(Wii U eShop)

Trine 2: Director's Cut (Wii U eShop)

Game Review

Trine 2: Director's Cut Review

USA USA Version

Posted by Ron DelVillano

Three’s company, two

It’s always a strange occurrence when the sequel to a hit game becomes available to a new community of gamers, especially when those gamers might have no prior knowledge of the series. Trine 2: Director’s Cut is not only one of the first games available on the Wii U eShop, but it's also the first iteration of the Trine universe available on a Nintendo console. Fortunately for Nintendo fans everywhere, this game does harken back to the original, but it also provides enough information to welcome newcomers to the series as well.

Trine 2 tells the tale of three unlikely heroes — Amadeus, a wizard who can conjure and move objects, Pontius, a strong armed knight, and Zoya, a nimble thief — who must team up to save the kingdom in which they live by ridding it of evil. It may not be the strongest or most original plot, but it provides the necessary framework to establish the fantasy realm in which the characters live. As you venture further into their world, new elements of the plot are gradually revealed through objects such as poems and paintings that can be found in game.

In essence, Trine 2 is a physics-based puzzle platformer with some hack and slash action sprinkled in-between. The game calls for you to find an equal balance between your characters’ skills and abilities, many of which can be upgraded and expanded as you venture forth, but this isn't always as necessary as it might seem. Because the puzzles mostly revolve around physics, a lot of them simply come down to getting to the other side of a high wall, or finding a way to keep a gate open long enough to pass through. While there may be a “proper” way to solve most of the puzzles that get thrown at you, a lot of them can simply be completed through sheer force of will or continuous trial and error, completely removing any thought process that might otherwise be necessary to finish a particular challenge. Simply put, rather than working with the environment to reach a high spot, sometimes it’s much easier to just create some boxes and climb up yourself.

Though the campaign can be completed in under 15 hours, there are plenty of pieces of hidden art and other collectables to find along your way, ensuring replayability for the treasure hunters and completionists among us. Also, due to the nature of the game, replayability can be found in the simple fact that most of the puzzles can be cracked in a number of different ways. Consecutive plays through could result in completely different techniques and solutions.

From its immersive and hyper-detailed environments to the sweeping emotional soundtrack, Trine 2 is a thing of beauty. It’s rare to find a game in which every single setting that you encounter will give you pause because of how stunningly gorgeous it is, but that’s exactly the case here. It’s clear that art direction was important to the team behind this, and they've absolutely outdone themselves by creating a captivating world that perfectly fits the tone of their game. Even when playing entirely on the GamePad screen everything still looks crisp, albeit scaled down.

The unfortunate reality of it all is that not all diamonds are without their blemishes, and if as much care was put into the controls as was put into the aesthetics, this game would be a masterpiece. Trine 2’s biggest shortcoming is that the control scheme native to the Wii U GamePad takes quite a bit of getting used to, and it really hinders the entire experience. Rather than utilizing the GamePad's face buttons, most of the primary controls are linked to the L and R triggers. This wouldn't be too much of an encumbrance except that your character selection button is very easily confused with your primary action button, often resulting in unwanted and frustrating effects. Because much of the game is based around puzzles rather than fast-paced conflict, usually this is more of an annoyance than a game-breaking flaw, but when you’re in the middle of a tight scuffle with a horde of goblins, pressing the wrong button could be a matter of life or death. It should also be noted that there isn't an option to customize your controls, so you have to work with what you’re given. The good news is that many of your actions, such as shooting Zoya's arrows or moving objects as Amadeus, can alternatively be performed on the GamePad's touchscreen, making these much easier to control.

The issue of controls is also a problem for anyone hoping for some local co-op play. The thought of you and two of your friends controlling the entire team at once may be enticing, but the button mapping for the Wii Remote and Nunchuk combination is just as confusing as it is on the GamePad, without the saving-grace of the touchscreen. There’s also the option to play cooperatively with other Wii U gamers online, allowing you to drop in on another player’s game or host one of your own. The lack of voice chat during online play is a sad exclusion, especially because of how pivotal teamwork is to the experience, but the service works very well nonetheless.

