|System: DS||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Ninja Studio||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Atlus||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Jul. 22, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
As far as graphics are concerned, Izuna 2 has a real vintage look. Characters are represented by little chibi-style sprites, and backgrounds have an old-school, pixel look. Colors are very vibrant, and environments look lush despite the lack of background detail. The title actually looks remarkably good despite being technically uninventive. Still, it might have been nice to see this title incorporate some more complex visuals beyond the old-school, SNES look.
Sound in this title is very good. The voice over is in Japanese, and even though some might be put off by the fact that this title wasn't dubbed, I count that as a good thing. My only disappointment is that the voice over is infrequent, and you never know when a character will voice their scrolling dialogue or stay silent. Level music is pretty cutesy and is generally pleasant to listen to.
Controls use only the face buttons for movement and don't have any touch screen functionality, which is a good thing for this dungeon crawler. As you might imagine, you use the control pad for moving around and the face buttons for scrolling through menus. There are quite a few shortcut triggers as well, but these are pre-determined and I was unable to find a way to customize the shortcuts.
So, after playing all this year's many dungeon crawlers, it only makes sense for Rogue fans to pick up Izuna 2 and get right back into the familiar dungeon grind. But you see, for all its strengths and adherence to traditional dungeon crawling gameplay, Izuna 2: The Unemployed Ninja Returns fails simply because it is so familiar. It features very basic dungeon style gameplay, which may have worked last year, but now that there is so much variety in this once-obscure genre, it makes this title feel a little too basic for seasoned dungeon vets and probably a little too complex for newcomers. But, if you want a nuts-and-bolts dungeon crawler, Izuna 2 fits the bill nicely.
Amanda L. Kondolojy
CCC Freelance Writer