Review: Slash It 2

They haven’t fixed the name.

 

Developers: Just1337 Studio
Publisher: Just1337 Publisher

Platforms: PC
Release: 24th January, 2017
Copy purchased

numbers-colour

It really says something when you start reviewing a game soon after launch and its sequel is out before you finish, but I guess that means I chose the right name for this site. Speaking of the right names, Just 1337’s maintains odd naming choices in Slash It 2, a sequel that fixes many problems with the original yet carries over a concerning amount of faults. Its got the same reaction based gameplay and the same high score goals, just with prettier graphics this time around

Slash It 2 has had a substantial visual overhaul since the practically motionless backgrounds of the original. Without out a doubt, it looks far more lively with many more visual effects spread around the screen. Despite looking busier, it didn’t feel cluttered and it never obscured the important bits, something that the first game had an annoying tendency to do, even with its bare backgrounds. The constant palette changing makes a return, but the darker tones used meant that my eyes were safe from being overstrained, making longer sessions far more appealing.

numbers-2

The button prompts also stand out far more, the brightly coloured shapes contrast with the darker background and look much easier to read, they also pop in and out with a spark, making it easier to spot them. As for the music, it’s on par with the previous soundtrack, pretty good but not spectacular, although it can be quite catchy in the middle of a agame. Slash It 2’s presentation addresses many issues I had with it’s predecessor and makes for a great improvement.

Player feedback was an issue I should have raised first game, your time limit was like some obscure idea rather than an accurate depiction. Now a colourful circle being erased represents your ever dwindling time, much more helpful and even a little tense as you struggle to keep it filled while prompts pile on. It’s not only the visuals that help the gameplay along, one big improvement I quickly noticed is that the prompts tended to appear in time with the music, which is a nice touch. I often caught myself tapping along to the beats, it felt a lot more engaging. This, combined with the easier to read prompts, make playing Slash It 2 far more enjoyable than the other game managed.

letters

Unfortunately, this is where the improvements pretty much grind to a halt. The gameplay is sadly the least evolved aspect of Slash It 2, feeling like it was just copied over from the first game. There’s very little exploration of new ideas to shake things up. The progression system is back, gating off modes behind arbitrary levels is just as grindy, tedious and out of place here.

The gameplay makes me feel that Just 1337 Studio’s focus was more about improving the graphics, rather than improving the gameplay, not the best attitude to have toward making a sequel.

Continuing the disappointing lack of innovation, five of the original modes make a comeback and once again, two are just harder versions of others. I find it strange that the “Classic” mode of the original game is absent, seeing how it’s called “Classic” and all, but I think we’ve established Just 1337’s odd naming conventions by now. Its replacement, “Words”, fits the game better than “Classic” ever did, the use of full words feels like a natural extension of the letter based modes. Overall, the appearance of only one new game mode is underwhelming to say the least and just makes Slash It 2 feel more like a repeat of Slash It, definitely not what I’m looking for in a sequel.

words

Slash It 2 might be a good game, but it’s not a good sequel. Instead of providing a substantial evolution of the gameplay premise, it feels more like a rehash, a second attempt. Despite the visual improvements and the slightly more focussed game modes, it still fell into the same traps of the first game. The variety of game modes is just as underwhelming, seeing the same old gameplay is tedious and the achievements feel just as meaningless.

Slash It 2 renders its predecessor irrelevant, anything that was done before is done slightly better here, that’s pretty much how you can sum up the entire game: the same, but better. It’s still a good game and I’d recommend it to anyone wanting a quick that may improve touch typing, just skip the first one if you haven’t already. I guess it also makes my review of the first one obsolete now as well, I don’t know how to feel about this.

Oh I know! My next piece will be something along the lines of: “Why Slash It 2 Ruins Everything it Touches”. Whoever said I wasn’t petty?

Categories: Reviews

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