Can I just point out that I played this offline for a few days so Steam hasn't recorded the fact that I've actually put about 10h into this game
Hmmm. I played the 1st one, out of desperation - it was the only game I had installed on my PC that I hadn't clocked, and that was unlocked - didn't need an online key for - in a week where I had no internet. It was fine, passable. It had it's flaws, but it was passable.
This particular installation, however, I am sorry that it is not. I liked the corny story of the first one - except for the ending where you get killed by a freaking mushroom in a cutscene thing
. That part of the story was meant to be corny irony, but they didn't really pull it off.
The graphics are much better, and the maidens really are something to look at now. Thumbs up for that.
They took everything that worked in v1, and messeed with it.
There is tons of back-and-forth in these missions, they are less linear - where you would be transported to an area with a defined goal in the first, now you have to keep going back to places you have already visited repeatedly to unock a tiny bit more of the map at a time, usually by talking to some guy and doing something with the last guy so that you can talk to the next guy. I got tedious at about the point that I quit.
The control scheme is ruined. It's harder to navigate. This is merely a side-effect of...
They changed the camera angle. Now you can rotate the camera, but you can see less (the camera is too close) with a more isometric / top down view, you feel really restricted after playing the previous game. It's painful.
The story is long winded and drawn out. With the first it was always just action action action - back to base to heal - teleport to some more bad guys - Now it's go back to the other side of the map, talk to some girl, got tot eh other side of the map, talk to some other girl, steal her chicken, go to the other side of the map, hug some trees, go to the other side of the map, cook the chicken, go to the other side of the map, talk to some girl and give her the cooked chicken, go to the middle of the map, talk to some girl to join your party, go back to the tree hugging place, talk to some girl... Oh goody! a mission!
I only discovered halfway through the 1st game that there are a limited number of potions in the world... that is to say, once you have bought the shop (wizard) out, that's it, you can't get any more. I discovered this just in time to really start conserving them for the invetible boss-battle. So glad I did. If i'd had none, at the final boss I'd have needed to have replayed the entire game again, conserving health as best I could. That would'a happened, sure. Same messed up scheme here.
OH THIS IT THE WORST PART: The battles where you have to protect some NPC - So you get into a fight, right? (yeah, finally). but you gotta take this gimp with you that you have no control over. He is an idiot, too. He rushes in headlong in some random direction, and if you don't keep up with him, he'll go in 1v6 Solo, and die:Game Over -Try Agia. If you do keep up with him, he'll rush in and try and play meatshield so you gotta take out the guys he's fighting. but as soon as you do, he will rush straght for the next batch. Remember that some of your strongest guys in your party are very slow (can move very few tiles per turn) and the more you protect him (kill the guys doing damage to him) the further from your best characters he runs, making it harder and harder to fight these... Oh he's dead:Game Over - Try Again. That is of course presuming that you can follow him at all - when he starts goig for it, you don't even always know where he runs off to - the fight may be over several screen-widths, and you may be trying to move one of the slower characters up toward the battle when it's won, so he rushes off on his own, you don't even see where he goes, so you run foward to find him only for him to have doubled back and gone the other way... on his own... This wouldn't be quite so bad if it didn't swicth between a free-roam mode when out of combat and a turn-based mode when in combat. I can't be bothered explaining why, except that he can get into trouble faster than you can get to him. Yay.
That's pretty much all that I can think of at the moment, but the combination of drivel, tedious and unexciting mini-missions, restricted camera views, and scuicidal NPC's in battles are what broke it for me.