|System: PSP||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Sega||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Sega||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Aug. 31, 2010||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Another big change in the proceedings is the cast of characters. This game does not follow Welks and his plucky crew. By comparison, the previous game's cast was far more likable. Unfortunately, VC2 doesn't continue that legacy. While VC1's crew was never a beacon of originality and flair, they were at least people we could empathize with and enjoy having around, especially some of the side characters like Largo and Rosie.
VC2 heads off far into the realm of anime clichés with this most recent gaggle of soldiers. You've got the hot-tempered, block head who loves sleeping and eating, the token woman (who will probably actually insult many female players with her incredible stupidity), and the grouchy third wheel who thinks he's better than everyone. There's nary a single original character among them. Their personalities are often grating, and they'll make you yearn for the battles even more, just so they'll be quiet for awhile.
The voice acting is decent enough though. It's just the writing that will get to you. Each character is brought to life sufficiently, and just about everything is voice acted, which is no small feat for a PSP game.
If you liked the original game and you own a PSP, then you have every reason to run out and buy VC2. It's got everything we loved about the original game and mixes up the gameplay (with the fortress overworld) enough to make this feel like a completely new game. But they didn't throw the baby out with the bathwater either. The fantastic parts are still around, and are even better than ever. Plus, once again you're getting a great value for your dollar. At twenty dollars, VC1 was the best value per dollar that a gamer could spend, and even though VC2 currently costs double that, you're still getting a hefty game.
This sequel feels as if Sega knew they had a great game that would be extremely hard to improve. It would have been a waste of time for them to just throw in some refinements, the game was already too good. Instead, they've chosen lateral motion. VC2 isn't markedly better than the original game, but it's satisfyingly different in enough ways to warrant your purchase. Ultimately, if we're blessed with a third game in the series, I'd like to see the game lean more towards the original game's setup, and if we're making a wish list, please bring it back to the PS3. A game this gorgeous doesn't deserve to be shrunken down onto the mini screen of a PSP.
CCC Freelance Writer