Densetsu no Starfy 2
  • Genre:
    • Platformer
  • Platform:
    • Game Boy Advance
  • Developer:
    • TOSE
  • Publisher:
    • Nintendo
  • Released:
    • JP 09/05/2003
Score: 75%

This review was published on 07/24/2009.

Starfy 2 once again follows the misadventures of the star shaped hero with an affinity for water as he clumsily stumbles around, righting wrongs and singing songs. This one was never released in the West, either, so you'll have to brace yourself for a deluge of Japanese text. And a deluge it'll be; Starfy 2 is just as exuberant with dialogue as the first game, if not more so. Of course, also like the first game, hardly any of the dialogue is necessary to beat this game. However, the question of whether you should bother giving it a try remains. I'll try my best to answer that question with the following review.

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There's a lot more platforming on dry land this time, which leads to a more varied game experience. Each world is now divided into 4 or 5 smaller levels, the last of which ends with a boss fight. In addition to more platforming, there are more puzzles, too. The later worlds tend to revolve around a single gimmick, like dropping meat into the water to lure away invincible fish or strong gusts that repeatedly pelt you as you make your way through the area. Some of these aren't too offensive at first, but quickly become repetitive when you start seeing the same exact gimmick in all 4 or 5 levels of a particular world. In fact, the worlds themselves feel a bit too long, each level often overstaying its welcome. This feeling will, oddly enough, wear off as you advance in the game. It's because they kept the good levels for the latter half of the game, which is the opposite of what most game designers do.

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Starfy starts out with fewer moves than before, having forgotten all the techniques he learned in the last adventure. I like to call this the Metroid syndrome. He does end up with a greater number of them than in his last outing, though. His repertoire is mostly obtained as you progress the game, with a pacing more spaced out than Zelda or Metroid. What you can do often changes greatly depending on whether you're in water or on land, as many of the new moves you learn can only be utilized within a body of water. For instance, the level 2 and 3 dash attack upgrades only work underwater, whereas Starfy can only use the double-jump and hover abilities on land. The same concept existed in the previous game, but is more prominent here due to the increased amount of moves available at your disposal.

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The "vehicle" segments make a dutiful return, wherein Starfy will ride something or other to get through a small portion of a level. They're just as unimpressive as they were in the last game, proving to be poor distractions rather than provide genuine variety. One new thing they did add is the shop, a place to finally spend your not-so-hard earned pearls. Disappointingly, the shop only sells pointless junk like pictures for a gallery and costumes for a Starfy dress-up menu that appears to have no discernable effect on actual game play. I would have preferred there to be some exciting stuff here, like life upgrades or something. Not that you'd need those in a game as easy as this.

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Starfy 2 shows signs of being a better designed game than its predecessor, likely due to the developers having gained a bit of experience. Its main flaw is the fact that this adventure feels like an almost carbon-copy of the last, a retread of sorts. Not too surprising when you consider that they put this one together in less than a year after the first. Still, as decent as this game is, it's not a good way for newcomers to be introduced to Starfy. You may want to try a later game for that, preferably one in English.

Word Count: 649

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