Action RPGs, particularly those with a local co-op option, are a favorite of mine and my official Player 2, Christina. Dungeon crawling, like most things in life, is more fun with someone you enjoy spending time with. Now, if there’s one thing I like even more than ARPGs with co-op, it’s puns, and Cat Quest II fits both of those requirements.
Does this make Cat Quest II the purrfect RPG for those who don’t often find themselves fighting like cats and dogs? I’ll tell you the truth, no bones about it! Just need to come up with some more puns to fill out the rest of this review first.
This Kitty Has Claws
While I never had the pleasure to play Cat Quest, the sequel is pretty welcoming to new players. You play as two monarchs, a cat and a dog, who emerge from a purgatory of sorts to find out their kingdoms have been taken away from them.
So, like my dog when her sister steals her toy, they set out to get it back by any means necessary. This sets up a journey that will take you through underground dungeons rife with traps, and across overworlds that double as an overworld and a place to encounter further enemies.
The story is fun and filled with more puns than cat pictures on Reddit, but as someone who enjoys that kind of wordplay humor, I had a good time with it. It’s not going to revolutionize your view on RPGs, but it has enough charms and twists to it that you won’t get bored.
While the first game only allowed you to play as a cat, every dog has its day, and this time around you can have a second player join locally to take the role of the dog. Playing single player lets you swap between the two on the fly, but I vastly preferred the feel of co-op as it let us work together to complement each other’s playstyles.
As you play, you’ll come across armor unique to each character, but things like spells and weapons can be equipped by both. I enjoyed the way you could mold your characters in co-op to have complementary abilities. For example, I focused on magic and ranged staff attacks, while Christina went in for big damage with strong weapons and stronger armor.
One thing we found frustrating was how only one person could equip each spell. This means that if I wanted to keep Christina alive, I would need to take the role of healer as she could not equip the spell as well. This worked out because I had buffs on my equipment for healing, but it still would have been nice to have spells available to both players, or even just different spells for the dog and cat.
Combat feels good in Cat Quest II, but things can get hectic when there are a lot of enemies on screen. Since the game primarily relies on you dodging enemy attacks, you do get a red circle that fills up beneath enemy feet to warn you when an attack is coming. These circles tend to overlap, however, when you’re facing a crowd, so it becomes a little hard to discern when you should dodge or cast a barrier spell.
In the early game, you’ll probably die a lot if you’re too aggressive, something Christina most certainly was guilty of. In fact, if she reads this review, I’m going to get sent to the dog house for that one.
Things get easier as you spend gold from quests to upgrade your armor and spells, but the game will always punish you for not being attentive to your surroundings. Much like when I trip over one of my dogs lying on the kitchen floor while I’m cooking, expletives were shouted when we failed to spot traps in some of the dungeons.
Funny enough, though, you can lure enemies into traps and they actually take damage as well, which I appreciated. Between the charming story, the solid puns, and the simple, but effective dungeon crawling, Cat Quest II ultimately works as a fun local co-op experience, but don’t expect anything incredibly deep. This is the perfect introduction to the genre, or something fun to play with your little ones if you have two-legged kids in your household.
Presentation Better Than a Barrel Full of Belly Rubs
Cat Quest II has a lovely graphical style that combines smooth animations with vibrant colors and a unique overworld that doubles as a map of the area you’re exploring. This means you’ll see locations written across the ground or in the ocean as you pass by miniature buildings or villages in your exploration.
The aforementioned animations look great, with responsive combat and fast dodging when you need to roll out of an attack. I particularly liked how the characters would flop onto their side each time you saved, like my puppy Clover when she comes back from a walk.
It has a few quirks, and it’s not incredibly deep, but Cat Quest II makes up for these things by bursting at the seams with charm, offering local co-op, and some of the best animal puns this side of a treat jar.
Final Score: 7.5/10
A copy of Cat Quest II was provided to PS4 Experts for review purposes.
Article by - Bradley Ramsey
Insert date - 11/1/19