Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Trine 2: Complete Story (NSW) Review

We go from one puzzle platformer to another, though now we enter a game with combat and in two-dimensions as opposed to three. It's Trine 2: Complete Story on the Nintendo Switch, and SuperPhillip Central has this full review for you.

A game that sometimes was "Trine" my patience, but is an overall gem.


My first encounter with the Trine series was on the Wii U with--funnily enough--Trine 2: Director's Cut. Now, many years later I return to Trine 2 with Trine 2: Complete Story, which is essentially the same game as the Wii U version but without the aid of the Wii U GamePad's multiple uses such as the touch screen.

What you get with Trine 2: Complete Story is 20 levels spread out across two unique stories--the original Trine 2 game that encompasses 13 levels, and The Goblin Menace--formerly DLC to the base game--that contains 7 unique levels, one of which is hidden and requires you to find secret maps in treasure chests to unlock it.

The gang's all here... again!
Trine 2 stars a trio of protagonists that can be switched and cycled through with the shoulder buttons. You have Amadeus the Wizard, who can conjure boxes and later planks out of thin air. These boxes can hold down pressure plates, be used as platforms to reach higher up destinations, and a multitude of various other uses.

Amadeus the Wizard can not only summon boxes by drawing a box shape with the right analog stick,
but he can also use his powers to manipulate and move other objects within the environment. 
Then, there's Pontius the Knight, who is the muscle and brawn of the group of heroes. He is best suited for combat, equipped with a sword and shield--the latter of which can reflect enemy projectiles and block attacks. Also equipped with a hammer that can be thrown at will, this hammer can break open otherwise impenetrable walls and chambers.

What is Pontius' favorite Peter Gabriel song? "Sledgehammer", of course.
Finally, Zoya the Thief is probably my favorite of the three to play as--but don't get me wrong, each of the trio has their own uses and completing the game with just one hero is pretty much impossible. Zoya can attach a grappling hook to wooden surfaces and swing across chasms and gaps. The attached line can allow Zoya to lower and raise herself as the situation calls. For her offensive capabilities, she has equipped a bow and arrow, able to pick off and snipe enemies from far away.

Zoya leaps into action as the most mobile and agile of our three heroes.
As stated, each of the three heroes depends on one another. While many puzzles have more than way of solving them--that is, with a little ingenuity, patience, and otherwise occasional stubbornness--sometimes a specific character is necessary to make progress. Thankfully, Trine 2's checkpoint system has it where not does your progress in the level save upon reaching them so you can quit and come back to the game later to pick up right where you left off (levels are quite long, so this is a godsend), but your characters and their health are fully restored when you reach a checkpoint. Well, unless you play the Hardcore Mode, where once a character is dead, they're dead for good until you beat the level. This is not for the weak, for sure--which is why I didn't play it!

In the majority of levels in Trine 2, there are experience orbs that are carefully placed and hidden throughout the levels. Many of these are housed in some devious locations that require either some clever sleuthing to discover them and/or tricky platforming to reach them. When enough experience orbs are collected (the exact number is fifty), players earn a skill point. These points can then be used in the skill tree menu to earn new abilities for our three heroes.

These abilities range from allowing Amadeus to have the power to have more conjured boxes and planks on screen at the same time, to giving Pontius a charge attack, and to granting Zoya explosive arrows that serve a similar use to Pontius' hammer throw, albeit a much quicker form of attack. So, not only is there impetus to seek out and collect experience orbs, but it's usually just plain fun to do so. You really get to appreciate the level and puzzle design on display in Trine 2.

Pontius holds up his shield, ready to guard against this goblin's arrow.
Trine 2 does suffer some slight and small issues. One of these pertains to this Switch port. I noticed some artifacts appearing on the very bottom 1% of the screen at some portions of levels. This came rarely, so it wasn't really annoying--just noticeable. What is pretty much a standard problem with the Trine series in general is that platforming can be a bit on the finicky side. When trying to land on very narrow platforms, I tended to overcompensate because I couldn't tell if my character was actually staying put, often resulting in unwanted falls and even deaths.

Platforming can be a little tricky in the Trine series, and that continues with Trine 2: Complete Story.
With the bad out of the way, Trine 2: Complete Story looks absolutely sensational visually. The game features so many breathtaking vistas and environments that it's just a joy to sit back and gaze upon the backgrounds and levels. There might be a bit more bloom in the game than I would have liked, sometimes making it difficult to see certain objects in the environment, but overall, Trine 2 remains a gorgeous game after all of this time. The voicework is charming, well acted and performed, and the music evokes the fantasy world feel Trine 2 portrays.

Unlike Zoya, you don't even have to be on 'shrooms to enjoy the visuals on offer in this game.
Trine 2: Complete Story is just as great as it was when the original game initially released. Whether playing alone, locally or online with friends (good luck finding any randoms to play with online, though), Trine 2: Complete Story is a worthwhile adventure featuring smart and crafty puzzles, superb level design, a stellar physics system, and a glorious presentation.

[SPC Says: B]

Review copy provided by the developer.

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