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I had no idea that Metropolismania had a sequel, I saw no marketing, no articles on it...and then one day I just stumbled upon it. Like the original game, this one was also found in a bargain bin for $10.00.
The first game was so unpopular that nearly anyone I mentioned the game to looked at me like I had two heads. 'Metropolismania? What is this game you speak of!?'
When I came across Metropolismania 2 I was estatic because I assummed that the game would fix all of the annoyances that the first game came packed with. I figured it would have beefed up the graphics, and made the game even more enjoyable, and less repetitive than the last.
God was I wrong!
To better put it, Metropolismania 2 is straight up laziness on the developers part, and frankly I was baffled at why they would even release this one.
The game starts off in nearly the exact same manner the first one did. The same type of music is heard on the start up, but clearly something had been done to further destroy the graphics. I didn't think a part 2 of a game could present graphics worse than an original, but Metropolismania 2 clearly took 2 steps back in the graphics department.
Instead of playing with cartoon like animation characters, the characters instead looked like pencil drawn Japanese anime...and not the good kind!
Besides this difference there was one more different, and ONLY one more difference. This time I got to choose from a small selection of characters. In the last game I was stuck with one tacky yellow suit wearing cheeseball. Regardless of the new addition of selection, the vhoices were small.
Now that you have a character you assign it a name. Next you are plopped into a deserted mass of land. Your job is to basically build the town from the ground up.
The first thing I built of course was roads. I was a little mad though that they took away the use of the chalk pen. In the original your character would run through the land and could draw in roads using a piece of chalk.
Instead I got to use this ridiculous birds eye view while placing down my roads. I hated it! One of the funnest things about the game originally was the way you could build the roads. They call this new birds eye placement easier, so you could see where your roads were being placed. I admitt it was much easier, and took up way less time, but in a sad way, it took away a fun element the original game had.
Alright so, we have a new character to build the town, new downgraded graphics and a new way to place the roads. I figured the game would present a slew of other new things to it, only it didn't.
After building roads, I was presented with the same type of building cards I got in the original game. These cards are residents looking to move in to the newly built town. You have businesses, residents, offices, and factories all looking to claim a plot of land in your town. Just like in the first game.
The dissapointing thing about everything was how every single challenge presented to me in the game were the exact same replicated challeneges the original game offered.
Residents filed the same complaints, their dialog was even all the same. A few new exceptions in dialog did take place, but they were small and limited additions.
The same went for individuality in the towns characters. There was a small group of different residents, yet they all would look the same. Old people all looked the same, young parents looked the same, and teens and children all were the same. It was like a freaking stepford community, and the lack of visual stimulation eventually got really old, really fast.
The levels were all presented in the same manner as well. The game would start of simple, with a few complaints about my residents wanting a school, or a bar, or a factory. I pretty much knew the strategy on how to keep them happy because the game was nothing more than the last game packaged into a new look. It presented no challenges that I didn't already know how to complete.
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Sounds in the game (like the first one) are realistic to the sounds you would hear in a busy city. You hear the laughter of children when you pass by a playground, you hear school bells ringing when you pass by the schools, you will hear cars honking horns, and music will hum lightly in the background. The sounds are decent, but a repeat of the sounds heard in the first game.
Music Cd's can also be bought in music stores to change up the sound that plays in the background. The music is all just a bunch of chimes, and beats.
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ControlsThe controls in the game are all pretty simple and straightforward. You control your main character by using the joystick on the games controller. The controls do not even require a tutorial, even though the game presents a mini tutorial in the beginning stage of gaming. Once you have the controls down in the first few seconds, they are pretty easy to remember. There is nothing challenging about moving through the 3D environment. Your character over time though will lose energy and move slowly. You can simply bring him or her to a local grocery store, or fast food joint to eat food and fill up the energy bar.
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Re-Play ValueThe re-play value in Metropolismania 2 is horrendous; due to the fact that the first game presents us with better graphics, I found that I would play the first game again, but not the second.Once the game is complete (if you have the patience) I cannot imagine anyone wanting to go back to start the game back up again at ground zero. It's far too repetitive, and way too similar to the first game. It's a complete overkill, and with the non-stop repeated verbal conversations you have with in game characters, things grow rather boring, rather quickly.
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DifficultyMetropolismania 2 is actually very difficult once you began closing in on the ending levels. However if you played the original game, the challenges are exactly same challenges the first game had presented, and you will find yourself flying through the levels because; after all...you played them before. If the game though is new to you, and you never picked up the original title, you will find that part 2 offers some frustrating challenges as the game digs into deeper levels. As far as being fun though, I'd say no. The repetitive cycles will have you feel like you are running in circles and getting nowhere.
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If you make friends with residents early on in the game, the rest of the game will be a lot easier to complete when more challenging levels come. Making a large network of friends allows you to later on call them on your cell phone to ask them to move into your new town.
For instance in one particular level nearly every resident asks for you to build a gas station. the only problem is, they don't know anyone who owns one. If you played the game wisely in the beginning levels you will already have a list of contacts of gas station owners. You simple call them up, and ask them to move to your new town. If you have a good relationship with them, they always say yes.
Another tip is to make sure you do not place factories near residents homes. They will move out due to the noise, which in turn causes your resident number to go down. You can instead place factories by commercial buildings, or offices.
Metropolismania 2 is all about strategic placement of buildings. If you don't place your buildings wisely, you won't get very far into the game.
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Challenges are the same, game play is the same, and the repetitive cycle packaged in a sequel was just ridiculous. I honestly can say that I feel this is the first game I have ever come across where I was left scratching my head, wondering why on earth they even bothered releasing it.
The only difference gamers will find is the new quirky birds eye view of building, and the weird anime like appearance that the characters have.
In my opinion Metropolismania 2 is two steps backward. The original game looks better, and plays better than the sequel does. How sad!