Do you enjoy RPGs, exploring the world and levelling up while you come to terms with the truth or confront some big villain with a mysterious plot to end the world? But what if you wanted that experience in several hours instead of 70? Then you have come to the right place.
Crossing the pawcific
Do you like puns? Do you like cute animals? Well, I hope you do, because Cat Quest II drops puns so often that even I, a notorious punster, could feel the weight of them all pressing down on me. There are some right fantastic ones in the game, it is just that there are so many. They are EVERYWHERE. Like possibly every sentence of dialogue in the game. Soon you will look at normal sentences and wait for paws, purrs, barks and more to be injected as if that is the normal way of things. Where games with a lot of flashing lights come with epilepsy warnings, Cat Quest II should come with pun warnings because it never misses a beat, no matter how forced it might be. As a result, this might be my first ever review without a pun in it. I just can’t.
When not punning up a storm, you go on a rather… minimalist adventure through the various tropes of RPGs. You control one or both of two chosen ones, Kings who have lost their kingdom to powerful evil. Now you must forge a special weapon and get strong enough to fight the big baddies. Sounds a lot like the basics of other RPGs, right? Except don’t expect the five-hour-long detour to learn about protagonist A’s complicated backstory, or how they actually knew the antagonist many years ago before they became evil, or whatever. No, we don’t have time for that, we are here to cat and dog and smack things over the head for gold coins and precious blue orbs of experience while doing a bunch of quests.
Cat Quest II should come with pun warnings because it never misses a beat.
So many quests
In case the name didn’t give it away, there is a lot of importance placed on quests in this game. While dungeons and enemies will have XP waiting for you to collect, the quantities you require to level up quickly outpace this trickle. The biggest chunks of XP lie behind quests, which can easily give you a level at a time, as well as some cash for upgrading your gear. Quests can also reward some pretty good gear items too, so make sure to try either complete all the quests you see or make a note of where they are if they happen to be too difficult at your current level.
One of the nicer systems in the game is how it handles loot. How many times did you get a weapon or armour that you liked the look of or the stats, but you quickly levelled beyond it being useful, or you did a dungeon to be given something that you might have liked several levels ago? In Cat Quest II every item and spell has a level, which you can improve in two ways: with your gold in a blacksmith or by collecting the same item again from a quest or chest, at which point your item levels up. No duplicates clogging your inventory, no bad loot drops here. This method becomes more important later on, as only weapons and chest armour can be improved by the two blacksmiths, meaning you want to find the nicest hat you can and probably spend everything on your weapon because we all know smacking things as hard as possible is the best way forward in RPGs.
Cat Quest II can be played single-player or co-op and while the AI does a good enough job of staying out of most attacks, it isn’t very aggressive and will do a lot less damage than another player. That said I didn’t ever feel at a disadvantage while playing alone, which is a trap far too many games built for co-op tend to fall into.
There were times when I couldn’t tell if the developers were being sincere or mocking RPGs and for a genre with so many amazing experiences as well as so many disastrous attempts, it makes sense that maybe they were doing both, depending on the mechanic or story beat at hand.
In the end, Cat Quest II might feel too derivative, but if you have that hankering for saving the world, levelling up and doing quests with some dungeon crawls, you won’t find a more pared-down version of the 40+ hour RPG anywhere else. It is simple, easy-going fun and if that is what you need, it is right here for you.