If you weren't the biggest fan of the original RUNNER's harsh difficulty swings, lack of checkpointing, and sometimes confusing visuals but actually thought the concept was pretty neat and fun, then I'd highly suggest giving RUNNER2 a go. Everything about RUNNER2's gameplay feels as if it was developed in direct response to criticisms of the first game and is definitely more approachable and polished than before. If you just straight up didn't like the original game however, this one isn't going to change your mind.
The setup is largely the same with the only chief differences being the spiffy and colorful new aesthetic and changes that make the game a bit easier to handle. If you were a fan of the original's retro visual style, you'll likely be disappointed with the more distinct cartoony look and sound of RUNNER2, but if you were a fan of the gameplay, you're still in for a treat.
The biggest and most requested change is that there are now optional mid-stage checkpoints, which can make learning stages a bit easier. It's up to you whether you want a score bonus or a safety net, so there's a nice little element of risk vs reward here. The difficulty curve is straight up perfect this time around, with really nice ramp ups in challenge where they need to be with some easier stages sprinkled throughout to keep the bloodpressure down. Stages feel more like complete songs now, each with a really nice build up and repetition of patterns and mechanics with really nice flourishes at the end.
RUNNER2 is also a much bigger game than the original, containing 125 stages (100 normal stages and 25 hidden retro warp zones), multiple characters to play as, tons of unlockable costumes, and some Super Mario World'ey alternate exits toat can open up different paths in each world. I certainly found a lot of enjoymen in wanting to unlock everything, but you don't really need that mentality to enjoy what the game has to offer.
Overall, RUNNER2 is simply a better game in every respect. The new visual designs may turn off some fans, but they don't affect the core gameplay which is still solid as hell.
Posted: January 12th, 2014