Heroic Adventure Tendencies
It seems that whatever our hero (default name Aaron, though you can name him whatever you want at the start of your adventure) does, he can’t help but run into evil around every corner. This is perhaps because many of the villagers that are being threatened by this persistent and malevolent force feel that you, the player, are their only hope for being saved. This tendency to attract the doom and gloom makes our hero the perfect subject for a brilliantly-executed action-RPG adventure with licks of fantasy that is the sequel to a previous adventure which was equally as fantastic. Arcuz 2: Dungeons sees you pick up the sword yet again in order to one and for all crush the wickedness that holds the village in its corruptive grip; just watch out for the sticky slime-blobs that are the trademark enemy of the series.
What Do I Do?
The long and short of the game is simply following the initial tutorial and then playing through the individual mini-quests that are asked of you by various villagers and friends of yours. The game consists entirely of fulfilling these quests by performing actions such as retrieving anti-venom from the dark forest, exchanging various items, helping out friends with their problems, and this time around, acquiring partners with various skills to aid you in your quest. Control your character with the WASD movement keys and use the spacebar to interact with others/pick up items. J is your attack key, K allows you to jump, and I/L allow you to use your skills. The well-designed inventory menu is controlled entirely through clicking and dragging your items into various positions.
Don’t let the (purposely) simple appearance make a fool of you: Arcuz 2’s gameplay is unbelievably moreish, a quality that can be put down to the RPG element of being able to upgrade your character in a variety of ways. Battling enemies gains you experience points, which eventually allow you to level up, resulting in the acquisition of skills points. These points can be added to your attributes such as your strength, agility, and constitution. Your skills can also be upgraded, which allow you to perform a variety of complex and powerful manoeuvres during battle such as a falchion flurry, a backstabbing attack, a shield bash, and a hurricane attack. These attacks are used in conjunction with the many weapons that you can collect along your way such as falchions, long swords, and hatchets.
Weapon/item combining is one of the features that stands out for me in Arcuz 2, allowing you to combine your weapons with various stones to give them powers such as ice-based attacks and other magical properties.
Looks Aren’t Everything (But Boy Do They Help)
This time around, your adventure is a little bit more polished than before in terms of graphics, with flashy portals and swish menus holding together the attractive 16-bit style that will remind older gamers of the good old days and make new gamers thing that there is something wrong with their screen resolution. It’s ok, young gamer: this is how things used to be in the once-perfect world before T-Pain, Wretch 32, Justin Bieber were a thing and before Pluto was even deplanetized. Ah those were the days. Anyway, the point is that the slightly-pixelated style is a nod to days where the simplest of games could keep you hooked for unreasonable amounts of time, an effect that Arcuz 2: Dungeons seems to have on people in the present day.
I struggle to find too much fault with Funnaut’s Arcuz 2 aside from the repetitive nature of the level grinding that must be done to make your character stronger, though this is really a feature of the RPG genre that is to be expected, and players should know that this is what they are in for before they even put hand to mouse. The game isn’t all that different from the first either, but why try and reinvent the wheel? A brilliant game for newcomers and long-term fans of the series alike.