Gobliins 2 – Final Rating

From The Adventure Gamer

By Ilmari

I am a bit torn about Gobliins 2. I began playing it with great expectations. The second game in the Gobliins-series showed clear improvements over its predecessor, being easier to play and fairer, while still retaining the wackiness of the first game. The more I played, the more irritated I became, when the game wouldn’t just stop. I felt that the producers had tried to cram a bit too much into the game, that there was too much of a repetition of similar themes and puzzles and that the whole would have just improved from cutting away some of the material. I feel the need to balance my rating carefully in order to accommodate both of these aspects.

Giant’s face says it all

Puzzles and Solvability

Puzzlewise, Gobliins 2 has quite a different feel from Gobliiins. The main reason for this is the move to a more traditional adventure game style, where the player has access to many different screens, instead of being forced to go through a series of discrete levels. Mind you, the game still consists of a linear series of areas, which could even be called levels, but at least these usually contain more than just one screen. This does get rid of the crudest problems of motivation in the first game, where the goal of one screen was not yet clear and became apparent only in light of a later screen.

I have to admit that especially with later parts of Gobliins 2, the goal was often
a bit hazy; for instance, here I had no indication I should be creating this portal.

Another big difference lies in the way the goblins are used in the puzzle solving. In the first game, the goblins had clearly distinct roles, for instance, only one of them could pick up and use items. Here, the roles of the goblins are more similar, neither of them having any particular skills the other wouldn’t have. They still do interact with the environment in different manners, but these different manners seem often to be based just on the whim of the producers. They do try to justify these different actions by the different attitudes of the goblins, Winkle being more whimsical than Fingus, but this difference is not very strict – we do see, e.g. Fingus playing a trick on the cook of the castle.

Or trying to draw something on a picture

It’s difficult to say whether the essentially similar skill set of the two goblins is a positive or a negative thing. On the one hand, in the first game it was usually the inventory person who had the most interesting things to do, the actions of the wizard being way too random and the actions of the strong guy too simplistic and often just pushing switches. In the second game, none of the goblins had a more important role than the other. Indeed, even more so than in the first game, the puzzles often relied on cooperation, when one of the goblin did something and the other had to do something else in the small window of time when the first one was doing it.This was at times even frustrating, especially if the action of the second goblin required precise pixel hunting and/or missing the window meant beginning a long puzzle sequence from the very beginning.

I’ve already spoken of the repetition that hindered my enjoyment of the later parts of the game, and this repetition can be seen especially with puzzles. Many of the puzzles seem like Rube Goldberg machines with an Escherian twist, in that a series of complex and sometimes even geometrically absurd steps (e.g.put goblin’s hand here and see it come out in a completely different place) are required for some seemingly easy task, like getting a goblin on top of a shelf. The problem is that many of the steps used – like the just mentioned hand trick, or the one where a goblin is placed on something that is used to slingshot him – are introduced quite early in the game and then used over and over again.

Looking back at what I’ve written I might sound overtly negative in my opinion on the puzzles. Even with all their flaws, I do still prefer the idea of freer puzzle combinations in Gobliins 2 to the level-based style of Gobliiins. If only the puzzles would have been more varied and less in need of precise timing and positioning.

Score: 3.

Interface and Inventory

The producers have improved upon the first game and got rid of the ridiculous health bar that was nothing but painful. They even added hotspots, thus avoiding most of the pixel hunting (it still is a bit of a trouble in the timed sequences, where the hotspot exists for a fraction of a second).

Hotspots even tell you the name of the characters

If I do have to say something critical, the game mechanism of changing inventory objects between two goblins seems somewhat superfluous, since most of the time the two goblins have an identical inventory. And speaking of inventory, it is still very bland.

Score: 5

Story and Setting

The story of the game is less complex than in the first Gobliiins. For the most part, there’s basically only one motivation for PCs: rescue Prince and get him home. The final twist of the game, with the Prince being possessed by a demon, comes out of nowhere and feels like it was made just to lengthen the game. Setting, on the other hand, is rich and colourful. Sometimes many of the elements don’t make any sense – why is there a basketball player on a tree village? – but this just goes with the general silly tone of the game.

The dream sequences were especially delightful

Score: 5.

Sounds and Graphics

I am pretty sure the producers took the easy route and merely used all the same music as in the previous game – it still sounds good, but this is a bit lazy. Graphically the game is on par with its predecessor with images reflecting the wacky tone. All in all,since the game looks and sounds like the first one, a similar score is definitely in order.

Score: 6.

Environment and Atmosphere

I applauded the first game for its wealth of silly animated gags. The sequel also delivers on this front. Lot of the charm of the game is trying different variations in interacting with different objects and seeing if the outcome changes. Since the threat of death has been lifted, the players are free to tinker.

Score: 8.

 It was not at first apparent that goblins could be used like bowling pins.

No, let’s think about this again! The final stages of the game lost the momentum, and all the wackiness just couldn’t help with my growing irritation. Thus, I’ll deduct a few points from this category – but not too much, since I still adore the beginning.

Score: 6.

Dialogue and Acting

Based on the two games I’ve played, Goblins-series is so heavily focused on clever animations that the producers have mostly ignored text and dialogue. The second game was perhaps a bit more literate than the first, but this isn’t saying much.

The voices speaking the various lines sound more like overeager theater enthusiasts than true professionals. The actor in the role of Fingus is particularly lacking in talent, sounding like a second-rate imitation of Walt Disney voicing Mickey Mouse.

Score: 2.

(3 + 5 + 5 + 6 + 6 + 2)/0.6 = 27/0.6 = 45. If the game would have ended a lot earlier, this would have been a fine score, but since it now continued longer than was necessary and became more than a bit of a chore in its last moments, I’ll deduct one more point. 44 it is then, making the second game a bit less to my liking than the first game. Will Moczarski wins this round!

CAP Distribution
100 CAPs for Ilmari
  • Blogger Award – 100 CAPs – For moving from great enthusiasm to utter boredom in the process of playing and blogging through this game for our enjoyment
38 CAPs for MorpheusKitami
  • True Companion Award – 30 CAPs – For playing along Gobliins 2 almost to the end and proving ample commentary
  • The Cult of Teeth Award – 5 CAPs – For taking part in the teeth appreciation comments
  • Colonel Mustard – 3 CAPs – For research on the linguistics of mayonnaise
15 CAPs for Demon Throne
  • Teeth Award – 15 CAPs – For the best set of teeth in the game
10 CAPs for Will Moczarski
  • Psychic Prediction Award – 10 CAPs – For guessing the exact score of Gobliins 2
9 CAPs for ShaddamIVth
  • The Cult of Teeth Award – 5 CAPs – For taking part in the teeth appreciation comments
  • Where No Adventure Game Has Gone Before Award – 4 CAPs – For finding out the secret of the cosmic whereabouts of TAG headquarters
8 CAPs for MisterKerr
  • It’s a Good Game Award -8 CAPs – For sharing interesting analysis and memories on Gobliins 2
5 CAPs for Mayhaym
  • The Cult of Teeth Award – 5 CAPs – For taking part in the teeth appreciation comments
3 CAPs for Agrivar 
  • Mythology 101 Award – 3 CAPs – For a creative explanation of mermaid queen’s missing eyes
3 CAPs for Lisa H.
  • Cooking 101 Award – 3 CAPs – For explaining how to make mayonnaise

Original URL: https://advgamer.blogspot.com/2020/02/gobliins-2-final-rating.html