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What Did I Do To Deserve This, My Lord!? 2 Review
Promising an odd little mix of Dungeon Keeper and Overlord, and a name who’s length can only be overshadowed by it’s predecessor, it was difficult not to be intrigued by What Did I Do To Deserve This, My Lord!? 2. The game is primarily a strategy title, although to sum it up so succinctly wouldn’t be doing justice to what is simultaneously a highly entertaining, yet deliciously frustrating game.
Wielding a giant, hovering pick-ax, the player is given the role of the Lord of Destruction, summoned by the evil lord Badman to protect him from constant hero invasion. To this end you’ll have to carve out an ever expanding dungeon and populate it with monsters to hold the heroes at bay.
Each level gives the player a certain amount of Dig power, which equates to the amount of blocks that can be destroyed. Digging is essentially your only power, used for everything from sculpting your dungeon to creating new monsters, so keeping an eye on your power gauge becomes essential for progression through the levels. If your Dig Power runs out, you’re effectively crippled. A certain amount of your Dig power will be restored at the end of each round, depending on how well you perform against the invading heroes.
It all sounds so simple condensed into a two paragraph description, by My Lord!? 2 actually has quite the daunting learning curve. This game has no less than twelve tutorial scenarios, and they are just there to cover the basics. To perfect both your understanding of the dungeon’s workings and effective defense strategies will take you hours of trial and error, at which point you’ll probably still feel out of your depth.
This is because to succeed at My Lord!? 2 takes a certain amount of cunning, a certain level of strategy and then the kind of luck that only a horseshoe’d leprechaun covered in bird crap could possibly possess.
Where the challenge lies is in setting up a working ecology within your dungeon. Each monster has it’s own unique role to perform, it’s own natural predators and prey. The stronger monsters feed on the weaker monsters, who in turn seed the dungeon soil for the birth of bigger, badder monsters. Your dungeon is one exceedingly complex micro-ecology, which requires constant attention and clever planning to maintain. Too many predators and not enough prey? Your predators will be weak and potentially die of starvation. If you attempt to plan out a longer game you can leave yourself vulnerable to even the most inept of hero.
And then we throw elements like mutation and evolution into the mix. A low-level monster that’s being constantly preyed upon will soon develop it’s own defenses. This means it won’t die so easily when heroes come calling, but lowers it’s ability to seed the dungeon’s soil. If a monster finds that prey is scarce it can mutate into an obese version of itself, lowering it’s requirement for prey but making it slower and weaker at the same time.
All this has to be done quickly and efficiently too, as heroes will constantly make their way into the dungeon hunting after Badman. Heroes come in several different varieties, from mages and thieves to warriors and barbarians. Each has their own unique strengths and weaknesses, which you often won’t find out about until they’re on your doorstep.
But while I’m painting the picture of an extremely frustrating game, I can’t deny that My Lord!? 2 continually has me coming back for more. This game has had me rage-quitting with alarming frequency, but every time I’m drawn back in to see if I can refine my technique, try a new strategy or simply get lucky and pass a level. There is something quite satisfying in creating a working dungeon, and watching as your completely autonomous minions crush foolhardy adventurers over and over again.
The developers have also had the sense to make the game quite humourous, which can take the edge off the more frustrating elements. Badman as a character will constantly bring a smile to your face, as he revels in victory or weeps in shame as heroes get the better of him. He makes constant interaction with the player as a person, remarking upon your change of clothes (my guess is the developers assured themselves of a game that needed more than one session to complete) or treatment of his life as a game. He’ll also ask why you keep leaving him right in the middle of world domination.
The heroes also have their own quirky sense of humour. They’ll mutter and curse as they wander your dungeon, bemoan their fate when they die or gloat in success. Each hero has their own little pop-culture twist, like the heavy-hitting warrior Byson, or the Assistant to the Regional Manager Dwight. Acquire, the game’s developers, have even gone through and written a short back-story for every hero that unlocks in the Almanac once you’ve faced them.
The graphics are simple 2D pixel art, something that can still come off looking quite good on the PSP’s screen while delivering the appropriate level of homage to the RPGs My Lord!? 2 lampoons. The soundtrack seeks to match this with 8-bit tunes and themes and does quite a decent job, even if none of it really stands out.
You’ll have to be a bit of a puzzle buff to appreciate this one, and a masochistic inclination might help too, but What Did I Do To Deserve This, My Lord!? 2 is certainly one of the better games on offer for the PSP at the moment.
Pros: My Lord!? 2 provides a great quality parody of the RPG games we’ve come to know and love. There are good quality laughs and a simple control design make this game easy to come back to time after time.
Cons: Unfortunately, an incredibly steep learning curve and high difficulty will also have you coming back time after time. It’s also not always obvious what you might be doing wrong in any given circumstance, which leaves the player with an awful lot of trail and error to wade through.
Overall: Although rage-quits will be seemingly unavoidable, there is something endearing about What Did I Do To Deserve This, My Lord!? 2 that you just can’t hold a grudge against. Well worth a look! 3.5 out of 5.
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