So when I write a negative commentary on a game, and then the designer comes out with a revision or sequel, I often feel a certain obligation to come back and see what they’ve done.
Sometimes that pays off, as it did with Dangerous High School Girls in Trouble.
Sometimes it doesn’t, so much.
Sonny 2 is a sequel to the zombie-fighting RPG whose lackluster, unfinished narrative I griped about in several places last year. 2 is a little better than the original. The pacing works better. I played on easy mode and didn’t get stuck on too many of the fights: they did get a bit boring and same-y, but at least I didn’t have to spend too much time grinding away at tedious battles just in order to see the story arc. And there’s a beginning and an end, of sorts, which is more than you can say for the original.
But– well, griping and spoilers follow the break.
Sonny 2 pretty much defies you to take its story seriously. The one major dropped thread from the original, the cassette tape that is supposed to explain everything, is reintroduced only to turn out to be essentially irrelevant. Then there are a couple of segments of semi-serious battles followed by a hallucinatory trip full of the most overexposed geek-culture references possible — at one point you actually wind up pitted against the evil bunny from Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
I guess the reason this annoys me so much is that I liked the original hook of the original Sonny. I liked the art, and the voice acting, and those also seemed to be intended to support an interesting narrative line. I don’t mind that much being presented with a game that overtly isn’t about the story and then finding that, indeed, the narrative is nothing special. With Sonny, though, I spent a lot of hours playing through fights that weren’t themselves all that rewarding, in hope of a narrative payoff that was never going to come along. Therefore: meh.