Guest Author - James Shea
The successor to Square-Enix's 2004 game, Drakengard 2 (released 2006) is a hack and slash game similar to both Dynasty Warriors with combat against massive groups, and Panzer Dragoon, with aerial combat on the back of a dragon.
The game takes place 18 years after the original Drakengard (using the first ending to that game) and features many of the same characters, now aged or in some cases deceased. Most of the game revolves around the specific consequences of Drakengard's ending, and some plot elements that were introduced are resolved more firmly in Drakengard 2.
People who have played the first game will remember most, if not all, of the gameplay features; battles against large crowds using swords and magic, interspersed with dragon riding segments that feature air-to-air and air-to-ground combat. Both types of battles tend to start out exciting, but in later parts of the game drag on and become more of an annoyance than an enjoyable game part. However, mechanically, both are done reasonably well. In melee combat, things like combo attack, evasive maneuvers, and magic spells keep things interesting, while in air combat special attacks and lock-on attacks do the same. However, in comparison to Drakengard, not much has changed about the game proper.
However, there are some advances in the game. For example, the introduction of stores, not present in Drakengard, allows for a more relaxed form of procurement, for both weapons and items like potions and salves. Furthermore, partners (other characters who serve as alternates to the main character) are more permanent now, and serve as actual alternate characters instead of temporary "powerups" as in Drakengard 1.
The graphics are decent, but not much improved from the original Drakengard. Textures are jagged and blurry, but not as much as many other PS2 titles. No graphics stand out as being really good, but they're acceptable. The sound ranges from ignorable to irritating, mostly because of the obnoxious accents present.
While Drakengard fans might enjoy it for the continuation of the story and gameplay, for most gamers this is not an especially worthy game.