Conclusion

Aesthetically speaking, Trine 2: Director’s Cut borders on perfection and deserves nothing less than to be framed and mounted, but the unfortunate news is that this quality does not permeate the game as a whole. Uncomfortable controls and puzzles that don’t actually adhere to sensible solutions, but instead allow you to force your own answer on them, mar the experience and slow the game down in a significant way. It’s not likely that this release will win new fans to the genre, but anyone who already enjoys physics-based puzzle platformers will definitely want to check this one out. Or maybe everyone should just buy this game simply to look at the environments. Have we mentioned how good it all looks?

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User Comments (66)

Azikira

#2

Azikira said:

This series was always pretty, but it's always the gameplay that steered me away from the sequel.

AbeVigoda

#3

AbeVigoda said:

I agree. I enjoy the game and it looks great, but I know that many of the puzzles I've "solved" were the result of me just randomly jumping and spawning boxes. This doesn't result in any satisfaction, and just leaves me thinking "how did that happen?"/

Ryno

#6

Ryno said:

Fitting that it is missing a trine amount of points from a perfect score.
I am definitely interested though! :D

bennyt

#7

bennyt said:

Sounds good. Does anyone know when this is out in the UK/Europe. If its on the 30th, it may sway me from getting AC3 on Friday

Thankfully its pay day on friday and all my overtime will pay off

LEGEND_MARIOID

#8

LEGEND_MARIOID said:

A gorgeous looking, physics based puzzle platformer is an insta-download for me all the way. Good review.

citizenerased

#11

citizenerased said:

I'm sure every reviewer is honest. Gamespot, for example, honestly despises anything Nintendo does.

CoffeeWithGames

#12

CoffeeWithGames said:

The game is gorgeous. When an eShop game looks on par, or better, than NSMBU and possibly Rayman Legends, and has more than 15 hours of gameplay, local co-op, online co-op, voice chat being added...it really makes you question Nintendo's development style. Also, the fact that Trine 2 is a larger file size than NSMBU should make Nintendo ashamed for the lack of content/art...or the Trine 2 developers think about raising the price.

AVahne

#15

AVahne said:

Agreed about the controls, wish they had option to customize controls.

AVahne

#16

AVahne said:

@CoffeeWithGames
Game is really pretty, but the gameplay itself is pretty lacking. Can't really compare graphics and then claim the game is superior because of that. I have the game and I do love it, but Mario and Rayman look MUCH funner and look to have more replay value.

ueI

#17

ueI said:

How is the content of this game different from that of the original Trine 2?

CoffeeWithGames

#19

CoffeeWithGames said:

@Koto It's not the same type of gameplay though, different type. I'm talking about content/amount. If Trine 2 offers 15+ hours of gameplay on a single play-through, without collecting everything...what about NSMBU? The fact Nintendo couldn't get some form of online multiplayer in NSMBU is terrible IMO, but that doesn't mean we aren't getting the game (it's currently hidden in a closest as Christmas gift for your oldest!).

Also, do you have Trine 2 on the Wii U?! If so, please add me and perhaps we can try the co-op at some point. Coffees is the name.

@ueI They added certain levels for the Wii U, that aren't in the other versions.

TrueWiiMaster

#20

TrueWiiMaster said:

This is yet another Wii U eshop game I want, but don't like the price for, along with Little Inferno and Chasing Aurora. Hopefully there will be a sale. Chances seem especially good for Trine 2, because it was Frozenbyte that was so excited about the possibility of sales on the eshop.

accc

#21

accc said:

This review essentially echoes how I feel about the game (I have the PC version). I want to love it because it's so pretty, but the overall gameplay and puzzles feel somewhat lacking. I'd like to know what specifically is wrong with the button mapping on the Wiimote and Nunchuk, though, since I've always felt that both Trine games would be much better with Wiimote controls.

Moshugan

#22

Moshugan said:

This game is a prime example why they should give you the option to map the buttons yourself! :)

pinta_vodki

#24

pinta_vodki said:

I have a PC version and while I can't comment on the controls, I think this article bashes the puzzles somewhat undeservingly. This is the way things are supposed to work. Usually there's a perfect matching solution, but you can always approximate it with another character, if not with that much elegance. This is definitely intentional and probably has much to do with multiplayer. It is very useful to be able to solve the puzzles by various characters in various ways, for example if one of your co-players is not so adept at controls or the game.

I find it strange that the same thing that may be considered an urge to be creative and get thinking in other games is criticized in Trine.

Henmii

#25

Henmii said:

Hmm, only a 7. Guess the controls are the main problem here.

Anyway, still looks like my cup of tea! I'll download it someday!

