With the relative success of Cat Quest and the acclaim it managed to garner, Gentlebros make a return to the kingdom of Felingard with the promise of an expansion & refinement to the original formula, with plenty more cat puns of course. Does this sequel manage to purrfect the formula? Read on to find out…
Cat Quest II opens with the nation of Felingard under threat from the dogs of the Lupus Empire, as the two nations continue to battle it out with an endless war. The only hope for peace is the prophecised two kings, the duo consisting of a cat & dog, who must head out together on an adventure to reclaim their thrones & save the kingdoms.
Returning heroes from the original adventure will feel right at home as the game still overflows with puns during the stories delivery & the opening chapter takes place on previously explored ground. Thankfully things have been expanded here with some new areas to explore, but most of your time will be spent on the additional quest types and expanded nature of the dungeons. Dungeons can now feature puzzles, and when coupled with quests that don’t just involve ‘go here & fight this or fetch this’, adds a nice amount of variety to the journey. Overall its a bigger adventure than the original, so more to like if you needed more Cat Quest.
The similarities carry over to the presentation, which can look almost too similar to be honest at times. Thankfully there’s the odd improvement here & there, with the world detail seeing a nice enough bump over the first game and is likely the first thing you’ll notice over the original. Not much has changed with the games style overall which is the likely culprit, animations are still amusingly stilted too, but considering the original was a nice 2D game to look at – there’s still plenty to appreciate with the sequel.
Given the original would play well enough on a lowly Fujitsu S762 laptop (Core i5/HD400), there’s no surprises for the most part with regards to performance. Current laptop easily handled the game at full HD with max settings (Core i7/8GB/HD7750) so modest hardware should have no problem offering a good experience. The game did cough up a furball with a post launch patch that seemed to kill the game on my PC (R51600/16GB/RX5700XT) as it now will only launch to a blank black screen, but before that it was buttery smooth at 4K.
As a side note, Andi informs me that the Nintendo Switch version has “not had a single issue, framerate is solid, visuals pop on both handheld & docked mode“, which should bode well for the other console releases as well.
If you’ve played the original Cat Quest, You’ll know what to expect with this sequel. The basic formula is the same when it comes to the overall flow of the combat, charge in to get a few hits and then roll out when the enemy counters, but your arsenal can now expand differently as you progress. Magic staffs can now be acquired for ranged combat, with the expected boosts & drawbacks of status effects, and dual handed melee weapons are another addition that sports its own variables to combat. The expansions to the magic side of the game, and the status effects that comes with it, expands things even more – but as noted earlier, the basic formula is the same and this leaves it feeling too similar on occasion.
The biggest addition to the game though is the cooperative mode. As your journey consists of a pair of kings, they are both available at all times for you to freely switch between when playing alone. To spice things up a little you can have a second player join the game, local co-op only, and take over from the AI. This is actually a pretty good feature and works well within the game, when the second player drops out the AI takes over again with all upgrades and loot intact, and being local only means defeat can’t be blamed on typical online scourges like latency etc.
At the end of my time with Cat Quest II I was left a little conflicted. The original was a surprisingly good 2D adventure game that fully deserved its positive review, and for the most part this sequel was almost as enjoyable. Unfortunately for me it doesn’t quite do enough to build upon the original formula, though the co-op addition and numerous enhancements do expand on it, ultimately feeling a little too similar. That’s not to say that it isn’t a great adventure game still, as it is, just that your mileage will inevitably vary depending on your experience with the original.