The Fantastic Further Adventures of Mayor McCheese and Bert!
That dynamic duo of disaster, that peculiar pair of pistoleros, that classic couple of cowboys . . . yes folks, Dr. Don and Dr. Dan are back! After completing the arduous task of finding the Gunball in Point Blank, Dr. Don and Dr. Dan have retired and started a Theme Park filled with "fun gun-shooting games." Their goal is to create the world's most difficult gun game. With Point Blank 2, they just might have succeeded.
When Namco released the Guncon last year, it didn't make that much of a splash. This wasn't helped by the fact that Namco mysteriously pulled Time Crisis off the market about six months after they released it. Point Blank (their other Guncon game) hit the market with very little fanfare, but was a darn good game. So it came as a pleasant surprise when Point Blank 2 arrived upon the scene. Though not as creative as the first Point Blank, Point Blank 2 is still a good, solid light-gun game, and one of the few great multi-player games for the Playstation.
The graphics are almost identical to the first Point Blank. They're simplistic, goofy-looking, and completely two-dimensional. In other words, they're perfect. Point Blank 2 gets some of its charm from the fact that it isn't the flashiest looking title. When your two main characters look like evil rejects from Sesame Street, there's not much more that can be done.
As for the target games themselves, Point Blank 2 holds up nicely against its predecessor. From shearing sheep to shooting Galaga creatures to simple arithmetic, you'll accomplish more with a gun than you ever thought possible. The only problem is that not enough of the target games feel very new. Many of the targets and games were taken directly from Point Blank and simply placed on a different background. It's still fun, but way too similar to the first game.
Besides the basic arcade game, there are several different ways to play Point Blank 2. In "Point Blank Castle" mode, you can play both against a friend one on one or against yourself in the Endurance mode. On top of that, there's the "Party" mode where you can setup a Point Blank tournament with four of your friends. Or, you can create a Team battle where eight players participate. Finally, there's the "Turf War" game, which is a combination of Point Blank and the board game Othello. Is that enough gameplay modes for you?
Well, just in case you're still not satisfied, there's the "Theme Park" mode. The Theme Park is Point Blank 2's answer to the original game's gun-based RPG (don't believe me? Read the original game review). The Theme Park consists of four different houses: the haunted house, the SuperBullet train, the Cosmic Drive, and Abyss Tours. Each location is a different game. In the haunted house, you explore the mansion while encountering monsters and looking for the exit. The SuperBullet train takes you along a track where you encounter monsters and shoot targets. The Abyss has you negotiating an underwater world. Finally, the Cosmic Drive launches you into outer space to protect the Earth from alien invasion. What's the point? Well, somewhere in the Theme Park is a princess that you promised to find. What is it with princesses and disappearing? Do they all have to do it when they turn a certain age?
Point Blank 2 is essentially a rehash of the original Point Blank. Although this isn't a bad thing, Point Blank 2 just doesn't offer anything truly new. What we have here is a fun light-gun game for all ages. Just watch out for Mayor McCheese - I think he's still steamed about being thrown out of McDonaldland.