Simon 2 fixes some of the problems with the first game. However, it adds new issues and the overall tradeoff is negative.
By far the worst problem is Simon himself. He’s simply an insufferable prick. Where in the first game he offered sarcastic quips, in this one he’s just plain mean. There’s not much to add beyond that, it’s just not fun watching him do some of the things he does.
Like the previous game, the puzzles in this one are almost all inventory. Unlike the last one, there are some downright illogical puzzles. Getting the perfume, for instance, should rank up there with the infamous “pose as Mosely” part in GK3. Fortunately, the poor puzzles are grouped near the end of the game.
There are no “filler” screens this time around, which detracts from the exploration, but also somewhat mitigates the problem with hotspot highlighting not containing exits and saves a lot of time.
Puzzles clues are hit and miss. It’s now a lot more obvious what you’ll get if you help people out, but the game does a poor job of guiding the player. The very first objective you’re given can only be accomplished after over half the game is complete, so until then you sort of wander around, noting who has what and who needs what so you can start figuring out ways to “progress” by making an impact on the world. In other words, you’ll be doing a lot of things that have nothing to do with winning a magic contest until the point where you actually win said contest.
The other characters in the game are as one-dimensional as in the first one, and still are boring to talk to. The plot is likewise idiotic - Simon chases a McGuffin, things come between him and it, obstacles are overcome and both are whisked to the next act. Like the first game, there’s actually no interaction (and thus no tension) between the bad guy and Simon until the very last minutes of the game.
The game is also less humurous. It certainly tries to be funny, but the comic timing is off on many of the lines, there is an overabundance of slapstick and reliance on “accents are funny”, and there is one tribute to Benny Hill in the end that you just wish would end already. There are some amusing minor characters, but most exist to trade poor jokes with Simon.
In summary, the charm is gone. The game isn’t funny, the puzzles are often lacking and hearing Simon blather on and on is simply painful at times. Since the game’s terrible ending sets up the scene for Simon 3D, one of the worst adventure games you might be forced to play, there is simply no reason to play it.
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Time Played: 10-20 hours