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Trine 2: Director's Cut Review


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On 01/01/2013 at 01:51 PM by Nick DiMola

Improved controls and extra content make this the must-have version of last year’s puzzle-platformer.
RECOMMENDATION:

For fans of the original looking to check out the definitive version of the game or for those who enjoy physics-based platformers.

Like many games featured in the Wii U launch, Trine 2 saw release on other platforms at a much earlier point. However, with its release on Nintendo’s new hardware it seems to have found its true home. Through combined use of the Wii U GamePad’s touch screen and its traditional controls, players have the most effective means of interacting with this beautiful game yet. With the addition of the Goblin Menace expansion and the exclusive Dwarven Caverns level, there’s little question that the Wii U edition of the game is the one to get.

While Trine 2 features its fair share of combat, at its core it’s really a puzzle-platformer. As Jesse Miller explained in his review of the original release, the game’s puzzle elements are a bit rough and many of the puzzles can be solved through brute force, and this is especially true given the much improved controls for Amadeus the wizard. The GamePad makes it very simple to spawn boxes and move them around. Quickly creating boxes and jumping on them can make quick work of many of the puzzles, especially earlier in the game.

Shooting arrows with Zoya, the thief, can be much easier as well. Pointing and holding on the GamePad makes it quick and easy to shoot off an arrow without having to do much real aiming. The same goes for hurling Pontius the knight’s battle hammer. At times it’s more convenient to take to the joystick, but having that flexibility is the real key.

Despite the improvements that the GamePad brings, movement can still be a bit finicky, often resulting in missed jumps when you’re trying to get around quickly. Pontius’ combat can also be quite cumbersome, which fits his hulking design, but can also occasionally be annoying, especially when you’re quickly trying to switch between the battle hammer and the sword to properly attack your foes.

Problems aside, the real magic of Trine 2 is experimenting with and exploring the surroundings. In every nook and cranny there’s something hidden, whether it be a treasure chest or simply a cache of potions for buying new abilities. Using Zoya’s grappling hook is consistently fun, as is the kitesail shield for Pontius, when you eventually earn enough points to buy it.

By the end of the main quest, it’s likely that you’ll be sick of the fairly consistent and similar levels; however, it’s worth pressing on through the six Goblin Menace levels. Not only are they exclusive to the Wii U in the console space, but they’re also the most inventive and creative levels in the game. Instead of the familiar jungle, ice, and cave type levels, you’re transported to a desert, the belly of a sandworm, and even up into the clouds. Each level is memorable and much improved over the core experience.

Now, if you already own Trine 2 on a different platform and just want to check out the new content, you’re going to upset to learn that you must beat the entire game to unlock the Goblin Menace levels. Even worse, the exclusive Wii U level requires you to find all of the missing pieces of the map through the Goblin Menace levels, which is no easy task. For this reason, Trine 2: Director’s Edition is best experienced by newcomers to the title only.

With well over 15 hours of gameplay, Trine 2 represents an incredible value. Surely completing all of the various goals found in the exceptionally long levels will tack on at least 5 more hours, if not longer. If you choose to tackle the game in co-op you can either play locally with two others, or hop online for a smooth game with a friend or stranger.

Despite dragging at various times through the main quest, I enjoyed my time with Trine 2, especially when I finally reached the Goblin Menace portion of the game. If you enjoy 2D puzzle platformers and can overlook the occasionally repetitious gameplay, Trine 2: Director’s Cut is a great value and an almost consistently enjoyable experience.

Review Policy

In our reviews, we'll try not to bore you with minutiae of a game. Instead, we'll outline what makes the game good or bad, and focus on telling you whether or not it is worth your time as opposed to what button makes you jump.

We use a five-star rating system with intervals of .5. Below is an outline of what each score generally means:


All games that receive this score are standout games in their genre. All players should seek a way to play this game. While the score doesn't equate to perfection, it's the best any game could conceivably do.


These are above-average games that most players should consider purchasing. Nearly everyone will enjoy the game and given the proper audience, some may even love these games.


This is our middle-of-the-road ranking. Titles that receive three stars may not make a strong impression on the reviewer in either direction. These games may have some faults and some strong points but they average out to be a modest title that is at least worthy of rental for most.


Games that are awarded two stars are below average titles. Good ideas may be present, but execution is poor and many issues hinder the experience.


Though functional, a game that receives this score has major issues. There are little to no redeeming qualities and should be avoided by nearly all players.


A game that gets this score is fundamentally broken and should be avoided by everyone.


 

Comments

Our Take

Angelo Grant Staff Writer

01/01/2013 at 08:36 PM

So, the burning question. Obviously you checked out Jesse's review. Did you consider his when writing yours? His read as if he was much more frustrated with the title than you were, and you did score yours higher by the smallest of margins. I suppose what I'm asking is if the reason for this is because you felt the Wii U version of the game was that much better when weighted against Jesse's experience as you read it, or just based on your own opinion regardless of what his was?

I'm just asking as a curiosity

Nick DiMola Director

01/02/2013 at 08:37 AM

I'd say that I almost entirely agreed with Jesse's review, with the exception of controlling Zoya's grappling hook. I didn't have any issues with that and using it was one of my favorite parts of the platforming.

More importantly though, I bumped the game up in score for the added content. The game was practically made for the Wii U, despite coming out before the system's release. Furthermore, the levels that were the Goblin Menace DLC on the PC are really fantastic. They have so much more going for them thematically and in terms of design, they're leaps and bounds better than the rest of the content in the game.

If I were to rate the main game, I still think a 3.5 is appropriate, but the Goblin Menace DLC would've definitely earned a 4.5 on its own. I figured the middle ground of a 4 was just right.

Jesse Miller Staff Writer

01/02/2013 at 10:42 AM

I think the platform may make all the difference there.  Heck, I'm considering picking it on on the Wii U if it's really all that much better.

asrealasitgets

02/25/2013 at 04:16 PM

Really great review. Spot on. I love the game.

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