Riquerico

#26

Riquerico said:

@pinta_vodki I was going to comment a similar thing regarding the puzzles.

They are supposed to work that way. I have the PC version of both games and I love the possibility of solving puzzles in different ways. It is a physics game, so this is expected!

H_Hunter

#32

H_Hunter said:

Sooooo disapointed!! I was really looking forward for this game. Not any more.. Thanks for the honest review

AVahne

#33

AVahne said:

@CoffeeWithGames
To me, NSMBU doesn't seem to be lacking in content though, but I get what you're saying. And yeah I have it, AVahne is my ID. I'm interested in using voice chat once the December update for the game releases too.

WiiLovePeace

#35

WiiLovePeace said:

I'm suprised the game wasn't a 10/10 to be honest. Guess graphics aren't everything after all... :P

potomas

#37

potomas said:

Got this on Xbox and its easy an eight.Your supposed to be able to solve puzzles different ways I got an achievement for it.I stopped playing on Xbox as I will get day one on Wii u.Also the controls were fine on Xbox I see no reason why the wouldn't be better on Wii u with the extra touch screen controls.

erv

#38

erv said:

Ha! I like this review a lot, really tells you about what feel for the game you can end up with on different ends of the spectrum. To all that disagree: of course, that is the great thing about reviews. But it's reviews like this that allow you to find out if you'd like the game before buying everything out there and learning the hard way.

Fortunately, I will still buy this one. But this is a great review.

Kirk

#40

Kirk said:

Awe, that's a wee bit disappointing because this game looked stunning in the videos and I was cautiously optimistic the gameplay and controls might be just as great too.

Araknie

#41

Araknie said:

What's disappointing about this series of games, it that the puzzles have always been like "invent the solution".

That is a mess when single player, and i totally understand your view.

Neonridr

#43

Neonridr said:

The control issue is a pretty weak in my opinion. I find it almost impossible to hit the upper trigger instead of the lower trigger since they are spaced quite far apart. I mean of course control is going to be an issue, it's a new control pad that nobody is used to. It takes time to get used to any new controls. The lack of being able to change them is a valid issue though. However I don't feel that those issues warrant a 7/10. I know that is still a respectable score, but most other sites are giving this game a 9/10. The lack of voice chat for online play would be my only real gripe, because I'd love to play with others, but it's impossible to communicate.

SparkOfSpirit

#48

SparkOfSpirit said:

Are people really supporting the whole "anything below an 8/10 is garbage" thing that places like IGN support? There are ten points on the scale, folks.

FonistofCruxis

#49

FonistofCruxis said:

Good review, even if the puzzles and controls could be better, it still looks like a pretty good game so I'll still get it after I've got a Wii U.

Mulder1617

#51

Mulder1617 said:

Does anyone know what day of the week the Wii U eshop will get new demos, games, and other content? I would probably think Thursday since that is when the 3ds gets its new stuff.

ToxieDogg

#54

ToxieDogg said:

Downloaded the original Trine on PS3 not so long back and really enjoying what I've played of it, so I'll definitely grab this before the end of the year and the price goes back up!

JayRydah

#55

JayRydah said:

Really back and fourth on getting this.it looks gud bitis it worth the momey?.

NImH

#56

NImH said:

So, after the update, will the review of this game be revised?

jayblue

#57

jayblue said:

i got this game today and would give it a 9 easy if you like platformers with puzzles and great visuals well you cant go wrong with trine 2.

Schprocket

#58

Schprocket said:

(crickets chirping in the distance)
... hello... ahhh... anybody remember us?
we're Australia/New Zealand...
(fade to black)......

Mathieran

#59

Mathieran said:

I would probably give this an eight. I don't think I do any of the puzzles the way I'm supposed to which is great. Plus the way you level up each of your characters will probably influence the way you get through, so that adds another layer of replayability. Sometimes when I get really stuck on something, I end up having a great time playing with the physics. You can have some great fun once you get the low gravity arrows. I don't really care for the combat very much though.

EaZy_T

#64

EaZy_T said:

Trine 2 is currently on sale for $10 in NA until the end of April. Not sure about other regions.

It's a great looking game, it really shows off the HD on the Wii U.

luke17

#66

luke17 said:

The review fails to mention that the Wii U version is the ONLY version that includes the expansion pack "The Goblin Menace" with 6 extra levels.

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