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Old 12-12-2010, 10:25 AM   #21
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Join Date: Sep 2003
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Default Space Quest II: Vohaul’s Revenge (1987)

Space Quest II: Vohaul’s Revenge (1987)

The entire existence of Space Quest II almost seems like an apology for not including a real villain in Space Quest I. In fact, Vohaul’s existence isn’t even hinted at, nor is his brother shown to be anything other than a name in the first game. Space Quest II certainly does add some needed expository scenes to the series, but what is exposited is fairly generic plotting that also lacks in effective parody. We are left with the unseasoned meat and potatoes of the genre.

Space Quest II is the last entry of a major Sierra series to use the AGI engine, and as much as it shows the engine at its most refined, it also shows its limitation. The graphics are among the most pleasant of any AGI game (well except for the boring corridors of the asteroid). The Labion jungle scenes are particularly good looking. The game contains some nice Larry-style close-ups as well.

The other major advantage the sequel has over the original is in puzzle design. The few puzzles that take advantage of the parser are among the best of the AGI era (see spoilers in Additional Notes for examples). There are perhaps even more deaths here than in the previous game, but dead ends are mostly eliminated. Space Quest II was the hardest Sierra game up to this point for me. Length is about the same as its predecessor. I felt like there should have been more locations.

Despite its improvements, Space Quest II seems a little bland, as was the first one. I’m not sure which I really prefer. The second one has better atmosphere and puzzle design, but the first one has a bit more character.

Additional Notes

Hardest puzzle:
Finding the underwater cavern—I never even thought to look for such a thing.

Dead ends:
Not getting the gem before entering the cave.

Best part:
*Take deep breath—I believe you actually have to specify “deep.”
*Put gem in mouth—Outside the box for an adventure game, but very intuitive in real life. I recently explored a cave, and when I needed my hands for climbing, the flashlight went right in my mouth.
*Say the word—Makes you disregard the idiom and take the sentence literally.

Worst part:
Having to run through all those corridors at the end.

My final score: 212/250
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