Densetsu no Stafi 2 Review
Posted by Corbie Dillard
Densetsu no Stafi 2 kicks things up a notch.
The original Densetsu no Stafi started a series that features a unique blend of platforming and puzzle-solving elements to form one of the more unique Game Boy Advance titles, and certainly one that's become quite beloved by platformer fans the world over. Its sequel, Densetsu no Stafi 2, picks up where the first game left off and retains all of the trademark gameplay, but this time around the developers have also managed to toss in more moves, tons of new puzzles to solve, and created a much lengthier quest for gamers to enjoy. The result is basically everything you could possibly ask for in a sequel, and the Stafi title that made gamers sit up and take notice of this amazing platformer series.
As with the first Densetsu no Stafi release, you'll spend the majority of your time platforming above water, solving tricky puzzles and navigating the treacherous underwater areas searching for the treasure chest at the end of each level. The game will feel instantly familiar to those who've played any of the Stafi releases, although the developers have added in a number of new gameplay moves for Stafi to make use of, such as the double-jump and the super-spin. While these might sound like very minor additions to the game, they really open up a lot of new platforming challenges and add even more playability.
This time around you'll navigate between the various levels using a world map. Each one of the game's eleven areas features anywhere from four to six levels during your first play through, with a boss fight on the last level of each area. Once you've beaten the game, you can even go back to unlock two much more difficult bonus levels to play through as well. The vehicles from Densetsu no Stafi make a return too, only this time they play an even bigger role in the overall experience: not only will you have to make use of these vehicles in various levels, but after you've beaten the game you can go back and acquire upgrades for them, opening up two more extra levels for you to play. Since this allows you to locate even more treasure chests, it offers up a whole host of replay value to the package.
As with all Stafi titles, the boss fights are easily the highlight of the game. Not only are they generally quite humorous in design, but the pattern-based attack styles make them very playable and challenging. The game also features the same silky smooth play control as the first release, and even the additional gameplay moves are perfectly implemented into the game's already responsive and well thought-out play control system. This allows you to focus your attention on the game's many challenges instead of struggling with Stafi's commands.
Densetsu no Stafi 2 got a fairly big upgrade in the game play department, but the visuals have pretty much remained on the same level as the first game. Of course that's certainly not a bad thing, considering how solid the visual presentation was in the first game. The developers did toss in a bunch of new areas, complete with their own themes and visual designs, and with a whopping eleven different areas to explore, you'll never be at a loss for variety as far as the game's visual backdrops go. You'll even be treated to a host of scaling and rotation effects, especially during the boss fights, to keep things interesting. It's fairly safe to say, if you were a fan of the visuals in the first release, you're going to find a lot to love with this sequel.
Much like the visuals, the developers once again took the "if it's not broke, don't fix it" mentality when it came to the musical stylings in this sequel. Some of the tracks from the first game have been carried over, but there are also a whole host of new musical tracks to feast your ears upon and there's not a bad track in the entire bunch. These tracks are every bit as catchy as those found in the first Stafi release, maybe even more so if the truth be told. Even the sound effects are as upbeat and cute as ever. The Stafi titles have always been well-known for their musical scores and Densetsu no Stafi 2 is certainly no exception.
As great as the original Densetsu no Stafi release was, this sequel somehow manages to improve upon it in just about every single category imaginable. The new gameplay moves make the game even more playable, and the enhanced boss fights and ability to upgrade vehicles add even more depth to an already solid platforming experience. Couple all of this together with a much longer adventure and a host of bonus levels to tackle and what you have is everything you could possibly ask for in a sequel and more.