It Takes Three To Make A Thing Go Right.
The number three has magical properties. Three diamonds can win the jackpot, three
amigos can save the day, it takes three licks to get
to the center of a Tootsie Pop, and of course three editors can wreck shop on
the best gaming site in town. Three is also the perfect number for an elite force
that could save the world! Unfortunately the Father, Son and Holy Ghost weren’t
available for this game, so we’re left with a heroic janitor, a mad scientist
and an oversized AIBO with a passion
Welcome to MDK2: Armageddon, brought to us by the magic
number three and, of course, Interplay. When the original MDK2
made its debut on the Dreamcast around this time last year, it quickly became
one of the coolest (and hardest) action titles in town. Many enjoyed its awesome
gameplay, suave humor and slick graphics.
They also endured the largest headache in the world due to horrendous difficulty.
So now the game has landed on the PS2. Let’s find out how the transformation
Armageddon challenges players to take on three separate hero identities.
You’ll wreak havoc on alien foes as Kurt, the world’s most average butt-kicking
janitor, Doc Hawkins, the misunderstood man of science, and Max, his greatest
canine creation. Each of these three identities has his own style of gameplay
quite different from the rest.
As Kurt, you’ll make use of the super-cool coil suit. It has a built-in sniper
helmet, a snazzy ribbon parachute and doubles as formalwear for those special
occasions. While sniping, you’ll find an amazing level of zoom that brings the
action up close and personal. With a weapon this precise, you could probably
shoot the fleas off a dog’s back from a mile away.
As Max, you’ll blow hordes of enemies away with a weapon in each of your four
hands. Levels with Max involve plenty of destruction, giving you your daily
dose of shoot ’em up action. Four guns are better than one!
Finally, as the good doctor, you’ll put your enormous brain to use creating
bizarre items like an atomic toaster and solving puzzles from beyond the outer
limits of the universe. The world is counting on you, so try not to blow it
is essentially the same as the original DC version of MDK2 with a few
minor adjustments. Most notable is the adjustable difficulty. Thanks to the
miracle of modern technology, players can now choose how hard they want the
game to be. One of the things that held back the original was the insane level
of difficulty. I love a good challenge as much as the next guy, but when you’ve
fought the same boss, tried the same puzzle, or failed to jump that gap a bazillion
times without a glimmer of success, things go from fun to frustrating at the
speed of light. The adjustability really helps.
In-game hints also are provided to help ease the pain. Some of the more difficult
or abstract puzzles are now graced with small “pointers” that lead you in the
The problem of difficult level design still stands, though. With so many instances
of platform jumping, there are bound to be times when you’ll just get stuck
repeating the same difficult jumps over and over. There’s simply no way to make
platform jumping any easier. At least now the enemies won’t chew you up so quickly
in the process.
Another welcome addition to Armageddon is the control options. With
the PS2 controller’s dual analog sticks, there are even more ways to handle
the heroes. The controls aren’t fully customizable, but there are enough choices
for even the most discriminating action hero.
Outside of difficulty and control, nothing new has been added to Armageddon.
It still has top of the line voice actors and wacky humor
to keep you entertained. It also retains the high graphical quality of the Dreamcast
version with a blazing framerate and decent camera.
I would definitely recommend MDK2: Armageddon to anyone who hasn’t
played the Dreamcast version. Its mix of brains and brawn come together for
some truly fun gameplay. But for a game that’s a year old, it would have been
nice to see a little something extra.