RPGFan


Broken Age: Act II

"You should replay the whole game if you haven't played the first half since last year."

Broken Age's long journey to completion has been divisive for some fans— understandably so, considering how long ago Act I was released and various development bumps in the road. It has been so long, in fact, that the developers actually suggest replaying Act I in order to recap before diving right into Act II. Since I had a shiny new console/handheld version to test out, I promptly did as suggested and played the entire game from start to finish. With the benefit of that experience, I took away three main points. Yes, you should replay the whole game if you haven't played the first half since last year. Yes, the console/handheld release is a solid port, if a little finicky. Finally, the second half isn't quite as satisfying as I would have liked. If you haven't played the original release, I'd recommend taking a look at my Act I review for a more detailed breakdown of the game's visuals, music, acting, and writing. Act II is functionally identical to its predecessor, and with the exception of some puzzles that skew a little too obtuse, I enjoyed the pointy/clicky as much here as I did the first time around.

In terms of aesthetics, the latter half of the game is as sharp as its predecessor. The artwork is colorful and strikes the same fanciful notes as ever. What new music there is showcases Peter McConnell's talents as well as Act I, and the entire soundtrack is as charming as ever. The voice acting also continues to be a highlight, especially in the case of the absolutely delightful Vella, who remains one of my favorite adventure game protagonists.

I spent the majority of my return trip playing on my Vita, which I found to be a plenty enjoyable way to do so. The game has a few odd instances of skipping or short pauses, but was technically sound overall. The touchscreen controls work well (unsurprising since the game already works on iOS), and I had no occasions of "I can't click the thing!" that I can recall. The PS4 version is certainly smoother, though I did miss the touch controls in a game most definitely not designed to be played on a gamepad. Nonetheless, with it being a cross-buy title, the version of the game on Sony platforms is a great option for those who either can't or choose not to play on a PC or touch-device.

I'll admit that my main reason for being somewhat lukewarm in the end is that the story doesn't quite live up to the promise of the first half. Shay and Vella are fun, compelling characters, and the switcheroo hinted at the end of Act I plays out without nearly as many shocks or surprises as I had hoped for. That isn't to say I wasn't satisfied by the finale— far from it, since more time with these characters is on its own an enjoyable notion— but I expected more in the way of "thrills, chills, and twists!" Nonetheless, if you're a fan of adventure games or Broken Age Act I, I'd say the full package is an easy sell, since there aren't many games in the genre with better acting, writing, and polish.


© 2015 Double Fine Productions. All rights reserved.




Twitch Schedule & Status

Grandia
Sunday, November 19 • 10am PST/1pm EST

Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age
Mondays • 6pm PST/9pm EST

Vandal Hearts
Tuesdays • 12pm PST/3pm EST

Final Fantasy VI
Thursdays and Fridays • 3pm PST/6pm EST

Xenosaga Episode III
Tues-Wed-Thu • 7pm PST/10pm EST
Saturdays • 5pm PST/8pm EST

Featured Content
Fire Emblem Warriors Review
Fire Emblem Warriors
Review
Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Preview
Xenoblade Chronicles 2
Hands-On Preview
Retro Encounter 109: Final Fantasy IX
Retro Encounter 109: Final Fantasy IX
Podcast
Path of Exile: War for the Atlas Preview
Path of Exile: War for the Atlas
Preview
The Journey Down - Chapter Three Review
The Journey Down - Chapter Three
Review
The Fruit of Grisaia Review
The Fruit of Grisaia
Review
Exist Archive -The other Side of the Sky- OST Review
Exist Archive -The other Side of the Sky- OST
Review