time you step into a room, you switch to a first person view and have to use the direction pad to look from section to section of the room, then move forward and inspect whatever is there. Every time you pick up an item you are then forced to sit through a 5 second clip to show that you are picking the item up, just like when you buy a drink from a vending machine in Shenmue, it gets old, very, very quickly.
|There's no denying that D2 was a technically impressive title|
The glue that holds the game together is the story and there is a lot of it (think Metal Gear Solid 4 proportions). Luckily, the story is fairly gripping and helped by have one of the most adult storylines I have ever seen in a videogame with the main plot covering drug use, cloning, cannibalism, patricide, aliens, rape, and penises. In fact, it seems that Eno-san had quite a thing about male appendages with a ton of phallic references that wouldn't look out of place in a gay porn movie. All in all, while ultimately fascinating and being the main appeal of the game, the story is also a tangled mess and will leave you scratching your head trying to decipher what the hell is going on. Still, slogging my through the 4 GD-roms was just about worth it to watch the final ending movie. Be warned though, it is pretty intense stuff.
|Certain scenes such as those involving *ahem* tentacles, were cut from the US version|
In general, presentation in the game is decent. The visuals have a quality which you expect of a game which received as high a production value as D2 did. Everything looks crisp and detailed and while the main protagonist and characters may lack any sort of personality or appeal, they at least look good. Audio wise, the game excels as it pumps out some genuinely eerie tunes which really add to the spooky atmosphere. The voice acting is well acted and synced and manages to do a decent job of conveying the superb, if not convoluted, story.
While I really wanted to like D2, it is simply spoiled by monotonous gameplay and overly complicated storyline that wants to reveal every single aspect of the game. A lot of which is just needless fluff and sections such as tentacle rape which are added simply for shock value without really bringing anything of value to the plot. There was definitely potential in the way that Warp wanted to tell the story of D2 and the adult themes it included but, sadly, they often become just convoluted and meaningless as the game's title.