Cat Quest II Xbox One Review

November 17, 2019 by  
Filed under Xbox One, Features, Reviews & Features, Xbox

Publisher: The Gentlebros  Developer: The Gentlebros, PQube  Genre: Action RPG  Players: 1-2

Age Rating: 3+  Other console/handheld formats: PS4, Nintendo Switch

Cat Quest II sees the return of the heroic fearless moggy, and this time he is not on his own. This time around he has an equally fearless canine companion, which now allows for co-operative gameplay, as well as solo.

The cat kingdom is also still playable, with some areas returning from the previous game, and still features many a monster and dungeons for you to explore, but this time there is also a whole new canine world for you to explore, two kingdoms that have been divided as both cats and dogs go to war.

An issue is that I don’t know the name of the main characters. In fact, I don’t know the names of many of the characters. There is a third main NPC – that looks like a blue glowing bauble – that acts as your guide, and I don’t know his name either (I think it might be Squirry?). I remember the names of Hotto Doggo, an eye-patched canine who you can talk to in order to upgrade your weapons, and Kit Cat, who you can turn to for upgrades to armour, as those names are food-related, but the names of any of the other characters completely flies over my head. This is a problem, as it means the two main characters, and many of the characters in the game, have nothing to tie you to them except their cute designs.

In fact, that goes for a lot of the story; it is very unmemorable. It picks up slightly later on, but even now, I’m not entirely sure what the main plot of the game is. Do I more than likely have concentration issues and a poor memory anyway? More than likely. But the fact that I can’t remember what is happening in a story that should, by all means, be very easy to understand, shows how much it hasn’t been keeping my interest very well. Perhaps because it is more than likely aimed at a younger audience is the reason; it is very innocent and jolly with no overt sense of threat about it at all, except maybe when facing a boss, but even then the tension is only racked up very slightly.

What makes up for the lack of story and characterisation though is, of course, gameplay. It is still very addictive, and still has me very much playing for hours at a time, much to the annoyance of my co-op partner. There is a levelling-up system, and each defeated enemy and completed mission sees your character’s level improving. In turn, you will be able to take on more dangerous enemies and also explore the more challenging dungeons, in which there are many goodies to collect, including coins, extra XP, and treasure chests.

There’s a fast travel option, though we rarely used it, preferring instead to walk around and explore.

Enemies are very varied, from the small, meek, one-attack kind to bigger foes that throw everything at you but the kitchen sink. You’ll be attacked by foes and friends alike, and some can put up quite the battle. There will be one-on-one battles, as well as groups of enemies. Even with two characters at the helm, these battles are not always so straight forward. While having two characters can help knock off a considerable amount of an enemy’s health, sometimes it feels like you are never doing enough damage.

During battles both Moggy and Doggy can assist each other with the magical abilities they’ve gained. Each character can equip up to four magical abilities each, and these go some way to helping you win in a fight. Magic includes ice, fire, electric and heal, with some space-related attacks too, such as the ability to suck enemies into a black hole, or call down a space laser. The downside is that enemies can also possess the same magical skills, and some can kill you instantly. There’s some strategy to be had, as choosing which power to use wisely will help greatly in depleting an enemies health, but mostly it’s about going in with guns – or in this case, swords and magic – blazing. One minor gripe about these battles is that when there are a lot of characters on-screen, you can lose yourself amongst the rabble. Whilst the controls allow for a lot of freedom when fighting enemies, with larger groups of enemies, perhaps turn-based gameplay would have been better suited; bigger fights can become quite scrappy.

To help your feline and canine friends defend themselves, they can equip various clothes, hats and weapons. Each has its own stat, and, as with any RPG, combining them will increase or decrease your characters own stats. These include health, mana, defence and attack. Using the coins you collect, and heading to either Hotto-Doggo or Kit Cat, you can upgrade these items to make them even more effective.

As mentioned, the game can be played solo – with the player switching between each character – or co-op, which is the better way to play the game. There’s no split-screen, with each character taking space on one screen. Because of the lack of split-screen, you won’t be able to wander off on your own and explore at your own pace, though this is by no means an issue, as it encourages team-based play. Missions require that both players are present to start it, and with two separate characters at the helm, it makes battles a lot easier to deal with, with each character helping each other out, such as healing each other when the other is down.

With a bigger world comes more tasks to do, and there are plenty of side missions to complete, as well as the main story. There’s lots of hidden treasures to collect, and while the story perhaps isn’t the most engaging for older players, it will more than keep the interest of the younger demographic, which this game is clearly aimed at anyway, considering the abundance of cat puns, and dogs puns, which return with a vengeance. It’s a very tame game (despite the enemy-bashing) that holds your hand at every turn, though is still very addictive, and while more has been added to this sequel, in terms of the overall quality, it continues to match its predecessor, with no glitches or bugs experienced. A very purrleasant sequel to play.