|System: X360 (Xbox Live)||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Wanako Studios||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Sierra Online||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: May 14, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-2||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Unfortunately, even though the game gets its top-down action working perfectly, AH2 will occasionally throw you a curveball. A few times throughout AH2 you will be forced to abandon all that you know and play some behind-the-ship segments that are just plain awful. You can rarely see what is in front of you, the controls feel awkward, and all of the precision that you are used to is noticeably absent. This makes every second you spend playing one of these levels painful and irritating. Fortunately, even though these levels are incredibly frustrating, they are few and far between.
AH2 is also noticeably longer than its predecessor, giving you thirty levels of frantic shooting joy. Inevitably, you will complete all of these levels and long for more action. Thankfully, AH2 allows for online and offline co-op play for up to two players. Included are Co-op Campaign and Co-op Zone Battle modes, with the only difference between the two being that Zone Battles are just smaller segments from the game's campaign mode. Unfortunately, the multiplayer options here are quite limited. With only a few more options AH2 really could have been a much deeper experience, making it almost a guaranteed purchase for fans of the genre.
AH2 is still one of the best stick-shooters currently available on the Xbox Live Arcade. It takes everything that worked in the first game and makes numerous improvements that help to advance the series. There are some minor problems that keep this game from perfection, but all in all it succeeds at being an excellent follow up to an already great title. With a lengthy ten-hour single player experience, as well as the option for some co-op action, AH2 seems like an amazing bargain at only ten dollars. If you are a fan of the genre or are just looking for an excellent arcade experience, you honestly can't go wrong.
CCC Freelance Writer