D-Pad Hero 2
Rarely is something truly whole in a single piece. Do humanity not require to halves to continue, and do most organisms beyond simple micro organisms. Humans in particular have an interesting craving for companionship, regardless of what some may state (such as Agent Smith calling love insipid). Sometimes, it is necessary to create something in two parts to cover the full extent of the subject at hand. For instance, films are often split in two parts in order to cover all the necessary grounds. Reviews works in a similar manner, as a series of games will require multiple documents nine times out of ten. The D-Pad Hero series, as brief as it is, does as well.
D-Pad Hero was an interesting game, and the previous review referenced the desire for more built around that concept. There is a sequel available on Vizzed through the same emulators, but how does it fare to the original? In some respects it is improved, but in others it has sunk into a chasm it can not escape from.
Both visually, and audio-wise, there is little to comment on that hasn't been said before. The visuals are simple, but largely functional, and if compared to the original's graphics, then some aspects have been made more complicated. The audio is, like the original D-Pad Hero, a MIDI instrumental version of the original song. For what it is worth, it is tolerable for the purposes of playing, but whether or not it is music to one's ears or sheer torture is entirely subjective. The menu song is the same way, but it is legitimately lower quality than the MIDI files for the rest of the songs should one consider music theory.
One major improvement is the addition of a difficulty setting which should allow more flexibility to players just getting started, but still allow for a challenge. The song selection have been altered as well, with mixed results. The song list has been doubled to eight playable tracks, which is an improvement doubtlessly. However, this addition been ruined by the fact that you got to buy the songs, which isn't too harsh other than the fact the player will not know what songs they are buying the first time playing. That is right, the player is not told what songs they are buying until after they are paid for. Admittedly, this can be remedied by reloading the game several times and memorizing what is where, or simply reloading until you get a starting song you like. This, however, should not be necessary and the song titles should have been given before buying.
Once the player begins the song, they will notice that the layout is different from the original game: this time, the player would have five columns, much like a guitar hero game. These columns utilizes the A and B button to the right, but the center button is the select while the two buttons on the left are the right/left directional pad. Whether or not this is easier or harder depends on the player's preference, but it is worth noting that the d pad and the arrow keys are inverted, so the player may wish to change the controls for this game. Otherwise, the concept is the same. Another other major difference is that it is possible to fail the song before it ends by making too many mistakes, which are monitored by a heart meter (like in a Zelda game) near the top of the screen. A major drawback to the game play is the lack of a means to end a song without failing it. In the original game, when the player paused they could resume the song, quit the song or restart. This time, however, the screen just freezes with the pause. What is the logic in removing a highly useful feature?
Despite the game play being similar, it is flawed in one key aspect. If someone has ever conjured up the idea that playing "Guitar Fever" is a good idea, they will recognize this flaw immediately. The note's approaching speed acts much like a corroding piece of radioactive material in that as it approaches the player, its speed decreases making it much harder to hit. This is not an optical illusion, and is a legitimate problem that is not a concern in the original D-Pad Hero. This single flaw can easily render the game nearly unplayable, and is inexcusable. The likely explanation is due to the D-pad board not being a directly overhead, 90 degree view but rather at an angle. Nonetheless, it is not excusable if it seriously hinders the game play, as mentioned before.
In conclusion, the D-Pad Hero series has taken a kick in the gut, on the whole, with the second game. However, this is not the worst game in existence, and the series still has potential to prosper. The final verdict is that this game is inferior to the original, but is still worth looking at if just to see how the games have changed. D-Pad Hero 2 has damaged what did not need improvement, and did not necessarily perfect what could have been added on, but it still has a niche on Vizzed.
Graphics 5 Sound 5 Addictive 1 Depth 2 Difficulty 8
D-Pad Hero 2 Description: D-Pad Hero is a series of rhythm/music games for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). You know, that game console you still used to play circa 1990.
D-Pad Hero pays homage to our own favorite NES games and popular music artists. It's our vision of what music games might have been like in the NES heyday. Now, through the wonders of emulation, you get to experience it yourself!