The Download series was full of surprises for me. Having long held the belief that DL2 would be right up my alley, I was a little disappointed when I had to "settle" for playing its predecessor first. Talk about serendipity: the HuCard blew me away with its incredible background graphics and challenging action. Then, of course, I was even more excited about the prospect of playing the sequel, even though my cautious cousin Zigfriedeltinov had administered a grave warning:
"Download 2 is the anti-Download!"
When I finally got the chance to try the followup, I found that... well...
Things are indeed different in 2. Its backdrops are sometimes drab but often very pretty (or at least interesting), but at no point are they as impressive as the effect-heavy marvel-lands in the first game. Selectable ship speed has been jettisoned; icon grabbing is now required if you have aspirations of outpacing a sloth. You have access to your craft's full range of weaponry right from the very beginning, which isn't really a terrible thing, but the fun to be had experimenting with different gun-and-auxiliary-item combinations in the previous episode is absent here, as is the emphasis on strategy. You'll still need to do some thinking, but you'll be using your noggin for mundane matters such as memorizing the safest paths through dull block gauntlets. And the enemy cast disappoints: for every cool ice dragon, there are dozens of small, silly miscreants.